“Let me ask you this: ‘What are you doing right now that requires faith?’” I sat there with a confused look on my face. My immediate thought was, “Hey, you’re pulling out a Francis Chan quote. What a great conversation starter!” Of course, it’s a great question.
So, here’s the story. I asked to meet up with Pastor Rod from the Journey Church because the truth was, I was lost. I had been out of church for a little while and I missed, really missed serving the local church. I had been thinking to myself, I knew I was meant for more than this.
Of course I needed, perhaps more than anything, to trust and obey. Trusting God comes easy when times are easy but in times of difficulty and confusion, that trust can be shaken. The same goes for obedience. For me, I was looking for answers. I lived in a town I didn’t want to be and where there are a good number of churches but nothing comes from those churches that appeals to me.
Don’t get me wrong either-I have nothing against the churches in my town. I more than willing to admit I have a bit of a spoiled streak when it comes to churches as well. I’ve really enjoyed watching some of the bigger mega churches develop and grow over the years. And yes, I know it’s not a strategy that makes these things grow but God who gives the increase.
In searching for what’s next for my life, I sought out to get the answer, “Where do you want me God?” This is the question that burned in my heart for a long time. The question began even during my time of serving in the local church. I thought I had it all figured out too. I was serving the local church, I had been faithful in doing so and that’s all I needed, right? I mean, sure there’s more to it than that but what can I do, right?
God has a way of shaking our understanding of who we think he is from time to time, letting us know that he is still in control and he is deeper than we can imagine. I found myself a bit discontent with the way things were at church too. That’s not abnormal for me either. I believe the heart of God would be to see the church grow into the likeness of his Son, Jesus. When the church is more about ‘putting on a show’ or making church and all the activities within the church an ‘event’ and not a lifestyle then I think we are going at it all wrong.
So, this is where I am, sitting across from a pastor who is in full time ministry, on staff at church, which is my dream job now. And the question looms over my head, “What are you doing that requires faith?”
As I began to think through the question, I began to think well, the righteous live by faith so yes, I live by faith because of what Jesus did for me. But, of course, the question is why I am here?
As I began to think through the question, I realized I wasn’t doing that much. I mean, I attended church but didn’t serve the way I used to. I am and continue to work on my first book for Cross Books and my job requires a certain level of faith and patience. But, am I living in such a way that faith must be demonstrated?
By that I mean do I live where I would actually be in trouble if God didn’t come through? Such is the case of the Israelites after they had left Egypt and the Pharaoh decided to pursue them and return them all to captivity. They had nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. They were in trouble had it not been for God’s promise to deliver them.
As I continued to attend Journey Church for a while, I began praying over where God would lead me. My heart was simply set on leaving the area. As I began to think through and pray through the decision on doing that, God really laid it upon my heart that it isn’t quite time for that. The reason is rather simple: am I living by faith, here and now?
“The greatest risk you’ll ever take for God is not taking one. Go. Do. Something”
Faith rests in the work of God. (Eph. 2:8)
Faith begins with resting in the work of Christ Jesus. His life fulfilling the Law, his death for our sin and his ascension justifying us before the Father in heaven is vital to the gospel message. Our salvation is based upon God’s grace and our faith.
Faith responds to the work of God. (Rom. 1:17)
Just as faith begins with resting in the work of Christ on our behalf, faith responds to that work and becomes a lifestyle. As the Scriptures declare, “The righteous will live by faith.”
Faith demonstrates the work of God. (Gal. 6:10)
Faith is personal but it is never private. Authentic faith in Christ is visible and will go viral. Authentic faith will serve others, both within the body of Christ and outside the church. Faith reflects the heart of God as we serve others, we care for others and we love others, thus fulfilling the Law of Christ.
Jesus is worth giving everything up for.
Am I a bit nervous about stepping out?
Sure! But God is with me. I am not alone. God will go before me, so I cannot fail. God will stand next to me so I am not discouraged. God is over me so I know he is in control.
Why am I here?
I am here to serve Christ, to echo His name, to make Jesus famous. I am here to give my one life for the one who gave me his own.
When Jesus calls, I will follow. Who Jesus loves, I will love. Who Jesus served, I will serve.