God's will? Our will?
May 28, 2008
How are we to interact with God so our action runs along with His will?
Leaders pray for His intervention in all sorts of things. And in so doing, we evaluate what we ask for, wondering if it's a fair or reasonable request. Is it in line with what I know God would want? Am I only doing this for my personal benefits?
In the many courses offered by organizational and fundraising associations within the academic world, I can never remember when one talked about the role of faith in planning and execution. Steeped in a culture driven by the need to master organization skills, driven by the sense of the importance of setting in place strategic planning or concerned that as leader I get "the right people on the bus," this business of planning with faith as a vital ingredient to the running of organizations is not often included in such conversations.
Of course, most of us have stories of those, who in irresponsible acts of so-called faith got themselves and others into enormous difficulty, embarrassing the Gospel and doing harm to people. As well, we can recount people and times in which claims to "walk by faith" were made by some who did nothing: as if faith was made possible only when one sat with hands out, waiting for that miraculous provision.
Picture this moment: the Hebrew exodus has begun from Egypt. They look back and see Pharaoh's army and panic. Moses says, no problem: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
The Lord comes back to Moses with this "buy a ticket" line: "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on."
Moses' line seems so appropriate. God will come and rescue us. What he missed was their side of the faith equation.
Faith is not what we believe but rather what we do. It is within action that faith is experienced. It is not what we hope to realize but it is putting ourselves in such a place that it's only when He comes through that we make it. There is a distinct relationship between actions—which is the essence of faith—and knowing that without His enablement we fail.
Dear God in whom we find our daily nourishment, and the One in whom my eternity is secured, may I learn the lesson of faith that presses me beyond a casual attitude or knee-jerk response of assuming my part in this journey is only to believe. You call us to partner with you and in so doing, you expect us to lead with ideas and plans that necessitate, by faith, your help. Amen.
What will it take for me to win the lottery?