Am I Playing It Safe?

In the context of the ‘Are We In?’ thoughts recently, perhaps the reason we hesitate to give an answer to this question is that we love our comfort too much, we love our safe place. We have got used to how things are and even though it isn’t always a great place, it’s our place, we know it and it has become the norm.

The Christian faith is a paradox. Think about it. God is our refuge, He is our safe place, in Him we find refuge and rescue and peace. Yet that journey often involves trusting Him in ways we can find uncomfortable. It feels a little risky and we are unsure of the outcome as we have to relinquish control.

I have lived too many days with the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging on the door, treating my life a bit like I treat a hotel. Enjoying ‘my time’ while the rest of the world passes me by. Meanwhile God is calling me to engage, to be ‘in’ with all that He is doing. To do that means ripping up the sign, getting up,  moving and doing something.

I have to not allow my desire for safe to override my desire to serve God. I am convinced that one will stop me from living out the other. I cannot play it safe and be someone who says they trust God. I cannot play it safe yet want to believe in faith for a move of God. After all, faith is about believing for those things that I cannot see yet. It’s about stepping out into the unknown because I know that is what God is asking me to do. In doing what seems uncomfortable though I will find the safety I crave in the fullness of God. That’s the paradox at work.

I think I have got too comfy recently. That’s why I am stuck in this thought of being ‘in’. It’s why everything I am reading is challenging me to go for broke for God. To fall into His arms and trust that He will catch me. To take that one step and then allow God to light up the rest of the path. To let go of my dreams and give God the chance to put His dreams in my hands.

How have I played it safe? Just existing. Just doing life. Nothing bad or horrendous. No ‘off the scale’ sin going on. Just meandering through life waiting for God to zap me when I think God is waiting for me to wake up to the fact He already has.

I don’t have the answers yet. I am praying and asking God. What do you want me to do? Where can I put my faith to the test? What does my statement of faith, of intent, need to be? I need a bit more adventure in my life and not just one that I could make up but living the one that God has for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I ‘m not about to quit but even in that you can kind of getting to a rhythm and lose the edge that staying in faith and believing for something impossible can bring.

What about you? Where have you got stuck and need to make a step of faith again?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself…

The Apostle Paul was never afraid to tell it like it is. I like that. It demanded a response from those who were reading it then and from us today too.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says…
‘Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it’.

There is a danger that when we look at ourselves we do so through a filtered lense. Our own opinion of how we are doing is often based on our intentions, not our actions. This can create an unwillingness to be brutally honest, which is often what God is really looking for.

Our own questions are more likely to be simplistic in nature. Not provoking enough. We don’t want to unsettle ourselves too much. Easier questions like…

1. Am I doing okay?
2. Is my walk with God going alright?
3. Have I been to church lately?
4. How’s my giving?
5. Does everything feel okay?

Can I suggest some slightly more thought-provoking questions, ones that demand a more thought out and honest answer, ones we might not enjoy as much. So TEST YOURSELF…

1. When was the last time I heard from God?

2. When was the last time I stood in faith for something?

3. When was the last time I put my reputation on the line for my faith?

4. When was the last time I sacrificed my agenda for Gods?

5. How is my serving quotient? Is it based on what I consider convenient or based on a willingness to be inconvenienced by others?

6. Am I tithing?

7. Where am I struggling at the moment with sin?

8. If married, is my relationship with my spouse healthy? Have we prayed together? Have we spent time together? Are we talking?

9. Am I willing to deal with any unresolved issues that I am aware of?

10. Are my words encouraging, full of life and blessing or are they opinionated, negative and unnecessary?

I realise there are probably lots more questions that could be asked but I think that these are good place to start. I know for me that ‘regular check ups’ keep me from drifting. What about you? I guess for all of us – the really tough question is how honest are willing to be?

Are You Questioning Your Faith?

This is a dangerous question to ask but one that we should not be afraid of asking. Recently heard of a few people who are experiencing the whole ‘question my faith’ issue. Feel the need to say – that’s okay.

Questions are good.
Questions are how we learn.
Questions don’t mean you don’t love God, they just mean you want to know more (I hope).

Faith is a subjective thing. Isn’t it? Everyone experiences it in different ways. The fundamentals may be the same but the outworking of it can look different. Yes?

Anyway…just wondered what are the questions that people have in respect to their Christian faith?
Are they questions of doubt?
Are they questions of clarity?
Or are they not really questions at all and the phrase is just being used as a ‘get out’ clause.

We should not be afraid to ask questions. As Pastors & Christian leaders we should not be afraid to enter in to dialogue about our faith. Surely that’s a good thing. Something to be encouraged. To just sit and say ‘because’ or keep stating that ‘Jesus is the only way to God’ is not usually enough. It could be deemed arrogant. It could be deemed ignorant. Either way, it’s probably not good. Possibly paints a rather dim view of Christians too.

Is your faith being tested? Are you having doubts? Do you need some clarity?
What are the questions that need answering that can help you move forward in your journey with God?

I’m not saying that I have all the answers. Maybe we can learn something together…

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