The other day, a friend told of a curious dream. My friend is playing checkers and his opponent is not a chimpanzee. Who was he playing? The opponent is God, the Father. My friend was sitting there and waited. After some time passed, my friend asked, “Are you going to move?”
“It’s your move,” came the reply.
As I heard this story, I could hear the Spirit saying, “He’s afraid of making a mistake.” This is said in response to what I was hearing. In truth, this message was not just directed at the speaker; rather it’s for everyone.
I can easily see myself in that game of checkers. One wrong move and I’d face humiliation by seeing God jump all over me. The fear of making an error is quite paralyzing. Thankfully, perfect love cast out all fears. I really did not have any reason to be afraid.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. [1 John 4:18]
In the same letter, John points out God is Love:
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. [1 John 4:16]
God, the Father is not looking to pounce, if we make a bad move. Please remember that God is for us and not against us. Haven’t you heard what’s said in Romans 8:30-32:
30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
So, what are you waiting for? It’s your move.
Wait a second! Isn’t God supposed to do everything? Isn’t God suppose to direct out steps? This is true; however, there is one problem. God did not call us, to sit and do nothing.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. [Ephesians 2:8-10]
Paul’s not the only one. Here is what Jesus said:
7 And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. [Matt 10:7-8]
Let’s not forget:
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matt 28:18-20]
So, I am called to be a doer and not a hearer. Am I not supposed to hear a detailed list of instructions? Am I not supposed to wait for that download from Heaven? This was my line of thinking. I thought I’d get a dictation on what to write.
My friend, John Scala once said “Barry, you’re not a robot. God will direct your steps, but you still have to take the initiative.” John is quite right. I do have a part to play, in the good works that God has prepared beforehand. I just needed to take the first step of faith.
What was I afraid of? I was afraid of writing something, outside of God’s Will.
At the time, I struggled with determining what God wanted me, to write. I would sit for an hour, staring at my computer and waiting. I’d pray,”Father, what do you want me to say?” It never dawned on me, my Father desired to write with me, through me and not a part from me. I was too worried making a mistake.
Checkers, anyone? It’s your move!
Here is a final thought:
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. [Romans 8:33-34]
If God, the Father is for me then why be afraid of moving forward? If the Holy Spirit is for me then would not the Spirit guide my steps? Please notice I said “guide” and not “dictate”. There is a difference. If Jesus is interceding for me then shall I not expect help from Him, who said “I will never you or forsake you.” If God is on my side then who the heck am I afraid of?
As I learn to embrace the truths of God’s Word and accept the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m finding it both challenging and rewarding to pursue my Father’s plans for me. In truth, I am far from where I ought to be and yet I’m further along then I think. The toughest part is the first move.