Before I quit my secular job back in 2010, I went through weeks of prayer, preparation and yes… even a bunch of anxious thought! It was a tough decision but my wife’s growing needs and dependence on me was paramount to the decision that had to be made. It seemed like everything in my life was turning upside down. Piper desperately needed me, my job was needing my attention, which to be honest was not getting anywhere near my full attention to which my boss had duly noted through a not too positive written report for my personnel file, and I felt like my insides were going through a blender!
As we got more and more serious with our prayers, Piper and I felt a growing confidence that it was nearing the time for me to quit the outside job and return to my lawn and garden care business that I had on the side for many years before (and actually during) our stay in Oklahoma. But we knew that in the natural it could prove to be a risky proposition! We also knew that there would be some in our extended family who would be quite upset if I quit. So… we continued to pray and kept our thoughts and planning to ourselves. We wanted to make sure that we definitely heard from the Lord without any outside influences… either way!
There finally came a time when we needed to make a move. Following the pattern taught by Paul in Romans 10:17 we continued to build up our faith through dedicated time in the Word and then began to call some of my old clients to see if they had need of my yard care services. The outcome of those inquires was very positive and it began to look like we could make the transaction happen. But… What if? What about those who most likely would not be too happy with our decision and what would happen if the business did not grow fast enough and the finances we had been diligently saving ran out? What? What? What?
Well… we finally got to the point when we knew that we had to RELEASE our faith and do what we felt the Lord was calling us to do in and for our situational needs. It was time to put feet to our faith! James 2:14 tells us “My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works.” (MKJV) We had been praying about it, building our faith through the Word about it, preparing for it and confessing the Word over the plan… And NOW was the time to transition from the talk of the plan into works or action! The Message Bible is a bit more succinct about this as it bluntly declares: “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything…”
So… we did it! We committed the plan and all its needs and possibilities, both positive and negative, along with the flack we knew would follow, to the Lord. The next day I turned in my two weeks’ notice and the pressure at work deflated almost instantly! Piper and I were able to go out on the job with our renewed business the day after I left Home Depot and we started getting jobs from many different sources! I can’t say that it was always smooth and easy and that we didn’t have some times where we had to pray more and do some creative things with our finances along the way, but we stayed the course and the Lord was faithful to His directives and of course, to His Word… and here we are some seven years later and we’re still going strong. In fact I would have to say beyond strong… and quite blessed!
But none of this would have happened if we had not released our faith by putting actions to all our prayers, hopes and plans. Through the years I have known strong Christian men and women who were mature in the faith, knew the Word inside and out but yet were too cautious (or maybe better said afraid) about taking steps to RELEASE their faith when it came to decisions concerning finances, healing and other areas of life that affect us every day.
James 2:17-18 tells us that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (KJV) There will always come a time in our Christian walk when each of us will have to put our money where our mouth is… to sink or swim. To choose whether we are going to trust the Lord enough to step out in faith based on the Word we have been studying and allowing to abide in us, or not!
That’s what RELEASING our faith is all about! Mark 11:22 talks about having the faith of God. Then in the next two verses Jesus explains what that looks like. He tells us to speak to whatever mountain might be in our way WITHOUT doubting in our hearts but believing that what we are saying is going to happen. And then we release our faith. Verse 24 tells us “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire – WHEN YE PRAY – believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” (KJV) So… believing you have received the answer to your prayer WHEN YOU PRAYED – you go out and act and talk like it has happened… even before you may see it! Just as I put in my 2 week notice and then began to work the plan we were believing would succeed.
Our plan and subsequent actions may not have always looked successful during that first year (and believe me, we had folks pointing that out to us the whole time!) but we stuck with it, kept our confession positive and a smile on our faces and by year number two we were back to building up our savings account again!
Are there areas that you may need to release your faith in? Maybe now is the time to begin by building up your faith through the particular scriptures in the Word that cover those needs and then when the time is right… and you’ll know that time on the inside of you… step out and put feet to your faith! (Just make sure that it is your faith that you’re stepping out on and not someone else’s… Make sure it your voice of confident understanding and revelation from God and not just an echo of something someone else said or did.)
Sound interesting? Well, give it some thought and prayer this weekend. Check out Jesus’ and Paul’s thoughts on faith in the New Testament and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Have a great weekend, and as you do keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to put feet to my faith today?”