Thursday, August 23, 2012

TAKING RISKS





   The Bible exhorts us to walk by faith and to trust in God. 

To walk by faith is to take risks; to step out of our comfort zone 
and into what is not a guaranteed outcome. 

The book of Jeremiah records in chapters 38-39, that when Babylon, under King Nebuchadnezzar, attacked Jerusalem, King Zedekiah asked the prophet Jeremiah to pray for him. 

God spoke to the king through Jeremiah and promised him that if he would surrender to the Babylonians, he and his family would survive and that the city would not be burned. 

But Zedekiah was afraid to surrender. He was afraid that the Jews who had already gone over to the Babylonians would mock him. 
Rather than face that risk, he chose to disobey God. 

When he tried to escape, the enemy captured King Zedekiah, killed his sons, and then put out his eyes. They burned Jerusalem and marched a host of captives away to Babylon. 

How different the outcome would have been had Zedekiah only believed God’s word to him! 

God promises that He has good plans for us, to give us a future and a hope. All He asks is that we trust Him and obey His word. 

Sometimes obedience to God’s word may invite mocking and ridicule from nonbelievers. It might mean going where we’ve never been before or learning something new. Sometimes it 
might mean giving up something we think we cannot live without. It might even mean taking medications or undergoing treatments we are afraid of but that could improve or even 
save our lives.

When we allow fear to motivate our decisions we will not walk by faith, for fear is faith's polar opposite. Fear will never obey God because it can't--it is an evil torment based on a lie generated by the enemy sent to hinder God's children from realizing their full potential in Christ. 

Fear constantly haunts us with thoughts and scenarios of what might happen if we take the course of action that we sense God 
is guiding us to take. If we would sit down and take the time to analyze those negative thoughts we would see them for what 
they are--bullies intending to steal a great blessing and maybe even our very lives from us! 

Fear is cousin to a lie and a lie is the offspring of Satan the Thief.

"The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
Faith overcomes fear. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4

Proverbs 3:5-6 exhorts us to: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." 

If we love God, He will give us the faith to trust Him. If we trust Him, He will give us the grace to obey Him. 

Obedience pushes us out of our comfort zone and into an area of risk, but it always results in blessing. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know the beginning and the ending of all things. You know our future and the road we should take.  Though we cannot see you, help us to trust you to lead us down the right path. In Christ’s name, we pray. 

"Taking Risks" © 2012 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Unto The Least Of These

*Adapted From the Meditation I wrote called "Taking Risks"  that was first published in the May/June 2005 issue of the Upper Room Devotional Magazine.