Take Initiative!

Ant-individual-Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.  How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”–your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.

Proverbs 6:6-11(NASB)

When I read these verses I usually think of their warning about laziness.  But what stands out to me in these verses this morning is more about taking initiative.  I believe we often sit back and wait for direction from a boss or pastor because we fear failure.  We want to be able to point to someone else when failure comes and say, “they told me to do it that way.”

This is not leadership in any form or fashion.  The ant doesn’t wait for a directive from a leader.  She knows what must be done, and she gets to it.  No delay. No hesitation.  Many times Christians will use the excuse of “waiting to hear from the Lord” for their complacency.  Certainly it is important for us to make space to wait on the Lord and hear from Him.  But when we leave our prayer closet each morning, it is impossible for us to say, “I’m not sure what God would have me do today.” God’s word is crystal clear:

LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, MAKE DISCIPLES

Often it is our pride that keeps us sidelined.  Our pride says, “If I fail, people will think less of me.” What a lie!  Consider these perspectives on “failure.”

I haven’t failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

Henry Ford

To simply settle for the status quo way of doing things and waiting for someone to give you step-by-step instructions is not the way God wants you to live and lead.

Being used by God to change the world will never happen without risk.  But really, how risky is it to try valiantly and courageously to do something at the very center of the heart of God?  Our great God who has all the supply will never leave us.  Our great God who knows the path and will guide us in this pursuit if we are simply willing to step out in faith will accomplish things through us beyond what we could imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). What appears to be great risk in the eyes of the world is no risk at all when founded upon the will of God. But this will not happen through the life of someone who is unwilling to take initiative and lead.

So today, do not sit back.  Do not wait.  Get to the task at hand without wavering!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 30 – “Risk is Right”

Today’s Reading: Genesis 45-46:12

The secret is out.  Joseph has revealed his true identity to his brothers as well as his desire to provide for them and their father.  he sends his brothers back to his father with the good news that the son he believed to be dead was, in fact, alive.  Joseph’s instructions are to bring everyone to Egypt where they can be cared for.  They pack up everything and begin their journey to Egypt.  However, when they make it to Beersheba, a town along the way to Egypt, they stop.  In a moment of what must have been apprehension, God appears to Jacob in a dream and says,

I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes. – Genesis 46:3-4 (ESV)

This promise relieves all fear and Jacob moves to Egypt.  The rest of the story will play out in the coming chapters, however the point to capture today is the source of Jacob’s comfort and confidence.  God promised to go with him.

I am reminded this morning of the reality of God’s presence in my own life.  As a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, I have the promise of God’s Word that helps me see that God is always with me.  When I walk in His ways, I know there is nothing to fear.  His plans are better than anything I can create for myself.  Wherever I go, whatever I face, I can know without doubt or wavering that the God of all creation is with me and loves me.  May this create a confidence and trust in me that leads to God’s greater work in and through me, my family, and my ministry.

I remember hearing the phrase, “risk is right” used in connection to a philosophy for life.  The point is to drive you to live a life of risk understanding that great risk can possibly equal great reward.  In relationship, in business, and life in general, many adopt this philosophy.  However, based upon the overarching promise of God’s presence and sovereign work in the life of a person who trusts in Him, it appears that risk no longer exists.  There is no risk in following the directives given by our sovereign and loving God, for He is with us. So, in the eyes of the world, following God is a huge risk, but in light of truth, indeed, “risk is right.”

Rest in Jesus

Andy