Isaiah 5:4—What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)” (Hebrews 11:6a). This is one of those divinely radical statements that should grab us and throw us to the ground. Trying to please God without believing God is impossible. God loves to be believed and is sympathetic to our limited understanding, but He gives us access to His best by our childlike embrace of faith.
None of God’s extravagant gestures of love profit us if they are not mixed with faith (Hebrews 4:2-3). So He ends up asking questions like those found in our introductory verse above.
i.e. What more could I have done?
i.e. Why no good grapes?
Again, we are speechless and must humbly confess, “We didn’t believe you.”
So because we are told that “the just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4) and that “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corithians 5:7), those who are the influences in a local vineyard need to trumpet the importance of faith to their flock. Jesus frequently reminded his little band of disciples of their need for faith (Matthew 16:8). His gentle and timely confrontations in the real circumstances of life prepared them for the life they would live, the stewardship they would be given, and the warfare of the gospel.
You see, the idea of faith is such a common thing to our ministry language that it can become commonplace and not recognized as a powerful force in the husbandman-vineyard relationship.
Jesus makes it clear that the work of God is to believe in Him that God sent (John 6:29). Clearly the first and primary work of the church is faith in Jesus Christ. Again, good shepherds need to be vocal on the matter of faith, so the sheep won’t miss out on the benefit of the trials that come to try their faith (1 Peter 1:6-9). Help them remember that picking up the shield of faith is a strategic tactic in quenching Satan’s fiery, irrational, wicked darts (Ephesians 6:16).
The plea here is this: we must be diligent and faithful to vocalize these matters, in order to move our flock beyond information about God, beyond mental assent to God, to personal trust in God through Jesus and then corporate trust in God as a Body. A believing church is a powerful church in the hands of the loving husbandman.
May our testimony be that of the Thessalonians who were remembered for their work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). Remember the Father has a green thumb. Our faith in Him will make us grow. If we fail to actively trust Him, we may well miss out on His careful and tedious preparation for good grapes. May we believe Him in all that He has done to bring us to this place, and to enjoy His best.
Faith is a must.
Faith is easily overlooked.
Faith is our way of life.
Faith can embrace God when we cannot understand God.
Faith must be encouraged.
Mix faith with everything and rest.
A Touch of Tozer
True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict everyone of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe. “Let God be true, but every man a liar” is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God . . .
Faith as the Bible knows it is confidence in God and His Son Jesus Christ; it is the response of the soul to the divine character as revealed in Scriptures; and even this response is impossible apart from the prior inworking of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift of God to a penitent soul and has nothing whatsoever to do with the senses or the data they afford. Faith is a miracle; it is the ability God gives to trust His Son, and anything that does not result in action in accord with the will of God is not faith but something else short of it.
Man: The Dwelling Place of God, p. 32-33