The One Thing Every FaithWalker Must Do

And Why Each of Us Easily Qualifies to Do It

Every Christian wants to one day hear the words, “Well, Done!”  Each FaithWalker wants to do great things for God. But most of us think we just don’t have what it takes to qualify for the Faith Hall of Fame.

Heroes of the faith

We’ve all got stories we tell ourselves about why we don’t belong on the field with those “Major League Christians” we meet in the pages of Scripture. [See my post The Myth of the Minor League Christian.] It’s as if we think we must be perfect in order to qualify for walking by faith.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Thank God!

In fact, do you know the one thing every FaithWalker in Scripture seems to have had in common? Failure.

The Myth of the Minor League Christian

Are You in the Game or Tailgating in the Parking Lot?

When I first stepped out by faith to pursue God’s call to write, I heard many people say, “That calling is not for everyone,” as if the call to follow Christ on a faith adventure were reserved only for the Christian elite—not the rest of us who should “bloom where we’re planted” in the Christian minor leagues.

Minor_league

You can discover more of my story and the resistance I encountered in my book A Story Worth Telling. But the idea that there are two classes of Christ followers—the Major and Minor Leagues of Christianity—is not new.

The Apostle Paul addressed this urge to create an upper class of Christians when he said, “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-6) The Church unintentionally reinforced this thinking with the idea of sainthood, setting up icons to commemorate ordinary Christians doing what God had called them to do. And for many centuries, everyone knew the best Christians, those most serious about following Christ, secluded themselves in monasteries. The major league faith took place behind those walls, while the rest of the rabble settled for being minor league disciples.

Jesus says: Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend—it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehensions, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do.

Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours. Thus Abraham went forth from his father and not knowing whither he went. He trusted himself to my knowledge, and cared not for his own, and thus took the right road and came to his journey’s end.

Behold that is the way of the cross. You cannot find it yourself, so you must let me lead you as though you were a blind man. Wherefore it is not you, no man, no living creature, but I myself, who instruct you by my Word and Spirit in the way you should go.

Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is clean contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire—that is the road you must take. To that I call you and in that you must be my disciple.

What to Do When Regret Makes Its Move

6 Healthy Responses to Making a Mistake

No one enjoys making a mistake. But it’s especially tough to respond well to regret when we hear our harshest critic screaming inside our own heads: “LOSER!”

quotivee_mobile_0008_Youre-never-a-loser-until-you-quit-trying

Often the most debilitating part of making a mistake is how we beat ourselves up afterwards. When regret makes its move, we’re lucky if we can still see straight.

I experienced this when my team and I debriefed recently about the launch of my latest book A Story Worth Telling Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life. In addition to celebrating what went well, we discussed mistakes made so we could learn from them.

But I must confess that I focused on my mistakes way more than I should have. And thinking about those mistakes left me more than a little discouraged.

What to Expect When Walking by Faith

A Lesson Learned from a Story Worth Telling

It was nearly nightfall when Moses looked out over the trembling waters of the Red Sea, took a deep breath, and held it. There it was, exactly where God said it would be.

Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Moses stood, staring for a moment, as if expecting the watery barrier to fade like the many mirages he’d seen in the desert for decades while tending sheep.

Now I have sheep of a different kind, the fledgling leader thought. He exhaled slowly while turning toward the teeming masses— nearly two million people—that stretched as far as he could see. They had cheered him just a few days ago as they followed him out of Egypt, but they weren’t cheering now. Their furious, frustrated cries washed over him yet again. They clamored, complained, accused, and threatened to desert him.

They’re just afraid, Moses thought, an emotion he understood only too well. As he continued his pivot away from the sea, he saw what the people saw behind them: the mightiest army in the world. The Egyptian host stood ready to recapture or destroy them, whichever came easiest.

He could see them only vaguely now, for they were blurred by the flaming cloud that had descended between them earlier that day. Now as the daylight faded quickly, Moses could see the flames more distinctly, an inferno sent by God Himself to separate them from the Egyptians bent on vengeance.

Encouraged by the vivid reminder of God’s intervention, Moses shook his head as if to clear it of fear and focus his faith on the One who had appeared to him in that burning bush.

It felt so long ago, so far away.

And yet, in spite of the bleak scenario, he could not shake the same sense he had felt then: God was up to something. Even now, in this dark hour, he could feel it.

God is about to move, Moses thought, if only we have the faith to follow.

The obstacles he faced now—the sea in front, the army behind, and a mob all around—might as well have been the same mountains that had surrounded him that day he’d first encountered God while alone in the wilderness. Those mountains hadn’t stopped him then, and somehow he doubted these barriers would stop God’s people now.

The sea and the army sure looked imposing, even insurmountable, but he had seen enough to know one thing: God is bigger.

Moses held his arms out beside him, palms upward and open. He lifted his face expectantly toward the starry sky and muttered: “I guess you know I’m out of options here. If you’re going to move, now would be a good time.”

Why God Waits to Deliver Us

When we trust God enough to stand down, we invite His power to show up.

But that doesn’t mean God will show up on our schedule. I’m sure Moses would have preferred God open the Red Sea sooner. But the story could not so wondrously reveal the majesty of God if he had not been so radically dependent on him.

God shows his greatness best when our situation can’t get much worse.

The psalmist declared that God would save us “just at the break of dawn” (Psalm 46:5 nkjv). He loves to wait until we are out of options so there can be no mistaking who is responsible for the solution.

It should not surprise us when God waits until just before morning to deliver us. In fact, we should expect it.

Question: What about you? Have you ever had a Red Sea Moment when you had to step out before you saw God move as He promised? You can share your thoughts with other FaithWalkers by clicking here.

A Story Worth Telling_cov_Versa.inddThis post is an excerpt from my new book A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life.

For a limited time, get a FREE chapter here.

For the month of June, pastors and ministry leaders only can get the entire book FREE here.