29 Sep Exercising Your Faith Muscle At Work
Several years ago I was in the middle of the largest real estate transaction I had ever been involved in. The whole process took more than two years. I was representing a long-time client and property they had owned for over 100 years. We were under contract with a group for over $120 million and we had reached a major crossroad. The buyer was being asked to risk an additional $2 million of earnest money on top of what was already submitted. I was working very closely with the buyer while also trying to help my client navigate a very complicated process. It was mid-afternoon and the deadline was hours away . . .
Despite working very hard to navigate communications with both parties, the tension was so thick it was hard to breathe. Finally I had done all I could do, so I took a walk downstairs where there was a large, empty warehouse about a block long. I will never forget crying out to God for His favor and grace and success. Then I began asking God to give me the faith to respond with grace if the deal fell apart. I probably walked around for twenty minutes, then returned upstairs to make some calls for further updates.
I was doing all the things I knew to do! After a while, I went back down to the warehouse and began praying again. By that time, I had run out of things to pray for so I simply asked God to help me and to show favor to all of the parties involved. Eventually I received the call. The buyer did put up the earnest money, and the deal went forward and eventually closed. As I reflect on that long afternoon, it feels like a snapshot of how God wants us to live and work by faith daily. I believe that He wants us to work hard and to pray hard—at the same time.
Throughout Scripture we are called to work:
- “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands . . .” Psalm 90:17
- “There is profit in hard work, but mere talk leads to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
- “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men . . .” Colossians 3:23
Likewise, we are instructed to pray:
- “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances . . .” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
Like physical strength training, we can exercise our “faith muscle” daily by working as diligently and honorably as we can, drawing on the energy, experience, skill and wisdom that God generously supplies. In addition, we should lean into communication with God, processing with Him and trusting that He will grant everything needed to accomplish the work He has set before us.
Serving Him with you in the marketplace,
Lord, I admit that some days I feel completely up to the task, ready to knock it out of the park; but other days, I feel inadequate and unworthy of the trust others have placed in me. Help me to get off of the emotional roller coaster and develop a discipline of exercising my faith in You through active prayer and maximum effort. Help me to exercise my faith muscle every single work day, and build in me a deep abiding faith in the process.
“Walk by faith! Stop the plague of worry. Relax! Learn to say, “Lord, this is Your battle.” – Charles R. Swindoll
ADDITIONAL REFLECTIONS: FINDING YOUR PLACE IN GOD’S “GARDEN”