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When Boldness Turns into Foreclosure: Lessons from a Failed Development

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Faith and Work, Resources, Videos

This week we discuss the misconception that people of faith are always bold and irrational risk-takers. Erik shares a personal story about a partially developed property in southern Indiana that was foreclosed on by a bank. The property was being developed by Christian builders who had a vision but lacked the funds to complete the project. He emphasizes that faith and risk are not synonymous, but faith always requires obedience. Erik highlights the importance of discerning what God is saying and being obedient to His guidance. He concludes by encouraging listeners to consider whether they are being obedient to God’s calling, whether it requires taking a bold step or exercising the discipline of waiting.

Transcript:

There are times in our lives when the Lord calls us to that kind of bold, irrational step before we see what’s in front of us — kind of leap, right? But I think we’ve begun to equate people of faith with people who are just bold and irrational. And really, faith and risk aren’t synonyms. But faith always requires obedience.

Marketplace skills are missionary skills. There’s a piece of property that I often drive by in Southern Indiana when I would go to family’s house for holidays or for family dinners. It was an interesting piece of property because it was only partially developed. So you could see on this property where the road cut was made from the main highway. You could see how the road structure was going to be built in and around this development. You could see where the parking lot was going to be. You could see where the building itself was slated to stand. And you could even see the curb cuts. So there’s actual concrete poured for the curbs. And so you see all of the outlines of this development. Yet, where the building is supposed to be, there are just waste-high weeds and overgrown shrubs. It’s kind of this haunting picture of a development that never really came together, that never happened as the developers and builders intended. And I always wondered what the story was with this piece of property.

So I asked around, and I ended up finding out that this was actually a property that was being developed by some Christian developers and builders. And they had this vision for this development, but they only had enough money to do the architectural and initial building plans and actually cut the initial infrastructure. They didn’t have all of the money for the rest of the project. But they felt like, ‘Gosh, if we just exercise our faith, if we just exercise our faith and step out in faith, that God will meet us with a miracle if we just begin.’ And now when we drive by that property, we see a property that was foreclosed on by a bank. And it really is this warning or this picture for me that this idea of faith and bold, irrational risk, while those things can overlap at times, they’re not synonyms. Faith and risk are not synonyms.

You know, sometimes the Lord calls us to do bold, irrational things. We see this through Scripture. I’m sure some of you can attest to this in your life. I think of that scene in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ where he has to step out into what he feels like is a canyon he’s just going to plummet to his death. And only as he steps does the road appear, right? And there are times in our lives when the Lord calls us to that kind of bold, irrational step before we see what’s in front of us — kind of leap, right? But I think we’ve begun to equate people of faith with people who are just bold and irrational. And really, faith and risk aren’t synonyms. But faith always requires obedience.

So the question is not, ‘What risk am I willing to take?’ The question really is, ‘What did God say? How can I be obedient to the Lord? Did the Lord speak?’ And then, you know, maybe I’m kind of risk-averse. I can be that way, right? Where I kind of let fear keep me from moving forward. But when the Lord speaks, then we move, right? We move even if it feels irrational. But sometimes, sometimes faith requires the discipline of not going when everything inside of us says we should plunge forward anyway, right? And so there’s that discernment that always comes with faith and risk and obedience.

There’s a verse in Hebrews 11 that I love. It says, ‘By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.’ So what we see here is that faith is equated with obedience. When the Lord spoke, when the Lord called him to go, he went, right? So this idea of faith and risk and faith and the discipline of waiting, right? The question always comes back to, ‘What did God say?’

And so I’ll leave you with that today. What is God saying to you right now? Has God said to move, and you’re letting fear or inertia keep you from stepping into obedience to Him? That is a lack of faith, right? But maybe you tend to be a little more prone to just taking bold risks, and you’re ready to plunge forward into a project. And the Lord is saying, ‘Hey, it’s not quite time yet.’ Then it’s not exercising our faith to go ahead anyway with this kind of irrational boldness. The question is, ‘What did God say?’ And what is He saying to you? He always tends to move in ways that kind of push us outside of our comfort level. But again, faith and risk are not synonyms. Faith is about obedience. Are you being obedient to what the Lord is saying?

Hey, thanks for watching. If you like this video, maybe give us a like, a comment, share it with some friends. If you’re interested in more resources from the Stone Table, you can find those at thestone.org.

Before you go, hey, check out this other video. We’ll see you next time.

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