“ And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6.
Most people who are followers of Jesus will exercise two levels of faith at one time or another. One level is to be inactive and wait patiently for the Lord to move. This level of faith involves believing that God will bring about a solution apart from any effort on our end. It is predicated on being still and waiting for God to act. The second level of faith is being proactive and assertive. We take the initiative to find the answer to a need. And by moving forward, we force ourselves to a dependence on the Lord that wouldn’t be possible if we merely sat still.
In verse 6, the writer of Hebrews says it is impossible to please God without faith. Now most people do not start with great faith. Most people start their Christian journey still in the batter’s box in their Home Run Life. Faith is a work in process. It is fine to start with the little things. The goal is to move around the bases and grow our faith.
Every Christian’s life is marked by windows of opportunity that demand that you take a radical step of faith in order to follow Christ and fulfill His purposes for your life. And what makes that step radical is that it always involves significant risk. But listen carefully, where there is no risk, there is no faith. We find so many impressive stories in the Bible of individuals who took great risks. Moses returns to his home to deliver God’s people. Can you imagine the risk that he felt? The last time he was in Egypt he had killed someone. David fights a giant that others refuse to face. There were hundreds of other people in the army that looked at that giant about 9 foot tall and they said, “Hmm, yes he’s sure insulting God’s name and character and I wish someone would do something about it.” But not a single person stepped up to the plate and took the risk of his life. Esther confronts evil in the highest position of authority. The last queen had a bad day and she was gone. Still Esther risks her life to save her people.
So when does God want us to operate at level one faith and when at level two? If we are facing a seemingly insurmountable problem–a situation that we believe we are powerless to influence–we should be still and wait on the Lord. But there will also be times when action is required, where we may be asked to take bold steps, and yes, to take some risks. Faith is simply doing what God tells you to do whether you feel like it or not, and in fact, especially when you don’t feel like it, regardless of the circumstances because He said it and His Word is true.
- Why do you think God asks us to take risks? What do we learn about ourselves, and how do we grow by taking risks?
- What are the obstacles to stepping out of our zones of comfort and taking risks?
- As you’ve taken risks of faith, did God’s path seem impractical, at first? In what ways?
- What are some of the promises of God that you can trust as you take risks?