An evangelist was coming for revival services at S. A. Keen's church. When he arrived, the evangelist casually asked, "Do you have faith in God?"
Keen replied that the church services had been good and the conditions appeared favorable for a soul-winning revival. Instantly the evangelist warned, "We can't depend on good meetings or favorable conditions. Do you have faith in God?" As Keen thought about it, he realized that he had great faith in the good meetings and in the coming evangelist but very little faith in God for that revival.
The Lord wants to teach us to recognize the signals of "living by sight"--of trusting in our own efforts or in the efforts of others rather than in God. Too often we find our faith growing because a situation has improved. But when all such signs of answered prayer vanish, we begin to doubt God.
Then rather than "live by faith," we begin living by our own efforts and find we're trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit. If we try to do the work of the Holy Spirit, He will let us.
But the results will be only human--often negative. For example, a mother concerned about her wayward son wrote to him every week for years trying to persuade him to become a Christian. Even when the son was an old man, he resented those letters his mother had written.
We stop trying to work things out through human efforts when we're trusting God to be in control. The situation may appear desperate and we may be tempted to feel we must do something, but we are doing the most we can do when we're waiting in faith. Strong faith allows God to do His work without interference from us.
God, I know You are pleased to work when the Holy Spirit has freedom to control.
"My soul, wait thou only upon the Lord; for my expectation is from him" (Psalm 62:5 KJV).