“The Lord called Samuel again the third time.”

1Sa 3:8 NKJV

You didn’t arrive on this planet with your calling pre-clarified and your gifts pre-developed. Discerning God’s calling usually involves attempts and failures. He called Samuel four times before he recognized the divine voice. Before Peter walked on the water he said, “‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You.’ And [Jesus] said, ‘Come’” (Mt 14:28-29 NAS). Here’s a lesson you can learn from this: You are not in charge of water-walking, Jesus is! It’s not about having power at your disposal to be used any time you choose, for whatever you please. Before you decide to get out of the boat you’d better be sure it’s what you’ve been called to—and that Jesus is the One calling you. God’s looking for more than impulsiveness. Sometimes we make reckless decisions about relationships, finances, or work, then rationalize them using the veneer of spiritual language. In many self-help books risk-taking is seen as commendable, but as a Christian the risks you take should be in direct response to God. If you’re a thrill-seeking personality you may be particularly susceptible in this area. Boredom can make you vulnerable, and tempt you to solve your problems by making rash decisions that are out of step with God’s will. There’s a fine line between “Thou shalt not be afraid” and “Thou shalt not be stupid”—one that’s easily blurred. Knowing when to step out of the boat and take a risk doesn’t just call for courage, it calls for wisdom to ask the right questions, discernment to recognize the Master’s voice, and patience to wait until He says, “Come!”