Faith and Caution

June 21, 2014

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Faith and caution may be considered enemies by some.

Christians are often implored to step out in faith, believe that God speaks, and take bold steps into the unknown.

After all, James tells us “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2)

God is not looking to create impulsive Christians who are known for faith-laced, but poor decisions.

There is meant to be a balance of these two things. Faith and caution, not faith or caution.

Why should we be cautious?

As humans we must realize we are fallible, fallen, and limited. We do hear God, but not always 100%. This requires us to walk in caution as well as faith. This keeps us “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Here are some points of caution which will help us determine if our direction is coming from God, or our own desires.

1. Direction will not contradict His Word. I am not saying everything God speaks personally to your life is directly from His Word, but it will not contradict. Murder, stealing, etc. will not be what God tells you to do. This is extreme, but we do this in subtle ways. Guard against a view which says “I am the exception”.

2. Hold voice of the Lord with open hand. His direction should confirm what is already in your heart from a life of walking with HIm. Remember our propensity to mix in some of our own desires. These are not always bad, we just need to consider this.

3. Seek wisdom. If “everyone thinks the relationship you are in is bad, but God said, so you are in it”…that is a warning sign. Wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors. Ask. Seek.

4. Listen to the above advice! Too many I meet ask, but don’t really listen. They ask to check a box on their “good decision checklist” but never stop to consider the advice. If you are in a conversation with a mentor and you find yourself justifying more than listening, that is a danger sign.

5. Step out in faith…slowly. Rather than jump in with both feet, proceed down the road and see what happens, being sensitive to God’s “re-direction.” Avoid the all or nothing, now or never approach.

In short, recognizing our fallenness keeps us needing God. If we could hear God perfectly, he would become a dispenser and we the consumer. We would turn into magicians who attempt the perfect formula for God to speak to us.

Rather, God wants us to walk the ever-changing, ever swerving path of a life lived with HIm. That usually is not the shortest distance between two points.

God is more concerned about the journey than the result.

Walk in faith with caution. As we live a life trusting God, good decisions can be part of the adventure.

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God