Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Word of God

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Faith that Risks pt 2

Risk: “exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.”

"Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith." Paul Borthwick.

To be honest, I never have to worry about personal injury or dangers within my Christianity. I am thankful for a country where I can serve and worship my God in the way I feel is Biblical without the need for fear of life. But this doesn’t mean I shouldn’t risk. If I live without risk, where is the need for faith? I must risk, or I cannot claim to be trusting. It’s easy to trust when there’s nothing to fear. It's easy to have faith when there's no danger. It’s when I climb out of the boat that I must have faith in spite of risk.

So what is a spiritual risk? First, spiritual risk is always something beyond me. If I can do it on my own, in my power, with my resources and/or talents, then it’s not going to require the help of God. It won’t require me to trust in something or Someone bigger than me. For it to be a true spiritual risk I must have to get outside of my comfort zone, away from the things which calm me, and be willing to step into the storm.

Spiritual risk is also something God tells me to do. Faith for the sake of faith is useless. If I’m just trying to prove that I have faith, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to prove it to myself or anyone else. The purpose of faith is to see God work in and through me. The purpose of fatih is to bring glory to my Heavenly Father. Some have said faith is like going down stairs only seeing the next step. I disagree. That doesn’t require faith. Faith is like going down stairs when you can’t see the next step. You step despite the fact that for all you know, there's nothing to step onto. True faith is not about the step; it’s about the One telling you to take that step. If I am going to take spiritual risks, I must make sure I am following the God who calls me to have faith.

Finally, spiritual risk must come at the potential cost of loss. I step out of the boat knowing that if God doesn’t allow me to walk on water, I will drown. I face the giant knowing that if the LORD of Hosts doesn’t give me His strength and power, I will die.

In my estimation, then, spiritual risk is a God given task or command that I obey blindly, knowing the consequences could be devastating. Knowing that if I put my trust in God instead of something or someone else, I could quite literally lose it all, whatever “all” is to you.

Perhaps some personal examples to follow…

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Faith that Risks

"Someone has said that faith has three distinct stages:
the faith that reckons,
the faith that rests,
the faith that risks."
- Leonard Ravenhill

It is this faith which I desire. As I look back on my life, I can see the way each has been a part of my life.

The faith that reckons; this faith was a gift from God, which brought me close to Him almost twenty years ago. It is this faith which I still have to go back to in the times when belief is hard, when my soul is tried.

The faith that rests; interestingly, this is the faith I've never struggled with. Since becoming a Christian, resting faith has almost come naturally to me. Yes, I've had times when the resting was interrupted by the winds and waves about me, but for the most part, I "rest easy."

It is the faith that risks which has me challenged. Certainly there have been times in my life when I've taken great risks, and seen God come through. Mostly these have fallen into the financial category. I wonder, though, how much this has affected my spiritual life? Do I take great spiritual risks, and if so, how have they changed me? What have been the results?