A Commitment To Faith In God
For the most part our lives are ordered with a certain amount of routine. We have patterns of work, rest and recreation, and we often hear the complaint of each having too much work, not of rest and no time for recreation.
When we are children all life is centered around Mom and Dad, if we are fortunate enough to have both parents with us at home. They are our providers, our caregivers, our teachers, our disciplinarians, our encouragers, comforters, inspirers and the ones we trust the most and rely on the most. In the best cases (and I think the represents the majority of parents) they do their jobs very well as is evidenced by the fact that most children grow up to be reasonably good citizens.
Now as adults and as believers in Jesus Christ we have the choice of where we will focus our faith. Our natural tendency is look to our own hands first when it some to the needs in our lives. “What can I do to fix this?” Or we look to some source other than ourselves to come in to provide where we conclude we can’t. That can be both good and bad depending on who that source is.
Those who think themselves to be “self-sufficient” eagerly boast of their capability and proudly pat themselves on the back for their successes, never acknowledging that their success is the result of the gift and grace of God that give them the power to get wealth.
Then there are those at the other end of the spectrum who think the world owes them a living because they are unwitting victims of an unfair system that denies them the privilege of being rich like the richest people, so they conclude the rich people owe them part (some would say all) of their reward that has resulted from their faithful, consistent hard work and sacrifice. The Bible speaks expressly about those people.
“Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.” Thessalonians 3:9-11
Now, we all must work as we are able and it is a good and righteous thing to do so. Beyond the monetary reward it is profitable to us for our sense of personal worth and fulfillment, but the work of our hands alone is not enough for good success as God has promised to His people.
When the people of Israel were coming into the Promised Land God gave them a strict warning. He told them, the land you are coming into will be filled with milk and honey. It is a fertile land where your crops will flourish and fields will be full. You shall have bread without scarceness. There will be an abundant of natural resources. They will prosper and build goodly houses and all that concerns them will be blessed. Then He says, when you start to think all this has come to you because of the work of your hands alone. And you say on your heart,
“…My power and the might of minehand hath gotten me this wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:17
These are those who claim to be self-made men.
But, God says, resist that thought, reject it and remember the Lord, your God Who has given you this wealth.
“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thingin it; a land whose stonesareiron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest whenthou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelttherein; And whenthy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein werefiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there wasno water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of minehand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it ishe that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it isthis day.” Deuteronomy 8:7-18
So, we are wise to put our faith squarely and completely in God and God alone. When we commit to trust Him fully to have faith in His Word before all else then we position ourselves to be always all sufficient in all things.
Now this is not just another way of being set up in some exalted position exclusive of others in the body of Christ, not at all. In fact, the Scriptures tell is that we are one body of fitly joined together unique parts, each having its function to serve the other.
It is through this exquisitely designed mechanism (the whole body of Christ) that God supplies what is needed to strengthen and sustain the whole body. The gifts, the callings, the ministries, the talents, the unique skills and special abilities are given to us to work in us and then through us to the edifying of the whole body of Christ.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I have yet to hear a testimony of someone who prayed and sought God for anything and immediately or within just a few days, the skies open up and a host of angels descend to the earth with provisions from Heaven by way of the Heavenly FedEx, UPS, USPS or other package delivery service.
No, the answer to people’s needs don’t fall out of the sky, but God always works through people; friends, strangers, young and old, doctors, lawyers, the generosity of those whom God has blessed materially, teachers, policemen, firemen, cooks, those gifted with hospitality, carpenters, gardeners and all those who are sensitive to hear from Him and act on His prompting to do what He gives them to do in answer to somebody’s prayer. Each of us is potentially a conduit through which prayers can be answered.
Therefore, we who commit fully to faith in God will find ourselves from time to time on the receiving and on the giving end of His purpose for His Church. It is our responsibility to stay sensitivity to hear from Him so that we can respond quickly and fully even to extravagantly as He is toward us in all things.
The more we know and are willing to imitate of God’s character and manner of grace and blessing the more He will entrust to us of His resources to convey to His people and to minister and declare of Him to the world.
“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” Luke 12:42
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10