One thing I’ve learned on this journey to live a story worth telling is that living by faith is more of a process than an event. Even the most passionate Christ-follower is tempted to settle, to find a safe place where faith doesn’t seem quite so necessary for survival.
The good news is this: God will not let His children settle. For when we settle, we cease to trust. When we cease to trust, we fail to please God.
We Were Made for Adventure
God’s first instruction to us at Creation was to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. It was a command to keep moving forward alongside Him, to always be seeking the next adventure. He repeated the command to Noah and his family after The Great Flood.
And yet what do we see within a few generations but an effort to settle down instead of stepping up. In a place that came to be called Babel, they said: “Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)
Even though the rest of the world lay unexplored, they chose to settle. They pulled back in fear instead of stepping out with courageous faith. They chose to consolidate their own power so they wouldn’t need to trust in God. Or so they thought.
But God would have none of it. “So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.” (Genesis 11:8)
He scattered their languages to force them to step out from their comfort zone and follow His original instruction.
Why God Will not Let Us Settle
And so it is with each of us. God has called us to multiply. To expand our borders. To live an adventure worth telling for all eternity. To make disciples who make disciples. To get off our butts and do something worth talking about for all eternity.
We can choose to keep moving forward in pursuit of the mission He has assigned to us, or we can settle and force Him to move us. [See my post Why You Should Create a Crisis to Grow Your Faith.]
Here are a few key reasons why God will not let His children settle:
- God loves us too much. What kind of father would be OK with His children choosing an unfulfilled and destructive life? God wired us to trust. He knows we will only find fulfillment and joy when we are faithfully following Him. It is His love for us that moves Him to move us when we settle for safety and comfort instead of His redemptive adventure. Coasting kills. It also raises serious questions about the fate of our souls.Many Christians think that once God saves them by faith they should be able to coast. The problem with coasting is this: heaven is not downhill. That would be the other destination. As I said in my new book A Story Worth Telling, “Faith must write our entire story—or none at all.”
- God loves the rest of the world too much. When we live by faith, good things happen. When Jesus sent His disciples out to serve, they brought healing and hope. Lives were transformed — but only when the disciples acted in faith. When they failed to trust, they were just as helpless as anyone else in the face of problems. When we fail to believe God’s promises, the rest of the world suffers for it.
- God longs to show His glory. When we fail to walk by faith, we conceal the majesty of God. When Jesus’ disciples lived by faith, everyone saw God’s greatness. But when they settled for relying on their own strength, they concealed His glory. [Download this free chapter from my book to discover the rest of the story.]
- God loathes the lukewarm. The church at Laodicea had settled. They were coasting. The Apostle John passed along a disturbing message to them from Jesus: “Because you are lukewarm … I will spit you out of my mouth…. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:16,19) The Apostle Paul had another name for falling short of the glory of God — sin.
God has a redemptive story to tell through us. We’ll find our greatest fulfillment when we refuse to settle and align our story with His story through a life of ongoing, abundant faith.
Question: Have you sensed an urge to settle down instead of stepping up by faith? What nudges are your receiving from God, urging you to let faith write your story? Share your thoughts by clicking here.