Daring to Act Paper
Ohio Christian University
Professor Jennifer Cornwall
March 2, 2014
There are in each of our lives appointed times that we must make decisions; stay put, move forward, pray, quit my job, ask for a raise, or simply decide to do nothing but relax. It would seem these are simple notions that bear nothing of consequence or urgency; however just as there are these simple times, there are complex situations that demand our attention, our obedience, and our willingness to act. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed; he was in such agony that he was sweating blood as the weight of the world rested upon his daring decision to act as proxy for all humanity. Jesus spontaneously and unconditionally accepts the sacrifice which the Father is asking of him, and as Christ’s representatives, we too must ultimately make the decision to act and as Jon Johnston says, “We must have enough courage to break the fetters of apathy and respond to our heartfelt convictions” (Johnston, 2004, p. 158).
As Christians we are called to be people of action and be led by the Holy Spirit, but even before many of us run from the darkness of this world into the glorious light of God, we face challenging circumstances in which we are called to act or not act. Johnston list five reasons why people choose not to act; “they are all talk, not assertive, don’t like risk, wait for someone else to act, or they are passive and choose to just wait on fate to arrive” (Johnston, 2004, pp. 161-162). As Christians we have countless examples of men and women of God that dared to act decisively for the greater good of the people. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys chose to refuse the King’s delicacies and because of their actions they were pleasing in the sight of God (see Daniel 3). David before he became King dared to act and volunteered to go against the Philistine Goliath; this decisive action caused him to be victorious and he was called a man after God’s own heart (see 1 Samuel 17). Esther risked her life to serve God; she dared to challenge the people to fast and pray with her for the deliverance of her people (see Esther 4).
Daring to act means walking largely by faith and having a willingness to take risks; not acting means taking a passive role in life and waiting for life to present itself to you or waiting for someone else to take the risk or make choices for you. God acted on our behalf so that we might have an abundant life; He acted out of love and Johnston states that “when we are saturated with this same love we will choose to act as well” (Johnston, 2004, p. 163). The following stories are testimonies of the future leaders in the journey of Christianity. In each recitation a decision had to be made which affected not only their life, but the lives of those connected to them. In each story there is a common thread of hearing the voice of God and being led by His spirit. Jonathan story bears witness to acting as a blessing for the benefit of another human being; it is a story of sacrifice and the selfless act of a young man being willing and obedient in heeding the voice of God. When he was 16 years old his father was the pastor of a church in Ocala Florida. They had invited a Missionary from South Africa to run a three-day revival. By the end of the sermon Jonathan sensed that God wanted to use him to bless this man, but the request seemed beyond his means, so he went to his father to ask for help. Immediately and no doubt being sensitive to heeding God’s voice, Jonathan’s father reached in his wallet to give him the only money he had; it was a five dollar bill. Seemingly incredulous but ever respectful of his father Jonathan knew that five dollars would not be enough, so his father did something that was certainly one of many life lessons, he stated, “then you’re going to need to figure out how that’s going to...
References: Johnston, J. (2004). Christian Excellence: Alternative to Success. Franklin, TN: JKO Publishing.
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