I recently had the chance to spend a little time with modern-day giant in the faith, Pastor Tommy Barnett. Considering Pastor Barnett’s rich legacy and the fact he’s 80 years young, I knew his wisdom vault was huge, and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to drink from a well this deep. So I asked him one question,
“Pastor Barnett, if there was only one thing that a pastor my age needs to know, what would it be?”
Without a hint of hesitation, he replied, “Take more risks! Looking back over my life, I wish I would have taken more and bigger risks.”
Of course, what Pastor Tommy is talking about is having the courage to reject fear, believe God for more, and take BIGGER steps of faith. It’s been said that sometimes faith is spelled r-i-s-k. I believe it’s true. There are crucial moments in life . . . destiny moments . . . that will require you to make some decisions by faith.
The truth is that pursuing your God-given purpose will sometimes demand that you take some pretty scary steps of faith. It will feel risky, and you’ll encounter the greatest obstacle to walking by faith — fear. In those destiny moments fear will offer you plenty of reasonable sounding excuses:
- The timing just isn’t right.
- You can always do that later on.
- Wait until all your unanswered questions are answered.
What fear is really convincing you to do, however, is wait for a scenario that eliminates any chance of risk. I’ve discovered that fear produces the wrong kind of creativity in our lives . . . the kind that enables us to make very convincing and seemingly logical excuses for why we’re not taking bigger steps of faith…why we’re not trusting God enough to pursue what He put in our hearts.
It points out what you DON’T HAVE to keep you from pursuing what God said you CAN have. It might sound like this…
- I’m still praying about it (which is often just a form of spiritually stalling).
- The economy’s not right.
- I don’t have enough money right now.
- What if something goes wrong?
- What if . . .
But the truth is, if you wait for everything to be perfect, or for a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, or that the journey will be easy, you’ll die waiting.
The Bible says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT).
Yes, some may call you irresponsible, while others will label you naïve. But when you know that Jesus is inviting you, like Peter, to step out of the boat of comfort and security to meet Him on the water, there’s something in your soul that just won’t let it go – you have to act.
I’m not advocating for foolishness. I mean, don’t do something crazy just because you’re bored or in a long season of waiting, and you just want this season to end by forcing something to happen. That’s a great way to step out of God’s timing (the pace of grace) and will only result in unnecessary pain and lost time. After all, I’ve discovered that sometimes it takes more faith to “wait” on the promises of God than it does to “act” on them!
But don’t get to the end of your life and look back with regret wondering what would have happened if you had trusted God just a little bit more. When the Lord has stirred your sense of destiny, take a risk, by faith, and watch God move on your behalf.