"Faith requires that we take risks, so faith requires courage in the face of fear.
The greater the risk we take, the greater our fear will be,
but when we master our fear, great faith is gained."
Neil Cole - Organic Leadership (Emphasis added)
When is the last time you took a risk?
When is the last time you stepped out in faith?
One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible is, "the just shall live by faith" (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). When a phrase is repeated then it means it is important, when it is repeated four times, word for word, then I think we should pay attention.
Clearly God wants us to "live by faith" but what does that mean. Often when we think of faith we associate it with big spectacular miracles like healing someone from cancer, or giving sight to the blind. Faith is important in these things but before we will ever be able to use faith in these large, supernatural events we need to learn to walk, to live, by faith in our daily lives.
As the quote above implies, fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is faith's arch-nemesis, it's number one enemy. If we are giving into fear than it is impossible for us to operate in faith, but the opposite is also true. Once we learn to give in to faith, fear will no longer direct us. This doesn't mean that we won't feel fear but it won't control us. As Neil Cole says, "faith requires courage in the face of fear".
So going back to the first question - When was the last time you took a risk?
It is so easy to get stuck in our comfort zones. It is so easy to stay in the job that we have been doing for years, to live in the same place, to go to the same grocery store, drive the same car, and keep the same routine. Stepping out of that is hard; it can be scary, but remember that faith is on the other side of fear, the other side of risk.
Has God been leading you to do something that you have put off due to fear?
For the past few years my wife and I had been led to move across the country. Off and on we would make the statement, "if God provides a job then we will move", but the job never came. Finally after prayer we decided that we just needed to make the decision to move. This was a scary decision that put us out of our comfort zone, away from our family and friends, and potentially without a job. God has definitely been faithful in the transition and continues to provide us with surprise after surprise as we work on this transition.
Has God been leading you to make a step of faith? It is likely not as dramatic as moving across the country but there is probably something. Maybe he has been leading you to make a job or career change. Maybe He has been leading you to volunteer in a new area at your church, or start a ministry of some sort. Or maybe he has been leading you to believe for a much needed family vacation to invest time in your spouse and your children.
Whatever it is I believe there is something. There is something that God has been leading you to do because God does not want you to be stagnant in your faith. God wants you to continue to grow, to continue to move forward, to continue to affect the world around you.
It's time to take that step of faith!