I’m not a mystic, although I’ve been called one.
I don’t claim to understand anything about God and how he works. I mean, I study the Bible, and draw as many blanks as Job, the Psalmist, or John on the isle of Patmos.
That said, I’ve got a theory.
You know what a theory is, right? It’s not a guess. It’s an educated guess proven by repeatable processes that you can observe.
I have come to believe that the necessary faith required on mission is a bit like the cars that I grew up with in driving school.
Of course, back in my day (I know, I can hear Grandpa’s tones as well), we had Driver’s Ed in highschool. Those teachers must have gotten danger pay! One of the cars ended up in a flood ditch with a six foot drop because they’d through a chain link fence.
Ah, the 80s…
Anyways, those cars were equipped with a brake pedal that extended to the instructor’s side. No accelerator, just a break pedal.
The instructor couldn’t make the car go, but he could make it stop. Apparently, the aforementioned teacher didn’t step on his brake pedal fast enough!
I wonder if he was waiting for the student to hit the brake in time and realized too late, that it wasn’t going to happen as she hit the accelerator instead.
Or so the story goes.
I believe that God has equipped our lives in the same way. He tells us where to go, and then waits for us to hit the accelerator. He won’t move our feet for us, but he WILL answer our boldness to put the pedal to the metal by injecting fuel into the carburetor.
Abraham was told to move. And God waited. 14 Years.
Paul was told that he was going to reach the gentiles. And God waited 12 years.
In the book of Acts, they were told to wait for power. They did. They hit the gas pedal by praying. Hard. For ten days.
This could be considered fueling up I suppose, but they were ready to go. The act of faith that they exercised was waiting, instead of running out the door half-cocked. But their faith in what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit was answered by His empowering.
We’ve got the break pedal, and so does he. He’ll stop you in your tracks sometimes when you’re supposed to be waiting, but he expects you to put the brake on when he tells you. But only we have the accelerator. He’s told us to punch it in the great commission, but we’ll need to fuel up first.
Once we’ve done our part, stepping out obediently in faith, He’ll give it the gas.
Remember, there were two brake pedals, one accelerator!
I’ve got a book coming out May 16th called Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art (Zondervan 2017). You can pre-order it for a special discount, plus exclusive content, and freebies at www.reachingtheunreachedbook.com