- Religion and Philosophy
What would you do to take a leap of faith?
The Question Posed
If I were to ask the question, "How much and what are you willing to give up in order to follow God and His will", people who are Christians would enthusiastically reply that they'd follow God anywhere, anytime. But what if that meant giving up your lifestyle now to live in a 3rd world country? What if He asked you to simplify your life by downsizing material possessions in order to follow His leading into the "jungle"? Think about Christians living in Muslim countries, or perhaps even within reach of ISIS. It's easy to sit here and confess that we'd follow God. However, when the chips are truly down, would you back the talk with action and even a leap of faith? The truth is, we probably won't know what we would do until the situation actually faces us. However, every decision of every day is an opportunity to confirm or deny your faith and trust in God.
We Can Have a Good Idea
While we truly won't know how we might react to any given situation until it is upon us, we can have a good idea of what we might do by looking at the track record of our past decisions. Although each situation is unique, when we are confronted by a leap of faith in the past, we can measure our tendencies. How did you react in the past when God asked you to give money to someone? What happened when God prompted you to step up and teach or lead something? How likely are you to say yes (or how long will it take for you to say yes)?
For me, when God gives me something to do, it usually takes a while. Sometimes it is timing, but sometimes it also depends on our willingness to accept God's direction. When God firmly called me to ministry, it took me 3 years to accept...even when the time was right I still hesitated a month or so. However, once I was in, I was all in. Take a moment to reflect on your own track record. How are you when asked to make a leap of faith? Do you hesitate or do you jump right in? Do you recognize God calling at all? How does He usually make that call? These are all good things to ponder on while reflecting. Go ahead take a moment to reflect. I'll wait right here.
Ready? What did you come up with? Feel free to use the comments below to tell me about your story. I'd love to hear what God is up to! Take the poll below to give me a brief answer.
Responding to God
How fast do you respond to God and His call?
My Initial Vision on my Calling
Giving up Our Sinful Ways
When I first felt the calling to ministry, I was 12. Of course back then I was Roman Catholic so naturally I thought of priesthood and celibacy which meant no family. I had the picture that a life serving God meant no fun at all and giving up everything I wanted. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. Most of the time when we are asked to give up something to follow God, it is usually our sinful ways - which are not good for us anyway. Other times, it might be something we may enjoy, but in the grand scheme of things, means nothing. More times than not, what replaces the old is something far better and more fun anyway. It may be difficult, but it is rewarding also.
We cling to our sinful ways out of comfort. It is what we know. Letting go usually means just finding something healthy to replace it. What we don't realize is the joy we are missing out on because of our unwillingness to accept that God's way truly is better. Unfortunately, the more we cling to our sinful ways, the further they drag us down with them. The more we get used to letting go of sin, the more likely we are to continue to choose God's ways over our own. The trouble with sin is that it can always creep up on us. It is why we are told to guard against it in 1 Peter 5:8-9. Peter says that, "8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world." Every day we must choose what Joshua did in Joshua 24:15, "15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.” Choose who you will serve. If you choose to serve God, do so with seriousness and alertness...guard your heart against the sin that can take you away from Him.
Corner of Impossible and Possible
Trust in the Lord
Taking a leap of faith requires that we trust in the One asking us to make that leap: in this case, God. Many times when God asks us to take a leap of faith, in our eyes we see the impossible. Sometimes God asks us to do the impossible only to show us that it is possible through Him. Philippians 4:13 says, "13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." It is only by Christ and the Holy Spirit that we are able to keep going every day anyway, so why wouldn't we want to trust Him? Why would we be so foolish and arrogant to try and seize control from Almighty God, who made the universe and everything in it (Exodus 20:11)? Why would we try to do better?
God has proven Himself trustworthy repeatedly. Deuteronomy 29:2b-6 reads, "2Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to his entire land. 3 You saw with your own eyes the great trials and those great signs and wonders. 4 Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear. 5 I led you 40 years in the wilderness; your clothes and the sandals on your feet did not wear out; 6 you did not eat bread or drink wine or beer—so that you might know that I am Yahweh your God." God proved Himself in the past to be trustworthy to the Hebrews. God has also proved Himself repeatedly in your life too. He can be trusted. Not only that, but Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to, "5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths." When we trust in our own understanding, we are bound to go astray. However, when we trust in the Lord, beautiful things happen. Making a leap of faith isn't quite so scary anymore...it becomes invigorating and exciting. The problem then becomes waiting on God and His perfect timing.
Wait Upon the Lord
God's timing is almost never our own. We are a "fast food" society. We want what we want and we want it now. We don't think we have the time to wait on anyone or anybody, let alone God Himself. The Good Lord above made us out of His own goodness. He is not this wish-granting genie some people think He should be. God knows when the time is right for us. A leap of faith too soon can destroy us and a leap of faith too late means we might not live up to the full potential that we could have had. The point is, God's timing is perfect. Psalm 18:30 reads, "30 God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him."
This is one verse of many that talk about this. So, when God calls, you can trust that when the pieces of the puzzle begin to lay themselves out, He is ready for you to take the next step.
Out of my own experience, I urge you to please wait upon the Lord. Wait for His timing. It is always perfect. He will not lead you astray. When the time is right, there will be an unmistakable feeling to follow. The Holy Spirit will prompt you and you will know exactly what to do and when to take that leap of faith. Trust and wait upon the Lord, because the ride will be one you won't ever forget.
Facing the Leap of Faith
If you are facing a leap of faith today, did this article help at all?
Unless noted, all Scripture quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.