Why did the chicken cross the road?
That is an age old question that conjures up thoughts of why anyone should take a risk when they can just stay where it is safe. If you are like me, there have been seasons where I had to make a choice to either step out in faith or stay where I was.
When I graduated from college, my first job was as a teacher in the public schools. After about five years of teaching, I had the opportunity to step out of education and into ministry. I remember how hard it was to make that decision. Having spent four years in college and another two years in graduate school learning to be an educator, I felt a little like the chicken in the picture above. Behind me was a great career and job as a teacher with a lot of security. However, I could see even more as I gazed across the road to the other side.
Even though I was fearful of what might hit me as I crossed over, I stepped out in faith. Looking back on this transition, as well as others, three reasons to step out in faith stand out to me.
1. IT IS A GREAT WAY TO GET UNSTUCK
Have you ever felt stuck?
Maybe you feel stuck right now. Today, you may feel stuck in a relationship, career, or job. Over the years, I have talked with many people who feel this way. They dream of something more or different than what they have now. Every one of us that feels this way must use wisdom to pray that God would give clear direction.
Just as it would be wise for the chicken to look both ways before crossing the road, it is important to understand the timing and barriers to any transition. However, once that direction is clear, we then have the choice to step out in faith and not let fear control us … or stay stuck.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
2. TRUE FRIENDS WILL STAY WITH YOU
Everyone that’s riding with you is not riding for you.
If you want to find out who is who, let the gas run out and see who helps push. In every transition I have made, I have found that not everyone who was “with me” was “for “me”. Also, not everyone who was “for me” was “with me”. Many people are only “for you” when they are “with you”. Others are “for you” even though they are not “with you”.
When you make the decision to step out in faith, true friends will identify themselves by rising up and being there for you. Some people are so negative you could put them in a dark room and they would develop. However, people who truly love you will want things FOR you and not just FROM you. This is the kind of love (agape) that God has for us.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”1 John 4:18
3. GOD CONSISTENTLY CALLS US TO CHANGE
Think about it. No one in the Bible who is following God stays the same.
Throughout the Bible, nobody following God gets to stay where they are. Change is the only constant in the life of a growing Christian. I am reminded of Saul who was on his way to capture Christians when he found a whole new life path to follow after Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul was used to write 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament including this passage about God’s transformational power to the church in Rome.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Have you ever thought about how popcorn pops? Popcorn pops because there is a small amount of moisture in the kernel that expands from the inside out when it is heated. You could never make a kernel into popcorn with a hammer. It has to happen from the inside out under the right circumstances.
In the same way, God is calling us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. If you want to change your circumstances, change your mind. As your mind changes about what matters in life, don’t be surprised if you find yourself stepping out in faith in a direction that was never even on your radar.
Check out this fun video I made a few years ago…