“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)
Standing on the edge of the high dive with my toes hanging off, I wasn’t so sure this was a good idea. Granted, it was the middle of summer, but I had not checked the coldness of the water before climbing the stairs. From this vantage point, it also looked like a long way down.
Were they sure the water was deep enough?
Was anybody watching (which could be both good and bad)?
Had they actually trained the lifeguards?
All these were important facts to consider before taking my life in my hands and jumping off, yet there I stood.
I have had these same thoughts in my mind more than once. In fact, I have had them intermittently throughout my life. The first time I remember well. Sea Blue Pool, Wichita Falls, Texas. Oh, the memories.
I had watched a million people jump off that high dive in the many hours I had spent at the pool. It really didn’t look so hard. They climbed the ladder, walked confidently to the end, and just jumped. What could be so hard about that?
Standing on the edge myself was a much different story.
I had the same thoughts standing on the high dive as an adult, plus other little questions like did I wear the right swim suit and why do I think doing this during rest period is a good idea (you know no one has anything to do but sit there and watch)? The high dive can be intimidating.
If done right, though, it can be exhilarating, confidence-building, and reputation-boosting. The key is to do it right. There are basically two ways: dive or jump like a pencil. Either way maximum effort is needed. Doing it wrong could be embarrassing or worse, painful. Is it really worth the cost?
We all know the feeling.
We stand on the edge with our toes hanging off hundreds of times in our spiritual life, knowing full well God has called us to something. Our first instinct might be to check the water, swim for a bit, maybe jump off the low dive. It IS safer, you know. But all of these avenues are half-hearted attempts at following God.
Half-hearted attempts at following God only lead to mediocre lives.
John 10:10 has a much different plan. It says, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” We are called to be ALL IN, wholly and completely following Christ in whatever He calls us to do.
This year at Planting Roots we are going ALL IN.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we see the story of Jehoshaphat. As leader of Israel, he was in trouble. A few other countries and their leaders had gotten together and were on their way to fight the Israelites. Jehoshaphat was afraid:
2 Chronicles 20:3 “Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved to seek the Lord. Then he proclaimed a fast for all Judah, 4 who gathered to seek the Lord. They even came from all the cities of Judah to seek Him.”
Did you see that? He was afraid, but resolved to seek the Lord . . . and asked those around him to do the same. In verse 12, he honestly comes to God. He said, “For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to You.”
The Lord gave them direction through Jahaziel. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, go down against them. You will see them coming up the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley facing the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.”
The Lord asked two things of Jehoshaphat and the nation of Israel that day: obedience and courage.
Obedience: doing what God calls us to do
Courage: doing it with our whole heart
God asks those same two things of us. As we stand on the edge of what He has given us to do, looking out at what seems intimidating and unknown, wondering if we’ll look like a fool or even survive, He asks us to be ALL IN.
Join Planting Roots this year as we do just that – take that step of obedience and courage – and leave the responses, reactions, and results up to God. Together, as we follow the Lord, we impact our marriages, families, communities and a world because of Him.
We’re ALL IN. Are you?
Kori Yates loves adventure. Her former life as a Marine and ongoing stint as an Army wife has given her just that. Desiring to bring together Christian military women and impact a globe for Christ, she has helped launch Planting Roots. Through events, online Bible study, and a social media community, their prayer is for revival among military women. Kori is also an author (Olive Drab Pom-Poms) and speaker, as well as a homeschooling mom of two amazing kids and wife to one awesome Soldier.