Yesterday, while my wife and I were shopping for Christmas gifts, I noticed a lady in the store who looked at me as though she knew me and then walked over to me and asked me if there was anything that she could pray for me about. My immediate reaction was where did this come from? I don’t know you and this is so out of the ordinary so why do you want to pray for me? I made no response but knowing that the Lord works in wondrous ways. I thought about it for a moment and the first thing that came to mind was the Christian Training Center in Japan so I asked her to pray for that. I specifically asked that she not pray that the Lord would bring it to pass but that we would be sensitive to what the Lord had planned.
I have learned that God is not concerned about the doing of mission projects as He is about our walking by faith in Him. After all, He is the one doing the work, as the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. You see, God’s greatest work is us. He is completing His image in us so that the world can comprehend what He is like. He will bring it to pass without our effort if we will “believe in Him”. Another way to say it is “if we will have faith in Him”.
In my Bible studies I try to find the exact meaning of the original language in order to accurately understand. This led me to an amazing discovery and that is that the word we translate as “faith” is pistis, which means to trust, rely on, or follow. Then I found that the word that we translate as “believe” is also pistis, and has the exact same meaning. The only difference is that faith is a verb or action, whereas believe is a noun or the act of trusting. In other words you can substitute one for the other without violating the meaning. For example, in Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. This is an amazing promise and most people believe that God can do anything. However, if you substitute the word faith, for the word believe it takes on a whole new dimension. Now it reads “. . .if thou canst faith, all things are possible.” Do you see the implication? What is holding God back from doing, is our unbelief or our non-faith in Him. In other words we are the limiting factor in God working.
Most of the time, we focus on the doing, instead of the believing. That is because the carnal mind is trying to earn God’s favor but God has removed effort from the formula of pleasing him and now all that is required is for us to “believe in Him” or “to have faith in Him”. God’s part is the doing and our part is the believing. He works through our faith but He doesn’t work because we work. God’s power is only exercised upon our position of faith in Him. This is perfectly aligned with James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Our efforts should first be to know the Lord intimately, and then to discover what He is doing and join Him. He does not join us to fulfill all our plans and dreams but when our plans and dreams are to see Him magnified here on earth we will see Him do amazing things.