I was reminded in a prayer group last week when someone was praying for a practical outcome of how practicableness is another core part of who God is and what He wants to teach us.
2 Corinthians 8:10
And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;
11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.
So often He has taken me to these verses to remind of two things. The first is to remember what I am supposed to be doing and to get on with it. Second He also reminds me to do it with what I have.
How easy it would be to just say I can’t do that because I don’t have the money or I haven’t been given the opportunity yet.
He expects us to work with what we have and then He will bless that. It is a bit like the parable of the talents, do something and He will multiply that if it is on task for who He made you to be. His question is can He trust us to be about the task anyway with what we have? An analogy is that you may have to build a city out of Lego but you can’t afford all those sets so you start with the one block you have and put that in place or alternatively you design the city, get the plans and permits in place as that needs less resource. You do what you can with what you have. This is His expectation of us and He deserves that from us. It is not a point of waiting until everything is on a plate.
I share this story for one reason and that is you can easily do the opposite of this analogy and shoot off and try do everything He has prophesied over you because you have heard his word or someone has spoken His word over you. This is a great heart position to be in but God does not want you completing something you haven’t got the provision for.
So often I have been going to do something from one of His words and His question will be “Have you got the money to do that?” My answer will be no I don’t and He will say “then you can’t do that now”. He is not saying His word won’t be completed but he is saying you have to get real son as you live with the natural rules of this earth and God is not going to bless the breaking of those. It doesn’t mean you won’t complete that calling or word but it is not for now.
This is the practical side of God. Do it out of what you have now but don’t presume on His grace and commit to something you don’t have the resources for.
This is a real balance and takes a closeness and listening to God to get it right. I won’t tell you how many times I have shot off and tried to complete a word He has given me as part of my calling only to fall flat because it wasn’t His timing and I hadn’t sorted out the practical provision or planning of it. I have trusted in my own ability to get it done and not His. Or I assumed this is what He wanted done right now because I had the word spoken over me. Moses made this mistake
He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.
25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
Moses assumed here that this was the time and the people knew who he was. So he stepped out and suffered the consequences. But this wasn’t Gods plan at the time as Moses wasn’t ready. How often do we assume those around us know who we are and what we are about. That is just not the practical way to approach life.
This same rule applies to ministry where you may be trying to force a door open or a ministry to grow but in the practical it is not the time and God has a different way for this to occur in His Kingdom. He wants you to trust Him to bring it about. Step through the doors he opens.
When you follow the practical He will give you some God space and you will be surprised how He will bless this attribute of practicableness in your walk.
Dust from your feet
And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Jesus only did what his Father told Him. He instructed His disciples here to shake of their feet when someone or a city wouldn’t accept them. Why? I believe Jesus was saying let’s get practical here and don’t spend time on someone who doesn’t want to accept what you are offering. Dust your feet off and keep moving forward.
Just plan common sense.
Paul and Barnabas also followed this lesson as they learnt from Jesus’s earlier words
But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.
Throughout the bible and especially the parables we are shown common sense. God is practical, he works within the rules of the earth and He wants us to understand this wisdom.
Why does He want us to understand the need to be practical?
Because when we don’t follow this principal we open ourselves up to attack and the enemy activities. We may be stepping outside our sphere of influence, or we are creating an offense with someone because we can’t pay them or we may simply not do as good a job as He wants us to do on this task because we are not ready.
Breaking common sense rules opens you up to offenses, curses and a lack of defence in the courtroom.
When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.
In this verse He tells us to be practical. In this situation He can give us grace but He wants us not to get to this position of needing His grace in the first place.
His grace and the blood of Jesus can overcome all But there are still consequences in what we have allowed to happen in the spirit because of these consequences. I think when we get home we will be amazed where His grace has taken place in our lives and we will also be amazed where things were tough in our lives because we presumed on this grace and we had to suffer the consequences of not being practical.
God loves us and He wants us to avoid consequences in the first place and that is why He will take His time to teach us to be practical in our walk. This is a step in the sanctification walk.
God will surprise us and delight us with things that can only come from Him being God in our lives.
We follow his rules because we are close to Him and we delight when God shows up and just blows us away with his love.
Be practical, be protected and give God every chance to work in your lives because you are listening and walking in Him.