“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4-6).
In every Christian life, an element of risk is necessary. Sometimes our faith requires us to step out of our comfort zone. Unfortunately for many, the risk of discomfort is too much to bear, so the Word remains silent towards those who so desperately need to hear it.
Without taking risks, our work in a broken world that has, in so many ways, separated themselves from God, cannot be done. In the above example from Scripture, the work cannot be completed if we find contentment in watching from the sideline. The land will not sow itself and there will be no harvest to reap if we aren’t willing to take the risk involved in planting the seeds.
The ability to take risks also requires an element of trust. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to, “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” The risk required to save the world from itself asks us to trust in God to do the heavy lifting. It requires us to humble ourselves even as we step out in faith.
When Jesus asked Peter to walk to Him on the water, it required the faith that knows that God will provide. Even though Peter knew that walking on the water was not possible as he knew it, he trusted in Christ to make it possible. He took the risk of faith and only found himself sinking when he diverted his eyes to the storm.
Abraham, when asked to sacrifice his only son, took the risk that God had a plan and made the arrangements to do so, even if he didn’t understand it at the time. In the end he was rewarded for his faith and became the father of many nations.
When young David saw the Israelite army cowering under the threats of the Philistines and their hero Goliath, he trusted in God enough and took on the risk of death to face the giant with a simple sling and stone. In the end, the Philistines ran because their hero crumbled.
In each case, those who God called had to take a risk to make God’s wishes a reality. God said in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He isn’t asking us to take the risk alone. He promises to guide your lips and actions as we step out in faith.
Somehow we must learn to shed our fears of persecution and live for our everlasting life and not our temporary one. To do this requires faith and a little amount of risk. Sometimes people won’t be open to hearing the Good News, but that’s ok. These momentary setbacks should not stop us from accepting that risk and from doing what we have been called to do.
When God’s people finally came to the promised land after 40 years of wondering, many were scared because the land they were being given was filled with people who would fight to keep it. Undaunted, God commanded Moses, “Arise, go on your journey at the head of the people, so that they may go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give them.’ “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deuteronomy 10:11-12). In the end their risks were also rewarded.
This is the same that He asks from us. He has promised us great things, but we must be willing to fight for it. That means taking risks in spreading the good news “having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:14-18).
Taking risk can be scary, but they must be undertaken if we are to carry on the work we have been called to do. Trust in the Lord to guide you and to give you all the tools necessary. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, prepare us to do Your work in this broken world and help us to trust in You in all things. Forgive us for our meekness and lack of faith and make us willing to take on the risk to be bold witnesses to the world. Amen.