DEPEND on God and he will provide.
As Christians we hold that as the core ideal of our faith — by faith. Faith is both a noun and a verb. It is the name of our belief system, yet it is also the process by which we live a transcendent life. By faith (in Christ) we are declared righteous!
The process of our faith, by faith, can be thought of as follows:
Firstly, we need to discern the purpose of the day, and that can only be achieved by being in tune with our Father through the prayer of seeking, of supplication, of supply, to know his will.
Secondly, we need to defer to God’s power, again, by prayer, which in this case is the surrender of our will (or our power) for his.
Thirdly, we need to depend on God’s provision, furthermore, by prayer, in trust that what he wills for us to do he will also provide for.
1. Discern the Purpose, by Prayer
As we discern the purpose — the objective — of God’s will, by prayer, then we are encouraged that we have the knowledge of his will. God has a purpose in our lives, and he has a purpose in our day. God also has a purpose that we call his ‘will’. Christians are encouraged simply when they know the will of God. To have knowledge of his will means we have knowledge of his purpose, in and through us. God’s purpose might only be understood by endeavouring to discern it; by prayer — by being in tune with our Father.
When we go to God in prayer, endeavouring to discern what God wants, we are preparing to defer to God’s power in preference to our own. We cannot do God’s will unless we defer to his power by the constancy of prayer.
2. Defer to his Power, by Prayer
The power to carry out God’s will comes when we defer to his power, when to defer to our own would fundamentally compromise the mission of discerning and doing God’s will. As we defer to God’s power we are equipped. We swap our will-to-power for his. And as we make that swap — to stop going under our own steam — we operate in humility that surfeits strength so God’s power overflows in and through us.
To listen intently when we would otherwise speak and fail to hear means the strength of God’s favour is received in clubs and spades. We understand that God’s will is not about us getting our own way. As it applies to us, it’s about others. God equips us with ears to listen, so we may be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to judge (James 1:19-21). As we listen we have the mental capacity also to pray, because it’s far easier to pray whilst we listen than it is to pray while we speak. We pray for both their need and for the equipping of God’s power in us so we might help.
Such a strengthening is also power for listening to our own heart and soul, so we might pray for God’s equipping in those gentle and humble places.
3. Depend on his Provision, by Prayer
By dependence on God’s provision we are empowered to do everything we need to do to accomplish his will. Again, we see a Kingdom reversal in action, here. Only as we depend on God’s provision, in faith, will we be empowered to do what he wills us to do. If we insist we have enough power of our own, God will hold onto his provision, because we do not need it. We have reverted again to our own will. But, as we grab hold of this divine power, by letting go of our own egotistic will, we are given what we need — by prayer — in order to carry out what God wants us to do.
Faith is an assurance. It is an experience by prayer. It is confidence to know that provision is power is purpose. By faith we believe in our purpose, invest in God’s power, and trust in his provision. By faith there is purpose, power and provision.
God’s provision is not simply about God providing us our own needs, as he does. God’s provision is also a Kingdom portion, where God will encourage us to discern his purpose (his will), equip us with the humility to defer to his power so we’re motivated to carry his will out, and empower us to depend on his provision to actually do what he wants us to do.
God will encourage us to discern his purpose, equip us to defer to his power, and empower us to depend on his provision.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.