The observable behavior and practices others witness in our life, as well as indulgences we avoid,
demonstrate our relationship with Christ (see Mk. 7:21-22). The apostle Paul advised his young disciple
Timothy, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in
speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12) [Italics added]. The counsel given to Timothy clearly
serves us well today. Let us then hide the word of the Lord in our heart (see Ps. 119:11) so that we will have a
constant internal standard (truth) for our behavior, practices, and allegiance to Christ's commandments. This
same truth will direct us away from the enticements, snares, pitfalls and indulgences operating in the natural
world which try to contaminate our faithfulness and obedience to Christ's precepts and decrees. "A believer
must store up, i.e., as one would safeguard a precious object, the Word of God in his heart that he might be
strong in the hour of temptation" (Ps. 119:11-BSB Note).
We often share thankful and grateful testimony as to how God has met our needs, healed our afflictions, and
delivered us from the jaws of the adversary ... yet, how often do we share openly with others, outside of the
brotherhood of Christ, that the Lord is our song of joy, strength, trust and salvation? "Surely God is my
salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; the Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isa. 12:2-3). "Many Christians have God for their
strength, who have him not for their song; they walk in darkness" (see M. Henry Note - Isa. 12:1). The world
needs to hear from those belonging to Christ that we draw our waters (e.g., strength to persevere and overcome)
from His spiritual well of salvation and that He is also our song, strength, vouch trust, as well as our total
sufficiency and resource in time of need.
Let us not stumble into the pitfall of only calling on Him, proclaiming His ever so perfect worthiness and
worshipping His Holiness when we are in need or gathered together in His name. Unless He is the song on our
heart at all times, is our constant wellspring of salvation and ever present joy ... then we limit our relationship
with Him and diminish that which others can witness in our life of His magnificent presence. We may never
know the impact our testimony (living out our salvation) has had on others that observe us from afar or sight us
from the broad highway that leads to destruction. Christ knows our testimony and He is desirous that His
light shine through us to those that stand in the shadows and darkened hallways of their existence (see Mat.
5:16). The darkness in a fellow man's heart will not leave of its own accord, as sin will not exit one's flesh by
its own nature, rather they must be driven out by the light of His Truth and Virtue. Let your song change
from 'oh woe is me' to 'Oh how great He is to me'. Segments of the corporate church today, and particularly
television evangelicals, teach that Christ's purpose is to ostensibly 'meet your every present need(s)'. When
our 'needs' trump our longing to glorify His Name then our song has become a 'bless me' chorus of unending
'gimme's'. If this is you, get a new song in your heart for Him today ... don't wait til tomorrow, for it may
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin