Without faith Hebrews 11 says you can’t please God. Faith makes the unseen and not yet come into being and be seen. To plant a church, start a ministry, open a business . . . anything . . . has a certain amount of risk. I once heard a guy say that when he looked for church planters, he was looking for guys who would jump out of planes. I think that’s good – but I would also say, they need to have a parachute on or they are going to die. Sometimes death itself is a real risk – especially in serving someone in a tough place or reaching out to someone who slaps back.
Faith is risking – but not risky. Faith moves your feet forward to the unknown based on a call with conviction of what must be. Faith is the solid substance others can’t see yet, you can’t even see it – except in your mind, in your heart, and on your knees. My kids view me as a huge risk taker – yet I often tell them not really. I’ve thought about all the scenarios before I move forward and I know not just the cost of moving forward, but the higher cost of not moving at all.
The real challenge to moving forward in faith is knowing the first two or three steps after you know where you’re going. You see the end; now what steps are you going to take to move it forward. Faith is not blind but very, very deliberate. Faith is not a leap into the dark, but a leap into a call from God. It’s moving forward without all the answers, all the resources – but knowing where you are going and that first step that you must take.
When that first step is taken, other things appear as you need them. You should plan, think about the first few steps – but to have a huge master plan before you begin is unrealistic and limiting because you will have to adjust. I have a friend who has skydived and he once told me his leader said, “OK, we know the plan, but the minute we’re out that door – so is the plan – so adjust as we need to.” It used to be that long term ten year planning was the big thing, then 5 year, then 3 year – but regardless of the time frame things change and you have to flex with it.
So, how do you decide if you should risk or not? How do you know if it’s risking or risky?
First, has God called you to do it? The bigger the risk the louder I want to hear God’s voice. If it’s a huge risk and I don’t hear clearly I’m going to hold back. If I hear clearly – I’m out of the door. Call isn’t trying to duplicate someone else’s story. Call isn’t a crazy idea you got while driving down the road. Call isn’t a person offering you the world. Call is that deep seated confident sense that this is something God has said, and you must move forward even if it’s hard, even if it’s impossible in the eyes of other.
Second, does who you are and what your life story is match up with what you sense your faith is leading you to do? It should. You are a life and God has a plan for your entire life. He’s put values, experiences, knowledge into you that he doesn’t want to go to waste. Moving forward in faith isn’t about doing something – it’s about releasing that unique mix of what God has orchestrated & created in ever fiber of your being. You truly are a package – Eph 2:10 says in the Greek – literally – “You are God’s masterpiece” – he has created you with purpose. He foreknew you, but also foreordained you.
Third, is this a direction or a dimension of development? Sometimes we make complete journeys out of something that was merely tooling or preparation for other things down the line. Churchill & Lincoln could have looked at their lives as failures, but all in their lives went towards tooling that led to specific destinies that enabled them to lead like few historically ever have. Destiny is abandonment to the cause. Tooling & development is reflection.
Fourth, have you received good counsel? YES, talk to those that know you and love you – and listen. But also talk to those with no skin in the game as well. Each is going to bring perspective to the table. The majority of my mentors ARE NOT pastors. Some are, but people from business, government, educators, and even an admiral have given me exceptional counsel.
Fifth, are those who go out the door of the plane ready to go with you? For me, the most important person is my wife. I have to talk to her, share with her, get input from her. She’s even taken me out of some plane doors before! It’s not enough that you are willing to jump – those that are tied to you, must be brought into that process as well.
Finally – does it not go away? Generally, something that starts as a thought and builds over time is a good bet. If it diminishes with time – I don’t pay much attention to it. Someone once told me, I have a thousand ideas but only 10 of them are good. They’re probably right – the key is sorting those out. Listen to God, pray, then jump!
See also the articles:
When Will Jesus Be Enough? – Bob Roberts
How Does Jesus Become Enought? – Bob Roberts
Missional vs. Traditional by Katie Driver
Constantine & the Institutionalization of the Church
How Jesus Sees the Church | Video
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