Living A Life That Requires Faith
In your everyday life, do you need to live by faith? Is faith required to get through your day? Your week? Your moments?
I pose this question not because I have it all figured out, but because I don't. You see, I signed up for a conference recently. A women's conference featuring Lysa Terkheurst and Jennie Allen. A conference focusing on the fact that your story matters. A conference to get away and recharge from the day in and day out of life.
In the middle of all this renewing and recharging, Lysa spoke one sentence that has stayed with me ever since. As she was launching into a story about homeschooling all 5 of her children (2 of which were adopted form Africa), she went into her closet and prayed. God's response was, "Lysa, it's time for you to start living a life that requires faith."
For some reason, that statement hit me right between the eyes. Do I live a life that requires faith? Or do I just add faith onto a life that I'm capable of handling on my own?
I mean, I have my jobs or in your case it may be only one. I have friends and family who help me financially from time to time. I have my needs met and I can run to the grocery story any time I have a craving. So am I really living a life that requires faith?
At first, I was pretty proud of myself. You know, I did the whole quit my job without knowing what was next thing. I need to rely on God for income. And clients. And fresh ideas. And favor.
In the midst of all this, money has been tight. I got a second job in addition to running two companies. I am piecing my income together. And then it hit me. There's an "I" in that sentence. And all my confidence that I could answer yes to that question wilted like a flower on a hot day.
While I was processing my faith and requiring it, my church family was in the middle of a decision. Should we vote on a new and very pricey building campaign? We knew we needed the room but were we willing to risk the price tag.
To be honest, my first reaction was no, no, no, no, no. I mean, did our church family really need to go into debt? Did we really need the price tag which came with a new building? Could we do something that was more reasonable?
And then I realized, God is not reasonable. Don't get me wrong... God is loving. And powerful. And faithful. And mighty. But reasonable. I'm not so sure about.
The Bible is full of stories of His people and God's unreasonable requests. Abraham was asked to follow without knowing the final destination. Noah was asked to build an ark without a drop of rain in the air. Jonah was asked to preach salvation to an unrepentant nation. Gideon was asked to reduce his army size to nothing to defeat a very large enemy.
What's really our issue? What keeps us from living a life that requires faith?
Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of stepping out and not being taken care of. Control. Wanting to know what's going to happen up ahead and the confidence that comes with knowing we can handle it. Safety and Peace. A desire to make safe and logical decisions that include little risk. We hold tightly to our own status quo.
But our faith does not grow inside of our comfort zone. But our faith is not needed when we don't trust God for big things. Can't we just handle things in our own strength?
I don't know about you, but I think my biggest problem might be that I consistently assume that God is reasonable. I assume that there is little risk in obedience. I assume that while God is asking, I could probably handle most of this on my own.
Living a life that requires faith is not for the weak at heart. It takes courage to live a life that requires faith. It takes boldness to know that what you and I are about to embark on is not reasonable. It takes an unwavering faith to know that God needs to show up or it won't happen.
Can you and I live a life that doesn't require faith? Can you and I live a life that just adds faith on to whatever else we can already do? Like working our job? Like engaging in relationships? Like reaching out to our neighbors?
The answer is yes to all these questions. But somewhere, God is asking us to dream big and follow hard. Somewhere in the midst of all this, He is asking us to take one foot and place it on the water. Somewhere, God cares very little on whether his ask is reasonable. He cares more about whether we believe He is big enough to show up in the midst of the unreasonable.
God wants to be at the center of your life and mine. He wants to know that you will follow even in the unreasonable. Like building an ark when there has been no rain. Or providing for a dream or project that only He could dream up.
Don't get me wrong. On a day to day basis, God is faithful and doesn't always ask the unreasonable of us. I mean He shows up every day and looks out for me even when I'm not looking out for Him.
As I search my heart, I realize, however, that I don't want a faith that is reasonable. I crave a life of radical faith. I crave a life that requires God to show up. I crave a life and heart that sees the glory of God because I trusted Him enough to not have it all figured out before I move forward.
In the middle of our struggles, God is bigger than our fears. He is bigger than our trials. He is bigger than the risk He is asking us to take to walk in obedience to Him. And for me, at least, I believe He continues to call me to life a life that requires faith. To live a life that must trust Him with each step. To live a life that experiences more of Him and less of me.
What about you? What does it mean for you to live a life that requires faith? I'd love to hear your thoughts and pray for your challenges ahead.