Never make friends with anyone who is braver than you are.
I remember our “little yellow house,” as we call it now. I had prayed for nothing more than big windows, and the living room had three picture windows in it. It was my dream come true. Of course, the house was old and boasted only newspaper for insulation, but sleeping in a stocking cap took care of that. If we tripped the breaker in our bedroom, way down on the other end of the house Jayme’s closet light would also go out. So what if the wiring was a little sketchy? This house had character, and I wanted to live there forever.
Then came our friend Joey and all his talk of building a house in a newer subdivision. “Come with us,” he said. Puppy dog eyes and everything.
Nope. Not leaving my sweet little home. No way.
“You can buy a lot and build, too,” he persisted.
Away we went, building a beautiful new house in a desirable new subdivision with a gorgeous view out our back window. I now begrudgingly admit that it was an excellent decision.
Brave friends bring new, bold ideas that you will not want to do. Hello, discomfort and stretching.
How can I say this to you gently? Jesus is your brave new friend. You might as well know. There you’ll be all comfortable, and then he’ll come in with his, “Let’s do this!”
“Go on the trip to Africa,” he said to me.
“Climb down the ladder of success,” he said.
“Forgive her,” he said.
“Teach Vacation Bible School,” he said.
Jesus has taken me to all kinds of uncomfortable new places. (I wish I had kept a running list of all of the assignments to which I first said, “Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.”)
In Isaiah 55:8-9, we read this declaration from the LORD, and it’s crucial to have in our tool belts as we’re making decisions:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV)
There’s our way that makes sense and feels safe and good and will receive applause from the people around us. Then there’s God’s way that requires sacrifice and going against the cultural current and more resources than we can muster on our own. This contrast in thinking and doing causes a massive crisis in our decision making.
God is going to see our decisions differently than we do.
God is going to do things differently than we do.
God is brave, and we walked into his kingdom of our own volition. From now on, he will insert his Highness into every decision we make.
When Matt and I were trying to decide whether to move in with my mother-in-law and her sister, I thought, Give up our house? Get rid of most of our possessions? Yes, that was exactly what the Lord had in mind. Love your people, he whispered to my heart. Store up treasures in heaven.
Or treasures in heaven.
Our decision meant picking a way. Which way of thinking? Which way of doing?
You do start to get used to it after a while. I call it “the craziness.” The craziness of letting the brave and adventurous king rule over your life. You get used to gulping and following.
What decisions are you facing right now? Step back and take one morning to memorize Isaiah 55:8-9. Compare your thinking and the way you want to go in your decision versus the way God thinks and the way he wants you to go. Steel yourself for the great contrast between the two ways, and be ready to swallow the lump in your throat and jump in obedience. Let’s be people who follow the lead of the one who thinks higher about everything than we do.