“You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” Haggai 1:6
Does this sound like your book promotion efforts? Lots of seed sowing with little to show for it? Sometimes it’s not the seed that’s the problem or the soil or the weather, but the farmer returning to the field to sow weeds among good seed.
When we mix God’s Truth with the devil’s deceit we sow doubt and destroy our crop.
The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God …” (Luke 4:3)
The devil said to Jesus, “All this power will I give you if ….” (Luke 4:6)
The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God …” (Luke 4:9)
If is a fine word when creating story. The “great if” often begats a great premise. “What if the Creator of the universe came to earth in the form of man, what would that look like? How would he be received?”
Playing “what if” for creative brainstorming is fine at a novel retreat, but when we begin questioning God’s words, debating in our minds his truths, we elevate ourselves above God and claim his sovereignty for ourselves.
How do we do this? Here are a few phrases we love to spout.
- “yes, but”
- “my god wouldn’t”
- “how do you explain”
Such comments place limits on God—limits that do not confine him but will box us in. Only when we judge God to be trustworthy in all matters, unable to lie and full of truth, will we escape our Yes, But Box.
In the kingdom of God there are three kinds of faith:
- Inactive Faith
- Reactive Faith
- Proactive Faith
Inactive Faith reflects the heart of someone who believes Jesus died for their sins. They have confessed this with their lips. Beyond that, however, they live pretty much like everyone else. Little about their life would lead anyone to guess that they are a believer in Jesus.
Such individuals may go to church occasionally, read portions of their Bible, even pray sometimes. These are those Jesus called “you of little faith.” The seed of great faith is in them but they do little to make it grow. Worse, they hardly sow any seeds of faith for others.
Reactive Faith is the heart of someone who responds to an event with earnest belief. Circumstances prompt them to put all their trust in Jesus. If he doesn’t come through, they are doomed.
And when Jesus does come through, their faith is strengthened for a while. No amount of explaining from others can remove the individual’s conviction that only Jesus could have performed such a miraculous act.
Proactive Faith is faith that relies on spiritual eyes and ears. The circumstances we see with our eyes matters only as a means of framing the mighty acts which take place after our lips have declared that what is not yet will be.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Proactive Faith is the sort of faith Elisha had when he prayed:
“’Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’” the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17-20)
Proactive Faith comes by witnessing the powerful hand of God moving in our life, or the life of another. Proactive Faith begins to grow when the Holy Spirit comes upon us in power. The Apostle Paul went about preaching in the demonstration of the Spirit’s power. Though he spoke God’s words, it was our Lord’s actions that convinced the crowds that God’s power was in Paul.
People were healed, demons cast out, lives changed. Such power can only flow from those who are truly righteous in the Lord and filled with his power — an individual so convinced their sins are forgiven that they can stand before God without guilt and before the devil without fear.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2
The key to Proactive Faith is getting up, getting out, and getting filled with the Holy Spirit of Christ.
When you know that you are fully righteous, holy, and pure because of the blood of Jesus, you will do even greater things than what Christ did. (John 14:12-14)
When you know that you are fully righteous, holy, and pure because of the blood of Jesus, you will stop denying him and cease playing the “yes, but” game.
When you know that you are fully righteous, holy, and pure because of the blood of Jesus, you will expect and watch for a bountiful harvest from the good seed you’ve sown.