We all often want to know if what they are considering is the right thing. We want a fail safe plan. I know I do. I want to be sure beyond a shadow of doubt that what I am doing next will have a positive result. Really – who wants to take a risk that could end poorly?
Basically we all want a pain free life if we are honest.
But is that God’s way?
I’ve been hanging out in Isaiah a lot lately. This bit of Is. 48:10-11 has me thinking, “I have purified you by giving you troubles. I do this for myself, for my own sake.” What? God gives us troubles?
Later in Is. 66:9 it says, ‘In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the Lord. ‘If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation.’ says your God.”
There are a couple key parts of that last verse.
1) Pain comes in birthing.
2) He will not stop us from giving birth.
We often think life is supposed to be pain free if we are really walking with God, but clearly God doesn’t really see it that way. He always offers a plan, He suffers with us in our pain, and He always offers birth- new life if we don’t give up! He will not stop us from giving birth but I wonder if we stop ourselves some times.
What if the pain we are experiencing is His offer of new life?
If we choose to see things our way we risk the forward movement He has planned for us.
Is. 50:10-11 says, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys His servant? That person my walk in the dark and have no light. Let him trust in the Lord and depend on his God. But instead, some of you want to light your own fires and make your own light. So, go, walk in the light of your fires, and trust your own light to guide you.”
As we pursue doing the right thing I see a necessity to find balance.
Not everything done in the name of Faith is good.
Faith can mask itself as Foolishness or Fear.
However, if we can truly come to a place of moving forward in true faith we just can’t lose. Let me explain. If you have a piece of paper nearby make an upside down V on it. In the middle write FAITH. Then on either side of the V write FEAR and FOOLISHNESS. Healthy is on the inside of the V which represents a pendulum. Ask yourself these three powerful questions and then you can move forward in confidence.
- Is what I am considering something God wants me to move through in faith?
- Am I pushing something through, claiming it as faith when it is really just foolish?
- Could I be pulling back out of fear of what might happened if I moved forward in faith?
When we can define the lines between faith and foolishness and faith and fear we can move forward in confidence!
Fear can mask itself as wisdom – it sounds like this – “Well that just wouldn’t be right… it could cost a lot and we are not even sure it will produce results.” “It’s pretty risky.., better to play it safe than sorry.”
Foolishness can mask itself as freedom – it sounds like this – “They just don’t get it, anything that’s worth something takes risk.” “Better to do something than to do nothing at all.”
So which is more your temptation? Would you be more likely to hold back on something because there is risk or would you be more likely to jump in too soon and regret not getting more input?
Whatever your tendency and whatever choices you make you can know that God wants to use it all for good.
- Ask powerful questions before, during and after your choices.
- Invite input and feedback from others and from God and move forward in confidence.
- Remember, if something doesn’t work out as you envisioned if nothing else it was good research. Success does not necessarily mean getting the results you had hoped for, but success always equals an active relationship with God!