Sometimes I have a hard time trying to figure out if I’m being faithful or stupid. The struggle is real. Maybe you can relate.

For instance, at the beginning of 2018, our church began praying about a vacant 90,000 square foot former Kmart building. It seemed crazy. The real estate agent laughed at us when we said we believe God was going to give us the building. A friend of mine and local business owner told me that going inside with our church staff was “real estate suicide.” Banks didn’t want to talk to us about it.

Is this what faith feels like or am I being stupid?

In that case I know it is faith, but I haven’t always been that confident.

Here are a few ways you can learn to distinguish between stupid and faith…

When you know God is leading, it’s FAITH.

There will be times throughout your life and ministry, where you know God is leading you to do something that seems crazy…like plant a church. Faith by definition is crazy. It’s stepping into the unknown. It’s “the conviction of things not seen,” according to Hebrews 11:1. Whether God leads you through His Word, prayer, circumstance, or however, when He’s leading, keep walking, even when it feels crazy.

When your motives are selfish, it’s STUPID.

God will never lead you to do something where you get the credit. He doesn’t share His glory and He didn’t put you into ministry to become famous. When building a giant church is your endgame, that’s selfish and stupid. A giant church should be the byproduct of reaching the lost, not the goal. God never rewards selfish ambition and personal glory. Seeking fame is not only stupid, it is self-sabotaging.

When people think you’re stupid, it may be FAITH.

One name: Noah.

He knew God was leading him. Regardless of what people thought, he went ahead and built that giant, floating petting zoo in his front yard amidst the mockery of the onlookers and the protests of his H.O.A. We sold our condo when our moving truck was halfway packed. We left a community and well-paying job to move to a city with neither. Years later, we marched around that vacant Kmart building in 39 degrees and pouring rain. People thought we were crazy for all of that and more. It’s much easier to critique someone for doing something crazy than to get out and try something!

When people think you’re stupid, you may be STUPID.

There are plenty of times where I should have listened to the people around me, but for whatever reason, I forged ahead and regretted it. There have been times where I ignored Jenn’s God-given gift of discernment and it came back to bite me. At other times, I pushed forward with a decision and ended up inadvertently hurting feelings or injuring relationships. When you consistently surround yourself with Godly voices and the chorus of their voices is telling you not to go forward with something, pay attention. Proverbs reminds us that “faithful are the wounds of a friend” (27:6) and “in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (11:14). Make sure God’s voice is the loudest, but the Godly people you’ve surrounded yourself with should be only slightly quieter than His.

K E V I N • M I L L E R

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