Gazing up into the blue sky at the speck of an airplane droning overhead, I saw the tiny figure of a skydiver fall towards the earth while the plane flew on. Spread-eagled in his orange jumpsuit, he hurtled down for several seconds before his parachute bloomed above him, slowing his descent to a manageable glide to the ground.
I thought about a time early in this skydiver’s experience when he would have stepped from the solid safety of an airplane into thin air for the first time. What was he relying on? Where was his faith placed that he believed he would reach the ground safely? How did his mind overcome what appeared to be certain death in order to take that step?
There are times when I’ve been riding safely along in the vehicle of my life with God when He suddenly calls me to step out of the plane; out of my comfort zone into a place of risk, an unknown place, a frightening place. At least that is how I first perceive where He’s calling me, so I quickly withdraw into the plane where it’s safe. This routine, these people, this predictable life is what I know; why would I want to leave it behind for something chancy?
Then I look out at the vast blue sky, feel the exhilarating rush of wind on my face and imagine the possibilities. What He’s called me to is actually something I’ve dreamed about from the safety of my secure little life, but have been too afraid to try. The fact is, when God calls me to step out of the plane I will only go when I can tandem dive with Him. Even when what He’s called me to do looks risky or foolish, I’ve learned by experience that wherever God leads I will be safe with Him.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – Romans 8:28 The Voice
So how do I know when it is God calling me to step out in faith? When I first get that niggling thought, the “what if”, the possibility offered against all odds, I pray if this is from Him, God will give me His imprimatur of peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. Even when I am fearful in the stepping out, a sense of His peace never leaves me. I know I am safer in the unknown with Him than in the known without Him.
In His Word I stay alert to the “lamp for my feet, the light on my path”, illuminating the next step, confirming the Spirit’s impression. Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let’s keep each step in perfect sync with God’s Spirit. – Gal. 5:25 The Spirit of God is my parachute, bearing me safely to where He wants me to go and giving me a ride of a lifetime in the process.
I am not an adventurous person, but when it comes to a God-purposed adventure, I know I can step out of the plane in faith that what He has in store will be beyond anything I can imagine or do on my own.
Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen. – Eph. 3:20-21