Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

67. WAIT FOR AN UNAMBIGUOUS SIGN OR STEP-OUT IN FAITH?

During your tenure on this earth you make many ‘fork in the road’ decisions.  Your life heads in one particular direction to the exclusion of others.  Sometimes, there is no turning back.  Here is Oswald Chambers’ perspective on such decisions:

“Never run before God’s guidance.  If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding.  Whenever there is doubt – don’t.  In the beginning you may see clearly what God’s will is…never do it on the impulse of that feeling…  Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment.  When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.”

In other words, you should wait for absolute clarity.  You should seek something akin to a modern version of the burning bush or a Gideon fleece experience (Ex 3:2; Judg 6:36-40).  Oswald Chambers was a spiritually perceptive man and his opinion must be given serious weight.  But his is not the only view.

Many years ago, a missionary, to the far-east, described to me his Walmart Theology.  Suppose, hypothetically, you are trying to decide whether to apply for a job at Walmart.  You drive to the Walmart parking lot early in the morning and get on your knees facing the door.  You say, “God, if You will cause that door to open when no one else is near, then I will know that I should apply for a job at Walmart.” My missionary friend said, “The door will never open!  God is a God of action.  He expects you to get up and walk through the door. You may not get the job.  Or you may get the job and, after a while, decide it’s the wrong job for you.  But until you get up and walk through the door, your life is in neutral.”

The missionary’s point was that life can pass us by while we are waiting for the burning bush.  Sometimes, but not always, we just have to take a risk and step out in faith knowing that the stakes are high.