Saturday, February 28, 2009

Faith Requires Risk

It dawned on me the other day that in leading El Oasis forward in our building program, I have taken many risks.  People will not give sacrificially to something unless they have captured a vision of the future.  They accept challenges when they can catch a small glimpse of what they can potentially accomplish to change their world.  A good leader, spiritual or otherwise, must carefully paint this picture with just enough detail to gain the support and enthusiasm of those who follow him or her.  

This is probably the reason why President Obama defeated McCain.  His speeches were filled with promises and retoric that won over the hearts of the American people.  His words created a snapshot of the future that voters could not resist.  He took a huge risk that it will all work out according to his calculations.  Americans put their faith in him.  Only time will tell if their faith was placed in vain or not.

Did I do the same with El Oasis?  Is the vision I presented to the congregation really a match for what God has planned for this church?  God cannot fail, nor can He lie.  But maybe I embellished the future too much in my own enthusiasm to see people start giving to the building project.  Will the Lord truly do all of the things I said in His name?  Did I really hear from God or am I just concerned about my legacy?  Seldom do we ask such honest questions. I find it unsettling as well. However,  I must ask these questions as we wait for the Lord to respond to our need.  I need to know He has spoken.  I need to know He will do this even though our circumstances say it is impossible to buy such expensive land and build such a large building.  We have risked much. Our personal reputation is on the line.  Our ministry is on the line.  People in the USA and people in Peru have believed in us and in the vision that we shared with them.  

And yet, I am convinced that the essence of faith requires such risk.  There is always a moment when we must believe even when we cannot see.  There is always a point when must act even when we do not know how or when He will respond.  Faith without risk is not really faith at all. Only time will reveal that we have not placed our faith in vain.