I saw this message recently on instagram and while I usually swipe quickly past this kind of post, something about this one resonated with much that I’ve been thinking about at the start of this new year.
Our current series, Who are we becoming? is causing me to reflect on the last decade and who I want to become in the next one, but I’m realising that reflection isn’t enough and action is required to challenge the Status Quo – be it in one particular aspect of my life, or across a whole range of issues.
Alan Scott once said “There is no vision without collision!”
Vision – whether new or simply re-stated, is about articulating a better future, but moving towards that future requires taking some positive, and often challenging steps. And there will always be some kind of opposition.
For example, when I deliberately change my diet, my body initially opposes this new vision for better health. When I try to make more time to spend quietly with God, there are always distractions close by. Prioritising for deliberate rest often seems crazy in the midst of busyness. And sometimes, preparing to attending a group I’ve committed to finds me in the group of tiredness.
It takes real courage to stand up to opposition – be it physical, emotional or spiritual, and to move beyond it to a place of real change. It requires more than just reflection, but positive mental energy, supportive and encouraging friends, and the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own in this! God’s encouragement to Joshua was to “be strong and courageous” as he led the people into a massive risky unknown future:-
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
Standing on this same promise and following God’s prompting, what risks are you planning to take in 2020? An how risky are they really?
Are we talking about things we can just about stretch to, or things that are simply impossible without God’s intervention?
The truth is that if there’s not much challenge then there probably won’t be much progress either!
So whether God is inviting you to review your finances and increase your giving, or to commit to regularly attending a Life Group, or to risk offering to pray for someone who you wouldn’t normally ask, why not choose to trust him wholeheartedly, step out, take the risk and be brave.
It’s easy to see the reasons to be cautious, but whenever I have faced down opposition for something I know God has asked me to do, he has never ever failed me. I have always learned something & grown as a result.
I’ve set a number of goals for 2020 – personally and for the church, and honestly, they’ll never happen unless and I’m prepared to step out, take the risk, possibly look foolish, and trust that God is 100% in it.
I’m determined not to be motivated by fear, but by trust and obedience. I want the next 10 years to be characterised by my close proximity to Jesus as we encounter some crazy but brilliant adventures together. I can’t think of anything worse than settling down into my comfort zone and I’m so looking forward to seeing all that he wants to accomplish come into being.
Why don’t you join me on the edge, it’s gonna be a wonderful ride!