One of the primary reasons why most of us don’t get better at following Jesus more spontaneously is uncertainty. We’re just not certain what the will of God is for us and for heaven’s sake, we wouldn’t want to make a decision that was out of the will of God, would we? So, Christians have developed some interesting methods for finding the will of God. They almost always center around asking God for a SIGN.
Ken Davis, a Christian comedian tells the humorous story of a Christian who gets on an empty city bus, walks to the rear and sits down. “Lord,” he prays, “If you want me to speak to someone about you, please give me a sign.” At the next stop a passenger gets on and goes right to the back of the bus and sits next to the Christian. “Do you know anything about Jesus?” the passenger asks.
The Christian excuses himself for a moment and slowly bows his head once again and prays, “Lord, if you really want me to talk to this stranger, I need just one more sign. Please turn the bus driver into an armadillo.”
Have you been praying for armadillos?
I have a theory on why we want signs from God. Here goes! I think, subconsciously, we’re really hoping God never calls us to do some outrageously bold thing for him, so we ask him for a big sign – one we really don’t ever expect him to give. That way we can go on with our lives pretty much as we like, all the while feeling pretty good about ourselves because we believe we are open to “the call”.
Maybe one of the reasons we are not more open to obeying God in the big things is that we’ve not been more faithful in answering the “small signs from God’ he gives us far more often.
Learning to be faithful in small things.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10)
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him. (Luke 8:18)
If you are faithful in small things, Jesus was telling us in those passages, you will be entrusted with even greater things. But the inverse of that statement is also true: If you are not faithful in the little things, you will not be entrusted with greater things.”
The 10 Second Rule, just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do, is simply a way to train yourself to be faithful to Jesus in the little things of life. Think of it as a training exercise. I put it this way in chapter five,
“The purpose of obeying the 10 Second Rule is to help us develop these habits of obedience, beginning with the small things. Like Bill Murray’s hypochondriac character in the movie What About Bob?, significant change takes place one baby step at a time. That’s how we develop good habits. It’s also how we break bad ones.
Frankly, I’m a couch potato. But, if I was serious about running in the Boston Marathon, and it wasn’t just wishful thinking, I would start small. A half mile the first day or two, adding mileage and speed with every week. For the first week or two, every morning, my body would scream: Who cares if you’re in the marathon? Give yourself a break today. Sleep in! But I know if I stay with it, each day it will get easier. I’ll get stronger – and so will the habit of regular exercise.
Reading this book won’t make you obedient, any more than reading a book on running will make you a runner. There’s only one way to become obedient – and that’s to obey!
Practice. Practice. Practice.
That’s exactly what Paul is telling Timothy, his apprentice, about the spiritual life in I Timothy 4:7-8: “Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
Many dream of doing great things for God, half hoping he won’t ask. Fewer wake each day longing to be used by him – that day.”
The 10 Second Rule, Chapter Five
I’d like to hear from you, if you’ve been practicing The 10 Second Rule.
My question for you: Has it made you more bold as a follower of Jesus, or have you gotten burned and as a result, more cautious?
If you’re not sure about your answer, try living by the Rule seriously for the next 30 days and see the experiences and thrill of being in the will of God and truly living the adventure of authentically following Jesus!