And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14
My family loves the Star Wars epoch. They will often try to explain to me how one movie or character impacts others and why a certain event is so very important to understand. While I love to watch the movies and now the short character series, I admit I get lost when they come over for a family day and invariably, someone quotes a certain line from one of the movies. Instantly, they all know why it is a witty quote, everyone except for me! Oh to be young again!
Yet, there is one Star Wars line that has stuck in my brain, and that is from the more recent series “The Mandalorians.” If you have seen the show, you probably know it…“This is the way.” This is the pledge that signifies allegiance to the code of ethics or conduct by which every Mandalorian subscribes.
I have often wondered as Christians if we also have subtly adopted a code of conduct by which we hold both ourselves and others to without even realizing it. While we certainly have God’s revealed Word as our guide and I could argue for a number of creeds or statements that are worthy to live by, I think the church has unfortunately adopted “Believe and Behave” as our Mandalorian creed “This is the way.”
If we don’t hear it as the message behind the message on Sunday morning, we can certainly self-impose if we casually read scripture and affirm it’s instructions. Yet if we ascribe to “Believe and behave” as “our way” of following Jesus, we have missed much of what Jesus came to do. For centuries followers of Jesus have adopted the way of “Believe and behave.” We often parent our children in this way, which is why I think so many of them have strayed.
“Believe and Behave” is not the heart of the gospel; rather “Behold and Become.” Beholding requires us to be in a place where the glory of God, the depravity of our sin, and the redemption purchased for us through the cross of Jesus all break upon our souls with a revelation that transforms us into a new creation in Christ Jesus.
While it is easier to believe and behave it doesn’t produce transformation. Most religions of the world subscribe to the “believe and behave” model and that is why the Apostle Paul said in Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Let’s drop the “believe and behave” code and rather adopt “Behold and Become – like Jesus – for This is our way.”
P.S. We are launching a new prayer program in the next few weeks for mBridge called PrayVine. PrayVine is an email-based prayer list that allows us to instantly request you to join us in prayer for one of our Noble Causes when they are stepping into a potentially dangerous or difficult situation. PrayVine lets them know people are praying for them.
With PrayVine, you can just click a button and it notifies us that you are joining us in prayer. You can even click a button and it will record your voice as you pray allowing us to forward that prayer to our partner. It is a great tool that allows us to literally follow the admonition of Romans 15:30 when it says; “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.”
I’ll share more about PrayVine as we get closer to launching this new program.