The great evangelist D.L. Moody once said: "Give me a man who says, 'This one thing I do,' and not, 'These fifty things I dabble in.'"
Moody was pointing to the fact that most of us start out life with lofty dreams and soaring aspirations, but somewhere along the way the everyday struggles and mundane details of life pull you off course. They fragment your purpose. Ultimately, God-given pursuits get buried in an avalanche of conflicting priorities and competing demands.
If, like a lot of believers, you've given up on winning great victories for the glory of God, I have good news for you. There's a way to rekindle your zeal, resurrect those buried dreams, and become a champion for the Lord. You start by asking yourself the life-changing question, "Is there not a cause?"
If you want to live victoriously, you must have a divine cause. You must discover God's high purpose for life and pursue it with a fervency of heart that inspires you to value the things of God even more than your own self-interests. Once those purposes catch fire in your heart, you'll be out looking for Goliaths to conquer and the bigger the better. You'll be searching for ways to fulfill God's high call. In other words, you'll be looking for a cause.
How to Identify a God-Ordained Cause
There are many causes in which you can be involved so you must learn to distinguish between a man-made (or counterfeit) cause and one that is God-ordained. Otherwise, you'll squander a lot of time and resources on something of no real benefit to God's kingdom. You'll be so busy recycling cans or saving whales and spotted owls (worthwhile as that may be) that you won't have the energy to pursue the greater causes of impacting the world for the Lord.
How do you distinguish between a legitimate and a counterfeit cause? There are several characteristics which determine if a cause is God-ordained. David's example in 1 Samuel chapter 17 will help you identify them.
1. A God-ordained cause is never focused on self but is aimed at overcoming disgrace to God's plan and people.
In I Samuel 17:26, David asks: "What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" Instead of being concerned for his own safety like the other thousands of soldiers there, David was focused on removing Israel's disgrace.
2. A God-ordained cause always brings great reward.
In verse 25, the Israelite soldiers described to David what would happen to the man who killed Goliath. They said, "The king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel." From this verse, you can see that God's reward will make you free and prosper you in your finances and relationships.
Sounds great, doesn't it? It is great! In fact, God's promised rewards are so great, you might be tempted to make them your goal. If that happens, you'll be more interested in pursuing the rewards than in achieving God's purposes. Your cause will cease to be God-ordained and become self-oriented. Then the anointing of God won't be there to support your efforts. Not only will you fail to carry out God's plan, but the rewards you expected will escape you. So don't be distracted by rewards. Keep your focus on fulfilling God's purpose. You'll have the satisfaction faithful stewardship brings and be overtaken by the blessings of God.
3. A God-ordained cause will bring persecution.
In verse 28, David's oldest brother Eliab criticized him and questioned his motives. When you pursue God's cause, you will face your Eliabs too. You'll be persecuted and criticized, often by those closest to you. People you think would love and support you may be the first to discourage you.
But don't be disheartened. If you're truly following God, He'll provide all the love and encouragement you need to make it through the persecution. Often your support will come through fellow church members. So be sure you have a church home.
4. A God-ordained cause requires faith.
In verse 37, David said, "The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." David believed God would protect him and come through at the critical moment. You too must be confident that God is behind your cause and will support you at the point of confrontation. In other words, you must have faith.
As you live a life of faith, your confidence will grow stronger because like David, you'll have testimonies of how God has come through for you in the past. Each time He delivers on His promises, your faith will become bolder. Eventually, you'll be courageous enough to take on challenges that immobilize others. You'll be able to act like the hero God designed you to be.
5. A God-ordained cause requires you to speak the Word to the obstacle that stands between you and God's promise.
In verses 45-46, David spoke the Word of God to Goliath. He told the giant that he came in the name of the Lord of Hosts and, "This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand." He described in detail what was going to happen to Goliath and the Philistine army.
David didn't just think about the Word, meditate on it, and confess it quietly in his prayer closet. He used the Word as a weapon in the face of his enemy. If you're going to overcome the Goliaths in your life, you too will have to speak the Word boldly. It's the strongest weapon in your arsenal because God is behind it. Jeremiah 1:12 says the Lord watches over His Word to perform it. God Himself will make sure His Word accomplishes its purpose.
When you're facing debt, sickness, oppression, or some other trouble, find scriptures that apply to your situation. Confess them out loud and tell that problem what you and the Lord are going to do. Speak God's Word with faith and your enemy will fall before you.
6. A God-ordained cause brings glory to God and not to you.
In verse 47, David told Goliath, "And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands." No doubt, as a 17-year-old boy, David looked pretty foolish facing a nine-foot giant without a sword or spear. But David didn't care. He wasn't there to prove his prowess as a warrior. His goal was to remove disgrace from Israel and bring glory to the Lord.
When you're truly focused on carrying out God's purpose, you honestly forget how you're going to look to others. If you're willing to see that God gets the glory, He'll make sure you win the victory.
7. Your pursuit of a God-ordained cause will inspire others to achieve God's purpose for their own lives.
David's slaying of Goliath had a profound effect on the armies of God. Verse 52 says, "And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines." As you participate in your God-ordained cause, you'll inspire others to get out of their ditch of fear and pursue God's high purpose for their own lives. This is the best measure of whether you're involved in a valid cause. If it benefits only you, it's probably counterfeit. But a God-ordained cause motivates and influences others to follow the Lord's will.
CFAITH: A God-Ordained Cause
When measured against the standards I have just listed, I truly believe CFAITH is a God-Ordained Cause.
- It is a cause aimed at overcoming the disgraceful delays of the Christian world in the past as it pertains to new technology, and seizing the moment to minister to the world in a cooperative way through the tremendous potential of the Internet.
- It is a cause that has the potential for great reward along with outward persecution.
- It is a cause requiring great faith.
- It is a cause that facilitates and requires the Word of God to be spoken.
- It is a cooperative cause that brings glory to God and not to one individual.
- It is a cause that will inspire many people to use their gifts to reach the world and achieve God's purpose for their own lives.
As a contributor to CFAITH, you are helping establish a global missionary outreach.
On behalf of our Affiliate Ministries and the ministry team at CFAITH, I want to thank you for joining with us in this historic endeavor. The result could and should be millions of lives changed by the Word of God.