There seems to be a theme that has been building in my life that has really began to come full circle as we begin this year. I wrote about this last week when talking about living an adventure and that theme falls back to risk. Throughout life there is the challenge to enter into risk or to avoid it. To try things that are dangerous with an uncertain outcome or to play it safe and follow the straight and narrow. There are good risks and bad risks. When I was a kid, we didn’t think twice about stacking all kinds of junk and leaning a long board against it for a ramp to jump our bikes. What was probably even less genius about it is that the ramp was on the driveway and the landing point was the road. We certainly had our share of close calls with cars flying through.
There’s another type of risk that is good risk. It may still be dangerous. It can leave you with a lot of uncertainty, but the outcome in the end will be more wonderful than you can imagine. That is the risk to follow Christ. The risk to say to the world that I don’t belong to you and I am going to follow where God leads. This may not seem like a risky thing on the surface to some, but this type of risk is more opposed than anything in this world. There is so much spiritual warfare pitted against anyone that wants to follow God’s lead.
I remember this time last year. I was just a couple of weeks out from flying to Colorado for the Wild at Heart Boot Camp. As the day drew near, I came under attack, although I didn’t know it at the time. Every single day for the weeks prior, I suffered continuous headaches. It bothered me a random times of day. When I was working out, when I was reading, when working, and other strange random times. It continued so persistently that I was contemplating cancelling the trip. I was worried about what was going on. I had never suffered those kind of headaches and haven’t since then.
I fly out and it’s still bothering me. I get to Denver and board the buses out to Crooked Creek Ranch, it’s still there. Thinking this may also be altitude, I ignored it, but it still worried me. Then we get to the first session on Thursday evening. We prayed as a group. Me and 400+ other men. Then John Eldredge says, “Congratulations men, you made it.” The rest of the time there, the headaches were gone. I came home, the headaches were gone. I didn’t realize this until later that this was spiritual warfare. The enemy was trying to stop me. I took the risk however and followed God and life hasn’t been the same sense. That was a good risk.
Risk is such a powerful thing and God calls each of us into risk. Being willing to risk it all, no matter the cost, to seek out His will and allow Christ to come in and transform us. Risk is always opposed by the enemy when we are following God, but God has been taking a risk on us from the very beginning, first in creating us, and now in his pursuit of us. Then we see stories of people risking it all for the Lord. All the way from the beginning. Abraham followed God to Canaan. Moses stood against Pharaoh to free Israel. David stood against the giant, Goliath. Jesus lived His life on earth following the Father’s will even to the point of His death. Then we have the apostles, most of whom lost their lives in service of Christ Jesus. Such amazing stories of incredible risk.
God is calling each of us into risk as well. He called me to Colorado and is now calling me to do Kingdom work seeking the lost through counseling. I pray about this change everyday. I don’t know what God will have in store as this work truly begins. He is using the gifts He granted me for His glory now and I have surrendered to that. That is a big risk. It’s going to bring about massive changes for my family, but it’s something having a renewed heart, mind, and spirit that we welcome wholeheartedly.
Too many people are complacent in where they are in life. Especially many Christians. God calls us into risk and into spiritual growth and maturity. We can’t be stranded in stale adolescence. David Wilkerson wrote, “Today, some Christians are content to merely exist until they die. They don’t want to risk anything, to believe God, to grow or mature. They refuse to believe his Word, and have become hardened in their unbelief. Now they’re living just to die.” Don’t live life to just die. As one of my friends, Jeff, wrote today on Facebook, live to live. God has so much in store when we enter his Kingdom. Be willing to risk now so that you can live life and not just live to die.
Let’s get out of mediocrity. Let’s get out of stagnant and stale adolescence and risk it to follow Christ no matter the cost. The enemy will oppose you. His demons will oppose you. The world, even including people you love, will oppose you. You, however, need to be willing to oppose all of that in order to live for the Kingdom. To win for the Kingdom. To be sanctified by Christ daily in your walk with Him. To follow Him no matter the cost and if He is calling you to move, being willing to move into the unknown. Dare to risk!
I want a lifetime of holy moments. Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus. I long for a life that explodes with meaning and is filled with adventure, wonder, risk, and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh.” – Mike Yaconelli