But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and
entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all
[men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith,
nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double
minded man [is] unstable in all his ways (James 1:4-8).
Through the process of growing up and gaining experience, we have learned
a lot of things through trial and error. If something we do does not produce a desired
result we find ways to improve upon what we have done in hopes that we will get closer to
the desired result. If what we do produces the exact result we desire, then the next time
we want the same result, it is more than likely that we will attempt to get the result by
doing exactly as we had done before.
But what about the supernatural process? Is the way we work through the spiritual matters
of our lives supposed to be handled by the same trial and error fashion? One might think
so. Although as Christians we are no longer to walk by sight but by faith (2 Cor.5:7),
many of us continue to walk by sight. We lead our new lives in Christ much the same as we
led our old lives outside of Christ. We look for solutions to problems based on experience
and trial and error. We try this or that, and if they fail to produce what we think is
best, we try something else, or perhaps we find something that works and from there on out
we try to make it the magic formula for whatever it seemed to work on before.
A good example might be in the way a lot of church activities are handled. If funds are
needed to send youth to camp and the car wash fund raiser worked last time, then we will
no doubt try it again. Or if it did not work, we will most certainly look for a different
money making venture. Another example could be the way a revival is held. We try to put
together the right evangelist, the right music, the right time frame and so on, to produce
the desired results--decisions for Christ. We want to see something happen as a result,
and when it doesn't happen as we think it should, we begin questioning what went wrong. Or
if the results are as we desire, then revival might be prolonged.
We cannot truly walk by faith and by results too. God did not intend for us to live our
Christian lives hit and miss, or trial and error. Instead we are intended to fix our eyes
on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb.12:2). We are intended to hear God's
voice and be obedient to Him, regardless of what we think we know. We must abandon
everything that our experience tells us and forget the past results when it comes to
complete and total obedience to God. Otherwise, our experience and past results become our
masters rather than God.
What we think the results should be may be out of line with what God is doing in a given
situation. To try this or that in order to get our desired results is disobedience. We
need to find out what His desire is and line up with that. Then there is no discouragement
and frustration with a surprise outcome. Instead there is a confidence that God was able
to do as He wanted with us because we followed Him, regardless of the results.