As I sat in the emergency room waiting for the doctor to sew up my hand, my friend Mike and I had to laugh. Six stitches across my thumb due to one false move in cutting a metal stud for my basement! I always knew I wasn’t born a construction worker. I didn’t need this reminder. Yet God called had me out of my comfort zone once again to be involved in this project at a level I was unskilled in. Interestingly enough, prior to cutting the first metal stud, I stopped and prayed for God’s safety and protection. I am afraid of sharp objects and don’t do well with them. (I don’t even shave all that great!) What happened? The result of taking a risk.
The Biblical teachings on living an abundant life are having an impact on me. God has been speaking to me about risk-taking being part of living a faith-filled life. I am trying to figure out how that applies to me. Being obedient to what we know God to be telling is integrity.
The entire Bible is filled with accounts of risk takers for God. In the book of Acts, (chapter 20:7-12,) Paul is once again used dramatically. While listening to him preach a very lengthy sermon, a young man named Eutychus dozed off around midnight and fell down. Other than embarrassment, this usually wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Except Eutychus was sitting in a window on the third story. His friends pronounce him dead. Paul rushes to the ground, throws his arms around Eutychus and tells everyone present that he is alive- which is now true thanks to God, and to Paul’s obedience. In being so bold, Paul took a great risk that he heard God correctly. Certainly, Paul was a gifted speaker, but imagine how those listening even more so considered the truth of his words after this resurrection! (And like some preachers, Paul then continued talking until daylight!) Point being, Paul’s risk brought God glory. Not only were people more willing to believe, you can bet Paul’s own faith was deepened.
Not every risk brings such spectacular results. What about my hand? Hadn’t I prayed for safety? God was faithful to me. No cut tendons, no nerve damage, no loss of mobility. But no one was raised from the dead, either. The truth is that sometimes risk brings results we didn’t plan for- tough circumstances or even anger from others. (Overseas missionaries get this all the time!) What did I learn or accomplish? Haven’t a clue. But this I do know: when God leads, I would rather risk then let my fear keep me from obedience. To me, that is the biggest part of living an abundant life-obedience.
What about you? What does risk taking look like in your life? Are you listening or watching for God to challenge you in a new way? What would obedience bring?
Can you live with the chance of failure? Can you make that leap of faith? Ask God to lead you and give you the strength to jump. You can be sure the abundant life is what He has waiting for you.