Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Wait-y Faith

The struggle between stepping out in faith and waiting on God is one of the most perplexing tensions of the believer's life.

Mordecai revealed this struggle in his message to Esther, "If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place" (Esther 4:14).

In other words, "Don't do anything hastily, Esther. Wait and give God a chance to work through someone else in some other way." Sometimes I wonder if this is the unspoken motto of most believers and churches.

Within the same breath, Mordecai switched to the need all believers have to be ready to be used of God regardless of the cost: "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

Sure, if we give it enough time, God will work through someone else in some other way to accomplish His purpose...or will He? What if we are His primary plan? What if all things were directed by Him to have us in this exact position at this crucial point in time? What if our hesitancy opens the door for Satan to deceive the very person God wanted us to engage?

Risk is inherent in faith. But is it any less inherent in remaining "completely silent" -- in doing nothing? No. The risk of faith is a personal risk. You may take a step of faith and fall flat on your face. The risk of doing nothing is not's kingdom-al. It is a risk that involves kingdom implications and may even impede the growth of the kingdom.

God is a big enough God that He can work around us in those instances. Obviously, if He can work THROUGH us, and IN SPITE OF us, He can work AROUND us and WITHOUT us. But oh, what we lose when we miss being involved in His work!

While that may be less embarrassing than a slippery step of faith, it is still a loss to us. So, what's the answer? Three things: prayer, confirmation, and peace.

When you don't know whether to act or wait, do both in prayer. Get active in praying over the matter and wait for God to answer. Then look for God's answer in confirmation and peace.

Confirmation often comes through other believers who agree with you about the situation. But confirmation comes in many ways, so keep your eyes, ears, and heart open.

The ultimate clue is peace. Peace is not the absence of apprehension. If we never did anything that involved a little apprehension, we would never do anything. Peace is that assurance of the soul that covers you like a liquid blanket of warmth.

Esther risked her life and the life of her family in a bold act of faith. God used her act of faith to save a nation. God may want to use your faith to save a Nathan or a Natalie. You may be exactly where you are "for such a time as this."

Linger Not Too Long...
Perry Crisp

No comments: