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The leap of faith?
- Jacob Ninan
This is a phrase commonly used for challenging people to take action based on faith. The picture is that of not being able to see into the future, not knowing how this particular act is going to turn out, and in spite of that choosing to obey what the Lord has told us. There are many examples of this in the Bible. At the Red Sea Moses stretched out his rod according to the command of God, and watched the sea parting. The priests stepped into the waters of the River Jordan in obedience to God, and saw the water piling up upstream and the river bed drying up. Etc. When God tells us to do something, we can step out in faith, leaving the management of the consequences to Him who is in control.
Many times we may hesitate to do this, because we would like to have something definite in front of our eyes before we step forward. But this is a test of our faith where we have to literally place our life's direction and future events into God's hands, simply trusting in God's omniscience, omnipotence, love and wisdom to take care of us, lead us and bless us. This is the type of choice we have to make many times in life, e.g., regarding our career or business, marriage partner, place of stay, ministry, choice of church, etc. But faith helps us to go forward without fear or anxiety, because we trust in our Father and our Saviour.
But some people take this to extremes, and leap where God has not asked them to. Perhaps many complex thoughts play up in our mind. "People may think that I don't have faith if I don't do this. Perhaps if I do this people will know that God is with me. God can do anything, and so I will believe He will do this for me. God has done this for so-and-so, and so He will do this for me too. This prophet has told me this, and how do I know if I won't be disobeying God if I don't do this?" Etc.
Faith, in this context, is our trust in God, and we cannot have any real faith apart from God speaking in our heart (Ro.10:17). If we imagine we have faith for something, or we try to make ourselves to have faith by exciting our mind with stories from the Bible or testimonies of others, it won't really work. Then we will have a calamity, just as it would have happened if Jesus had listened to Satan by jumping off from the temple (Mt.4:5-7).
God can do extraordinary and supernatural things for us. There is no question about that. In such cases He will tell us specifically what we need to do, just as He told Moses and Joshua in the above examples. Then we will experience a peace in our heart that goes beyond understanding (Php.4:7). We can also consult with mature believers to check if we are fooling ourselves. Then when we take extraordinary steps things will happen just as God has told us.
For God to be glorified, an idea must originate from God, and must be carried out according to the ways of God and in His strength (Ro.11:36). However clever our ideas may be, apart from these they cannot accomplish God's purposes.