I have friends who are just about to make the leap of a lifetime. Their family is leaving behind the security of employment and familiarity to strike out into the unknown. And while they’ve sensed God tugging on their hearts to step into this new adventure, that doesn’t mean questions aren’t still pounding through their minds — small ones, like, “How will we feed our kids?!”
But I’m proud of them.
They are living lives of faith. They are putting their toes all the way off the end of the diving board, readying themselves for this risky, yet God-shaped adventure.
Their story also urges me forward. It’s so easy to slip into the normalcy of life, assuming that my biggest adventures are behind me; assuming that God won’t call me to lay everything down once again and take a “radical plunge” into the deep. Like my friends, I want to live in an ever-present willingness to leap from the (perceived) safety of my surroundings and live out a story worth telling.
How can we become more dive-ready?
1. Listen to the coach. One of the best ways to tune our ears to God is through the practice of fasting. Think of fasting as simply “unplugging” from the normal things that fuel us, in order to plug more fully into God. Fasting often includes food, but there are many other things we could lay aside for a season to heighten our awareness of what God has been whispering to us. What might we hear from our diving coach, the Holy Spirit, when we quiet our souls before him?
2. Build our faith muscles. Pastor and author, Jerry Cook, said, “Faith is living like God tells the truth.” Are there ways we’ve been living that aren’t consistent with what God has said? Are there patterns in our lives that (to an outside observer) would make it seem God isn’t completely who he said he is, or that he’s not quite able to uphold what he’s promised? As we confront our fears while on the long walk to the end of the diving board, we are realigning ourselves to the reality that God tells the truth.
3. Meditate on God’s Word. We can’t read more than a chapter or two before we’re confronted with direct statements and prophetic imagery that the Spirit has crafted to stir us to action. Try reading Hebrews 11 over and over until the words and stories are tattooed to your soul.
4. Hang out with the diving team. Spend time with others who have thrown caution to the wind and lived with reckless, faith-filled abandon. What can be learned from their stories? What about their successes and failures informs our view of what it looks like to live by faith?
5. Take the plunge. Actually take a faith-filled step: quit your job, sell your house, move across the country (or across the street), start a new business, launch a new non-profit — or start by going on a mission team, volunteering with a youth sports team, or attending your first AA meeting. Just do something new that’s inspired by your faith. Diving requires momentum. Even a small step will help propel you forward.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. — Helen Keller
In their book, The Faith of Leap, authors Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch make this painfully clear statement:
“When our need for security becomes obsessive, we remove ourselves from the journey of discipleship. By then we have given in to insecurity, and the price is a high one — it becomes an enslaving idol. Making ourselves ever more secure will not keep the fear of insecurity from becoming a possessive demon. The hold of the idol can be broken only by acting directly against it.” (p. 33)
So dive. Crush the idols of fears and false assumptions, and warn all onlookers to prepare for a big splash!
7 thoughts on “Getting Ready to Dive”
Today my daughter is taking a major step to dive into a life of missions. If you’d like to encourage her or follow her story, go to: https://www.facebook.com/KaelynJoyMissions
I feel that I would be remiss not to emphasize the importance of #5 in this process. For many, we get too afraid to do something radical as a first action of faith. We need to jump in to the shallow end a few times. I would undoubtedly guess that for your friends this is not the first instance that they are placing themselves in God’s care. I know that for Kaelyn, this is not her first time. There is likely a laundry list of smaller things that they both have trusted, stepped out in faith, and God has been faithful. I know that there are times that my wife and I have made significant faith steps, but it was after seeing God’s faithfulness to us time and again. Some have been the scariest things we have ever done. But, every time, God is faithful, faith grows, and we trust Him more.
My encouragement is to take the plunge, and take it often. Repeated obedience will become habitual. Then, when the opportunity comes to do something radical, and you won’t be able to touch bottom, you will stare worldly fears in the face and take the plunge.
Great post Tim! I could not agree with you more!!!
Zach…I love what you said, “Repeated obedience becomes habitual.” Very true. And you’re right about my friends…this isn’t the first of their “faith steps.” They’ve had a consistent pattern of following the Lord’s leading.
So excited about your leap into Santa Maria Tim! I hope to visit you this year and find out where your kids are and how this all happen. Wonderful to have you and Kelly in Cali.
Chris! We’re delighted to be back. Looking forward to your visit to Santa Maria!