I’m a writer. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist. (Some that know me are saying, “A BIT?”) That’s kind of a bad combination. I can spend 15 minutes stewing over which word to use in a sentence. I’d like to think that all the thought and reflection that I put into my communication brings clarity to my message and makes the reader’s job easier. But the danger of my introspective analysis is that I never get around to saying, “That’ll do.” If my fear of missing the mark of perfection is not overcome, my analysis will become all-consuming and the revisions will never end.

It kind of works the same way in life. As cliché as it sounds, we all go through seasons. For the Christian, there are times where God seems to be less active with us. Those stints can tax our hope and test our faith. While I have learned that times of heaven’s apparent inactivity can foster positive fruit in my life, I still don’t enjoy them. Eventually—as I trust my Father’s heart and listen for His voice—I will enter into a time of more tangible spiritual activity in my life.

That’s where it gets tricky.

It’s exciting when you are able to emerge from a winter of stillness, and experience a springtime of God’s activity in your heart. But when you’ve been living in a cold and seemingly desolate holding pattern, it can be intimidating to take the new life God is stirring within you, and put it into practice. It’s as though your spiritual muscles have atrophied, and transforming newfound intent into action can feel virtually impossible.

Has God been doing a new work in your life—renovating your heart, expanding your understanding of your purpose, and equipping you for the next phase of your mission? Eventually you must actually step forward and begin to live out the Father’s instructions. It does no good to endlessly examine God’s plans for you, without ever walking them out. It is not enough to be impressed with the Lord’s loving infusion in your life. The investment of the Almighty isn’t for the sake of giving you ‘warm and fuzzies’. Ultimately, you must take courage and begin to move forward in obedience.

Usually that obedience involves—to one degree or another—stepping out and ‘going public,’ whether that involves going for a meaningful coffee with one person, or launching an entire ministry. That can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you’ve been living the hidden life for a long period of time. But eventually, you must participate with God if His investment is to produce fruit. You must embrace obedient exposure. The preparatory revisions must cease. Sooner or later, you must set aside the thesaurus, push through the fear of failure, and press print.

I’ve always been hungry for times of connection with the Father and fruitfulness in His Kingdom. I long to experience transformation in my life and to participate in the transformation of others. But transformation has never come from a good idea, even if it’s from God. True revolution—in one life or in many—comes when a good idea is embraced and acted upon.

If you’ve been given a mission from the Father, don’t get lost in endless contemplation. The world needs your obedience…almost as much as you do.

James 1:23-25; James 4:17; Matthew 7:24-27

Tim Knapp is the creator of the Desert of Ziph website.

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