“Taking The Leap”
Pastor Elwin Ahu
For at least five weeks, the “Primetime” series has taken us where we have never been before. We were given tools to move forward. We are in the final sermon of our series. According to an axiom that is pretty well known, "Faith without works is dead." We need to move from beyond good intentions towards action. This message will teach us how. This message is the most crucial step towards leading the primetime life God wants us to have.
We go through life with the best intentions at heart, but we hesitate to move on. We feel uncomfortable to make the decisions because we don’t want to take a risk. We are not good risk takers. We are not comfortable with change. We arrive at the fork in the road of our lives and we don’t know what to do. God has our best interest at heart. He gave His promise, but we hesitate to move on.
One of the greatest stories in the Bible concerning this situation is in the Book of Joshua.
Jordan River. You see…the river is one mile wide. It was also a raging river flowing with all its might. It was hard to cross the Jordan River. There were so many possible dangers that the Israelites did not want to take a risk. But the fulfillment of His promise was on the other side of the Jordan River. God had the best for them over on the other side of the Jordan River. It was a raging river. Why did you think God placed this river there? God knew how they would hesitate but He also knew that they had to cross over so their faith would be increased. Joshua was asked by God to tell the people that they needed to take the step of crossing the Jordan. The crucial part was that they didn’t realize the miracle of God that was waiting for them on the other side.
Let us read the Bible verse in the Book of Joshua…
"[And] when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water...the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap..." (Josh. 3:15-16)
The raging Jordan River receded! It was their miracle. The Israelites had to trust God and then take a risk in order to experience God’s glory. Their faith developed during the Jordan River crossing. They had to step out of their familiar circumstances. So what is holding you back? Is it your marriage, your job, your career change, or your finances?
Remember, there would be no victory without the flood. There would be no testimony without a test. There would be no resurrection without the crucifixion. Remember that…God will place a Jordan River in front of you. You will need to make a decision. I can’t tell you what to do. But I am going to give you tools to assist you in making that decision to take a leap of faith. God only knows what course you are going to take.
Here is point number one…
1. Is it WISE?
We have to make wise decisions. We can’t just jump into any circumstances that we face. We need to carefully and thoughtfully discern what do.
"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding ... And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course." (Prov. 2:6-9)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fail, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (Psalms 37: 23-24)
Maybe God is giving you the word, but you have your own motives that are not in agreement with God. You are not listening to God. Then you get confused. The right recourse is that you need to scrub your heart. You need to focus your mind, heart and spirit towards God.
"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:16-17)
Sometimes we have our own motives. Our motives have to be pure. What is in your heart? Sometimes we are just following our feelings but we need the ….
2. Are you following your feelings, or your FAITH?
Are you following your feelings or your faith? Feelings are circumstantially based. On the other hand, faith follows God directly. Feelings change based on what is happening around you. If your feel right, you do it. If not, you don’t do it. You miss out on God’s best for you. Faith is not contingent on feelings but your reliance on God. The stronger your relationship with God and reliance on His Word, then the stronger your faith will be.
Let us read the next Bible verse…
"When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light." (Prov. 6:22-23 NIV)
God’s word will be your guide. You don’t have to live your life relying on your circumstances anymore. Next…
· Faith is stepping out even if the results aren't 100% guaranteed.
You don’t have to wait until other people say so but when God says so. If God says go, you go. Remember Daniel in the Bible and what happened to him? He went to the lion’s den when God said so. Because he knew that God would take care of him. How about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They were tossed in the fiery furnace. They told the king that their God would protect them, but even if not, they would still believe in Him. Their relationship with God was strong. Sometimes our circumstances might not guarantee a 100% desired result but we still need to have faith. We can’t analyze everything. Just like what I always say - analysis by paralysis. We can’t do that. When we do, we prevent God’s best for us. But what ever we do we need to ask this question, fill in the next bullet…
3. Are you willing to live with the CONSEQUENCES?
Everyone’s step forward is different. Everyone’s circumstance is different for everyone else’s. Everyone is running a different race from each other. We need to take time to sort out our individual situations.
Next Bible verse…
"Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city." (Prov. 16:32 NLT)
"A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." (Prov. 22:3 NLT)
We need to take time for deciding the steps we need to take. This made me remember the steps Joy and I had to take…when we had three major decision to do…from stepping down from the bench, to adopting Jared, and to Joy leaving her job to take care of Jared after being so close to retirement. In every decision we had to make we had to follow the steps I just gave you. First, we needed to check our hearts and ask ourselves why we are doing these things. Then, we prayed. We needed to consider the consequences we were going to face. Every situation we went through God had promises connected to it. So even though your circumstances seem to be against you, if God says go – you should go. In conclusion, ask yourself, what is God asking of you for your family and your life? Take your time and pray. Seek God and His counsel.
1. What kind of so called “Jordan River” do you have right now in your life?
2. What lesson is God teaching you about the “Jordan River” of your life?
3. What is preventing you from taking a risk?
4. Share with the group an example of how you dealt with the “fork-of-the road risk-
taking” choices of your life.