A few years ago there was a story a pastor who gathered his entire congregation at the edge the ocean. He then proceeded to his big announcement: He was going to walk on water. He said he had a revelation that if he had enough faith he could walk on water like Jesus. With that he stepped off into the ocean…and drowned.

It is very sad, to be sure. It is also a bit stupid. It reminds of of the same ridiculous mindset of Harold Camping and his recent failed Rapture prediction. I bet there are many that find humor and irony in this. Not me. My heart goes out to this pastor’s family and his congregation–the true victims in this situation. But there is a lesson on faith here.

The nature of faith that has been communicated by many Christians is not true.

It is the idea of it being blind and, in being blind, it somehow manages to be somehow naive and overconfident at the same time. I believe faith should be ambitious and even aggressive in its application. I believe God loves when we take on challenges that stretch us and seem impossible, but we also need to balance this with a sober mind.

I would never mortgage my house and rent out a stadium to preach to thousands of people. That wouldn’t make sense for who I am and what I’ve done. That would be something for Billy Graham. But I can talk to my neighbor or coworker.

I think our approach to faith should be strategic in nature. We need to assess the situation, gather as much information as possible, and then plan our next step. It is perfectly all right for an endeavor to seem impossible, but it should also be peppered with a large amount of reason (believe it or not).

Too many times Christians step out into something totally beyond what God would expect from them. And then when they are in the thick of it, they call out for God to help them and clean up their mess. That’s not faith. That’s reckless and irresponsible.

We must finally keep in mind that faith is not supposed to seek it’s own glory; it is meant to bring honor to God. Of course, it is something we must exercise, but the exercise of it (faith) turns people towards God, not us.

So I am mulling over my next step. But I am trying to have a sober approach. I want to be ambitious, strategic, and humble. What’s your next move?

Take a step with me.