Do you ever struggle for faith that disciple making movements are possible? Or possible in your place? Or possible through you? I certainly have. I’m not proud of it, but it is true.
Sometimes in what Michael Hyatt calls the “messy middle” we stop believing. The messy middle is a place between the vision’s beginning and it’s realization. It’s the place where we wonder if our dream is possible.
My Struggle for Faith
There was a long “messy middle” for me. It was 20 years from when I heard about DMMs (back then we spoke of multiplying daughter and grand-daughter churches) and the time I first saw 4th generation groups. On that journey, I often wanted to quit. I regularly doubted it could happen.
I remember saying “This isn’t a fair thing to ask people to do. For the vast majority of people, movements are just a dream. It’s like asking a junior league baseball team to attempt to win the World series.”
Stuck in Unbelief
Let’s just call it what it was. I was stuck in the sin of unbelief. I didn’t believe God was able to do this through me or through the people I was training. Thank God, He took me through a process and convicted me of my unbelief. He renewed my faith. Faith not in myself, but in Him.
Jesus was never soft with his disciples regarding the sin of unbelief. He regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith.
I recently re-read the account of His resurrection. The words “stubborn refusal to believe” jumped out at me.
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Mark 16:9-14- NIV
They were presented with eye witness accounts that He was alive. Still, they refused to believe.
We may have heard of Disciple Making Movements in other places. Perhaps we have even heard first hand accounts of them taking place. Still we doubt. Still we are skeptical.
“They must be lying or exaggerating the facts”, we say. “That works in China, but it doesn’t work in my country” or “That happens with tribal people, but not with Buddhists.” On it goes.
We don’t recognize that what we are doing is giving in to unbelief. We stubbornly refuse to believe in God’s power to bring about His will.
Does this sound harsh? I don’t mean it to be.
Recognizing this sin in my life was key to unlocking what God wanted to do through me. My heart is for you to experience the same kind of breakthrough. Victory over the struggle for faith starts first in our hearts.
Repent of Doubt (Skepticism)
Are you convinced that God wants to save the Lost? Do you know He desires that none would perish but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)? In spite of this, do you still find yourself cynical or skeptical? Does it seem highly unlikely that thousands of your people could be swept into the kingdom in a short period of time? Dear one, that is called unbelief. It is a struggle for faith.
Name the problem and repent. I had to.
Even now, stop and ask God to forgive you for your lack of faith in Him. Ask Him to replace your skepticism with hope. Ask Him to fill you with faith in His ability to do what is impossible through you.
Make Faith Declarations
Then, begin to make declarations of faith. Pray the promises God gave when you first started to work among these people or in this place. Praying scripture will build your faith. Pray them as declarations over your people group…over your life.
These are some of my favorites. I go back to these when I face a struggle for faith.
- Phil. 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”…even start a DMM Lord!
- Mark 9:23 “All things are possible for those who believe”…even seeing my Buddhist neighbors come to faith in you!
- John 4:35 “I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest” That is my people group Lord. They are ripe for harvest today.
Do this every day for a month. You will see a difference in your faith. You will see a big difference in your work too. Believing prayer leads to victories.
Need more help to build up your faith? Faith to Move Mountains is a 30 day devotional for church planters that has helped many people grow in faith. Haven’t read it yet? Get a copy from Amazon.com today!