Thursday, July 6, 2017

Risking for Jesus

Have you ever listened to a missionary's story or someone else's story of faith and been amazed, touched, and overwhelmed with how God used their life for His Kingdom?  What about a teenage girl who sparked the great welsh revival?  Or Corrie ten Boom who was imprisoned for helping Jews escape the Nazi holocaust?  There are many stories like these, many we don't even have names for because they are believers living sold out lives for Jesus in their small towns and neighborhoods in their everyday.  See people, love them...risk and tell them about Jesus, show them who Jesus is. These aforementioned stories may seem like the extreme but they all started somewhere, they all started with obedience, risk.  I want to believe God, believe that He is all powerful and in control, and live like I believe it heeding to every prompt by the Holy Spirit living in me.

Why are we afraid to risk?  Fear of rejection, change, don't think we have the right words, afraid to live outside our comfort zones or are we just plain selfish?  I heard an Alaskan missionary speak last year and he said we tell ourselves that it isn't a convenient time to speak to someone (in the grocery store, doctor's office, etc) so we say nothing....but that there is never an inconvenient time to change a life.  Look for ways and opportunities for the Spirit to lead you into conversations about Jesus, let's start seeing the people in front of us.

I think there should be a God-honoring, obedient risk in our lives every single day. I'm not saying I want that to be true. I'm just saying I believe that Jesus lives on the other side of our comfort. And that when we get comfortable for too long, we start to miss our need for God. We tend to make most of our decisions based on our fears rather than on our faith. Obedient risk will simply be us leaning into His abundance, leaning into His love, simply believing that He will work, believing that He could take any situation and any boring day and cause life change to happen in it. This isn't just random risk, throwing caution to the wind. This is you stepping out of the boat toward whatever risk God puts in your path, no matter the cost. I want to love Him more than I want to appear religious. I want to love people enough to lead them to the One who can heal them. I want to be healed myself. I want to initiate for the good of those around me rather than pad my existence with comfort and ease. - Jennie Allen (NTP)

Some of my greatest "risk" moments have been with my own family members, my own children...uncomfortable conversations that I knew needed to happen, to honor Jesus and point them to Him.  I don't always do this well and sometimes I fail and stumble over my words or get strange looks (especially from strangers) and that's ok.  Lost people especially will think we are odd for loving Jesus wildly and even some of our Christian brothers and sisters will shake their heads at our risk.  When I quit my job last Summer and gave up half our income I thought I would get the "she's crazy" and maybe I did.  But I knew I was being obedient and clung to God's promise of never leaving, nor forsaking me and then I would ashamedly bawl and whine and feel like I was giving up too much or this was too hard and God would gently remind me that this was His plan for me, that He was in control, that He is bigger than all of these piddly things I was concerned about.  The risk...on paper looked completely ridiculous (our tax return even more so), how did we survive?  We serve a big and mighty God, that's how.  And can I tell you that we, my hubby and I, are having the time of our lives!?! We are!!  My husband and I get to do ministry together and we are closer to Jesus and each other than we ever have been.  God really does know what He's doing.  Risk, He's worth it.

There is no safer risk than throwing the weight of your life on an eternal, loving, steadfast God. - Jennie Allen (NTP).

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