“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” — 1 Corinthians 1:18
I’m the kind of person who can risk it all for the sake of faith even if I would appear blind and unsure. At the same time I can be very logical and strategic in the things I do. You can probably see the problem here.
I once heard a story of a pastor who preferred to live day by day, believing in the provision of God instead of getting a salary or church support. And miraculously God would provide for him like He would for Elijah or the Israelites. I then thought to myself: “Why aren’t we all living that way?
Do we have to live that way and abandon all for the “folly” of the cross? Where do we draw the line between faith and stupidity? Are we to truly follow and trust God blindly?
Faith Must Come From a Genuine Relationship
Unlike that day-to-day provision pastor, I work in the ministry and I sustained myself and my family through various sources of incomes. I’ve been asked many times why I do ministry work. I have also been challenged to let go of all my other sources of incomes to just trust God. To that I simply respond, “Thanks for your suggestion, but that’s not what God wants me to do.”
Faith is first and foremost the fruit of obedience to God, not to what’s popular. If something works for someone, then there’s no assurance that it’s going to work for you if you we’re just doing things because others are doing it. Matthew 6:33 reminds us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
What we must first seek is not what we are to do or how we are to live but whom we live for insteaed. If you’re a person who lives day by day trusting in God’s provision, abandoning all forms of earning, great! But if you’re a person who relies on a salary or business, that doesn’t make you less faith-filled.
Faith and Wisdom Do Not Contradict
When Paul talks about the cross being folly to the world, He doesn’t literally mean that Christians should be stupid. The same author Paul tells us, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” (Colossians 4:5).
Wisdom and faith are not two opposite sides of the coin. They both come from the same God and are of the same substance.
There’s nothing wrong with abandoning all forms of natural hope for the sake of spiritual hope, but even as we do so, we must walk in wisdom. Wisdom urges us to seek God’s leading first before moving in faith to do the things that may seem like foolishness to others.