Has God ever asked you to whisper yes where no seems so much more reasonable?
Oh boy, have I been there. And if you’ve walked with Jesus for any amount of time, you’ve been there too.
That’s the nature of faith, right? Faith isn’t hearing a rousing sermon, nodding our head in agreement and then moving on with our to-do list. That would be study. Or research. Or possibly even inspiration.
But inspiration is not the same as faith.
Inspiration may move our emotion but faith requires us to align our steps.
Faith is a verb and it’s lived out in a thousand decisions and responses and actions through the course of our lives.
Sometimes God whispers something that seems small and pretty manageable. The other evening, I was walking to my car after church and passed a young woman drinking a beer and sitting alone near one of the church fountains. The service was still finishing up but I had left early to help older kids back at the house.
I glanced over at her and kept walking . . . until I got that tug that would not quit. You know the one. My word this year is *respond* after all, so I took my little girl’s hand and turned around. I sat down next to the woman and opened a conversation. After we talked for a while, I prayed with her over some needs and invited her back the next Sunday.
But that was it. Not life altering or path veering.
Other times, though, God’s whisper is not so little. It means serious alterations to life or requires us to adjust our path altogether. And even when we know we’ve heard from God, following Him can feel unreasonable.
That’s where I was two years ago. It had been almost three years since Dan had passed away and it was time to look my future squarely in the face. Sixteen years before staying home with my kids, I had practiced law, and I decided it was time to start back up.
Because I had officially retired, that meant taking the Bar exam again. So I hired Rachel to be me in the house for 15 hours each week. I worked through every single released Bar exam and pulled together years of tedious information needed for the Bar application.
The good news: I found I still loved the law. Things were going great and I was well on my way to a summer Bar exam until . . . I could no longer resist a very palpable tug from God to write.
I’ll write and do law, I had thought. Because that seemed reasonable. I was willing to put one foot forward into the unknown of writing with one foot safely secured in the known of law.
No, came the answer.
The path was veering and God had invited “Come with Me.”
Faith walks the gap between where I am and the next place God has for me.
Can we just admit that those moments are hard? I mean, I want adventure and real-deal faith as much as the next guy but the invitations from God to go where He calls can stretch us far beyond our comfort and security.
And even when we know we’ve heard from God and we’re tentatively but oh-so-hopefully following Him, it can be months or years (yikes?!) before we see hard evidence that He knew what He was doing all along.
That is faith at its finest.
It’s all well and good to write about it and talk about it and praise God for it after everything falls into place and we’re securely on the other side and can see all that God has done.
Faith might take root where we are, but it only grows as we follow God without yet seeing.
- Noah followed in faith to build an ark before he’d ever seen a drop of rain.
- Abram followed in faith to a new land before he’d ever seen Hebron.
- Ruth followed in faith before she ever met Boaz.
- The disciples followed in faith before they ever saw the resurrection.
That is the faith that God has called us to. We are the 13th disciple.
As surely as God called each disciple, He calls us to follow Jesus in faith even when we cannot see. Especially when we cannot see.
And without faith, it is impossible to please God…Hebrews 11:6
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If you’d like to learn more about whispering YES where NO wants to take root, you will love Suzie Eller’s newest release Come with Me. I received an advanced copy and loved how Suzie unpacked each of the disciple’s struggles as Jesus asked them to follow Him and her challenge for us to follow Jesus as the 13th disciple. You can find out more about Suzie Eller’s book, Come with Me, right here. And Suzie has generously put together free Bible study materials as well as a chapter of her book available here.