We have a very practical gospel! We know from James 2, that faith without works is dead. As James says, it is no use us saying to a brother or sister in need, “go in peace, be warm and filled” if we do not do something to provide what they need. We cannot simply say that we are trusting God to provide for the poor, and not be willing to get involved in that provision ourselves.
So also, when it comes to the dream God puts on our hearts, we must be prepared to get our hands dirty and go out and pursue it, in faith. We act, because of the faith we have, as James says. Our dream is not achieved merely in our own strength, yet we must believe that God will use us to achieve it.
Consider David, who had been anointed by Samuel as the King of Israel, yet served as a shepherd. David held the dream of God’s call on him in his heart, even though his circumstances did not look promising. His brothers did not share his dream, when they went to battle and were among the Israelite army that stood petrified before Goliath the giant.
God had already equipped David for the battle with Goliath, through the years in the field looking after his father’s sheep. And we know from God’s word that David was full of the Spirit of the Lord (1 Sam 16:13). Yet he still had to make the decision to step out in faith and stand before Goliath, something that nobody else in the whole Israelite army was prepared to do. And when David carried out this very practical act of stepping forward, trusting the Lord, God worked a miracle.
When David stepped out in God’s power, God worked a miracle.
David operated in the context of a vision he carried in his heart that was bigger than the circumstances he found himself in. He had no doubt in his mind about how this battle would end if he stepped out in faith. We too must step out into the thing that we’re dreaming for, if we are to see our marketplace dream fulfilled.
Stepping out in faith really does mean doing just that: stepping out. It is not enough for us to sit at home and pray about it. Jesus spent intense time with his Father, but he also walked out, step by step, the full path to achieve the purpose for which He was sent. And as he walked it out, God the Father’s purpose was achieved. It is the same with us.
Practically, how do we do this? Firstly, be clear about the vision. I encourage you to identify the dream God has put on your heart and share it with another believer who will stand in faith with you.
Secondly, we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, by faith. I believe that it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to integrate faith & works effectively. Allow the Spirit’s leading to guide you.
So do not allow your dream to be about faith alone, without works. What actions do you need to take; what are the next steps? If you do not know, seek God. Expect to walk it out in the power of the Holy Spirit, and ask God to show you how. Then take action!
This reminds me of when Ed Silvoso visited Maidstone in 2011, and somebody asked him what is the greatest hinderance to transformation in a city. His answer was that the greatest hinderance is when people don’t believe that God can use them. He pointed out that all the Israelites believed that God could kill Goliath, but only David believed that God could do it through him.
This post was inspired by teaching in one of our Marketplace Ministers meetings during 2012.