Take A Step Of Faith
My son, Quinn, recently completed jump school at Fort Benning and earned his wings. As I talked to Quinn via text message during the 3 week training, I was struck with an illustration that we all can identify with re: living by faith and taking a step of faith.
We all have areas in our life where God wants us to step out. For our church, we are stepping out in faith to acquire another building to expand our compassion ministries and form the Bethany Compassion Center (a hub for many compassion ministries reaching out to people in need). See my previous blog for more info on the BCC.
Individually, God is calling all of us to step out in faith in various areas of our lives. Maybe it is career related or has to do with future education. Or maybe it has something to do with an area in your life were you need to step up and step out: to strengthen your marriage, enrich your family, or deepen your faith. We are all a work in progress and God wants us to keep moving forward.
As Quinn relayed his experience to me, I thought of 5 Stages of Faith. I call them the Define stage, Design stage, Deadline stage, Align stage, and Refine stage. For Quinn, the stages worked like this:
#1—Define—the vision or mission was to get your wings, gain proficiency and competence in jumping out of an airplane during the day, at night (yikes), and fully rucked up with lots of gear.
#2—Design—clarify and prepare what you are to accomplish and what is expected—gear, training, processes, people.
#3—Deadline—this is when you finally are ready to take your “first step”—in Quinn’s case you literally step out of the plane and start your decent (I’m the kind of guy that feels if God wanted me to fly he would have created me WITH wings…so jumping out of a plane is not my idea of a good time). You can talk about jumping, you can read about parachuting, you can dream about it and sing about but eventually you need to take the step and DO IT.
#4—Align—adjustments will always be necessary. For Quinn, when asking him about his first jumps he said they went okay “but my chute was badly twisted” so I had to try to untwist it on the way down otherwise the landing wouldn’t be good. What? Now that’s sounds terrifying!! But he aligned and adjusted things just in time.
#5—Refine—once Quinn landed he was still learning. Because you can always land better and learn to do better. True in life.
How does this apply to you and me and taking a step of faith? For me, there is a powerful parallel. I think of the 5 stages of faith like this:
In what direction is God asking me to step out in faith? I need to determine and define what God’s vision and mission is for me. Do you know? Ask Him where He wants you to grow and step out and believe big.
What are the key considerations with regard to God’s dream for you? Draw out a strategic plan with action steps.
There will come a time…or maybe now is the time…where we need to take the step by stepping out. For Q, it was stepping out of the plane, literally. For you and me, we need to come to a place where we trust God and we are willing to go for it. You can’t “sit in the plane” forever and expect to advance your cause.
Life is not always linear. There are zigs and zags where we have to adjust, align, and re-align. Most journeys of faith require adjustments and recalibrations along the way.
Landing is not a one and done proposition. You can always get better at landing and you always need to keep learning because weather patterns change and circumstances change and terrain changes and so on. When God asks us to step out in faith, it is important to not only do it, but keep growing through it. We have never arrived. We are always growing and refining and expanding who we are.
Where is God asking you to step out in faith? I know where it is for me. And I know where it is for our church. I encourage you to take a step of faith and experience all God has for you! He wants to keep growing and refining you!!