Posted by: Chris Sandel | April 15, 2008

Waiting vs. Doing

I’ve mentioned the Stuff Christians Like blog before.  I’ve enjoyed reading it lately.  It is usually good for a laugh but I thought the recent post about Waiting on God went a little deeper than most.  He talked about the tendency many of us have to say we’ll pray about things or wait for God to open a door. 

While there is certainly a place for waiting, praying and looking for open doors, often that is an excuse for not moving forward.  He gives three examples from scripture of times when people moved forward before they heard from God and only later God spoke.  Another great example is highlighted in Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus.  He talks about the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer in 1 Samuel 14.  He sets out to attack a group of Philistines despite the fact that everything is against him.  But he moves on anyway.  “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.  Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”  Perhaps.  Perhaps!  He didn’t know one way or the other.  No deep, booming voice from above.  No great sign or miracle.  He just went for it and trusted God to work, whether it meant life or death.

I tend to be a very laid back, contented person.  One of my greatest strengths is my ability to remain calm and think things through.  The danger though with being content and laid back is sometimes missing out on greater things that God may want to do through me.  I find myself constantly looking for the most efficient way to do things.  Whether it is calculating the speed of cars in each lane as a I drive or planning out a calendar for our Jr. High ministry, my tendency is to take the path of least resistance.  When change comes, it is usually after a long process of thinking things through and making sure every possibility has been considered.  Sometimes though, the path of least resistance isn’t the best path.  I’m sure the easiest path for Jonathan wasn’t climbing up a cliff to meet a a group of soldiers.  I’m sure leaving everything he knew to move to Egypt wasn’t the easiest or more efficient option for for Israel (Jacob). 

Sometimes God isn’t looking for the easiest or the most efficient.  I’d argue that a lot of the time God’s way doesn’t look the easiest or the most efficient.  God doesn’t always lay out all of his plans for us to peruse before we choose to obey or not.  I think God is always calling on us to pray and to listen for his voice.  But he also created us with brains and has giving us his Holy Spirit.  Sometimes we just need to go and trust that God will point us in the right direction if we get too far off track. 

The Christian faith is about trusting God with our lives.  As I think back to the classic movie illustration of faith and trust from Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeI can’t help but be reminded that faith doesn’t have all the answers.  It hasn’t seen a road map of everything to come or gotten a guarantee of success from the Almighty.  Faith requires action.  How much faith would it take for Indiana to stand at the edge of the cliff until he is either shown the path or is told what will happen if he steps out?  Faith requires us to move.  Faith says, “God, You know me, You created me and You love me.  I don’t know how this will turn out but I’m trusting you step by step and day by day.” 

God, help me to move beyond the path of least resistance.  Give me the boldness to step forward and dream big for You.  Give me the courage to step out and trust that You’ll are there.  Give me the faith to know that even when I don’t have all of the answers and even if I take a step in the wrong direction, You’ll be ready to catch me when I fall. 

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