James 2:18 (NIV): But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
Martin Luther King Jr was a man of giant faith stature. Yet, his entire life was a demonstration of humility and a daily dependency on God. With death threats, bombings, attempted killings and terror, King was constantly reminded that God was his only source. I am confident that if God was not behind King and the civil rights movement, the nonviolent push for equality would not have taken place. Through his commitment to nonviolence, King demonstrated his faith in Christ: that not only was violence unnecessary, but a strong commitment to challenging evil in high places was. Like Jesus, King went to his grave because of his choice to completely live out of his faith.
How do we get there? How do we get to the point of, like King said, being willing to die for something? How do we, as the minister said, begin to take the first step of faith without seeing the whole staircase?
It starts by surrendering our will to God in prayer, in reading the word, in going to church, in obeying His voice in not only what he tells us explicitly in His word, but also what He speaks to us in our hearts. We must be hungry and tired of our status quo, a life devoid of God’s presence and Spirit. When God becomes the center, He becomes the reason; the reason why you choose the right internship, the reason why you become so passionate about a social cause, the reason why you are such a good friend to others, or the reason why you would be willing to take on a Goliath and stand up for what God witnesses to your heart.
Much like Martin Luther King, Jr., whose Christian faith was the compass for his social justice work and legacy, our faith in God needs to fuel our deeds.
“Father God, help me to surrender my life to you in such a way so that my desires for my life will align with your desires for me. Help me to make you the center of my life so that you are the reason for everything I do. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”