Take the Leap.
A trapeze artist soars through the sky. It’s risky, but must be super fun. Stepping off the platform; letting go of the bar; flipping into your partner’s grasp: releasing control. A giant safety net below makes it all possible. God’s sovereignty is your safety net. You can step out in faith, risking boldly in obedience because He is in total control. So go ahead, take the risk, because He holds you, and the outcome.
Nehemiah knew God had total control and it compelled him to bold, steadfast, obedience (SermonNeh4). Where do you need to step out in faith? Ask for Him to “hear” you in it. He’s listening, present with you. “Pray” to Him specifically about your situation. He will move, and may answer your request through your own obedience. “Remember” who He is. Our God is absolutely powerful and totally good. Leap in obedience, and He will “fight for you.”
Picture God’s sovereignty on the vertical Y Axis, and your understanding of our responsibility on the X Axis (cf. pic above). Like Nehemiah, knowing that both are true will release you to joyful, active obedience (Quadrant I). Keep at it! Now, slide down the X Axis to a low understanding of your responsibility, and a high understanding of God’s sovereignty, Quadrant II. You’re most likely inactive and critical. You know about God, but don’t enjoy risking with Him in obedience. You’re quick to criticize others for their lack of orthodoxy. You need to do something beyond your ability. Risk in faith. This will humble you, and deepen your affection for a God you know a lot about, but might not intimately know. Slide down to Quadrant III, where you have a low view of God’s sovereignty and your responsibility. Chances are, you don’t know Christ. You don’t know how responsible you are for your sin, and how the sovereign God planned from eternity to send His Son to take your place on the cross. Receive Christ. Pray now and trust in the provision of your King. Receive salvation in His Son who has risen to compel you to respond with a life of joyful obedience to Him. Slide up the X Axis to Quadrant IV: high responsibility and low sovereignty. You are most likely active but anxious. You’re doing a lot for God and might be running over or past people in the process. Sit with God in prayer and listen to His word. You need to be, not just do. You’re anxious because you don’t know God and how sovereign He is over your life. He holds you and your future.
Here are some places to risk in obedience.
Personally: Confess private sin to someone you trust in the church.
In the church: Decide to serve and give! Use this short guide to help you discern and act: Investment Guide
In the city: Serving with your Community Group (or on your own) Refugee Resettlement: Peace City Church; Homelessness: Bethesda Cares; Orphan Care: DC127 (info meeting Oct 21st 11:15 service).