Mark Affleck


November 12, 2016
Spiritual Growth

Earlier in my faith walk, I DEFINITELY was playing it safe. No prayer. No action. No commitment. That makes me sad now. But it makes me thankful, too, because God taught me how playing it safe minimizes his love for us and thwarts his ability to perform the supernatural in our life.
It gets worse if we play it safe.
Playing it safe also buries the talents God gave us. The longer we wait to act on God’s direction, the deeper those talents and opportunities are buried and the harder it is to unearth them.
“He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.” Proverbs 10:5
After embracing God’s wisdom in this area, I have learned to act on every opportunity to fulfill my calling and position in Christ’s kingdom by pushing past what may appear on the surface to be risk and danger. My approach is to do it immediately while it’s fresh because the situation may change in the future and make it impossible then to contribute what God wants me to contribute now. That’s why playing it safe is so dangerous.
God wants us to continue walking in faith without complaining or compromising when doubt pervades our thinking. The key is to trust he is still there…always there. Indeed, he never leaves us, whether we feel him there or not. We should not debate whether he stirred us in this direction or in that direction. We should act immediately, because hesitating is ignoring God. It may take some time, but we will eventually see that the Lord never left us.
This matter of seeing and acting on God’s direction is one of the most vulnerable spots in a Christian’s walk. God gives us vision for the big stuff of life and the little stuff of living, and he gives us direction on a regular basis. But sometimes it is like a valve opening and shutting quickly, and Satan knows all about the process. That is why the Enemy uses negative voices to influence our thoughts and thwart our action steps immediately after we get an inspiration. The vision valve closes quickly. The opportunity fades. The urgency flees.
We need to follow God’s direction and move when he tells us to move.
“…do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5
Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky puts it this way: “One hundred percent of the shots you don’t take don’t score.” We should all take a shot! It does not have to be a perfect shot, but keep shooting and eventually we will start scoring. I started playing ice hockey at age four and my son made it to the professional level. We both know this is true!
Taking action for me is a process and not a snapshot in time without context. How do I do it? By moving past my fears and risks with three words that help me take action–Discern; Decide, Do.

  1. DISCERN steers me toward communication with God on a daily basis.
  2. DECIDE speaks to a specific decision I can make coming out of the discernment.
  3. DO is the action step I need to make, not just contemplate.

The process is recursive and I never stop going to God in prayer with my life breath. Propelling the entire process along is God’s clear plea to take action.
“Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James: 2:17

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