Special Alert! Guest Post with Ron Edmondson Today
I am privileged to have a guest post featured with Ron Edmondson today at his stellar blog where he shares his thoughts on leadership, church, and culture.
Ron is one of the leading bloggers on pastors, leadership, and church issues — and truly great guy.
Check out my post and share it if you think it has value:
And to those visiting FaithWalkers for the first time from Ron’s site, welcome!
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It’s been said that when the going gets tough the tough get going. But let’s face it: it’s easy to say we believe until we face a faith challenge.
Only when we face a challenge do we discover what our faith is made of. Only then do we realize that growing our faith will take some work.
It might help to think of our faith challenge as a growth curve. When we first begin to step out by faith and test both ourselves and God, we’ll meet resistance.
Resistance doesn’t mean right or wrong, it just means we’re moving in a new direction. Easy doesn’t mean we have God’s green light. In fact, if we’re trying to grow our faith in response to a faith challenge, we should expect it to be difficult at first, especially early in the curve.
When I first started on the path to becoming a professional writer, nothing was easy. I mean nothing.
We often contrast ‘believers’ to ‘nonbelievers,’ but that can be misleading. Everyone believes something, in the sense that they must assume some principle as fundamentally true. Atheist often fail to recognize that they are in the same boat as everyone else. A common mantra of atheist websites goes like this: ‘Atheism is not a belief. Atheism is merely a lack of belief in God or gods.’
But it is impossible to think without some starting point. If you do not start with God, you must start somewhere else. You must propose something else as the ultimate, eternal, uncreated reality that is the cause and source of everything else.
The important question is not which starting points are religious or secular, but which claims stand up to testing.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen fear keep someone from walking by faith. I’d be rich. Unless I had to pay someone else for all the times I let fear send me into hiding.
Along my journey to live a story worth telling, I have developed what I can only describe as a sensitivity to faith opportunities. Having confronted my own faithless demons, I seem to more easily recognize the symptoms of faithlessness in others. Here are a few popular and telling expressions:
- We can’t afford to do that.
- We don’t have time to do that.
- That sounds risky.
- What if it doesn’t work out?
- There’s only so much to go around.
But when you learn to walk by faith — to do what you believe to be true, often in spite of what you see, sense, or feel — your perspective changes. Now when I hear something may be risky, my ears perk up.
What if there were magical prayers you could pray – a few mystical words you could chant in order to make your story matter. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Well there isn’t. Not really. But Moses may have provided us with something better.
Psalm 90 reveals the the cry of Moses on behalf of God’s people. Now I’m not proposing that we take his prayers out of context or treat them as some secret incantation. For example, the prayer of Jabez is a worthy passage that has been stretched almost beyond recognition to justify asking God for whatever we may want. Let’s not do that with these simple prayers from Moses.
Character is the bridge that provides the point of trust that links leaders with followers.