Many people ask God to guarantee their success before trying what he has asked them to do—but that’s not faith. Faith always requires risk.
Faith requires us to obey even when we don’t understand. In fact, most of the time we aren’t going to understand all the details before we move forward in faith. That’s why it takes faith. There is almost always a gap between your understanding and what the Lord is asking you to do.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to do something that didn’t make sense to you? But now you can look back and understand your parents’ perspective.
That’s how it works with God too.
Faith is doing what’s right even when it seems absurd. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding” (HCSB). You never know the whole picture, but God does.
The Bible gives a great example of this in the story of Gideon in Judges 7. Gideon took 300 Israelites to battle 135,000 enemy soldiers. The odds were 450 to one. God had the soldiers take torches, trumpets, and clay pots—a command I’m sure Gideon thought was ludicrous.
Then God told Gideon to put the clay pots over the torches so the light couldn’t be seen at night and to go surround the enemy’s camp. God’s instructions were something like this: “When I tell you to, blow the trumpets, break the pots, and let torchlight suddenly shine out in the darkness. It will look like a huge army is surrounding the camp. It will cause mass confusion, and the enemy soldiers will end up fighting each other.”
Gideon obeyed, even though it didn’t make any sense. The Israelites blew their trumpets, broke their pots, and revealed the light from their torches. The enemy soldiers woke up in shock and started fighting each other instead of the Israelites. Because Gideon did what God told him to do—even when he didn’t understand it—the Israelites won the battle.
Sometimes God tells you to do something that appears foolish—like going into battle facing overwhelming odds. But when you have faith, you’ll obey God even when you don’t understand what he’s asking you to do.
Like Gideon and his soldiers, you can’t live by faith without risk. But God sees the big picture, and you can trust what he’s asking you to do. Even if you don't understand, he is a firm foundation to build your life upon.