I had a great phone conversation recently with a high capacity leader on the other side of the country. She is confident, bold, and faithful in using the gifts God has given her. She inspired me, and challenged me. I walked away from our conversation encouraged…with renewed passion.
Usually I love to read how God is at work in the lives of others! I love to ask people where they’re noticing the work of God. Love to hear stories of big faith and audacious prayers.
Conversations like I had with my leader friend are an important part of living into community. But if that’s all I’ve got, that’s not enough. We can’t just live off of someone else’s story. We each need a first-hand experience of God. I love the way Mark Batterson says this. “God’s dream for you is bigger than a second-hand faith.”
Sometimes, though, we’re tempted to settle for second-hand. Easier to cheer from the sidelines than get in the race because…you know…
We wouldn’t be as good as.
We might be less than.
We might stumble and fall.
And sometimes we’re afraid. What if God only really shows up for the Mother Theresa’s?
But then I’m reminded… God appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:5), but he also showed up and spoke to Joshua (Joshua 5:14,15). And Hagar. He showed up for Hagar for Pete’s sake! An outcast in the desert. Similar situation, different God-story.
He walked with Abraham, wrestled with Jacob, whispered to Elijah, argued with Job, and struck Paul blind to get his attention. He turned to the woman who touched His robe, and used Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.
Your story, your humble, hope-filled, redemptive story, the first-hand faith story God holds out is waiting for you to discover today. It isn’t inferior to Joshua’s or Hannah’s or Rahab’s or Billy Graham’s. God’s given you your own faith story to live and to share with the world.
Whose faith inspires you? How do you feel about the idea of a first-hand experience with God?