Authentic attempts to respond

By Dave Henning / May 28, 2023

“There’s a joy that comes when you practice the Word of God.  Whether it all turns out right, that joy is from a Father who is pleased with authentic attempts to respond to his words. . . .  Even imperfect practice creates a relationship with God.  It shows him your belief in his presence, his heart, and his character.  In Christ, you are standing in the grace to get it wrong!”- Alli Patterson

In Chapter 8 (“Experiment”) of How to Stay Standing, Alli Patterson equates the moments you practice with the moments you come alive.  The moment, she underscores, when you stop believing in Jesus.  Instead, you try just believing him (emphasis Alli’s).

Furthermore, Alli states, practicing the Word of God means:

  • launching all kinds of imperfect experiments to see if you can trust his Word.
  • it’s okay to be a little rough around the edges with a lot to learn.
  • just asking the question, What would it look like to trust God with this?
  • living and practicing the life of faith even in the midst of doubt or fear.

Certainly, the author stresses, don’t wait for God to reveal the whole picture.  Because practice is a process.  As a result, choose one small thing to obey as you listen to the Word of God.  And when you obey that one small thing, your act of obedience tends to reveal the next move you need to make.  However, if you wait for God to show you the whole picture, Alli counsels, you’ll never move at all.  Rather, consider Philip’s decision not to wait to speak to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).

Above all, Alli observes, don’t wait until you feel strong enough or prepared enough for what’s coming. Only practice builds strength.  So, strength never grows when we wait to get stronger before we act on the words of God.

Finally, Alli counsels:

“Living inside the power and truth of the kingdom of God takes practice.  You’ve relied on your other set of eyes and ears for a long time.  You need to be able to trust the Word of God in the face of your own words that say you need to be more certain or get more instruction or be stronger before you move. . . .  because that’s when the rock forms under your feet.”

Today’s question: Describe your authentic attempts to respond.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Religious checklist of dos and don’ts?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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