Sometimes you just get an urge or desire that needs to be met now. After a long jog on the blistering summer pavement, you need a glass of water. After you watch The Notebook, you need a good cry. After your pregnant wife calls you in a random panic about nothing in particular, you need to stop for ice cream on the way home. There are times in our lives where we don’t need to overthink it, we just need to ‘do.’
Does that ever describe your faith? Do you ever have a spiritual urge or desire that needs to be met here and now?
Usually, almost always, the answer is ‘no’.
Actually, the opposite seems to be true. When it comes to our relationships with God, we tend to overthink and overanalyze every little detail, so much so that we end up stalled out and we never do anything.
I was reminded of our need to sometimes just ‘do’ while reading about the first disciples who were called to follow Jesus.
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matt. 4:18-22)
Jesus crosses paths with two sets of brothers and invites them all to follow Him. Notice the word that is used to describe how they responded: immediately.
They immediately left their whole lives behind them and followed Jesus.
If we think about this for a moment, there are quite a few details that one would think needed to get figured out before they left. Like, what about the boat? Who cleaned up the nets? What’s their new source of income? Where would they sleep or get their food? What about their families? The list goes on and on.
It’s a list that would cause most of us to stop, reevaluate, re-think, and eventually stall out before we actually did anything.
But when one encounters Jesus, there is no time to stall out. There is an urgency of the immediate—an invitation to ‘do’ now.
If your faith is stalled today, I wonder if it’s because you’re overthinking it. Instead of coming up with the perfect scenario to tell your friend about Jesus, what if you just told him/her about Jesus? Instead of finding the best Bible-reading plan that is both accessible and time sensitive, what if you just started reading the Bible? Instead of figuring out what team most aligns with your gifts and what service is most convenient to attend, what if you just started serving where the greatest need is?
If you’re feeling stalled out today, what is keeping you from immediately stepping into all that God has for you? What is keeping you from taking a step of faith and a leap in holiness or from repenting to a friend whom you’ve wronged or from pursuing your spouse in a God-honoring way or from jumping into Christian community? What is keeping you from acting now, immediately?
The hard reality is that a stalled faith will never un-stall itself. It needs a burst. It needs a spark. It needs something immediate.
February 05, 2020