Through some reading this past week, a principle sometimes forgotten was reinforced in my soul. The principle came from God’s Word. It is found in the book of Hebrews 11:6 and reads, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him…” For purposes of clarification, that principle reinforces that it is never possible to please the Lord apart from faith. If it were, then it would be possible for darkness to overcome light. That simply cannot happen.
The problem with this principle for many who believe it impossible for darkness to overcome light (John 1:5) and for God to lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) is seen in the on-going attempt to please God apart from faith IN Christ.
As a result, our world often sees good people doing good things, but the world does not see who they need to see most. That is Christ. Church people are often good people who are dedicated and committed to the work of the church in their community. Consequently, the world at large sees that and will often say, ‘there goes a committed church member. They are really dedicated to their church.’ The problem is they cannot see anything supernatural occurring consistently because too often we are not living by faith. Not trusting God for things, we cannot handle, figure out or even fund in our own resources. What is being done is not bad necessarily, it just does not reveal the distinct difference that only God can produce in and through people who are engaging the kind of faith that pleases God. In this case, good becomes the enemy of the best.
Henry Blackaby writes, “Our world is not attracted to Christ because we don’t allow them to see Him at work. They don’t hesitate to attack the Christian position on morality because they have no fear of the God we serve. They see us (the Church) doing good things for God and respond, ‘that’s fine for them but it’s not my kind of thing.’ The world passes us by, not wanting to become involved because they are merely seeing people at work, not God.” end
Think about this in your own personal journey of faith in Christ. How long has it been since you embraced something that could not be accomplished without God being the focus in it and finisher of it? I’m not talking about testing God with foolish notions that disregard His eternal purpose. I’m referring to those opportunities that are God-sized instead of human-sized. Opportunities that are God centered, not me or us-centered. I reference the objectives that are purely centered in influencing people, whether in the world or the church with reverent awe of God’s accomplishment. That is when the testimony of genuine faith in Christ speaks truth into the souls of those who search for it. And that is when the truth sets in motion the freedom of soul from the bondage of the slavery of self and sin.
I'm convinced that God desires to do more than we are willing to let Him. And in limiting His work through faithlessness, the world settles for seeing good people do good things while yawning with disinterest in the whole process. Church affiliation becomes just another in a long line of something to be included in.
The attention of the world has been turned, at least for a few weeks back toward the things that truly matter in life, for life. How we, the Church respond in the window of opportunity will demonstrate more than we may fully realize to the world in matters of faith in Christ.
We may well be in a period of what some might consider less church productivity, but I am praying for more of Christ’s activity among His people. That always depends on faith that pleases God. That kind of faith will release the fullness of His power in the hearts of people who are saved and those who desire to be as a result.
When the world sees you, do they see you, a good person working, serving, singing, sharing, doing things for God? Or do they see God’s work of saving, securing, and doing things in you that you could never do without Him? The first can be easily centered on 'me.' The other, the latter, the better is centered on a personal relationship of faith in Christ.
The Bible says that believers are saved unto good works, (Ephesians 2:10) but the question is whose work? The answer to that comes only after recognizing daily that we are created by His workmanship for His work that fulfills His will and purpose through our life. That kind of work can only be experienced by believing that without faith it is impossible to please Him.
God never saved anyone to live independently from Him! That means that today in being filled with the Spirit of God, He has called me to live interdependently with other members in the Body of Christ with faith that glorifies God!
If you really want to please God throughout your life journey, pray and ask God to give you a mountain that cannot be conquered without His leading and His lending of strength daily. Then get up off your knees and start ascending toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) And don't forget to pause periodically to enjoy the sights from the heights that He takes you along the way!
Time to take a step forward in the kind of faith that pleases God!
Hope to see you soon,