Directed By Faith
We've seen what happens when we become devoted to our faith and what happens when we are determined to spread it. We conclude this first week of 3DW by looking at how we are directed by our faith. What happens when we aren't focused on the things we need and want, but rather what our faith speaks to us? Find out and get better directed in your witness:
What's the Focus?
We've already defined faith in our first lesson as belief in God and His desire to save us from our sins so we can be in relationship with Him. However, what happens once that definition of faith has truly defined us? We become determined individuals as we saw in the last lesson, seeking whomever we can reach for the Kingdom. However, we also saw that there will be rejection when we try to bring our faith. How can we limit rejection and become more effective in our witness? With directed focus like Peter exhibited in Acts 3.
When Peter and John went into the temple, they were looking to connect to God. They were practicing their faith. However, along the way, God put somebody in their way. Peter could have brushed this guy off and just kept walking. After all, he came to pray and he didn't have any money on him anyways. Peter didn't let his lack of temporal blessings or his set out plans deter him from acting in faith, though. He had fastened, or focused eyes, on this man. He was looking not just at the man, he was looking at his life. He saw the potential God had for this lame man and he extended his faith to the man with complete belief. The man took that faith and his life was forever changed.
This brief encounter teaches us several lessons:
1. Don't let your plans prevent you from sharing your faith.
You may have planned your trip out months in advance or you may have finally gotten the kids together to go to school or you may have set aside your lunch time to pray. Whatever the good intentions of your planning, sometimes God gives opportunities that derail our planned day. They are the obviously broken individual waiting in line at the coffee shop. They are the homeless man hanging out at the gas station. They are the phone call from that one friend who can't get their act together. When we get these opportunities do we entrench ourselves in our plans or do we open ourselves up to what God might be offering as an opportunity to share faith? Isn't that what we are here for (Acts 1:8). When we take the opportunity we are being directed by faith.
2. Don't let the temporal supersede the spiritual
We might not have the temporal, or the here-and-now, solution for those who are reaching out to us when we take on the opportunity. That broken person may unload about their relationship, job, school, etc. and you aren't a counselor or a life coach or whatever advice givers are called these days. All you have is two ears (which, by the way, is the best temporal thing you can give sometimes). You might not have the cash to get the homeless man a burger or bus ticket, and you certainly don't have what they need to get out of their situation. You might not have the funds to bail out THAT friend again. However, you have something that is greater than all those things. It's not an insult to anyone to offer Christ, even when you do have the ability to meet a temporal need. Every time you interact with someone who you feel God has led to you and you to them, it's time to share Christ by telling them what Christ can do for them in that moment (1 Peter 3:15). Doing so is acting as our faith directs us.
3. Believe that God can do great things through you
You have the ability to see amazing things done through you in Jesus Name. Peter helped the lame man meet more than his physical need for the day. He pulled him out of a life of limitation. We might not be able to put back the heart of the broken, but Christ can. We might not be able to pull the homeless man out of the gutter of addiction and despair, but God can clean him up and set him straight. We might not be able to change the mindset of THAT friend, but we sure can let God take control and alter their mindset. We just have to be like Peter and believe in the moment that anything is impossible through Christ (Mark 9:23). That's living as one who is directed by faith.
4. Directed Faith will lead to greater opportunities
Once Peter had brought Christ and the miracle of healing to the lame man, it drew the attention of others. We might get to see miracles done through us, but we can also draw people with our passion and concern for others. Believe it or not, people are watching and listening. They may seem buried in their own conversations, mobile devices, etc. but they have one ear or eye out. They catch glimpses of charity and compassion. Sure a lame person being healed will get the attention of the whole public space you are in, but the heartfelt prayer with a broken individual may draw another person in need as well. The helping and earnest compassion we show the physically needy may bring someone who has a spiritual need. Helping THAT friend this time may bring them back to God, but it might also open the door for other people who are ready to come home, too. We never know the ripple effect our stepping out in faith will have. By having focused faith, we won't have to always seek out others to share our faith. They'll come flooding to us (Acts 3:11). That's the blessings of directed faith.
Do you have a story of when you responded to the opportunity God gave you? How did this directed faith affect the individual you were drawn to? How did it affect you? Let us know in the comments and look for some chatter on our Facebook Page about it as we continue our pursuit of 3 Dimensional Witnessing.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.