Fancy Talk or Powerful Living

6-25-13 Fancy talk “For the kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)

Some days I feel like I’m really good at talking (or writing) about God and His Word but not very good at living it out. I know the right words to say (and write) and all the Christian lingo, but those do me – or anyone else – no good if my words fail to produce powerful action.  

I’m not even necessarily talking about actions that contradict my words, although those are certainly damaging. What I’m most troubled by in my own life is lack of action. In other words, I often feel like I have a lot of fancy talk but not much – if any – powerful living.

If I want to move from fancy talk to powerful living, it makes sense to increase my awareness of how God’s power comes into my life.

6-25-13 PowerWhat are the sources of God’s power?  

  1. The Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) Gives words & presents opportunity to preach the Gospel.
  2. The Bible (Hebrews 4:12) Reveals complete truth.
  3. Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-4) Our example for putting words into action.
  4. Prayer (James 5:16) Prayer plus righteousness gets results.
  5. Other Christians (1 John 5:4-5) Living victory through faith in Christ.

Knowing the sources of God’s power and even making sure they exist in my daily living still mean nothing should I fail to produce meaningful action. And to do that, I need to become strong in God’s power.

How can we become strong in God’s power?   Being strong in God’s power means standing firm, which involves our words being illustrated by our actions. The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), a familiar passage of scripture, gives valuable insight into how we can turn our fancy talk into powerful living.

  1. Christian Armor Email SalutationUse all the tools available to you. Think of all the tools great warriors carried with them. To help you visualize, pick a movie with good battle scenes (like Lord of the Rings) and watch how the warriors not only had a variety of tools on them at all times, but they used all of those tools when the battle got especially tough and lengthy.
  2. Let righteousness (goodness, honesty, fairness, rightness) strengthen your core. Any exercise specialist knows that a strong core is essential for the whole body to be strong. No matter the activity, core strength will increase chances for success.
  3. Use peace as your firm foundation. Peace gives a firm foundation by guarding our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). Having a foundation of peace means emotions don’t control you.
  4. Hold up your faith to prevent injury. A strong faith, like a good shield, keeps evil from harming you.
  5. Protect your mind with your salvation. Salvation protects your mind because no one can take it from you. You can only lose it by choice.
  6. Know how to use your one offensive weapon. Watching good battle scenes helps understand the importance of a sword, which seems to be a natural extension of the user. A good swordsman puts in hours of practice and always has his sword with him, ready for use.
  7. Stay persistent in prayer. Constantly be praying, and let the Holy Spirit guide your prayers.

As I look at what the Armor of God does for a Christian’s ability to stand strong, to put words into action, I realize that it’s really a principle for successful living in any area of life. From relationships, education and career to running a marathon, writing a book and building a house, the above steps really provide a path for significance that comes only through being used by God.

DISCUSSION: What are some specific ways we can turn fancy talk into powerful living?

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22 thoughts on “Fancy Talk or Powerful Living

  1. I'm hard-pressed at this time to come up with anything more than you have kari. I think this is an excellent post and chock full of good stuff. Now…if I can only do what you suggest…

    • God's Word is SO good! My problem is the same… doing what God's Word suggests. That's why I wrote about it. I know what I need to do, but I struggle doing it. There's a disconnect that I need to LET the Holy Spirit fill in me.

  2. Great post, Kari. My observation is that, in so many lives, the person wanting to be used of God has suited up, done their sword practice – and is then chafing at finding they are sitting on the bench feeling like they should be in the game, when God is saying "Wait for it…". Not an answer the average person wants to hear – "C'mon, coach – play me!" is often the cry of our hearts. We're on fire and want to be active in large ways – but sometimes it's the small things that don't seem to connect to who we think we are supposed to be.

    Ever read the book "The Other Wise Man" by Henry van Dyke? No? Here's a link to an online version :http://www.classicreader.com/book/593/1/

    Let me know what you think 🙂

    • Thanks, Rick. You have no idea how much I needed to hear those words today. On my bike ride, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to continue suiting up & to wait. You confirmed what I felt in my spirit. I will check out.the book!

        • I got partly into the 2nd chapter and then had to finish getting ready for a family road trip. Hoping to finish it on the trip. Definitely feeling the Spirit move, and it's a bit uncomfortable at the moment. Waiting to see how the book connects with this.

          • First, a question: did you get a chance to finish it this weekend?

            Now, a statement: You are not going to believe this – well, maybe you will – but when I shared your link to this post I caught a ration of crap from an old drinking buddy on Facebook. I don't know if he's sober or not, and I believe he's an atheist (but I'm not positive). He's always been a mocker and flippant – when he saw the Armor of God image, without knowing that we see them as symbols he thought they were tied to the Crusades, and haven't we had enough of that, and yada, yada, yada…sheesh! 🙂

          • No, I haven’t. We are in TN and have been hiking, and I have not been reading much. Thank you for the reminder/accountability! Going to include it in my morning devotions.

            That is interesting about your friend. Been thinking about how I would respond, and it led me to realize how much God gives is grace for the moments and that one person’s grace is not meant for another, meaning you were the perfect person to hear your friend’s words. Might have rattled me too much. Also reminds me of how I don’t always think of how non-Christians view what I say/write. We are watching “The Bible” from The History Channel in our adult class at church to get a better perspective on how others might be viewing the Bible. Just some random thoughts/reflections on what you shared. Thanks for sharing it too, by the way.

          • One more thought… A friend of mine who is homosexual “liked” my Facebook fan page the other day, and I am wondering what he’ll think of some of what I say & the discussions. I don’t speak against his lifestyle, but God’s word can be offensive in surprising ways to others. Just seems related to what you said about your friend.

  3. Kari,

    Good points on preparation and maintenance of our rediness!

    I don't know what powerful would look like. I think it would be a result of pursuing God relentlessly and loving deeply.

  4. Two things jumped out at me from your comments: (1) Knowing is not Being Right – there are a lot preachers and teachers who offer great messages but their lives reveal disobedience to their own messages. (2) Grace = God's presence. Once we apply this truth to our lives and accept grace to impact our lives, peace, truth and righteousness will certainly follow. When we write, teach or preach, our preparation should be anchored in grace, and He will do the rest.

  5. I think sometimes the waiting time is just developing that close walk with God and being faithful in little things. Give up that worry and learn to trust Him instead. Learn to stop being annoyed with that person and see her through eyes of grace. Learn to be thankful and content in all situations. Reaching out in love and service to that person He wants you to reach out to. As we develop a close walk with Him in the day to day situations, He is producing a character in us that will be an example to others and sustain us for bigger temptations.

    • And in that, waiting really isn’t waiting. It’s idle time, but we get to be developed and cultivated and strengthened during that time. It can actually be more important than action time. Action means little without the structure of godly character.

  6. Thank you for your post.
    As I'm reading through blogs today I'm hearing God tell me to focus on my foundation- HIM. Stop getting sidetracked by the details of life, stop stretching myself thin and neglecting time with Him.

    That being said, I think I'm going to shut down on blogging today and go spend some time with my foundation- Jesus Christ!

  7. I think your comment about persistent prayer really stuck with me. That seems to me to be what I really need to turn my fancy talk into powerful living.

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