Over the past year or two my office has been overcome with this idea of being agile in our workflow. This is not a new concept in business. It is however, a difficult process to transition to especially for a company that is well-established in its ways. One of the rewards of being agile is the ability to scale and flex when and how you need in order to best serve your clients and company (ie: employees). In a recent conversation with my boss, he made a quick off-handed comment about being more agile in his spiritual life. I didn’t think too much of it initially, but now I’m consumed by the statement. Let me take a few minutes and break it down for what that means to me.
What is faith?
If you combine the first and second Merriam-Webster definitions for faith you read a “strong belief or trust in the existence of God.” Faith is often described as believing without seeing.
What does it mean to be agile?
Agile in the business sense is a methodology that “promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.” Did you catch that last part? Encourages rapid and flexible response to change.
Distance makes the heart grow hard
From ages 16-18 I was uber involved with the student ministry at church. When I was 17 I was fortunate enough to go on a mission trip to Honduras to the small island of Guanaja. The following year when I was 18, I made a return trip with a different team to the same location. I went on every trip I could. I volunteered for everything. I attended conferences with several middle school groups as an adult leader (ha! adult, how far I truly was from that and had no clue). I led a group of six 8-year old boys in spiritual devotion every Sunday for youth group. Like I said, I was super involved and loved every minute of it. I also had a passion and fire for Christ that I thought would never die. Somewhere, somehow, sometime I lost my way. I’m not sure what happened. I know it wasn’t one thing directly, more of a culmination of things. I do know for sure a cause for me to veer off course was my ability to say “no” to God quickly and easily.
“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?”
When you say no to God, you risk becoming distant from Christ. Becoming distant will cause you to become hard-hearted. Hard-hearted is defined as “having or showing no kindness or sympathy for other people” or “incapable of being moved to pity or tenderness; unfeeling.” Ultimately meaning you are going to miss out on the best that God has to offer to you. Pretty dark and sad place to be. Think about the last time you missed out on something awesome. Weren’t you overjoyed you did miss out? Of course not. Missing out is the worst.
The faithfully agile quickly answer “yes”
For two years into marriage Alyson and I desired to go to church. While we lived in Chattanooga we even visited a church or two, but it was never a true priority. One thing we had always said is that when we had kids we wanted them to have a God-centered, spiritual foundation for their life. Little did we know, we were saying yes to God’s call for us to have a God-centered, spiritual foundation for our life as well. After all, we are His children as well and he wants to give us the best he has to offer if we listen and obey, say yes, to him.
God tells us to do things all the time, believers and nonbelievers alike. We call these God-prompts and we are to be obedient to them. A prompt can best be described as a nudge (or push for some) from the Holy Spirit. It is an overwhelming sense you have about something or someone. When we say yes we are effectively drawing closer to Christ. This is what enables God to work in our lives and give us the best he has to offer.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
A prompt could be as simple as giving someone your personal Bible or as bold as sharing the gospel with a complete stranger. For some, being obedient and saying yes means moving your entire family across the world to an unknown location to serve Christ. Others are told to go into the poorer areas of your local city and spread the good news of Jesus. All of the before-mentioned scenarios involve being faithful and agile. Because they are outside our comfort zone, we must have absolute faith in God to take care of us and provide us with what we need to serve him best. Remember being agile means we are encouraged to have a rapid and flexible response to change, ie: saying yes to being faithful to what God has requested of you.
And now it all makes sense! God has requested for us be agile, for we do not know when or what is going to be requested of us. Everyone will be told to do something. We must have faith to say yes. Yes to the best He has for us.