Taking risks

Abraham was a risk-taker.

It’s hard to beat setting off from his home in Haran without knowing where he was going just because God told him to (Genesis 12).

It turned out to be a history-making decision. But it must not have seemed a very good move to onlookers at the time. After all, he was abandoning a relatively safe and secure home with his father’s family.

When I look at great men and women of the Bible, I see a lot of risk-taking.

There was the young woman Mary who accepted God’s mission of bearing the Son of God even though her reputation in respectable society could be destroyed.

And what about the prophets? They put their lives on the line daily in order to tell the truth to power – the kings of Israel and Judah.

I think there’s a message here for me.  God hasn’t put me here to sit back and enjoy a well-deserved rest after a life-time of work.  I’m sure he wants me to enjoy what I have – after all, he has given it to my wife and myself.  But there’s always more for me to do.

I admit I’m not a risk-taker by nature.  My wife and I have ventured beyond our comfort zones at different times in our lives.  When we have, we have felt stretched – just as Abraham must have felt stretched.  But, on the whole, we have led relatively calm lives.

Why would God ask Abraham to take risks?  Or, Gideon?  Because he had something for them to do in a grand plan.  His plan often means swimming against the tide – and that is not popular.  His plan will bring glory to God and is for the eternal good of the people of God.  But sometimes even the people of God will not understand.

It may be that my role in God’s grand plan is one small thing.  But, he does want me to do it, even if it means risking something of myself.

I like the stories of Abraham and Gideon.  They were not perfect men.  Sometimes they did the cowardly thing, just as I have done many times myself.  But, in the end, they had faith in God and they did what he asked them to do.

Imperfect though they were, these men were risk-takers.  And I believe God wants me – and every other believer – to be ready to take risks for the kingdom of God, too.

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