Risk taker or Cautionary? Which are you? And Why?
When you look up the word, risk, it’s definition is all about danger or hazards.
But does it have to be? John Spacey writes in 7 Examples of a good risk that “a good risk is a risk that is attractive from the perspective of a society, organization or individual that it is taken in a calculated and managed way. All actions and inactions involve risk. As such, it is incorrect to think of risk as inherently bad.
Even in the bible it give strong examples of risk taking.
Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
Have you ever thought, “Why” am I here? “What is God’s plan for me?” God created us all unique and with purpose. A purpose that we are to carry out but without being tied relationally to God and trusting HIM fully for his leading we will most likely miss our purpose. Yes, to us it may feel risky. Most likely that is because it may take us to a place of discomfort, an unknow area.
I for one, dislike discomfort! There have been several times that I have clearly felt the calling of the Lord to move into an area of the unknown. One in particular was very difficult and I fought it for a while. What I see now is the fighting of that risk was unpleasant. Lisa Bevere says, “Risk is the antidote of anxiety.”. And she is right. This risk He was asking me to do was very personal. It had possibilities of exploding and causing great discomfort but ultimately I found that the discomfort of fighting and not moving was worse than moving where He was leading me. I won’t lie, it was painful and there was very personal loss associated with the risk of movement.
In the bible there are many examples of people taking great risks for the good and for God. Here are a few…..
Rahab knew what was about to happen to her city, and she acknowledged God’s sovereignty. “…for the lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” (Joshua 2:11). Scripture describes Rahab as “a harlot” in Joshua 2:1. But her past sins fade away when we see how she risked her own life to help Joshua’s men spy out the land. Rahab not only hid the men on her rooftop, but she also lied to the king’s men who asked about them. (Joshua 2:4). Punishment for lying to the king would be severe, but this didn’t deter Rahab from her goal – ensuring the safety of her family.
Abraham was tested by being told to take his son to the alter as a burnt sacrifice, in (Genesis 22). In verse 8-11, Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” Ultimately Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son but he did show that he was willing to take a big risk of obedience for God.
Mary took an ultimate risk. Having a child out of wedlock in biblical days would have caused all kinds of ridicule and shame. But Mary took on that risk as it says in (Luke 1) Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I am a virgin?” The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. For this reason the baby will be holy and will be called the Son of God. Now Elizabeth, your relative, is also pregnant with a son though she is very old. Everyone thought she could not have a baby, but she has been pregnant for six months. God can do anything!” Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.
And then there is Peter in (Matthew 14:29) Jesus was on the shore with many of his other followers when he instructed some of the get into the boat and push off into the water while Jesus stayed on shore to send the people home. It became late and the boat was way off shore into the lake. Jesus began walking on the water towards the boat and the men saw him but thought it was a ghost and they were afraid. Jesus said, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. Can you imagine stepping out of a boat, into choppy water and walking? What courage that took, and how risky!
There are many other stories of great risk takers for the Lord. Look them up! You just may find one or two that resonate with your calling.
So are you going to be a risk taker or a cautionary? What might He be asking you to do for your family, your community, your church or ultimately for Him? Will you choose the uncomfortable and unknow for Him?
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.