Avoiding Self-Based Faith
2 Corinthians 5:7:We live by faith, not by sight.
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 businessperson say, "I have spent my life in this business. The Lord has blessed me with great resources. However, now I want to see His faithfulness in this stage of my life. That is why I am giving away my wealth and trusting 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).