Praying – “God, we’ll go wherever you want us to go. We’ll do whatever you want us to do” can surely set one’s life on a course for adventure. But, that’s exactly what my wife and I did some years ago. As with others who have prayed a prayer like this; setting their hearts on doing what matters to God, He, without fail, will take us up on our ‘offer’. After all, a life lived through hope and lasting success flows down God’s ‘river’ named Faith. Want to make God all ‘giggly on the inside?’… yep, it’s all about faith.
‘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 (NLT)
So, what’s is faith in God exactly? It’s the firm belief in the existence of a Creator who designed, built and sustains all of life in its vastness, yet is so intimate that He desires a passionate relationship with the most prized of all His creation – you and I. That relationship is based on Faith. It’s what creates a firm foundation to build our life upon.
‘The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.’ – Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG)
If Faith is the ‘river’ that a successful life with God flows down, how do we ‘jump in and go’ without getting smashed against the ‘rocks’ and/or ‘drowning’? Look for the ‘boat’ that God has already provided for our safe and prosperous journey. It’s there. In fact, it’s always been there. We were born with it. For many of us, we’ve dragged it like a heavy weight throughout our lives, knowing it was there, but not quite sure why or what to do with it. So, what is our ‘boat’? It’s made up with the mix of the talents and abilities God ‘wired’ us with. Our boats are unique to us and they are a gift. They are not earned, bought or acquired. God gave them to us because He knew we’d need a ‘boat’ to give us a defined, safe and successful journey down the ‘river’.
So, if we all have a ‘boat’, designed creatively and uniquely for us, then why is it that so many people, especially those who say they believe in God and have ‘faith’ in Him, feel like that are either being smashed against the ‘rocks’, ‘drowning’ or feel like they’ve been left standing on the shore, watching others go by in their boat?
- For those who are in the ‘smashed against the rocks and drowning’ category – you probably ‘jumped in’ not certain of who you are in God’s eyes. God designed you to be engaged in this faith journey, being ‘swept’ along within the margins of knowing how and why He created you. He made you to be good at specific things for a reason. Those ‘specific things’ are what make up your ‘boat’. God didn’t intend for you and I to ‘drown’ in our faith journey with Him, but rather be carried by it.
‘God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.’ – Ephesians 2:10 (NCV)
- For those who are in the ‘still standing on the shore, watching others go by in their boat’ category – you’ve probably had your ‘boat’ in tow (you know what you’re good at – the abilities and talents God has given you), but you are afraid to use them/get into your ‘boat’ and push yourself into the water. Or in other words, you are afraid to do what it is God has gifted you to do and/or you haven’t made yourself available to allow God to use how He’s created you for His purposes… those things He considers important and valuable. God is not looking for people with the ‘right’ talents and abilities because He’s already made each of us with all we need to do what He created us to do. He’s looking for people who are ‘available’ to be used and mean it. He’s looking for people who are willing to intentionally create a life-style of availability to be deployed wherever and however God desires to utilize what He’s given us. This doesn’t mean we are all called to move to a foreign country to be a missionary or to quit our jobs to travel and evangelize. But it does mean that for starters, we are intentionally available to allow God to use us right where we are… in our families, in our jobs, in our hobbies, in our communities.
And then I heard the voice of the Master: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I spoke up, “I’ll go. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8 (MSG)
God values our availability over our ability. Because it’s the one variable that is our choice… our decision. Notice in the above Isaiah verse that God asks, ‘Who will go for us?’ It’s not forced or manipulated ‘go’. Then the bible records Isaiah responding with intention and on his own accord – ‘I spoke up, I’ll go. Send me!’ or in the words, “God, I’ll go wherever you want me to go. I’ll do whatever you want me to do”. That gets God’s heart all ‘giggly on the inside.’ He is pleased when we choose to seek out and discover how He’s uniquely design us/our ‘boat’ and are willing and available to get in it and push ourselves out from the shore into the River called Faith.
‘I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one.’ – Ezekiel 22:30 (MSG)