Action vs Inaction


I mentioned a couple of days ago that my uncle and I built a swing set for my son. What I didn’t tell you was that we did it without instructions. I downloaded the picture you see above here thinking there were instructions involved. This turned out to be a material and cut list. There were no instructions included. We were able to take that picture and create what you see just below this sentence.


Walking in faith is a lot like that. God gives us a picture of where He’s taking us, but doesn’t provide the step by step instructions on how to get there. It’s hard to know where to begin, what’s next and how to make it happen. We feel overwhelmed. When I looked at that drawing of what could be, I got excited. When I looked at my driveway full of cut lumber with no instructions, I got worried.

When I look at the plan God has for me, the big picture, I get excited. When it comes down to taking the next step in the process, I get nervous. I start to wonder, “Is this really the next step? What if I mess up? How do I know this will work?” Question after question fills my mind until I question myself out of the next move. Fear of messing up or taking the wrong step paralyzes me.

My uncle and I must have gone back to the initial drawing a hundred times. I’d ask, “What do think is next? What cuts of lumber go there? How many of those do we have?” He’d say, “Just grab it and let’s go. If it’s not right, we’ll unscrew it and try something else.” When God says, “Move”, our fear of inaction should be greater than our fear of incorrect action. God is more than capable of correcting our wrong actions.

When we fail to move or fail to act, we aren’t just holding ourselves up, we are holding someone else up. My son was watching us through the window the whole time. He was anticipating and hoping to play on his new swing set, but he needed us to do our part first. The same thing happens in faith. Someone else, who you may never meet, is praying for God to answer them. God is asking you to act on their behalf even though you don’t know it.

What you do in faith isn’t just for you. There’s a ripple effect going on and your action is their answer. Someone else’s action is your answer to prayer. God could do all of it on His own, but He chooses to allow us to participate with Him in faith. He chooses to use you and me to accomplish His will. It’s a big job when you think about it. It can be scary. Your mind tells you that you don’t want to mess things up for God or someone else. But God can’t use your inaction. He can only do something with your action.

What is the next step in what He’s asked you to do? What excuses have you been using to keep from doing it? What can you do today to start acting in faith and moving towards that complete picture of what He’s shown you? Don’t be scared and don’t be upset if your next step is small. It’s a series of small steps that create the greatest works of faith.

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