WORD FOR TODAY - Fasting and Prayers (Day 20)
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-13
What first came to your mind when you read the title of today's blog? What does the title "Faith Works" minister to you?
At first glance, one would be right to imagine that the title is an appeal or encouragement or assurance to you to believe in the efficacy of the word
that God has spoken and which you have believed; that this word which you have confessed and are standing on, is definitely able to produce the desired,
or the expected results; that God will deliver on His promises to you, because faith works. Right?
Was that how you read it?
Whilst all of that is true and you would have most definitely been correct to have received that message "Faith Works" from the title, I was however, hoping
to minister another aspect of faith to you in today's blog.
Feel Led or Feel Lead
Lead is a very heavy substance that is often used as a ballast to improve stability or to weigh things down and keep them from moving.
For many of us, prayer has become like a lead ballast that has kept us on our knees, but unfortunately not on our feet and on the move. We have prayed
and fasted and sought the face and the mind of God, but nothing changes because we have come short of taking that sure step towards accomplishing the
vision. Why? Because we are still "praying about it" and waiting to "feel led" before we do what we needed to do.
There are people who are praying and waiting to feel led before they go out and evangelise; there are those who are praying and waiting to "feel led" before
putting their CV together and applying for a job. There are many, who are still waiting to "feel led" before they step out and do what God has already
revealed as His will and given them the permission to do.
Please hear me well friend; I am definitely not saying or suggesting that it is wrong to pray and wait on God for leading or direction before embarking
on a venture.
In the sense of providing security and steadfastness in the face of the challenges, storms and winds that life will drag you through, prayer is that ballast
that you need to anchor your faith to keep you from being tossed about or being overwhelmed in the adversity. But much like a ship and it's anchor,
that ship isn't going anywhere with its anchor down. There comes a time when that anchor has to be reeled back on board so the ship can move forward.
Whilst there's a time for prayer to be a ballast for your faith, there also comes the time, when prayer must become the fuel that propels your faith
All that God has been speaking to you over the past 20 days will mean nothing, if you don't commit to some definite, specific and strategic actions -
Acting on God's promises and instructions to you, is a necessary ingredient for you to appropriate the blessings and walk in the fulfiment of your
breakthrough and victory!
As someone once said:
"The distance between your dream and reality is ACTION"
I once heard a Pastor talk about his exasperation with a particular tendency in some of his church members who would come to him for counselling when going
through situations that demanded a decision to be made. After hours of counselling and prayers for direction and guidance, they would often arrive
at a point where he would think they had gotten the direction or confirmation from God that they needed to move forward, only to check up on them days
or weeks or even months after, to find out that they were still in exactly the same position they are in before the "counselling ssessions " or sometimes
Their excuse or "reason" for not acting? "Well Pastor,"I had a check in my spirit; I didn't feel led"
He said after hearing this so many times over the years, he arranged for a bowl of lead to be put on his table. So, the next time anyone said they hadn't
acted because they didn't "feel led", he'd grab their hands and dip it in the bowl of lead and say: "Here; do you feel that? That's lead; now that
you've felt lead, you can now go ahead and feel led to do what God told you to do!"
Whilst that may sound funny to you, I'd like you to take a step back and look at your life and ask yourself if you are not one of those people?
Well, you might say in response: "Pastor Wale; doesn't the bible say: "As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God?"".
Faith-Works or Faithworks? Same Difference...
If you remove the empty space between Faith and Works in the title, and replace it with a dash, to spell Faith-Works; or
if you bring both words together, the title will read faithworks, that is the gist of what God is saying to you today, and which Apostle Paul
writes about in James 2:14-26.
The empty space between the two words "Faith" and "Works" is very often the disconnect between God's promises to us and the realities of
our daily existence. That empty space is filled with wishful thinking, inaction / inactivity, presumption, procrastination and fear. And to add another
shocking truth, maybe even foolishness!
The reason why "Faith" had not "worked" for some of us; is simply because our faith had not works to back it up!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAITHWORKS? WHERE ARE YOUR FAITHWORKS? I am challenging you today; No, God is asking you today, to fill that empty space between faith and works with Holy Ghost breathed actions.
After writing a list of all that God has been speaking to you through these series about what He has promised to do, you need to come up with a second
list - A "must-do" list; an ACTION PLAN of what you are committing to do to see those promises of God come to pass in your
life in this season. Don't forget to keep reminding yourself,
God Can Do, but I Must Do Too!
“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13 NKJV
What is God asking you to do in this season? What specific actions is God requiring of you? The answer to this question will bring some of us out of our
comfort zone into an uncomfortable and unfamiliar place; an uncomfortable, yet progressive place.
Hard decisions and choices will have to be made; Tough turfs will have to be travelled; adjustments and Sacrifices have to be made; old wine skins have
to make way for the new wine skins to contain the new wine of the new season. You have to roll up your sleeves, rub in some elbow grease and knuckle
down to work with your word. Yes friend;
Faith still requires you to work!
As Apostle Paul said in James 2:14-36:
"14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him?
15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm and eat well," but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it?
17So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. 18But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that - and tremble with fear."
20But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
I'll like to end today with this quote that is accredited to St. Francis of Assisi, a Roman Catholic Friar and preacher who lived in the 12th century:
"Start by doing what is necessary. Then do what is possible. Suddenly you are doing the impossible..."
Ask the question: What will You have me do Lord?
Write down a list of what God has said or will say to you, and then pray to God for a strategy or an action plan to accomplish His will.
Write down the action plan (Don't wait to "feel led" before you do this). Pray for God to bless the plan.
Thank God for the plan. Pray for the wisdom, Grace and anointing to see it through.
Focus on the month of NOVEMBER and claim the release of every blessing and the fulfilment of every promise for that month, for yourself, your family
As the popular saying goes:
Plan like it depends on you, but pray like it depends on God!
Faith is not allergic to planning...Plan by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and work out your faith. Selah.
Pastor Wale Oladimeji