The Lord Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes.”
Isn’t this exactly what we say to people who come to church with incurable diseases, large debts and broken families; to people who have hit rock bottom and are alone, without anyone to help them? We teach them about faith, explain that they cannot accept the problem, and tell them that they have to act by faith and, trust in God. We encourage them to participate in the chains of prayer, seek God and go to the altar, because it’s the only way for them to solve their problems.
However, in our case, what should we do when we face problems in areas where we do the work of God? Obstacles appear, there are problems with Pastors and things need to be bought yet, the first thing we do is turn to an email or make a phone call to solve the problem. In other words, we want the easy way out and this may end up serving as a barrier to our faith.
Anything that is facilitated is damaging to both the old and the new. It’s bad for the new because they find that everything has been done for them; things that should be acquired with sacrifice are easily and effortlessly received, which causes them to become weak. Likewise, it’s bad for the old, who started when things were still very difficult—with sacrifice—for the good of the work. Today, all the conveniences have caused them to put aside their faith and become complacent.
This example shows us the great danger of having conveniences. A father sacrifices his entire life, working with great effort to provide a good or better life for his family. After everything is done, he dies and his son keeps everything for himself. That son, who had all the conveniences while growing up, as well as in adult life, will eventually lose everything because he never had to make any sacrifices.
In the work of God, when the Pastor becomes used to conveniences and does not see his requests being met, he begins to use the following excuse: “The work isn’t growing because I’m not getting any support.” The truth is, there isn’t a lack of support but, he has become a religious man, using an emotional faith, working on autopilot and preaching a faith he does not live. What we should actually do is practice what we preach to the people. We have to use our faith, seek God, go to the altar and say to Him, “My God, I don’t accept this situation. There is a need and You have to open these doors for me.” I’m sure God will honour us, because He also wants His work to grow.
The apostle Paul said:
“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Corinthians 16:9)
The door only opened because he provoked it to do so by manifesting his faith. Even though there were many adversaries, he was not intimidated because his focus was always on the altar.
Sacrifice is for everyone. It’s for those who are starting now, as it is for those who have been here for some time. The best example we have is Bishop Macedo, who began with difficulties, sacrifices, no belief from anyone and no support. Today, despite the church being what it is, he continues to sacrifice, uses his faith and remains dependent on God.
“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.” (Joshua 14:10,11)
His flesh aged, time passed, difficulties increased, but the spirit of faith remains.
Although there was a need to conquer the Promised Land, Caleb’s focus was always on the altar!
It is written: “…Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14)
We have to wake up!