CHRISTIANS Should Be Risk Takers

If you have enough faith, Scripture says we can move mountains.  Too often I see Christians unwilling to take any risks whatsoever.  Having been a member and on the board of a church that has grown from 450 to over 40,000 on special occasions and can be heard around the world on the Internet, it didn’t happen because of a lack of faith.  How can Christians be convinced that God wants them to be successful and prosperous as examples and to help spread His gospel to everyone?  It’s not done by winning the lottery.  It takes using Biblical principles and trusting God to help you make the right decisions most of the time.  The willingness to take risks that are well thought out in advance and if the necessary preparations are made, you will have a great chance to succeed.  God doesn’t always bless us for just showing up!  It takes commitment, tenaciousness and hard work, but faith and trusting are most necessary.   We have the advantage of God being with us through the Holy Spirit wanting to help us do our best.  Here’s my story:

Years ago before children had the toys that are available today there were soap box derbies.  Dads and sons would build racing carts and enter them in the soap box races.  They may be made out of orange crates on short two by fours with axles and wheels.  They had a steering mechanism and brakes.  That was the total racer.

Most of the contestants were eager youngsters who leaned forward or hunkered down in their carts hoping to decrease wind resistance thereby increasing speed.  One youngster was visibly frightened at the prospect of going too fast down a long hill and compensated by riding the brake to keep his speed under control.  He finished last.

In my younger days some of our relatives would go to the Pacific Ocean for a weekend and would dig clams and have clam chowder.  To this day it is my favorite soup.  I remember wading out into waist deep water, standing mesmerized as a huge wave approached, broke and knocked me flat in a swirl of sand, saltwater and tangled arms and legs.  My next try resulted in a repeat of my first humiliation.

I use these two illustrations to describe the Christian’s frame of mind when the first few steps of faith are taken.  A fully committed Christian is like a youngster who takes his foot off the brake and goes full tilt down the steepest of hills.  The committed Christian is also like a person who wades into the surf, dives headlong into the first wave and swims into the vast Pacific Ocean.

The problem that exists is once the initial wave of enthusiasm passes, and it will, there is an inclination to settle into a kind of treadmill mentality.  Once the excitement has passed, life returns to dealing with the day to day pressures that surround us.  So before any more steps are taken we need to learn how to maintain momentum and stay charged.

If you have been reading my blogs, almost each one will tell you that you must develop a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and be tuned into His presence.  I use the word “tuned in” because it is not always a conscious awareness.  But when something noteworthy happens, whether it is considered a good thing or a not-so-good thing, the presence of the Holy Spirit comes to mind and is cause for celebration.  He is your inner partner when someone aims a six-shooter between your eyes; He is present when the roof caved in or the stock market crashed as we have just seen or He is with you when oil is discovered in your backyard.

It is His partnership that is energizing.  It’s the difference between sitting in a foxhole alone and scared or sitting in a foxhole with the Joint Chief of Staff right there with you.  It has been my experience that many Christians, when it comes to stepping out in faith, ride the brakes or only put their toe in the water.  If they only knew what God has in store for them and what they may be missing, they will only know when they get to heaven.  But what an exciting life we could have if we just put our faith into action.

We as Christians have a tremendous advantage.  We have been assured that we can always enjoy beneficial circumstances and it enables us to transform the most hopeless looking position into a favorable position.  However, it is all based on the condition of our spiritual heart which determines the kinds of decisions we make.

Every one of us has a worldly nature and a spiritual nature.  The two natures are in conflict with each other because the worldly nature is self-serving and the spiritual nature is God-serving.  Therefore, the condition of our spiritual heart determines the kinds of decisions we make.  Business decisions, job decisions, family decisions and personal decisions are all affected by our true nature or heart.  We also are repeatedly influenced by satanic forces with which we must deal.

Countless Scriptures make the point that spiritual health is a direct outgrowth of our spiritual natures winning the conflict taking place within us.  Galatians 5:17 – “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

Which nature are we allowing to win?  Is our worldly nature saying “Keep your foot on the brake; you may risk losing everything”?  Or are we willing as committed Christians to hunker down, with our foot off the brake saying I am willing to let it all hang out that I might fulfill God’s will in my life.  And that might require taking a risk! It may even require swimming with the sharks.

Deuteronomy 28:1 – 9 – “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.   You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:  Your towns and your fields will be blessed.  Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed.  Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed.   Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.   The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!  The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.  If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do.”  NLT

I believe this applies also to the United States and Christians who are obedient and walk in the ways of Christ.

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