My faith must be steadfast and strong, withstanding the storms of life.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
By Erin Moser, Journey Member
“Then Paul said to him, ‘God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!’” — Acts 23:3
Paul stands with confidence in front of the high priest and doesn’t back down on his convictions. It is rare (and frowned upon) to challenge someone of his authority, yet, Paul speaks from a clean conscience. When Paul calls Ananias a “whitewashed wall” he is pointing out that the high priest may have a pristine exterior, but inside he is corrupt and unclean. Something that has been whitewashed doesn’t have a strong structure. Instead it can be torn apart and knocked down by the changing winds. (a hypocrite)
Let me use the example Paul sets to stand confidently in my faith, in good conscience. My faith must be steadfast and strong, withstanding the storms of life. When I envision a whitewashed wall, I think of something superficial, or fake…something that can be blown over or knocked down. I strive for strength and authenticity in my walk with Christ.
“Lord, thank you that you have given me words to live by. I pray that I continue to dive into your word to find strength and to stand firm in my belief in you. Use me as a testimony of your good news, just as you used Paul to share the gospel, even among doubters and hypocrites. Allow my exterior to match my interior, and hold my tongue when I am tempted by hypocrisy. Stand near me, Lord and give me courage! Amen.”
Now You Try
Read Acts 23:12-35
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. Write down the one or two verses that stick out. Even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make a basic observation about the scripture you just read. What stood out? Was something repeated? What is the author trying to communicate? What does the Scripture passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity?
Ask, “What does this verse(s) mean for my life?” How might this verse affect your heart — how you feel? How does this verse challenge your thinking? How does it affect your will, asking, “What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?”
Write out a prayer to God. Scripture is God speaking to you, take this moment to speak back. Take a moment to say, “Thank you,” confess to Him what needs to change, or ask for something that is on your heart.