Being a cautious Christian is an oxymoron. When we choose to follow Jesus, He tells us to “Count the Cost”. This isn’t a tactic to scare anyone from following Him, it’s a test of courage. He is asking us whether we are willing to take risks – whether we are serious about our faith. Because true faith is spelt R – I – S – K.
We love to talk about great examples of faith. David was willing to take on someone who was “impossible” to defeat. An entire army wasn’t crazy enough to risk their lives, yet David did! And we love sharing that story to encourage others yet don’t really apply it to our own lives. We love talking about Daniel who was willing be eaten alive by lions and his three friends who were willing to risk their own lives by putting their faith in God. Yet when we face persecution or possible death for our faith, we back down. We can’t use the example of Peter enough when Jesus told him to step out of the boat and onto the water. “We must have faith like him and trust God” we tell others, yet fail to apply the same principle in our own lives.
These heroes of faith seem to be great to talk about when we give sermons or encourage others. But, my question is, why don’t we practice what we preach? Why are we so quick to tell everyone that they need to have faith, yet we tend to live a “risk-free” life. And our excuse is often – “God wants us to use our common sense!” What I have found in my walk with God is that there is no “common sense” when it comes to stepping out in faith. In fact, faith doesn’t make sense at all. But it doesn’t need to. God knows what He is doing.
About 22 years ago, I was doing great as a single guy in South Africa. I was teaching at a school for physically disabled kids and was a hostel master. I loved my job, was earning a good salary and lived on the premises. There was no living costs involved. I even got my food for free. Over and above all those privileges, I also owned a very lucrative swimming club that brought in a wad of cash. There was no reason for me to move to a different town, yet I felt the call to do so, even if it meant I would lose the comforts I had. I lost so much as far as material things are concerned, but that is where I met my amazing wife. God rewards faith. He smiles upon those who trust Him.
That doesn’t mean that things always turn out great for us in human terms. So many people who risked everything for God, lose their lives. A good friend of mine, who put all his faith in God, recently died of cancer. Yet he refused to blame God or walk away from a life of faith. You see, as Christians, we don’t follow God’s calling and put our faith in Him, to get stuff. We do it because we love Him and because it leads to a life filled with purpose and reason. If we don’t have something in our lives worth dying for, we have nothing worth living for. I would choose to lose my life on earth, in order to gain an eternity with God, anytime.
For without risk, there is no faith. And the greater the risk, the greater the faith.
May your day be awesome, but not risk-free. May your life be an example to the world, filled with faithfulness.