Would you like to stop wondering what God wants for your life and stop thoughts like, “What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Which direction do I go?” Well, then I would suggest that you listen intently to Pastor Wilson’s “The Logic of Faith” (September 10, 2017) from the Book of Ruth series.
In chapter three of Ruth, we see all the characters acting responsibly according to God’s law. Naomi has been the recipient of graces flowing through Ruth and now she sees that maybe it’s time to think of Ruth’s future. So Naomi, having seen how God’s law has taken care of her and Ruth, rekindles her faith in God. She takes initiative based on this faith and specifically on the Biblical principle that says Boaz qualifies as a kinsman-redeemer. She also uses logic to assess that Ruth has a need for a future with a husband. Knowing where Boaz will be during the harvest, what he will be doing and the evidence of his grace already bestowed upon Ruth; she puts her matchmaking skills into high gear. She tells Ruth to go to Boaz at the threshing floor and lie down at his feet where she finds him sleeping. I know that seems strange but more will be revealed about that in Part Nine.
“Naomi’s faith doesn’t disconnect her from reality. It connects her with reality with a perspective that people without faith don’t have. They are just out there wondering what will happen next…She is taking the initiative. She is exercising the logical sequence of faith. Take God’s word, put it side by side with all the circumcises that God is bringing about, then use your mind to determine a course of action that is in harmony with both what God is doing and what God has said…That’s what Christians do!”
Let’s first start with the logic itself and then address the sequence. In the story of Ruth, you may notice that we are being taken through so many little details. Why? God is showing us that we do have a role to play in the plans He already has for us, and His plans never fail.
The logic of faith is illustrated in Isaiah 46:9-11:
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
“That is God causing all things to happen (Romans 8:28). He does it in a way that always upholds the ability of individuals to make reasonable, responsible choices and the actions that are the consequences of those choices. Exactly how God combines all of that, those things that He has decreed [before time] and our own reasonable responsible actions, the Bible does not explain…God always uses the active faith of His people as they take initiatives that are ground in His Word.” Pastor Steve Wilson
The 5-Step Process
“…If you read scripture, God moves people in a path. Rarely does He do a 90-degree turn, except when He saves you from death to life. After that, it is reasonable and consistent with our faith to logically ask, “God what is it that you are doing around me ALREADY? What does your Word say?” Now put those two together, think about it and make good choices.” Pastor Steve Wilson
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Your reasonable service to God (a living sacrifice, a living worship) is to take all that God has done for you, process it and then take some initiative. This will be a testimony as to what God IS doing in your life. It is also your spiritual path. Nowhere did God say that you had to get this right or be doomed. He said to test your path so that you ‘may discern what is the will of God’.
- Determine what God is already doing in your life (exhaustive list I’m sure)
- Know what God says about what is happening (not sure? ask an elder/pastor for help)
- Pray about it properly, as Jesus instructs: all the while just doing the next thing
- Take initiative (this is the scary bit, but you are now prepared)
- Testing time – Repeat steps 1-5
Do you see it? Yep, your path is forming and all you have to do is rest in the truth and obey. Joy will come in the morning* and you will know He was there all along.
Check back next week in Views from the Pew to learn another kingdom lesson from this amazing book.
The Book Of Ruth Series – A summation and commentary on the teachings of Pastor Steve Wilson
Part 1 – Resisting Bitternes – Companion blog to 5/21/17: “Repent or Run?”
Part 2 – Informing Your Grief – Companion blog to 5/28/17: “Grief”
Part 3 – 6 Depression Defeating Steps For Christians – Companion blog to 6/4/17: “Depression”
Part 4 – God’s Grace – Understanding The Flow – Companion blog to 8/13/17: “Grace”
Part 5 – God’s Orders Falling Out Through Secondary Causes – Companion blog to 8/20/17: “Looking For Love In All the Wrong Places”
Part 6 – Buying Back Lost Opportunities – Companion blog to 8/27/17: “Why We’re All Single”
Part 7 – Repelling Chaos With Little Things That Matter – Companion blog to 9/3/17: “More Than You Need“