So I’m thinking of doing something crazy. Maybe it’s because I can’t sleep and I’m up way past my bedtime, but I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of those o crap moments that are sink or swim.
And I want to take you with me.
(photo courtesy of Kirstin McKee)
I’m turning 40 this year…
I’m almost forty years old; thus the reason for my insanity =). I don’t want to live my life having wondered what I could have or should have done. It seems the older you get the more you desire comfort, want to take less risks and are tempted to rely on your own strength, but we are to walk by faith not by sight. Here is something I’ve learned: faith always involves risk. It’s been said that walking by faith is like climbing out on a limb, unsure of whether or not it will hold you up but knowing God is there to catch you if you fall. I’m not referring to foolish risks, but calculated risks rooted in the will of God and the word of God. Having taken the time to discern His will, you are then able to move in confidence.
I want to go on an adventure with God. In my obituary I want it to be said that I pursued God and lived His dreams. I don’t want to have regrets. And I know you don’t either. That’s why one of my dreams is to make the dreams of others a reality.
What does this mean for me?
I’ve decided not to go back to working a part-time job and take God at His word. You see, for the past 5 years, we have been planting a church in Cambridge, MA just across the river from downtown Boston. Home to both Harvard and MIT, Cambridge is one of those very influential, intellectual and urban environments that also make it a very difficult place to start a church. God has done amazing things but it hasn’t been easy. One of the areas that has been the most challenging is the cost of living. As a result, I’ve been bivocational for the majority of the time we’ve been here. Then in September of this past year we officially “launched” Journey Church (it’s like a grand opening) and things went really well. You can read about a little of the process here. It was a privilege to see many new people either begin a relationship with Jesus or come back to Jesus. In preparing for the launch, we were able to raise enough money both to do the launch and be full time in ministry. Now that it’s over and the extra money is gone, we’ve made the decision to stay in full-time ministry and not go back to work. It is a step of faith and a stretch, but Gina and I feel confident the Lord is in it. That’s what I mean by doing something crazy.
This is His calling for us. As Gina and I have been praying and seeking Him, He’s continually reminded us of this promise:
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10 ESV)
What does this mean for you?
Maybe you’re thinking, does that mean I have to leave my job? Of course not (unless that is God’s will for you)! Your step of faith will probably look different than mine, but like me maybe you feel tired of status quo. If so, it’s time to take a step of faith. So what I’m about to ask you to do should be a calling rather than an emotional response.
I’m not saying you should leave your job (unless that is what God is asking you to do). I’m encouraging you to take a step of faith. I’m asking you to pray and respond in obedience. I’m asking you to make a decision. I’m asking you to take a step.
Taking a calculated risk
1) Discern. Do the hard work of discerning God’s will for your life. This could take days, weeks, months, or sometimes even years, but God is not trying to hide it from you. He simply wants you to seek Him. He delights in revealing His will to you. Remember, you are His child and friend (see John 15:15).
2) Prepare. Depending on the step of faith God is asking you to take, preparation may be required. If the step requires moving your family across the country or across an ocean, there is a lot of preparation required. Obeying God’s will and doing something radical doesn’t mean we don’t prepare. In the gospel of Luke, Jesus asks the question, “For who would begin the construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” (see Luke 14:28 NLT) Take the time to prepare. You won’t regret it.
3) Step out. You can do all the planning in the world but it still comes down to a moment when you have to make a decision! You are one decision away from changing your life. Steps of faith can be both terrifying and exhilarating. I remember clearly when it came time to sign our first lease for an apartment in Cambridge and we were freaking out because the amount of the one-year lease was more than my whole salary the previous year! We had to call our pastors to talk us through it. They encouraged us through the fear and we were able to step out in confidence.
Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Is there something you’ve felt to act on for a long time yet you’ve been scared to death to do? Is there a regret you have or something you wish you could have done or would have done for God?
If so, it’s time to act.
I’m not telling you to do something rash. I’m simply saying, follow Jesus, regardless of the cost. (see Matthew 16:24-25)
I don’t know what it looks like for you. It could mean:
- Starting or stopping a habit
- Making a commitment to daily read your Bible (George Mueller read the Bible in its entirety over 200 times throughout the course of his life. Maybe that’s why his faith level was so high!)
- Becoming a missionary
- Writing a book
- Finding a new job
- Sharing the gospel with a co-worker
The point isn’t to do what I am doing or what others have done. The point is to follow Jesus. He’s worth it all. He’s trustworthy. He can be taken at His Word. He can be trusted.
Pray and ask God if you are trusting him and leaning not on your own understanding. Simply pray and obey.
If you are tired of status quo and ready to take a step of faith, let me know about it and encourage others on their journey by responding to this or leaving a comment on my blog.
Other posts you might enjoy
- Our Story, Your Story
- An Open Letter To Journey Church
- Welcome Home (audio message from launch Sunday)
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