God is able to take care of us, but He still expects us to use common sense. Suppose you had diabetes, and you needed an insulin shot. Would you say, “Oh, I won’t bother taking a shot. God will take care of me,” or would you take the shot? Which action demonstrates more faith in God?
You might think relying upon the phrase, “God will take care of me” is the greater expression of faith, but it is not. Practical faith involves using the resources God has given us to meet our needs. A preacher wrote: “Practical faith . . . involves work in addition to dependence on God our Heavenly Father. Practical faith acknowledges the providence of God and our part in . . . fulfilling our lives and our God-given purpose.
“. . . [Practical faith] is not a tool or force that enables us to unlock or activate a particular spiritual law for our benefit. Practical faith works along with the natural (providential) course of life to get us from one point to another with confidence.”
Living out our faith practically may mean we need to jam on the brakes when an animal darts out into the road; it could mean locking our doors at night to prevent a burglary; it may mean sending more resumes to prospective employers in an effort to find a job; it could mean repairing or replacing a car which has been causing problems. We don’t have to trust God to do these things for us because He has given us the means to take care of them ourselves. God simply wants us to entrust the outcome of our efforts and the things we have no control over to Him.
Is there something you could be doing that you are trusting God to do for you? You might be struggling to pay your bills, but you are unwilling to decrease your discretionary spending on items such as cable television or a smartphone. Maybe you want God to provide strength to resist temptation, but you continue to put temptation before you. There are things you can do to resolve these issues — God has given you the means. Do them, and then entrust the outcome to Him. This faith works.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.