A Question Out of Nowhere

In the midst of a recent breakfast, a faculty colleague unexpectedly asked me, “What keeps your walk with God vibrant? You’ve been a professor for over 20 years. All those years, you’ve had success in your academic career, but have found time to create environments where you and others find “Jesus irresistible.” How do you do it?”

After some discussion about the grace of God, the love and prayers of a godly spouse, and the realization that there are no guarantees in life, I thought of two things that have helped keep my walk with God vibrant. They both seem to be necessary, but are certainly not sufficient.

 Consistent Significant Small Investments in Spiritual Disciplines

Each word in the phrase has proven critical. I have made, and continue to make, consistent, significant, small investments in reading the Scriptures, in prayer, in community, and in service. Dallas Willard’s book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, set me on this course. I found that for me, it’s not some great sacrifice, but simply the small investments in my walk that make the difference—over time.

Occasional Wild and Crazy Risks for God

Years ago, I learned that I need to have times where I have to depend upon God. So I take occasional wild or crazy risks for God, where I am pushed outside my zone of confidence. I’ve found that such risks only work when they not only are push the envelope of my experience, but they are also expensive. These risks have to cost me something: money, time, potential loss of reputation, or something else of value. After 20 secure years in an academic career, I need to listen to the times God whispers in my ear and says,“Step out, Dan. Take a risk. You’ll find that I can be trusted. And you’ll find Jesus more and more irresistible.”

— Dan Jensen, USAFA