James 1:6, 8
But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind . . . Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Today’s Readings reminded me of an email I recently received. It was a simple devotional email released by Rick Warren and it started with the verse from James above. In today’s first reading from Exodus 14:5-18 Our Lord God asked Moses to lift up his staff and with hand outstretched over the sea, split it in two.
Seriously Lord, the Egyptians are right there. I can see them. Can we stop jackin’ around here and do some smiting or something. 😉
That’s probably what I would have been thinking. And Moses may have had his reservations as well. We all do when we’re asked to do those things that God knows will make us great – Things we haven’t done before – Things outside our comfort zone. But, Moses’ faith was in God alone.
After God gives you a dream, the next step for building your faith is decision; God challenges you to do something about your dream.
Nothing is going to happen to that dream until you wake up and put it into action. You’ve got to make the decision: “I’m going to go for it!” For every ten dreamers in the world, there is only one decision maker. A lot of people have dreams but they never get to step two: making the decision to trust God and follow their dream.
James says, “But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7 TEV).
Faith is a verb. It’s active and not passive. It’s something you do. Decision making is a faith-building activity. You use your muscles of faith.
Faithful decision making requires two things:
1. You must decide to invest your time, money, reputation, and energy. You lay it on the line; you take the plunge. You say, “God, You’ve told me to do this and I’m going to be faithful to do it!”
2. You have to let go of security. You cannot move in faith and hold onto the past at the same time. You have to move forward. God told Abraham that He was going to make him the father of a great nation, and that meant Abraham had to leave his home for an unknown destination. Moses had to let go of his position in Pharaoh’s kingdom in order to do God’s will. Nehemiah gave up a secure job in order to go build a wall around Jerusalem. In other words, if you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat.
A great illustration of God’s plan is a trapeze artist. They swing out holding onto a trapeze bar, and then they let go in order to grab hold of another trapeze bar that swings them to the other side. But, at one point, they’re not holding on to any bar. They’re suspended in air for a split second.
Have you ever been there in a career, where you’re leaving one job for another and nothing’s in between? You’re 180 feet above the ground with no net below and holding onto nothing.
But if you don’t let go and grab onto the vision God wants you to have, you swing back. Only you don’t swing all the way back; instead, you swing back lower and lower until you’re finally stopped, hanging there in the air. And there’s only one way out: down!
That’s why God brings you to a point of decision, so your faith will build as you swing toward the dream God has given you.
– How to make better decisions
– Prayer and Influence
– Ranch Ethics Thursday