Warning: The following will release you to begin walking in your callings and destiny- read at your own risk
How often has the phrase “I’m living by faith, God will provide” been used to excuse inactivity on the part of the believer? This is the crutch that has castrated too many callings in too many disciples’ lives. Faith is not the belief that God will provide. He is such a GOOD Daddy – OF COURSE HE WILL PROVIDE! “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much MORE does your father in heaven give good gifts to those who believe?” (Matt. 7:11) It does not take faith to know that God will provide; faith is the courage necessary to act when it looks like He won’t. Faith is the currency of heaven; it places a demand on the Word of the Lord, bringing the invisible realm into the present reality.
If “faith is… the evidence of things unseen” (Heb. 11:1), it follows that physical demonstrations (evidence) must exist, which call upon faith to ACTIVATE that thing unseen – be it a calling, promise, spiritual gift, etc. Moreover, the work is not from a paradigm of performance, or an attempt to earn faith; but rather, work becomes the action taken when faith is already present.
The verse so often misrepresented on the matter is James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself..” Allow me to unpack this simple sentence. At the foundation, it must be understood that James has a primary audience of fellow believers. This letter was written to the Church, full of believers, thereby debunking any notion that works is a type of reward system granting salvation. It is an uncorroborated theology with no tangible root in Jesus. As fellow believers, they were already saved, thus it would be thoughtless to convey that the Church must WORK for their salvation – after all, isn’t salvation through Jesus alone? Furthermore, this verse is given context by several examples that should be examined closely.
James 2 v.21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his son, on the altar? It seems plausible to conclude that the man is justified by his works; HOWEVER, the next verse continues:
22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.
Did you catch that? FAITH was functioning in tandem WITH his works (note: faith is mentioned first here). As a result of faith, a physical action was produced which strengthened and confirmed his conviction of faith. But what unseen thing was his faith pulling down? Remember the story of Isaac, when Abraham was asked to take his son to the alter as a sacrifice? This “test” from God was not to see how much Abraham loved Him, but rather to gauge the sincerity of Abraham’s conviction in the promise granted him, which named him a great nation. Naturally the idea of becoming a nation is inconceivable – especially when no children are present to carry on the family lineage. After years of waiting and building trust (faith) into the prophetic word…BOOM! Isaac is born.
Once faith is present, the birth of promise BEGINS. It is important to remember that Isaac was not the promise; the promise was that Abraham would be a great nation – Isaac was merely the seed from which the promise could be grown. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the only son at the time capable of giving fruit to the promise, and Abraham obeyed. He took his son up to the alter, he prepared him for sacrifice, and at the just the right time, the Lord sent an angel to stop the sacrifice as He provided a lamb instead.
This is what James conveys when talks about works in reference to faith. Abraham had so trusted the Word of God, which said he would be made a great nation, that he was unafraid to sacrifice the initial seed produced by faith. Why? Isaac was not the end promise, but rather only one of many potential seeds God could have used.
Too often, Christians (especially me) have been too afraid to follow through with demonstrations that give substance to faith (Remember, Heb. 11:1 says, faith is the substance of things hoped for). Abraham was asked to act in a manner that seemingly contradicted the initial promise. To sacrifice Isaac for many is tantamount to slaying the promises of God; however, I am here to tell you that God never contradicts himself. Once the promise is given, He will not take that away, but He will challenge your understandings to bring out the gold inside, which is necessary to carry the promise. In the case of Abraham, by asking him to slay Isaac, the Father was able to see if Abraham’s faith was strong enough to support His promise. The question then persists that if Abraham had failed to demonstrate his trust in the promise through the willful sacrifice of the seed, would his faith still have been strong enough to carry the promise? I do not think it would have been so.
For many, the promises of God have been planted, and the doors have begun to open, yet the response is the same, “I am just waiting for God to do it.” Too often, destinies go undiscovered and callings remain unfulfilled due to this lie from the pit of ****. It rends mighty men and women of God dormant and paralyzed with apathy in the name of incomplete faith. Because Abraham was determined to see his promise actualized, he followed the word of the Lord in complete abandonment. Abraham’s work of obeying God, even to seemingly contradictive ends, perfected his Faith in the promise that he would be made a great nation. Because Abraham walked in obedience, he was able to walk into promise.
Faith perfected in work, but it does no good to have believed a promise yet not walk in it. True faith looks like the laying on of hands (work that demonstrates faith in healing), enrolling in school to get educated in an area of calling (even when it seems impossible) – faith looks like RISK. God is a provider, He is a healer, He is promise fulfiller, but He is looking for children who take Him at His word, and who are not afraid to start walking in obedience to His Word.
Be healed of apathy and incomplete faith. Reach for the promises of God and pull them into reality. WALK into your destiny.
I tell people this all the time: Do all that you can – as if you were the only one who could, but pray as if God is the only one who can. Always remember that Work justifies the man who gives justice to faith.
Question: What are the dreams and promises God has given to you that you have failed to act on? In what ways could you begin stepping into those promises now?
Book Recommendation: Dreaming With God by: Bill Johnson
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