The urban dictionary defines the word Booyah as “an exclamatory statement often said when someone is overjoyed!” (It is usually used in response to some victory or accomplishment.) Hold that thought and hang with me for a minute…
I know we’re supposed to live by faith every day—in everything. But in my life, there have been a few critical moments—God moments, when He was intervening in remarkable and unparalleled ways, calling me (or us) to step out in some radical, life-altering way. (Eg: Coming to Lancaster in 1990, fighting cancer recently, and now entering the pastorate.) These are defining, irrevocable, and absolute moments of comprehensive life-shift.
These kinds of moments are lifetime landmarks—dividing points where life unalterably and radically changes, never to return to “normal.” God is defining a new normal. And most lives only look back on a handful. And every time God leads into one of these seasons, He requires a level of faith that appears, in human terms, utterly blind.
On one side of the faith-decision you have the familiar—the known. On the other you have the unfamiliar and unknown. And there’s no traversing or exploring the dividing line. Unlike many life choices, you can’t shop your options, weigh the risks, or consider alternatives. At these junctures, the future is completely in God’s hands and you’re standing at a daunting precipice of faith. You have no clue what is beyond the precipice, and everything on the safe side of the guard rail says, “Don’t JUMP! Stay safe in your familiar life.”
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of these faith places is the irreversibility of the leap. These moments are not experimental, they are conclusive. Once you jump, there’s no “un-jumping.” Life will never be the same if you jump. And so we often stand there at the edge of the cliff, staring, reconsidering, fearing, hesitating. Sometimes, like cancer, God doesn’t give you a choice—He just sort of tosses you over the precipice—in love of course.
Staring at the jump God is requiring—if we are seeking and acknowledging Him—then He is clearly speaking (more on that later). He does that well. We know He is saying, “Jump and I will catch you!” But like a frightened toddler, we hesitate to trust our Father. We toss and turn at night. We fret and wrestle with Him in our spirits. We lose our physical appetite to anxiety. “What if He doesn’t catch me?! God, I think you’re asking too much here!”
If we disobey, walk away from the ledge, and retreat to our safe-zone, the price of disobedience is always greater than the price of obedience. If we refuse to jump—if we will not act in total abandonment and surrender—we tie God’s hands. Our unbelief prevents Him from doing any mighty work that He may have done! (Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”) At best, we invite God’s chastening and rebuke—as did Jonah. (Who eventually did exactly what God wanted Him to do any way—just smelling a lot worse!)
But if we obey—if we step over the guard rail, take the leap off the ledge of the familiar, trusting God with unreserved, total abandonment and absolute trust—oh, how He catches us! Just over the precipice of faith—just out of sight—is grace, provision, fulfilled promises, and the powerful hand of God waiting to wrap securely around you and carry you forward. Just beyond the point of radical faith is the unfolding of God’s presence and intricate master plan in personal and miraculous ways.
And there’s always one more thing on the other side of that wall. A sheepish apology to Jesus—”Uh… Lord, I’m really sorry for doubting you—I know I’m a foolish child.” Let me explain the experience.
Staring at the precipice is terrifying. It’s a leap like no other, and as you look through the fog, all you see is the free-fall. But God see’s the catch! Once you leap, there’s the breath-taking moment of free-falling (like an amusement park ride), and then quite suddenly, seemingly out of know-where, you land softly and securely in the palm of God’s hand. You find He was waiting, way ahead of you. And then He begins to reveal His plan—the one you couldn’t see, the one He was waiting to unveil all along, like a loving parent on Christmas morning. Suddenly you feel silly and think, “Well, if I would have known… I wouldn’t have feared, hesitated, or doubted! I would have jumped without reservation!”
And that’s where I think BOOYAH comes in!
I wonder in those moments just beyond faith—those moments where God has caught us and begun unveiling His awesome plan—if He isn’t smiling, even laughing a bit, and shouting “Booyah!” I wonder if He’s delighting over us, and saying, “See! That’s how I operate! I told you I REWARD faith!”
It’s not exactly a Bible Word—you won’t find it in the Greek or Hebrew I’m sure—but I’m think it might resemble how God feels about us when we leap off the edge of familiar and fall utterly and entirely into the safety of His hands. He catches us, blesses us, and probably smiles when we finally feel silly for not trusting.
The next time you hear someone celebrate a moment of “See, I told you so!” or a moment of “Awesomeness!” by saying “BOOYAH!”—stop and ask yourself, “Has God felt that way about my faith recently?
And if you’re staring at a precipice, fearing a leap of faith, expecting if you jump you will go “splat”—remember what’s just over the edge in the fog, beyond your vision. Jesus! His mighty hand! Just as soon as you jump, you’ll fall providentially into the secure and faithful hand of God. And then you will feel silly for doubting.
Give Him a reason to smile and say “BOOYAH” in celebration of your faith!
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)