Avoiding Self-Based Faith
I remember when I was living apart from God. I knew I needed a relationship with Him, but kept putting it off because I wanted to ‘get my life right’ before I came back to the Fathers house. I guess I wanted something along the line of a conquering hero’s welcome. Believing that was the way it was suppose to be was a big lie.
In all actuality, I found it was much better for me to come to Him in my brokenness. He accepted me right where I was with no preconditions. Coming humbly before the Lord, in itself, taught me the lesson of grace. He accepted me with all of the ugliness of my sin and choose to forgive me completely.
It’s like working in the garage or yard all day on a hot sticky August day. The dirt, sweat and grim gets in and on every part of your body. There’s nothing like the refreshing feeling you get when you go in for the day and take a nice hot shower and put on clean cloth. That was what I experienced through His grace and mercy.
That same acceptance and forgiveness can be yours today. All you have to do is ask.
Avoiding Self-Based Faith
by Os Hillman
“We live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
Over the years I have run into many businessmen who make the statement, “Whenever I get things in order in my business, I want to get more involved in ministry.” What are these men really saying? They are saying that as soon as they can get the amount of money that creates security, they will trust God. They are saying that what they have been doing to date has not been ministry. This separation of “work and faith” is common among our culture. We fail to understand that life is sacred to God and there is nothing “holy” and nothing “sacred” in itself.
I would love to hear one workplace believer say, “I have spent my life in this business. The Lord has blessed me with great resources. But now God has told me to give away my wealth and to trust Him to provide for me through new ways.” Wouldn’t that be a novel concept? That is exactly what C.T. Studd, the great cricket player in the 1800s, did. He was reared in a wealthy home, but his deep conversion experience led him to take actions that forced him to trust God in ways he never had to before. He became one of the great missionaries of all time.
Whenever we seek to plan ways of ministry that depend on our ability to manipulate and plan outcome, this is not faith. The ministry that comes from this will be minuscule. Faith that bears fruit is faith that is born from experience with a living God. It is faith that says, “I don’t know where the next check is coming from. All I know is that God told me to do this and trust Him for the next step.” That is faith that moves mountains and moves God’s heart. God rarely allows His servant to see beyond the next faith step. However, those who are willing to take the first step and leave the outcome to Him see His works.
“Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord…” (Psalm 107:23-24).