I’m taking a little August Sabbath, so here’s a short repost I edited from last year that I’m still thinking about…
I had a great phone conversation last night with a high capacity leader on the other side of the country. She is confident, bold, and faithful in using the gifts God has given her. She inspired me, and challenged me. I walked away from our conversation encouraged…with renewed passion.
I LOVE to read how God is at work in the lives of others! I love to ask people where they’re noticing the work of God. Love to hear stories of big faith and audacious prayers.
Conversations like I had last night are an important part of living into community. But if that’s all I’ve got, that’s not enough. We can’t just live off of someone else’s story.
We each need a first-hand experience of God. I love the way Mark Batterson says this. “God’s dream for you is bigger than a second-hand faith.”
Yep, God appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:5), but he also showed up and spoke to Joshua (Joshua 5:14,15). And Hagar! He showed up for Hagar! An outcast in the desert! Similar situation, different God-story. He walked with Abraham, wrestled with Jacob, whispered to Elijah, argued with Job, and struck Paul blind to get his attention.
As I think about what marked these people with first-hand faith, I think of two important qualities that characterized their lives.
- Relational. They talked and listened to God. Ever noticed how many times in the Old Testament it says someone “inquired of the Lord”? Maybe your first-hand faith step is to read a small portion of Scripture and then to be still and then say “Come Holy Spirit…speak, prompt, enlighten me this day in response to what I’ve read.”
- Responsive. Because they got to know God and His character, they had the faith to respond to His direction. They could take big steps of faith because they knew a big God.
Isn’t it incredibly exciting that the story God has scripted for you and me isn’t inferior to Joshua’s or Hannah’s or Ruth’s or anyone’s?!
Whose faith inspires you? What’s one small or courageous step you can take today to experience a first-hand faith?