Contend Earnestly: Taking Risks is Christian, Playing it Safe is Idolatry

Friday, December 04, 2009

Taking Risks is Christian, Playing it Safe is Idolatry

When was the last time you heard a godly man or woman in the Bible described as "a person who continually played it safe"? I am not sure if you could ever describe a person in the Bible as such. Now, does this mean that they then just took stupid risks for the sake of taking risks? No, they were thoughtful in their risk taking, but were continually taking risks. Know this also, that the idea of taking risks is only involved on the human level and not the omniscient infinite God level. While we see it as trusting in God and taking a risk, God knows all things and never takes a risk, and never "plays it safe" because these ideas are not even viable for an all knowing God.

But, think of the patriarchs of the Bible:

Noah built a huge boat in a desert in a world that never had rain

Abraham left his family and country to follow one God, instead of many gods. I am sure they told him that "even a blind squirrel finds a nut"...meaning (like those on Mars Hill in Acts 17) that if we worship enough gods, we'll get one right. Abraham rebuked all those gods and his land to follow one. Talking about putting all your money on red.

David went to fight an uncircumcised Philistine as a boy when his brothers were playing it safe behind their great army of self idolizing cowards

Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord against his own people, which led to people hating him and throwing him into a pit

John the Baptist, yelled at people in the desert, ate bugs, dressed like an overzealous hippie and mocked the Pharisees. So much so, that it lead to his head being served up like a ham.

The 12 apostles left their comforts to follow some carpenter from a small town that seemed to have the power of God upon him

Paul stopped killing Christians and joined their ranks, knowing that this meant he was a traitor and it was only a matter of time before he was dealt with by "the family" and put into the trunk of a Cadillac

Jesus, who was the biggest risk taker of all, from a human standpoint, shows us that when we are doing the will of God, there is no risk at all.

Think of your life, and the life of those listed above. They all seem to be taking huge risks. But, when we turn to the life of Christ, we can't say that he took any risks because he knew what the future held and was doing the will of his Father. Realize this. You have the same Father, and you have the same Spirit of power within you to take risks in the Father's will. This, in the end, shows forth not as risks at all, but really radical ways to live for the glory of God instead of the safety of the idols of the world.

Are you listening to what God is telling you to do in your life? Are you willing to take a risk because you believe it is the will of God? I am not saying to make a stupid decision, but if you are afraid to follow what God is telling you because you have made an idol of your surroundings and this need to repent quicker than Sodom as the fire is raining from heaven.

If we didn't know better, think of Christ. He left heaven, laid aside his Divine privileges to walk amongst us and die for us, all while we spit in his face and nailed his hands to the cross. Not only that, but he was born to a girl who was 14. That girl today would be into Hannah Montana and standing in line with 30 year old married women to watch the latest Twilight movie. This is who God entrusted to bring forth the Christ to the world. Seems like a risk, until we read the divine knowledge given to us in Acts 2:22-24:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

What predetermined plan of God is being placed on your heart today? Are you resisting the will of God for the comforts of your stupid crap sitting around you?

Pray that God would reveal where he wants you to take risks so that his name is glorified among the nations. Take some time to read about others who did the same, not only in the Scriptures, but also afterwards.

Read about those in the Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Read about Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, John Bunyan, Hudson Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Lottie Moon, et al.

Know that they, at one point, were at the same place you are. Sitting around, waiting and wanting the Lord to work through them. The only difference might be that we look to our surroundings for our safety, and they saw themselves as pilgrims and aliens, awaiting their true home in heaven.

Safety sucks. Jesus doesn't.


Arthur Sido said...

I hear what you are saying brother. I am contemplating a lot of radical changes. What risk taking for Christ are you meditating on?

Darlene said...

Recently, Father Daniel Sysoyev, an Orthodox priest, was shot in his parish in Russia by a Muslim fundamentalist. Father Sysoyev was aware and even prepared that he might one day die for Christ, and even he told his wife what he wanted to be buried in. He was hated by many Muslims for preaching Christ openly to them. Knowing the risks, and receiving many death threats, he still persevered in pointing others to Christ.

In his last interview (just weeks before he was martyred), it is quite evident that he longed for and lived in the reality of our eternal, Heavenly Kingdom. Here is an excerpt:

"So let us all flee from here. Why should we cling to the perishable? Why should we attach our heart to that which we will abandon forever? Hasten to heaven all partakers of the mystery of Christ. Become citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. God the Father is waiting for us. Will we really exchange His embrace for the elusive darkness of this age and the delusion of human ideology?"

May his memory be eternal! And may we all be willing and ready to shed our blood if necessary, for the cause of our blessed Lord Jesus! Grant us the strength and courage, O Lord, to be ready to suffer for You in whatever way You would have us do so.

"If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you."

"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake."

In Christ's Immeasurable Love,


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