Faith and Common Sense/Wisdom

I am extremely stereotyping, but only to make a point - it seems we have two types of people floating around in the church today - the faith community and the wisdom/common sense community. For example, when one runs into problems the faith community looks to God and the common sense/wisdom community looks to see what they can do to fix the situation - a "God helps those who help themselves" (which unfortunately, is nowhere in the Bible) type of model.

It is as though the faith community, when run to their logical extreme (again I am grossly exaggerating), can think I am believing God for finances, but I don't want to apply for a job because I don't want to make it look like my faith is in the job and not in God. Or I am believing for healing, but I don't want to change the way that I eat to eat more nutritiously, because I don't want my faith to be in the nutrition and not in God, or even get a check-up to see if I am healed because I do not want my faith in doctors, only God. So, for the sake of preserving faith, wisdom and common sense can get thrown out the window.

The common sense group sees a problem and (again, I am exagerrating to make a point) figures out how they can fix the problem on their own. They may pray once about it, but that's just because they figure that that is the right thing to do - not that they would actually think God would do something. So they try to figure out by willpower how they can make things happen. They can easily become burnt-out, frustrated, religious, and depressed because it seems like, although some things in life can be fixed with just a bit more willpower, that many can't. Just reading the Bible for a few more minutes or fasting once didn't fix the problem. So they can be very disillusioned with God.

As a side point, I think many areas of life are interrelated. So I will focus on a few issues and make parallels to what I was saying above. Let's go after healing and purity. In regards to purity, let's say a guy from work who struggles with impurity came up to me and said, "I quit watching movies with sex scenes in them and I'm reading my Bible for 45 minutes a day, however, I don't feel like I'm getting any better. I think I probably won't do those changes any more as they don't seem to help." One needs to note the following: We as humans are much more complex than we like to think and substantially more screwed up than we would like to believe. There is this idea that if one or maybe, at the most, two things in my life were adjusted, that everything would work perfectly. So while the two changes are good, common-sense changes to make, the reality is that if his hope is in those changes, or even that the next change is going to be what will bring breakthrough, he probably has missed the whole point. The point isn't that one more little tweaking will make the difference but rather a whole radical paradigm shift. Purity does not come from one tweaking here or there. It is from Him. It is a part of who He is. It is something we continually gain through ongoing relationship with Him. So if I were to tell that person - generally, a necessary step for a person who is going to walk in purity is to have healthy open relationships with a few people that know everything about you and will hold you accountable, if they think that making that change will fix things, they again missed the whole point. Their eyes are on making a change that will fix them rather than on God. One has to keep their eyes on God and live in dependence on Him for purity, all the while changing and shifting things that need to be done so. To take one's eyes off of God and putting them back on oneself and what one can do to make victory happen is to miss the whole point.

I think the same thing is true in the area of healing. As those of you who read my notes regularly know, I've been on a bit of an obsession with healing. Maybe this is from having had cancer before or maybe it is for a variety of reasons, but this is certainly a passion of mine. As near as I can tell, evangelism and fasting are like two sticks of dynamite that prompt the annointing level to go up greater and greater for more healings. Obviously, many other things factor in, such as spending time with the Lord, keeping my view of Him greater than the problems in front of me (I can't say I always succeed at this), not going introspective before praying, praying for more people, commanding healing instead of asking for it, get in the glory zone of His presence, focusing on that God wants to heal the person in front of me rather than looking introspective, and so forth. But yet, as I am in the School Planting Track at the School of the Supernatural, I am always contemplating how I would teach people about this. I think one can start to see healing in a similar way to purity. If one focuses on that they need to do this or that just right of the above and that will cause the person to be healed, they missed the whole point. They took their eyes off of God and put them back on themselves to get breakthrough on their own. For someone to say, "I commanded the health condition to leave in Jesus' name and nothing happened so I am not going to pray that way anymore" is to be like the guy who said that he started reading his Bible regularly but it didn't cure his purity problems so he's going to quit doing that because he doesn't want to be religious about it.

This can even work with finances. The "faith" community exageration from above might never apply for a job because they are just praying for God to provide - they don't want to apply for a job because it would show a lack of faith and that they do not want to look like they trust in things of this world over God. The common sense people might apply for 25 jobs, but then feel frustrated due to the economy and so forth and feel like there is no hope because their hope is not really in God, but in the economy, how much work experience or education they have, or whatever. The reality is that one keeps God as their source, but that this does not keep one from common sense and wisdom.

Herein lies a problem. Some people will read this and think that because all of the myriad of steps aren't in place for breakthrough to happen in one of these areas that there is no point in even trying. But just like the person with the desire for a job, sometimes only one application is all that is necessary to get a job! And no one knows when the breakthrough will occur, but if one gives up it probably won't occur! Honestly, the different lists is more for troubleshooting if one is trying and not seeing breakthrough to give more ideas, not to try to make things more complicated than they need to be. I wrote more about different things that seem to help me so that I can look back over it (the primary person I write these notes is for me :) ). So it isn't that all of these things have to be in place and one feels hopeless if they aren't. God takes us where we are at, wants us to overcome more than we want to, and is more than happy to help us in the growth process. And the reality is, is that quite a few things are just solved through going deeper and deeper in relationship with Him!

It is like we have this core principle of God being our source and we rely on Him and Him alone. However, that does not mean that we don't learn how to better align with Him. Maybe I am just really infatuated with Bill Johnson's theology of healing breakthrough, but it is sooooo true for everything, it seems. The breakthrough is God's - He's the source - but that does not mean that one may not have to apply some wisdom in order to see more or begin to see breakthrough. Thankfully, He is the source (and people and other things He works through) for that wisdom too! This really isn't too different than what I posted on here (my blog if you are reading this imported into facebook) to combine the notes from March 15, 2005 with March 22, 2007. Man, I love reading my old notes on here!

Anyway, God bless you guys and I hope I made things easier to understand than to make things more difficult.