Is What You Are Attempting for God Too Big to Fail?

If what you are attempting for God failed, would anyone notice?

photo: saruwine

A few years ago, much political hay was made about the massive bailouts of financial institutions and various members of the auto industry. The argument then was that they were too big to fail. Whether or not we agree with those decisions, that thinking has left me wondering, what am I doing for God that is too big to fail?

Regular readers know of our journey away from the perception of safety and security as a Christian school leader to expand on God’s call to write, speak, and create resources to help Christians think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

It’s ironic, really, that God would call us to extreme steps of faith in order to help others live faith with faith beyond their imagination. But the reality of our situation is this:

If God doesn’t come through, we’re screwed.

Pardon the blunt vernacular. I’ll understand if you unsubscribe now. But that’s real life. And real life requires, not just prefers, real faith.

But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through. ~ Francis Chan Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

In a post not long ago, I asked the question, what if God wants me to fail? It’s possible that He might be planning to get greater glory from my failure than from my success. I wonder if Peter asked the same thing as he flung one leg over the side of that heaving boat on the turbulent sea and felt the chilly water first splash his toes. Or if it flashed through his mind as lightning ripped across the roiling Gallilean sky.

In that post, I concluded that we had to be OK with whatever result God chose — because He’s God. He can do that. Or not. His call. I should should quit trying to do His job.

After much reflection and counsel, however, I think we should add two more thoughts when facing this fear about doing something for God that’s too big to fail.

Two Key Thoughts

  1. It’s none of my business. “Known to God from eternity are all His works.” His plan, whatever it is, is His plan and not my own. It’s known only by Him. In case you hadn’t noticed, God functions on a need-to-know basis. And we usually don’t need to know. In fact, He often gets more glory when we obey without fully knowing what He’s up to. His decretive will — what He has chosen to happen — will happen for His glory. My worrying about it is really a subtle attempt to take some of God’s authority as my own. No wonder it’s such a crushing burden!
  2. My Father delights to give me every good gift. Though I may not know God’s decretive will, He has made one thing sure: He will supply all my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. My Father loves me and gave His own Son for me. He has promised that if I seek first His Kingom, He’ll take care of the rest. As any decent father would:

If a son asks for bread  from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11: 10-13)

So why am I not — usually — concerned about whether what I am attempting for God is too big to fail?

Because it’s not my problem. It’s my Father’s problem. And He is too big to fail.

I trust Him more than I trust myself.

And isn’t that what walking by faith is all about?

What are you doing that will fail if God doesn’t come through? How has He come through for you in the past? Leave a comment to share your story so we can all grow.

12 Responses to “Is What You Are Attempting for God Too Big to Fail?”

  1. TCAvey September 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM #

    Sometimes I don’t give God enough credit and worry things are too big when really nothing is too big for Him, my faith is just too small. I need to jump out there and trust, but I’m not Peter by any means. I would have stayed in the boat and waited for God to come to me. Which isn’t the way to go about following God.

    Love this line- ”

    So why am I not — usually — concerned about whether what I am attempting for God is too big to fail?

    Because it’s not my problem. It’s my Father’s problem. And He is too big to fail.”

    It’s God’s problem. I need to remember that and step out in faith more.


    • Bill Blankschaen September 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

      So I’m not the only one who struggles to connect what I say I believe about God with what I actually do?

      Good. We are not alone. Thanks!

  2. Eric September 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM #

    I’ve been living this way for about 9 months and to say it has stretched me would be an understatement! I’m learning to trust for what I need today.

    • Bill Blankschaen September 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

      We’ve got that 9 months thing in common, Eric. But isn’t it a wonderful thing to see so clearly how much we all depend on God for everything? I fear ever returning to a place where I take his provision for granted. Thanks!

  3. Jennifer September 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM #

    “But the reality of our situation is this:
    If God doesn’t come through, we’re screwed”.

    Is this really true? Will you truly be stuck with no place to go and no power to move in any direction?

    So much of how we experience life is determined by our thinking about the situations we find ourselves in. I’ve been extremely poor and happy at the same time. I’ve been blessed by learning that poverty and failed plans are not the end of the physical or spiritual World.

    It might be more true to state: “If God comes through, we’re screwed”. You will miss the opportunity to experience life in its bare bones form. You will not need to learn to accept the help you truly need from others in your community. Your children will not need to truly internalize that their lives are not worthless just because they have no monetary worth – even when they are looked down on by many of those who “have it made” and can wear new clothing and own cell phones. You won’t experience the true joy of a Thanksgiving feast after months of eating woody green beans for dinner several times a week. You won’t know deep in your bones that failure is not the end, but can often be a transformational beginning. You won’t know what your safety net feels like until you’ve bounced on it.

    • Jennifer September 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM #

      Hi Bill,
      I was sitting down to a nice, hot cup of Canadian tea when I realized, with a sickening sense, that my comment could be taken to be judgmental. Please know that it was not meant that way! I only wanted to convey my deep held belief that all is Grace. I think that you and your family will “succeed” no matter what happens.

      • Bill Blankschaen September 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM #

        Not to worry. Your comment was a pithy one that caued me to rethink things as I moved 8 yards of mulch inthe yard today prepping the house for sale. I am very grateful for your regular insights and long-distance friendship and support. If only you could pour a second cup of that tea right now… Oh, well. Your point is a good one about finding the value in every circumstance in which God might lead us. Will continue to ponder it tonight.

        • Jennifer October 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM #

          Sending a steaming cup of virtual tea….

          I had been thinking about God’s ways before I read your post. My husband and I celebrated twenty years of marriage on the 26th and he had asked me in the morning whether, knowing all that would happen between us, I’d do it again. My answer was “yes”. So much of what I’ve learned about life, family, marriage and God has come from working my way through the twists and turns of a very unDisney script.

          • Bill Blankschaen October 2, 2012 at 6:01 AM #

            I’m learning that walking by faith means constantly adjusting to what God reveals of His plans. And thanks for the tea. I prefer a touch of cream next time, though.

          • Jennifer October 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM #

            Oops :)


  1. When His Ways Are Not Our Ways | Bill in the Blank - September 28, 2012

    [...] 2012 in Devotional, Personal Growth with 0 Comments My last post made a bold statement: “If God doesn’t come through, we’re screwed.” I meant it. In fact, I think we should all always be attempting something that is too big for God [...]