Recently, I was talking with a friend who is facing a big decision in his life. On the surface, the decision seems easy to make:

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]He is being offered a job that is less pay than his current position.[/list_item]
[list_item]The job is in a different state, meaning a move away from family and friends.[/list_item]
[list_item]It would also mean selling his dream home that his family built 2 years ago.[/list_item]
[/list]

Most rational people would find this decision easy to make – with a big, fat “no!” But my friend is a follower of Jesus, and as we talked, he said, “I know this sounds nuts, but I think God might want me to step out in faith.”

Faith. It’s a word that often is used to describe someone’s religious adherence (like “the Jewish faith”). But it also is used among Christians to means, “belief in something you can’t see.”

Hebrews 11:1 says,

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Now faith is being sure of what we hope for,
being convinced of what we do not see.”[/pullquote]

However, I’ve seen this verse misused.

I grew up in a church tradition that talked a LOT about faith. People would “have faith” that God would give them a new car, a new house, a new job, a new body, or a new anything that they wanted. Then these people would get mad at God for not giving them what they had asked for, and then their pastors would tell these individuals that the reason was because they just didn’t have enough faith.

But the point of faith isn’t the amount. Jesus said, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” you would see God do amazing things. (See Luke 17:5-6.) Rather, the point of faith is WHO your faith is in and WHERE the idea originated.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The point of faith isn’t the amount. The point of faith is WHO your faith is in and WHERE the idea originated.[/pullquote]

If the idea of a new job originated with God, then you can have faith that He will provide you with a new job. But if the idea originated within you simply because you hate your current position, God might not answer your prayer the way you want because He is doing something far greater in you through your difficult situation than you realize.

We see this principle all throughout Scripture. We see it in Abraham’s story, in Moses’ story, in David’s story, in Paul’s story, and especially in Jesus’ story. If you continue to read through Hebrews chapter 11 (after the definition of faith in verse 1), you’ll see that these “great men and women of faith” didn’t come up with their insane ideas. Each idea was originated in the heart of God, and the people of faith simply obeyed because their faith was in God.

So when I talked with my friend considering a job change, my advice was this: “If this idea has its origin in God, then you can obey in faith, knowing He will provide even though it doesn’t make worldly sense. But if this idea is from within you, just to escape your current difficulties, then I would advise you to stay where you are.”

No idea is truly insane if the idea originates from the God who created and loves you. And if the idea is from God, you can walk by faith because your confidence is in Him.

—–

Erin Bird is the pastor of Riverwood Church. You can catch his erratic tweets at @erinbbird.