God made it clear that if I were to walk as a follower of Christ, diligent to obey Him as a follower is called to do, then those around me would make a comment of observation. That observation would go something like this…
I have taught you all the laws, as the Lord my God told me to do. Obey them in the land that you are about to invade and occupy. Obey them faithfully, and this will show the people of other nations how wise you are. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘What wisdom and understanding this great nation has!’
“No other nation, no matter how great, has a god who is so near when they need him as the Lord our God is to us. He answers us whenever we call for help. – Deuteronomy 4:5-7 GNT
That is why, for those,without the calling and gifting of evangelism, say that their lives are the witness they have for Jesus. Their lives are able to influence others in a profound way and have been blessed through them.
David prayed in such a manner that allowed God to respond.
Listen to me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am helpless and weak. – Psalm 86:1 GNT
He repeats it again
Listen, Lord, to my prayer;
hear my cries for help. – Psalm 86:6 GNT
With the call for special protection and thereby the author of his salvation, David knew who was the keeper of his soul.
Save me from death, because I am loyal to you;
save me, for I am your servant and I trust in you. – Psalm 86:2 GNT
God wants to save me from my sin and help me through my distress.
You are my God, so be merciful to me;
I pray to you all day long. – Psalm 86:3 GNT
The outward sign of joy expresses the inward comfort that comes from knowing that God has indeed preserved my soul. Prayer is the nurse of spiritual joy and that is what others see in me.
Make your servant glad, O Lord,
because my prayers go up to you. – Psalm 86:4 GNT
Is this what is lost when I slide away from my first love?
But this is what I have against you: you do not love me now as you did at first. – Revelation 2:4 GNT
I think this affects me more than just an attitude or an emotion. My behaviour actually changes when I have lost my joy – and it happens when prayer becomes nothing more than mechanical or possibly stopping altogether. When that happens, no one sees God near me.
A complacency of mind, from that gust, relish, and savor, which it finds in spiritual things, from their suitableness unto its constitution, inclinations, and desires. There is a salt in spiritual things, whereby they are condited and made savory unto a renewed mind; though to others they are as the white of an egg, that hath no taste or savor in it. In this gust and relish lies the sweetness and satisfaction of spiritual life. Speculative notions about spiritual things, when they are alone, are dry, sapless, and barren. In this gust we taste by experience that God is gracious, and that the love of Christ is better than wine, or whatever else hath the most grateful relish unto a sensual appetite. This is the proper foundation of that joy which is “unspeakable and full of glory.” – Owen