Years ago, I finally started journaling consistently. The reason I say “finally” is because I must have tried to journal four or five different times, only to quit each time after a few weeks.
Someone got my wife, Amy, and me a journal that we loved to use. It’s a five-year journal that has only five or six lines to write on daily. If it happens to be July 28th, we can see just above the day what happened on July 28th the year before and the year before that. The highlights of five years of our lives are stacked on top of each other on a single given page.
As I journaled, I started to notice that many of my days were similar. Last year on the same day, I was doing the same thing. Most days, I do the same things. I go to meetings. Study. Preach sermons. Work out. Have family dinners. Although I did have the joy of being used by God as a pastor, so much of that is a result of my “job,” not just regular faith in following Christ.
During one of my dangerous prayers of submission, God prompted me to add one small thing to my life that has made a big difference. Since we cannot please God without faith (see Heb. 11:6), I believe God asked me to simply do one thing daily that takes faith. Every day, no matter what, at least one faith-filled act.
That simple challenge changed the way I lived. Instead of existing passively, I started living aggressively, watching for opportunities to exhibit faith.
When I met a guy that seemed discouraged on a flight, I talked to him and did my best to lift his spirits. Then I felt prompted by God to do more than just talk. I wrote him a note and included two different verses from the Bible. Rather than just hearing encouragement, I wanted him to have a recorded version that he could revisit.
Another time, when Amy and I were in the grocery store shopping, we saw a woman with three children meticulously examining the prices, sorting coupons, and adding the amounts on her phone calculator. Knowing she was obviously strapped financially, as an act of faith, we had one of our children take her some cash with a note that simply said, “God cares about you and wants to meet your needs.” We don’t know how God used that in her life, but believing that he did changed us.
Here’s another example. Recently I landed in Florida for an event. The host, a successful businessman in the area, picked me up at the airport and immediately put me at ease. His love for Jesus was obvious and his heart to serve was strong. Even though he excelled as an entrepreneur, I suddenly had a sense that he might be called by God to use his gifts in ministry.
So I took a small step of faith and asked him, “Have you ever considered using your talents full time for God?” He almost wrecked the car as he told me that he had just mentioned that to his wife the night before! Now he’s giving serious consideration to selling his business to pursue something different.
At first, doing something daily that takes faith may seem daunting or even overwhelming. But once you start, not only will you enjoy it, but you may even sense God transforming you from someone with a self-centered faith to someone with a self-sacrificing, God-glorifying, other-centered faith.
Your faith acts don’t have to be big, intimidating, or newsworthy. They can be simple, unassuming, and even performed in secret.
It’s simply a matter of being willing, being open, being attuned to God, and risking more. Take the focus off yourself and notice the needs of others. Listen with your heart and not just your ears. Read between the lines and look for a way to serve.
What if you told God you were available? And you looked for at least one opportunity daily to do something that required faith?
Instead of living a meh life, small acts of faith teach us to depend on God. They draw us close to him. They build our trust.
Pray just one dangerous prayer.
Risk just one act of faith.
Taken from Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe by Craig Groeschel. Copyright © 2020 by Craig Groeschel. Used by permission of Zondervan.
Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, an innovative multi-site church based in Edmond, Oklahoma, and a New York Times bestselling author of books such as Dangerous Prayers and Hope in the Dark.