Wax Witness

Justin Smith


Isaiah 58

Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation... They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me...What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling?...No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;… Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help...“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward,and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.


Have you ever visited a wax museum? Honestly, I think they’re a little creepy. The premise, wax sculptures perfectly shaped and fashioned to be the spitting image of the rich and famous. Bearing every characteristic and blemish, these figures are exact representations of the real thing…well, minus a few things of course- actual breath, actual blood, actual life. This picture of the outward being exactly what is expected while the inward being far from the real mccoy came to mind today as I read through Isaiah 58. God sends His rebuke declaring, tell my people you act pious but I know your sins. You look good from the outside, visiting the Temple and pretending to worship and care, acting righteous like you’re obedient and pure, asking for my help pretending you want to be near me, but all that…is worthless. What good are these acts, your worship and fasting, if you’re still fighting and quarelling? What good is your wax figurine appearance if there’s no breath, no blood, no life? Where’s the breath of the Spirit, where’s the blood of compassion and love, where’s the life of fruit, of selfless service, sharing, and surrendering your needs for the sake of others? You are merely a wax witness, a mere façade, in whom I am not impressed and find no delight. But let me remind you of my grace IF you choose change. I will save, I will heal, I will lead, and I will answer. There’s no fooling God.


Most of us don’t intentionally set off to become merely a fake façade, a wax witness. Our stories often bear the beginnings of authenticity, so what causes the sapping and sucking of our breath, our blood, our life? Where do we go wrong and before we know it we stand as empty sculptures of what disciples should look like? One thing that I need to guard from is busyness and burnout. Tasks, demands, and well…work…is part of this heavenly calling, so I can’t run and hide from these. So the question remains, "What in the world am I supposed to do?" One key is remembering the wax museum:

  1. Where is the breath? Is the breath of God and the flow of His Spirit in me? Am I affording time to ensure that I am overflowing with His Spirit and presence?
  2. Where is the blood? The blood of Jesus was shed for me. His love was on display when He gave His own life for mine, and now He asks me to do the same. Am I giving my blood to bless others? Am I so full of authentic love, genuine care and compassion that it dictates my actions?
  3. Where is the life? What type of fruit am I bearing? Are lives built up around me? Are people full of joy and hope when I leave? Am I empowering, uplifting, and encouraging? In the midst of the tasks, which are very important, am I sharing life?

Heavenly Father, I never want to be a wax witness. The desire of my heart is to be a true disciple, a passionate worshipper, and a faithful servant full of Your breath, Your blood, and Your life. Please fill me that I might be used to encourage, uplift, and bless others today. I choose to live this day for You.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Devotions for July 29

Isaiah 57,58,59
Psalms 103
2 Peter 3

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