Are You a Risk-Taker for God?
by R. Dwight Hill
God is looking for risk takers: People who step out of the boat, as did Peter to walk toward Jesus; people who take the Lord’s word and promises at face value whatever the circumstances; people who are willing to go for broke, whenever God leads. In calling people, Jesus severely interrupted their comfortable lives by:
· Offering them a vagabond existence. (Luke 9:58)
· Disrupting their family obligations and responsibilities. (Matthew 4:19; Luke 9:60, 61)
· Promising a life of hardship and suffering. (John. 15:18-20; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 6:3-10; 11:16-29)
Tragically, “the motto of our generation is, ‘Safety First.’ Many young men [and women] are looking for a safe job in which they can feather their nest, secure their future, insure their lives, reduce all risks, and retire on a fat pension. There is nothing wrong in providing for your future, but this spirit pervades our lives until life becomes soft and padded and all adventure is gone. We are so thickly wrapped in cotton wool that we can neither feel the pain of the world nor hear the Word of God. Jesus did not remain in the social immunity of heaven, or hidden away in the safety of the skies. He entered the zone of danger, risking contamination…How can we make safety our ambition.”1
When God calls us to total commitment He “leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.” 2
If changes from our soft, bland, me-centered brand of Christianity are to be made, where do we start? We begin with unrushed time alone with God and His word. Truth is, getting and staying in God’s word is not something we do automatically. Rather it is the product of deep resolve and self-discipline. It will not effectively be done on the rush, or on the backstroke. In fact, our time with God must command first priority on a regular, sustained basis. It takes time to read and ponder the Scripture as you turn its truths over in your heart and mind; as you jot down your musings, praying over your findings, resolving to apply these truths to your life.
Is it any wonder Paul challenged Timothy: “…Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7b – NASB)? No discipline spells no discipleship.
QUESTION: Are you measured in offering your gifts to God, parsimoniously eking out each expenditure of time, talent and treasure for the work of His kingdom? Surely, the heart of God longs that you and I abandon ourselves to the pursuit of knowing Him, resulting in deep commitment to the furtherance of His cause. Tragically, the work of the King and His Kingdom languishes when our surrender and service to Him is impoverished.
Jesus summed up abandonment to Him quite simply: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
1John Stott in Crusade Magazine; 2 J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Discipleship Moody Publishers, 1994, pg. 30