You cannot please God without faith. And real faith – absolute confidence that God will do what He says – comes at a price; the greater the faith, the heavier the price.
Here’s another way to look at it:
The parachute doesn’t open until you jump. Pull the cord if you like or unpack it and fiddle around with it, but it will not fully deploy until you’re outside the airplane, in the air. It requires the force generated by actually falling to push open the canopy. In other words, it takes a literal fall (the death plunge) to transform the chute into a life-saving plane of resistance. Through faith that death plunge becomes a controlled fall, slow and easy, to be enjoyed (if you like that sort of thing). Bottom line: You have to believe before you jump, but you have to jump to get the result of what you believed.
“Okay, I get it, I have to jump first, but how do I get the BELIEF so that I CAN jump”? It’s a great question. Trusting your life to a piece of nylon three thousand feet in the air requires some front end work. Gaining enough confidence that your parachute will open and prevent you from dying, begins with a commitment of your time – the critical hours spent with an experienced instructor, learning the truth about what works, how it works, and for whom it works.
Without taking the time to listen, observe, and carefully absorb the truth, you’d never go to the airport, hop a twin-engine, throw on a random parachute, and just see what happens. Likewise, real faith requires that we spend time with the instructor; learning what works, how it works, and for whom it works. And just as God is our creator, His Word is the actual blueprint of truth – the only set of instructions we can absolutely trust with our lives, and the only thing we as believers should rest our livelihoods upon.
Perhaps this is the moment where many believers will say:
“Sure, I wouldn’t disagree, but with my schedule I simply do not have the time to sit down and study the Scriptures. Praying is a much easier way for me to spend time with God.”
Or: “I agree wholeheartedly, but with only minutes to spare each day, the Word itself is more difficult to digest than a good a devotional – something I much prefer”.
Indeed, prayer is essential and devotions are helpful, but if our hunger for God remains at the level where His word is substituted by convenience, it is unlikely that we’ll ever jump into all that He’s fashioned us to accomplish after we are saved.
In order to grow in faith we must first hear the Word and be tested by it – subjecting ourselves to the truth, and choosing whether or not to literally live by it. We hear it, believe what we heard, step an inch, hear it again, believe, then step a foot, and so on. Gaining the courage to jump with absolute abandon is just a matter of time.
While the demonstration of God’s power will certainly increase our faith, God has not called us to wait for a miracle to act of His word. The unwavering belief that He desires builds steadily upon itself, and every new step begins by hearing the truth. The front end work is our commitment to spending time hearing and absorbing that truth directly from the instructor.
So if you want to jump but don’t know how then take the first step. If you are only capable of stepping an inch, then step that inch toward the place that will eventually teach you how to leap. Be encouraged that God will finish what He started in you, and remember: The greater the faith, the heavier the price. Spending time in the Word may be expensive, but then again, so were you. So get ready to jump, and know that He has a safe landing already planned.
Craving more of Kevin’s faith-building articles? Check out Bill Gates or Jesus: Which one would you take the time to be personally mentored by?
Kevin Adams: Author, popular blogger, and former successful businessman, who, after losing everything he worked years to achieve, made a radical choice to let go of conventional thinking, and live literally by faith in God, to see where it would lead him. Kevin shares his experience with a transparent, elevated writing style that has challenged and encouraged thousands, earning him a trusted reputation in the Christian community.
His new release from Zondervan, available May 6, 2014 is on sale now. The Extravagant Fool: A Faith Journey That Begins Where Common Sense Ends