When you think about it, there’s no story in the Bible without a little fear and excitement. God always calls us into the unknown. I have never seen one single story in the Bible where God enters someone’s life and says, “You know what? You’re doing great. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
No. He always calls his people to new levels of obedience, if not a new direction entirely. God enters Paul’s life and everything changes. God enters Jonah’s life, and everything changes. God enters David’s life, Moses’s life, Mary’s life. The list goes on and on. He’s a disruptive God. Even Job, who actually was doing great, had his life changed when God intervene. No one is safe.
I think Jacob got to do physically what we get to do daily, and that is wrestle with God.
In 2005, Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computers) gave a commencement speech at Stanford University. He shared with the students a profound practice that he did daily. Every day, Steve Jobs looked in the mirror and asked himself the question, “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you’re doing?” He then observed, “Whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I’d say, whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, you’re probably not hearing God’s voice. Or you’re not responding to His leading. Because He isn’t silent. He’s quite loud once you want to hear. I just don’t know if you want to hear Him. I think this is why Jesus often said, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Of course, everyone has ears, but only a few use them.
Have you ever heard the Holy Spirit referred to as the Comforter? That’s such a funny name to give the Holy Spirit. Talk about misleading! Sometimes I think that name is just an inside joke they giggle at in Heaven, because here’s the truth. In all my life, no one has asked me to do more uncomfortable things than the Holy Spirit!
He’s always got something new for me to do, and it’s rarely safe, easy, or convenient.
However, over the years, the Holy Spirit’s direction has become less scary and more exciting. Not because there’s no risk now. If anything, the stakes are higher. The difference is that I’ve seen His faithfulness. I’ve even seen His ridiculousness. I’ve seen His show up, and I’ve seen Him show off.
I feel like God is slowly but surely trying to make us comfortable in the uncomfortable. Our plans and God’s plans don’t always line up. But maturity comes when we trust His ways more than our wants.
When was the last time you felt God calling you to do something that scared you but also got you a little excited to see how your obedience could play out?
This generation will continue abandoning the Church if the Church continues to abandon the mission. But show me a church led by fearful, exciting obedience, and I’ll show you a church full of young people forming new heroes.