I never cease to be surprised by the wrong perspectives that I have on life. I want to touch on one of these today- the perception that things in life just happen without any participation on my part. Now I know that there are many things that happen in life that we have no control over but I am talking about the opposite. The reality that progress in our lives requires our participation and involvement.
I am writing, as I am sitting in our office building on the new church site, just two days after we passed our final inspection. It is great to know that we now have our occupancy permit and can use this facility for the Lord’s work. This milestone is the result of much prayer and the Lord’s blessing and provision. Yet, it also required our participation. I want to give a shout out and say Thank You to everyone that has helped get the building ready. Now that we have approval to use it, I want to say thanks to those who are involved now and will be involved to help us set it up for ministry. Our accomplishment was the result, from a human perspective, of many hours of labor and financial investment. Today we can celebrate this accomplishment of what the Bible calls “walking by faith.”
Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) It is interesting to think about a supposed conflict of works. The term “walk” is a metaphor for living out life. It communicates the human will to go somewhere and then the action involved to make it happen. We often view faith on the other hand as a mental process, something that we cognitively embrace as true. These two terms on the surface seem to be contradictory but they are not. These two Biblical truths are inseparably coupled together. Jesus’ brother and Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem puts it this way, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17) Then he illustrates what he is saying, “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”( James 2:18 )
Our Occupancy permit is the product of walking by faith. Yes, there was faith to follow the lead in purchasing the Office building at auction in December 2018. It required the completion of numerous tasks to get it on site and to get it to the place where it would be approved for our use. This leads to my challenge for you and I. We can dream about succeeding in our job, or at home. We can fantasize about having a great marriage, and great kids. We can imagine living a life of financial freedom. The simple truth is there is no such thing as a silver bullet, a magic wand, pixie dust or winning the lottery. The only way we can get to where the Lord is leading us in our job, in our marriage and family, and with our finances is to start taking steps to accomplish those goals one step at a time.
Hearing you’ve passed from the two inspectors this week was a reminder of the Lord’s blessing and the faithfulness of his people who contributed to this milestone. Let us be a people that are not content to talk a good talk but to actually “walk by faith!”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson