How can Christians see risks and even failure as beneficial? Kyle Stoltzfus encourages us to embrace paths where we don’t know the outcome and leave growth and increase up to God. We should remember that, “There is a God. I’m not him. Thank God for that.”
Kyle Stoltzfus is a husband to Marlene, father of four, pastor, and the academic dean at Faith Builders Training Institute. He reads a lot, heats his house with firewood, and is in Christ.Read More
Jaran Miller is a resident of Pennsylvania and a native of Tennessee. He received his K-12 education via homeschool, his college education at Lee University, and his most important education through the books he’s read and the human relationships he’s been privileged to have. Jaran enjoys living with his wife Sara. Together they engage in pursuits like playing the piano, reading books, and developing hospitality skills.Read More
Beautiful, Mr. Stoltzfuss…the mindset you’ve described engenders much humility for each of us, who choose to adopt this way of looking at God and our own life. I’d love to also hear how you see Satan and the Holy Spirit playing a part in this interaction of life. Thanks a BUNCH!
Hi Joel, thanks for your response! Yes, this mindset engenders much humility. At the same time, I find it ennobling and empowering to be called into such a relationship with the Creator God.
How do I see Satan and the Holy Spirit playing a part in this interaction of life? I think I’d start at the very beginning. The arrangement at the start, with the Holy Spirit brooding over the partially-formed creation, is still much the same today. The Spirit is determined, capable, and patient. Adam and Eve withdrew from this arrangement when they impatiently grasped and grabbed at what they falsely saw as maturity.
Part of what this means is that Satan will offer us shortcuts. Specifically, he’ll offer us shortcuts to our desire to grow without making mistakes. And generally, he’ll offer us shortcuts to maturity without asking us to “count the cost” of the cross. We might like to think that we can grow without difficulty, without a cross, but it’s that format of thinking that is forcefully rejected by Jesus in Matthew 16.
The Holy Spirit, in contrast, forms us in and through our willingness to enter into uncharted territory. We may need to forgo our desire to know before we commit. We may be asked to take steps of obedience before we know the outcome. The Spirit will remind us to place our ultimate confidence no in our ability to forecast outcomes but in the resourceful competence of the Father. And in the bigger picture, he can “raise us up” even when we don’t meet our own expectations.
I hope this begins to answer your question. Grace and peace!