I love a good, “I gave up everything and moved to a 3rd world country to serve God” story. I feel half admiration and half envy for the individuals called to such a radical way of living out their faith.
The admiration comes from seeing someone whose faith overcomes the fears and challenges of the calling. The envy isn’t because I wish to live in a 3rd world country, but in considering the Christ-centered confident way they live fully-alive within their purpose.
It’s a beautiful thing to see someone living out the life God prepared for them. But these stories leave me feeling like I’m not doing enough—like my life isn’t as important or making a big enough impact. Yet, I’m confident those stories aren’t supposed to be my story.
My story right now looks like a wife, mother and blogger who lives in middle-class America spending most of her time taking care of young children, cooking, and cleaning. So, the question becomes, how do I honor God by practically living out my faith right here in the midst of everyday ordinary life?
In an attempt to answer that question, I started a simple practice of pausing during my week to ask, “How can I live set-apart for Christ today?” It’s been a great way to reflect on how being Christian influences what I do, how I think, and what motivates me, and to open myself up to God’s guidance throughout my day.
I’ve enjoyed asking myself this question so much that I asked four of my blogging friends to answer it as well. Today, all five of us are sharing with you one way we live out our faith in the midst of our very ordinary American lives.
5 Ways to Practically Live out Your Faith
Focus on Today by Kira Bridges
I love to think and analyze and plan and then think some more. I’m definitely “in my head” a lot. The truth is, I like it there because I can control everything. I dictate the outcomes. I avoid the pitfalls. Everything turns out perfectly inside Kira-Brain land. And while planning and thinking aren’t bad things, they can become distracting and consuming in unhealthy ways—in ways that reveal a lack of trust in God’s daily provision.
When the Israelites were in the desert, God provided manna for one day. Everyone received as much as they needed, but at the end of the day, it melted away. Those who tried to save the manna found it rotten the next day. (Exodus 16)
God’s gift of grace is like manna to us—it’s just for today but there will be more tomorrow. Too often I’m trying to spend today’s grace on next week’s problems, but it doesn’t work that way. I have to come out of Kira-brain land and focus on today—on meeting today’s needs and embracing what God has for me in my actual life.
In Matthew 6:34 Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (ESV) When we focus on today—on today’s problems and today’s provision to face those problems—we walk with God in the here and now and learn to trust the unknown future to our known God.
Live Out a Growing Faith by Julie Loos | Unmasking the Mess
Where I live out my faith regularly is in the home. Can I be honest and say that I believe this is the most difficult place to live it out?
The home is where no one sees us the majority of the time. It’s where we feel most comfortable, and while that’s a great thing, it can also allow us to be so comfortable that the worst of us comes out.
Friend, I blow it so much when it comes to living my faith out at home. I lose my patience, I say unkind words, and I’m not the best I can be.
However, I also know that in my home is where God is growing me. All those hard moments are moments where God is growing me to be more patient, be more kind, and allowing His Spirit to help me choose to be better.
It won’t happen all of a sudden but day by day He is transforming me. I can tell the old me is changing!
I can pray to ask Him to help me, to choose how He wants me to act, and to grow all of His fruits in me.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
Tame Your Discontentment by Dani Munoz | Living Free Indeed
There’s a bad habit I carry that’s slowly dying as I follow Christ. Day by day as I drop it I see the newness of life bloom in my life and others. The thing is, this negative habit is a common one – it may be a daily struggle for you too. It’s the oh-so-easy habit of complaining.
Why is complaining so damaging and so displeasing to the Lord? It happens when we’re absorbed with our circumstances more than His glory, and it spreads doubt of God’s goodness. But amazing things happen when we forsake it and choose to trust and rejoice in God’s work in our life instead.
As we allow the Spirit to reign in our hearts to silence discontentment and replace it with worship, what a mighty witness we build! The act of expressing thankfulness or simply saying nothing at all can greatly exalt Christ to an ever-dissatisfied world.
Paul the apostle highlighted this fact to the Philippian church, reminding them of the incredible impact of stopping a complaint in its tracks:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…” Philippians 2:14-16 ESV
As usual, it starts with the heart. The Greek words Paul uses for “grumbling or disputing” speak to the idea of “secret displeasure” that later leads to arguing. To prevent this we must pursue pleasure in the gospel. As we cultivate inward gratitude for God through His Word and prayer, our outward attitude will convey contagious joy.
Whether at the office among gossiping coworkers, among other tired moms, or chatting with unsaved family members, I’ve found the decision to quietly rest satisfied in Christ speaks volumes.
Seek to Show Hospitality by Emily Myrick | Married Myrick
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13, ESV)
Hosting people in my home is one of my greatest joys. Even if I’m so busy I can’t keep on top of the laundry, I hardly ever turn down the chance to invite people to my table for dinner.
I think sometimes it’s easy to look at verses like Romans 12:13 and write it off for “that girl who God clearly gifted with hospitality.”
Sorry, sister. The truth is, God wants to sanctify you into one of those girls who tends to the needs of others.
Yes, hospitality can be hard. Sometimes I get a little anxious running around making sure everything’s clean for guests (and yes, sometimes I hide a pile – or two – of unfolded laundry in my bedroom for a while).
But hospitality doesn’t have to be something you dread. What God calls us to, He equips us for. When faced with the difficulties of our calling, we can rely on God who enables us to do good work in the first place (see Ephesians 2:10).
You see, God wants us to show hospitality because it’s a glimpse of the gospel and a tangible way to show God’s love. Every time we share the gospel by extending God’s love we grow even closer to the Lord and glorify Him more.
If you struggle with hospitality and want a little extra help, download my free mini ebook and learn my 7 simple secrets to success!
Give Rapt Attention to Christ by Allyson Reid | Rapt Motherhood
The word “rapt” means to be completely spellbound or captivated by something. After becoming a mother I learned the meaning of this word and how it should describe my life. All believers are called to look to Jesus and keep our eyes focused completely on Him.
The author of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
We are supposed to cast off everything that takes our attention off of Christ, giving him our rapt attention. When we live this way, we no longer find ourselves going through the motions, but instead, we believe everything we say and do has eternal implications and is an opportunity to worship God.
How does this translate practically? I don’t clean my house reluctantly, but I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me be a cheerful steward. I speak to others with truth and love, viewing every interaction as a chance to share the Gospel. This includes how I talk to my husband and children. None of this is easy, but we can start today by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal our sins, help us keep our eyes on Christ, and give us the power to view even the mundane aspects of our lives as opportunities to give God glory.
As you can see, living out your faith doesn’t look just one way and it definitely doesn’t have to involve a drastic move across the world. All it requires is that you submit to God’s will and allow the Holy Spirit to continue His transforming work within you.
Join the conversation on Instagram
Today, I want to challenge you to start asking yourself, “How can I live set-apart for Christ today?” Then, I’d love to hear about your answers on Instagram! Just use (and follow) my brand new hashtag #howilivesetapart so we can keep this conversation going.