How to Begin Your Epic Journey
We tend to think that the faith heroes of the past were always “heroes.” They weren’t. They, like us, had daily lives as well, and not every moment was epic.
It could be that you, like me, are feeling limited—not because you lack faith, but because your life is so full of mundane things. You don’t see a path from where you are to the place where you’re facing down giants or conquering the forces of darkness. Here are a few ideas for regular people (all of us) to help us get started:
- Obey the instructions you already have from God. You already have plenty of accumulated knowledge of God’s Word to take some action today—even if you don’t have some map of Montana, or Mars, or Mordor in front of you. Start simple rather than worrying about “epic.” Extend love to your neighbor. Take a new step toward holiness in your life. Determine how you could upgrade your generosity. Show hospitality to a friend at lunch today.
- Get some advice from fellow pioneers. You are a part of a team, right? There’s no reason to contemplate your next steps alone; so pray with others in your family or your church about where God wants to take you, how you could utilize your gifts, and what faith steps might be next.
- Ask God what your next “yes” needs to be. As long as your heart is still beating, God’s mission for you on earth is not yet complete. So, ask Him! “Lord, what should I prioritize today? Who could I serve or share with this week? What would You like me to learn about next? How could I extend Your kingdom from right where I am?”
- Be faithful in the small things. We forget, as we read the highlights of the faithful in history, that those who shut the mouths of lions also prayed three times a day—for years. Or that those who led God’s people into new lands had many years of wilderness shepherding as preparation. They were faithful each day, and after being proven faithful in little, they were entrusted with much
- Maybe that mountain of laundry is a necessary step on your faith frontier?
- Perhaps doing your best work on the job is a demonstration of your Christian values?
- Maybe quietly serving in your church is part of God’s plan for you?
- Perhaps taking a step toward personal excellence or fitness is part of the story?
It’s also important to read the rest of the story. Not everyone who forges into faith frontiers has a positive earthly outcome. Hebrews 11, after recounting the victories of faith, notes:
Others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us (Hebrews 11:34-40 NLT).
You and I today have something those Old Testament-era believers didn’t—we have the rest of the story. We have the gospel! I’m pretty sure that means we have even more reasons to trust God, even more reasons to absorb the risks of living by faith.
So, on the basis of all that Jesus has done for you, will you say yes to Him? Will you venture forth, boldly, into the adventure of following God’s lead? To move just beyond the edge of settled territory? By faith?