This is the final part to my little three part series, â€œBit by Bit.â€ If you need to catch up go here first and then here, and that should get you all squared away. And I can wait. I got a little bit of timeâ€¦
So whatâ€™s the bottom line for what Bill Hybels calls, â€œThe danger of Incrementalism?â€ Well, the bottom line is the loss of an adventure, a dream or a vision of great things for Godâ€™s kingdom. Nothing great is ever done by a lifetime of incrementalism.
Because incrementalism is missing one active ingredientâ€”faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, â€œAnd without faith it is impossible to please Godâ€¦â€
Not difficult to please God.
Not a bit tricky to pull off pleasing God.
Not nearly impossible to please Godâ€¦
Without faith itâ€™s game over. Without faith itâ€™s just you running your 5 year plan. Without faith itâ€™s you and the goals you set. Without faith itâ€™s structuring a business, selling a product, and status quo. Anyone can do that. No, faith means you venture out into the great unknownâ€”where all you are absolutely sure of is that you are doing Godâ€™s work and have His support. Other than that, a lot seems up in the air for those who live by faith.
True, God gives the vision and reveals His path bit by bit, but Heâ€™s the only one who can play the bit by bit card successfully. Remember, He does not live by faith. He already knows all things. So revealing His will bit by bit to us is for our own good. Any more than a bit and weâ€™d have a serious melt down. A little bit is all we can handle. On the other hand, we need that little bit to encourage us to take the next step of faithâ€”without it weâ€™d wither and fade away from doing great things for God. Check out what He says about the bit by bit strategy here in Psalm 119:105,
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
Unto my feet? Whatâ€™s up with the lighting around the feet bit?
Itâ€™s just thatâ€”light for your very next step and maybe a step or two beyondâ€”but no more.
Light the whole path and who needs faith? Shine a light three years into the future and youâ€™ll say, â€œSee ya, God. I can take it from here. I mean, I can see there is a nasty sharp left about a mile ahead and three forks in the road immediately after that and the light goes right first, then left, then right again. Thanks for the info, donâ€™t call me, Iâ€™ll call you.â€
God knows this about usâ€”all of us. We like things mapped out, safe, comfortable, predictable, no scary curves along the way. But the problem with this again is that it completely deactivates faith. And without faithâ€¦
Well, you know the rest.
What about incrementalism? Incrementalism is manâ€™s answer to Godâ€™s flashlight with the limited three foot beam. When we pull up, slow down, stop altogether or reduce life to a very slow crawl, we are telling God we will not risk going ahead of that limited light Heâ€™s shining on our path.
But in doing so, we are telling God that we donâ€™t believe He will keep moving the light on down the path. In doing so, we are saying that we think God will set us up in that once we pick up speed we will get ahead of the light and run into darkness and the great unknown. Iâ€™m talking about the great unknown of no light whatsoever. And thatâ€™s simply too scary for most Christians. No matter how tough a lot of us act, we are still small children insideâ€”afraid of the dark.
But every now and thenâ€”every once in a blue moon someone trusts God enough to take giant steps and pick up speed on Godâ€™s lit up path. And once they do, they notice God keeping that light right where He promised. And their faith begins to build. So does the size of their steps! And those who know this type of journey wonâ€™t go back to crawling like a baby for anything.
Gang, reality is that you will hit obstacles and challenges along the way in the Christian life. You will have heartache and setbacks, but donâ€™t let that move you to a life of incrementalismâ€”moving just bit by bit.
I know the kiddy rides are fun when youâ€™re a childâ€”and fun for your kids as a parent. But never forget the giant thrills that await those who venture out into the parkâ€”the roller coasters and adventures available for all who live by faith.