Action Before Reaction

Recently, I considered once again a statement Sir Isaac Newton made in the 1600s. Action before reaction. Not only does this axiom apply to physics, it applies to faith as well.

There were decisions which needed made. Just like with the automatic door at a store, if I expected the decisions to be made, I needed to do something about them.

Staring at the door won’t open it.

Wishing it would open won’t grant me admission.

Hoping it will open? Nope.

Waiting for someone else to activate the open-sesame apparatus could take forever.

If I want that door to open, I have to take the necessary first steps of action to cause a reaction.

In our decisions which require faith, we have to take the initial step. Action. Believing we will see God’s answer. Reaction.

In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there is a pivotal scene. Indie rushes to find the Holy Grail to bring life-saving water back to his dying father.

Following the directions written in an ancient book, Indie gets to an opening. He sees no way to cross the gorge that gapes before him. He looks at the words in the book.

Only a leap from the lion’s head will prove his worth. It’s a leap of faith. You must believe.

When Indie steps out into the nothingness before him in faith, once he makes the first move and acts, a bridge across the gorge appears. Using the bridge, Indiana Jones makes it safely to the other side and back in time.

Action before reaction.

In the story recorded in Genesis 22 we find Abraham,  knife lifted high into the air, ready to plunge it deep into the chest of his son, Isaac. Action.

Instead of Isaac becoming the sacrifice God required, God provides a ram for the sacrifice, and stops Abraham from killing Isaac. Reaction.

In Joshua 3:14-17 we read that when Joshua and the Israelites got to the flooded Jordan River before entering the land of Canaan, as soon as the priests’ feet touched the water’s edge, action, the water upstream stopped flowing, reaction. They had to step into liquid before they could cross on dry ground.

Something we need to remember is these men lived their whole life in the desert. They didn’t know how to swim. I’m thinking just placing their feet into swiftly moving water might have been a faith challenge all by itself.

Jesus told the ten lepers in Luke 17 to head toward the priest. Action. Once they turned in obedience toward town, Jesus healed their leprosy. Reaction.

The man with a shriveled hand in Matthew 12 had to stretch out his hand as he was told, action, before Jesus made it whole, reaction.

In each of these stories, action came before reaction. These men walked by faith. Not by sight. We are called to do the same.

We don’t have to face daunting odds like Abraham, Joshua and the Israelites, the ten lepers, the man with a shriveled hand, or a seemingly un-crossable gorge like Indiana Jones faced, to engage our faith.

However, whatever and wherever God is calling us to act on what we believe, let’s believe, take that leap of faith from the lion’s head, and trust God for the rest.

Action before reaction.

Any action before reaction instance you’d like to share?

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For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

You can find my August Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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