“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith; for the just shall live by faith.” — Romans 1:16-17
By Fatimah Ibrahim
Let’s be honest: it is not considered cool or socially acceptable to openly declare that you have a personal relationship with God and hold to a moral standard of holiness.
That’s because it confronts those around us with a decision: they must acknowledge the principles that guide their own lives or the lack thereof.
“Should I remain the way I am or must I change?” Their conscience tells them that if they remain unchanged, they reject the truth that has just been revealed to them.
God is working to convict their hearts through this assessment.
“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness; but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:22-25).
We all have a hard time admitting to the evil inside us.
But if we honestly examine our hearts in humility, we will recognize the affliction we have caused in ourselves and others.
Only then can we assess the situation correctly.
1 Peter 5:5 says: “Submit yourself to God and clothe yourself in humility, for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
When we resist or refuse to be associated with God, two things happen.
First, we cut ourselves off from the power of God because of our unbelief. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that“without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Second, we personally reject the One who orchestrates the universe; who holds all power in His hands.
Rejection hurts everyone, and ultimately, we break the heart of God.
Jesus reminds us that God knows us down to the last detail; that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads.
Then He says, “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before My Father which is in heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
Bottom line: God loves us even though He knows us down to the minutest detail.
That means all our sins, failures, shortcomings, and insecurities — and He’s still not ashamed to let the whole world know He thinks we are to die for; that His blood rights all the wrongs our sin has caused.
So I dare ask: how can we reject the only One in all the universe who knows us entirely and loves us just the same; whose only desire is to give us good things, a future, and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)?
How can we reject someone like that?
Remember that fork in the road, where we choose to either change or remain the way we are?
This is truly a to-be-or-not-to-be moment. God uses this decision to determine who is for Him and who is not; the humble heart versus the devil’s victim with tunnel vision.
In Matthew 10:34-35 Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
It is our choice to be a victim of circumstance or to be humble and honest about our response to God and to the circumstances of life.
We must accept the truth that our own decisions have played a role in making us who we are today, and in the way we have come to treat others.
Controlling our emotions is our responsibility. Just because we are in pain right now doesn’t give us the right to inflict pain on others.
When we are hurt, we must go to God in prayer, asking Him to help us see the truth in our affliction and to grant us grace to address the situation correctly.
1 Peter 5:6 says: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”
We find new trust in God as we humble ourselves, which in turn causes Him to reveal to us His righteousness.
As it says in Numbers 23:19, God is not like men. He doesn’t lie and He doesn’t need to repent. He fulfills His promises.
So we can rest assured that if God said it, it will surely happen. When we trust in our God who cannot lie, that trust builds confidence, which in turn builds boldness.
This boldness empowers us to speak the truth and not be afraid to address the lie.
Our newfound godly confidence stirs within us the desire to introduce others to this awesome God that we know on a personal level.
The more we get to know Him, the more our faith grows, and it is growing from faith to faith that gives us the bold confidence to ask for help, knowing that His delight is to step in and perform it.
In Romans 10:9-15 God promises“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
“Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between persons, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.”
God loves us and doesn’t care what a mess we are or what we have done.
If we choose to accept His love, we allow His blood to wash away the wrongs done to us and through us. Now we have a real relationship with Him, and He has promised He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5).
Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us that it is this promise that gives us strength and courage: “Be strong and very courageous; do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you.”
In Romans 1:17 we read that the just shall live by faith. But who are the just? Simply, those who are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is blood of Jesus that washes away sin, and that means that without His blood we cannot stand in the presence of God.
And what God wants most is for us to stand in His presence. As it says in 2 Peter 3:9, the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
He wants everyone to experience salvation! That is why he sent Jesus to be the Savior for all humanity.
It is God’s desire that not one of us be lost. He wants us to know the truth and to choose Him.
Jesus says He is the truth. He is the way to the Father. He is life itself (John 14:6).
Simply put, to deny Him is to reject the truth; but to know Him is to love Him.
If you find yourself at that fork in the road, I pray you make the right choice.