It seems a lot easier to trust God with ethereal things like “going to heaven” than something so practical as dropping a borrowed axe in a river. How do you trust God in that? How do you trust God with things like lost keys or not making enough money to cover all your bad credit card choices from a few years ago? Sure, I can trust Him to get me to heaven, but maybe I’m more comfortable with that issue because I don’t really have to face the reality of that on a daily basis.
One of the more difficult things that I wrestle with is that it seems that God primarily, but not exclusively, works through His body, the church. The church of God should be doing everything the body of Christ did before his crucifixion. The problem is, it doesn’t. Lets say God wants to provide for me in some tangible, practical way according to my need and in response to my prayers, but if His body isn’t firing on all cylinders, maybe it will fail to respond to the brain’s promptings and in the end I’m out of luck. Not because of God, but because of His body not walking in obedience. Man, that’s a tough one! Makes me want to make sure that I’m always being obedient to the promptings of the Spirit and willing to be generous even if it hurts.
Here’s the problem. I think this perspective is a slight distortion of the truth. Check this out:
Everything we need is ours in Christ.
2 Peter 1:3: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
From start to finish, by faith. (not earned)
Romans 1:17: This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
When God makes a promise, He will make sure that He fulfills it.
Hebrews 6:17-19: God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
Now, look at Abraham. God made Him a promise and Abraham believed Him. He didn’t explain away why God hadn’t come through for him yet, nor did He think that someone had somehow messed up God’s plan (like the whole “getting a child through his wife’s servant” thing). He wasn’t concerned that God had lost his opportunity to fulfill his promise simply because things weren’t working out according to his own schedule. It could have been easy to think that either he or his wife had somehow messed up God’s plan through their impatience or adultery.
Romans 4:20-21: Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
Bam! I would even venture to say, “Wah-bam!” That’s what faith really is. I think it’s easier to have more faith in people’s selfishness and greed than it is to have faith that God can work with all that junk and still fulfill His promises in your life. Is He really that capable? Is He really that good?
I do believe that we can miss out on God’s will for us if we refuse to obey the promptings of the Spirit, but I simply can’t believe that that somehow means that God’s promises won’t be fulfilled. He will accomplish what He promises whether I or the next guy responds in obedience or not. That’s the amazing potency of God’s power. Maybe He has to talk to three or four people, maybe nine or ten, before He finds someone who is listening and willing to respond on my behalf. Maybe He just bypasses them all and I randomly stumble across *insert current need here* lying on the street. That’s fine with me! The only down side there is that a bunch of people really missed out on being used by God to do amazing, Kingdom things.
Find the promises of God in scripture. Stand on them unwaveringly. Watch and be amazed.