When God Says, “You pick”
Following the last direct order …
Coming out of a self-directed life, the first great discipling task is to learn about saying ‘no to self’ and ‘’yes to God’ … getting in step with the Spirit filled life.
This has great bearing on us as we lead churches. Rightly, we endeavour to find the mind of the Lord as we chart a course for the church that we steward. We begin with the great imperatives of scripture, the Great Commission and the two Great Commandments. We’ll never be done learning how to do that better.
Acts prompted by your faith …
But here’s another leadership facet that took me by surprise as I was going through 2 Thessalonians one day. In chapter 1:11 I read, “… that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”
At times, God intends not to advance the kingdom by a direct order impressed on our knower. There are times for a mature leader, schooled in the New Testament Pattern, when there is something that needs doing, something that ‘is not yet but could be’ and God lets us coalesce the passion to chase it as a result of our faith aspiration.
Have you ever asked God for direction between two good options and as you waited, you didn’t feel any clear prompting toward one over the other? Talking about such with some respected godly friends it dawned on us that at times, God is saying, “You pick.” It makes sense now realizing what 2 Thessalonians 1:11 outlines.
I think of my three grown children. There were times when I gave them direct advice on their options. Later on, I delighted to stand back and let them apply the principles we had trained them in and make the choice themselves. That was even more exciting than when they just obeyed a direct order.
There are times when God not only lets you make a distinguishing choice yourself, but for the sake of enhancing the maturity of your walk, he lets you select good kingdom initiatives, learning to exercise your faith in the face of some need. He let’s you pick. These are the ‘acts prompted by your faith’ referred to in 2 Thessalonians 1:11.
Great initiatives begin with expecting God to act …
Note Paul’s audacious prayer, “that God would fulfill every act prompted by your faith.” That insight opened a new vista of growth for me. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we just run by auto pilot – absolutely not. But it does introduce the fact that at times, God delights when His mature children think as Hudson Taylor opined a century or so ago, “Expect great things from God and undertake great things for God.”
This type of faith will pour gas on the fire of the leader who has embraced the call to be relentlessly outbound.
What in your context is God waiting for you to pull the trigger on?
He may just be saying, “Get going, exercise some faith.”