One of the most important characteristics of a devoted follower of Christ is the willingness to initiate a step in the right direction.
Far too many people who love God and believe in what Jesus did for them, have taken a very passive posture toward making a difference in the Kingdom of God. They read their Bibles, sing choruses and worship together and even serve on occasion. However, what they rarely do is to take a bold step of initiative toward a particular opportunity or need that they face.
Many times over the years I’ve heard people say things like “If God wants me to get involved in that, He knows how to get my attention.” Another common response is, “If God wants me to use that gift, He’ll give it to me,” not recognizing that most everything of significance in the Kingdom of God is “taken by force.” (See the powerful verse of Matthew 11:12 … “the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”)
Perhaps the most frequently quoted response is something along the lines of “I don’t know how to do it!” In other words, God has been putting something on your heart but you don’t know how to approach the situation or the person involved and therefore you fall into the default mode of doing nothing.
Although this is entirely understandable in one sense, it’s also the way that many important ministry moments and significant Kingdom advancements fail to take place.
Not long ago, I was given an opportunity to meet with a person who has a significant ministry in the realms of divine healing, restoration, and other expressions of the power of the gospel. I recognized that meeting with this individual would have potential implications on my life simply because of the fact that the Lord might use him to speak words of encouragement or exhortation to me. I’ll be honest and say that, just like many of you, I preferred the position that simply “played it safe” and figured that if God wanted me to know something about my future He would find a way to deliver that message.
However, I simply couldn’t accept that posture as being consistent with what I’ve come to know is an important mark of spiritual maturity; that is, taking the step of initiative.
When I finally took that step and made that connection it was substantially different than what I had expected. Although there were a number of challenging perspectives and positions that he shared with me, the overall tenor was one of humble support and encouragement. I knew without question that the Lord was speaking and that some response was going to be forthcoming, but all the fear and uncertainty that I had brought into the situation was swept away by the sense of God’s presence and His overarching love.
When we think about it, there are many things that happen in our daily lives that we don’t fully understand, but that doesn’t keep us from taking advantage of their potential. Your car can get you from home to school or work or the supermarket, but you don’t know exactly “how” it works! None-the-less, you get in the car and turn the key and in an act of reasonable trust you move ahead.
I’ve discovered that you don’t have to know how when it comes to some of things of the Kingdom of God, you just have to be convinced of the who! I want to encourage you to not let what you don’t know keep you from acting on what you do know… when it comes to the seeds of the Kingdom of God in your life even if you don’t know how it might work, keep on sowing, keep on feeding, keep on weeding, and then watch God do what only He can do which is to make that seed grow into a fruitful harvest!
I’m convinced that taking initiative is one of the most important characteristics of a fruitful follower of Christ. If you don’t see lives being changed or feel that you’re making any difference in your day to day routine, begin to ask God where you need to take a step of initiative and then do so with humble confidence in the fact that you know the One whom you are seeking to obey and you are convinced that He can make it happen!
Blessings in Jesus,