Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Sweet Spot of Faith

Sometimes it seems that you pour all your time, energy and heart into a project or task only to see little movement towards your goals. Other times, all you did was get out of bed and big things started happening. On those days, it seemed as if you were operating in the sweet spot between God’s desires and your efforts in faith.

I think it’s one of the great mysteries of following God: how to negotiate the balance between moving out in faith and waiting expectantly for God to move.

In my life, I’ve found that I have a tendency to hang out in one or the other of the two extremes. Either, I find myself charging ahead with the doing or holding back praying for God’s guidance. More often than not, it’s the former because I am wired to be a doer. If I sense something would be good for God’s kingdom, I’m quick to attempt to make it happen. But sometimes I am wrong.

At other times, when I’m unsure about God’s will, I find myself holding back, really wanting God to give clear guidance before moving ahead because I’m afraid or I genuinely want to do the right thing. This can result in becoming stuck and missing out on what God desires. Or this could be where God wants us in this particular decision.

Like I said, it can all be a bit of a mystery.

It would be better to inhabit the territory between impulsively moving forward and fearfully holding back. It’s that sweet spot where my actions are in faith and require God’s help in order to succeed, yet the place where I haven’t allowed myself to get out ahead of God. This is the opposite of what some call Christian atheism where one’s actions leave no room for actual faith…for God to act. Such a person believes but outwardly shows no evidence of trusting God.

Over the years, I’ve discovered the answer to this problem.

There really isn’t an answer.

We all learn by trial and error within the safe confines of Christian community and God’s love.

When faced with a decision, we need to first seek guidance from God in community with other followers of Christ. Then, when we hear from God, we need to move out in faith.

Sometimes, we will be right and find that sweet spot. And other times we will blow it and have to prayerfully learn from our mistakes. But in all cases, God will use our successes and failures to accomplish his will.

Where have you learned through trial and error to find the sweet spot of God’s will?

1 comment:

Andre De Rosa said...

I'm not going to say it's the answer or that there is some formula to understanding God, his will and our resulting actions that need to be: Acid Test Each Decision.
1. Prey.
2. Am I living right with God, right now (spending time in prayer and worship, confession to fellow believers, presenting self a holy sacrifice)?
3. Are there any motivations of the self involved or influencing (money, pride, etc.) from myself or others?
4. Where are the true fruits of the spirit displaying themselves (without these, is the spirit really involved?)?
5. Prey again and don't stop.

I find that when possible if you/I step back from an initiative and let time pass without influencing it and the gears continue in motion, it's a God thing.