Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wet Feet

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:6

“Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: “When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.” Joshua 3:8

That is how Mark Batterson opened a session last week.  When I opened my Bible to follow along I saw notes that I wrote in the margin long ago about “taking the first step” and was encouraged by the reminder he gave us that day.

In Joshua 3, the Lord gives Joshua the above message for the priests.  Even though the river was at flood stage, they were instructed to go and stand in the water.  I wonder if they had any idea what “amazing things” would happen next?  As soon as their feet touched the water’s edge the water from upstream stopped flowing and was piled up in a great heap and the water flowing down was completely cut off.  The people crossed over and the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan.  In chapter four, after the priests came out of the river, the waters returned to their place and ran at flood stage once again.

God knew He was about to do something amazing, but the priests had to obey Him before they would see the miracle. 

He still wants to do that kind of work in our lives and through us.

Mark talked about a recent trip he took with his son where they went paragliding.  He thought it sounded like a great idea until he got to the top of where he would be required to run off the cliff as fast as he could so he could catch the updraft.  In a split second his thoughts turned to “This is crazy!”  But he ran as fast as he could off of the cliff, caught the updraft and looked down.  What he thought was crazy became awesome.

“If you aren’t willing to have a “this is crazy moment”, you will never get to “this is awesome.”

Years ago I sent an email to a friend that said something like, “I feel like I just jumped off of a cliff and I am free falling…”  I did not know what I was doing then and will probably always be able to admit to not always knowing what to do now.  It feels like I jump off of a cliff again every time I say yes to the Lord about something else.  And the rest of the time I am just free falling.  It is scary at times (ok…most of the time), but it is an incredibly exciting life to live.  Following Jesus is never boring.

We spend so much time asking God to move.  What if He is asking us to do the same?  What if He is telling us to just take the first step?  What if He is telling us to step into the river and get our feet wet before He parts it? 

I have heard it so many times.  “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.”

It may sound crazy (what God idea doesn’t?), but stop waiting to do what you know He is calling you to do just because you don’t know how to do it.  Don’t wait until you have the resources.  Don’t base your vision on your budget.  Don’t wait until you have enough volunteers.

If we wait until we have it all figured out we will never do anything.

All He wants is for us to say yes and to keep saying yes.

Sadly, a lot of us do not have that kind of faith.  We are too dependent on what we can do and hung up on what we cannot.  We pray hoping that our prayers will be heard and answered, but preparing ourselves for a let down just in case God doesn’t come through the way we want Him to.  I’m like that sometimes.  As recently as two months ago I was praying for a way to get to Uganda while trying to figure out how to make it happen myself just in case God didn’t provide the way.  By now I should know that because this trip was His idea, He would make sure I would be on it and He used so many people to make sure it would happen.  And when that last donation came in that put me at 100% I cried tears of joy and tears of shame because how could I doubt Him again?

In the last couple of weeks several people have talked to me about things that they believe the Lord is calling them to do.  Some of these people I have known for a long time and others I have only met in the last month or so.  Some of their passions are for local outreach and others for international missions.  A few have asked for advice on getting started in the area of ministry they feel they need to be in and even though I do not have experience in all of these areas I do have advice for getting started.

It is very simple.

Stop thinking about doing something.  Keep praying, but stop praying for things to line up according to your plan before you become willing to move.

Step into the river.  Get your feet wet.  And just watch what God does.  If you expect Him to move, be willing to move yourself.  If we consecrate ourselves to Him, amazing things will happen.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I always love this message. Well put. I am encouraged.