Monday, March 23, 2009

Respond- Engaging in Risky Behavior

When is the last time that you engaged in risky behavior? For me, I don't do risky behavior. I don't like the way that it makes me feel. I get all nervous inside and my hands start sweating and sometimes I feel like I am going to throw up. My mind starts asking questions like, "What happens if I fail? What if I am rejected?" so I talk myself out of a lot of things. But in my talking myself out of things, do I miss out on opportunities to do something really good? What if I do succeed and what if I am am received with excitement and affection? I have often heard the saying, "Nothing risked is nothing gained", and I always thought that was a 'neat' slogan to live by. It was definitely not an anthem that I wanted to have plastered across my face until I began to realize that sometimes God prompts me to engage in risky behavior to take me to a place where he can use me. So I am left with a choice, do I engage or do I run? Am I certain that God is going to lead me even though I cannot see him or do I allow Satan to rule me with a spirit of fear?

The main reason we don't see God at work is fear. We're afraid to take the risk and respond. He prompts us to say something encouraging to a friend, but we fear what they'll think. He prompts us to meet a need, but we're afraid our efforts will be misunderstood. He prompts us to get involved, but we fear we won't have time or know what to do. He prompts us to stand for what's right, but we fear the consequences. Only as faith conquers fear will we see with spiritual eyes. (Burke 2008)

In the Psalms God says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you" (Psalm 32:8-9. God had equipped us with the ability to make sound decisions. He speaks to us and guides us to walk in His perfect will. We must trust in our knowledge of His truth and believe that He does not leave us or forsake us. We have to remove our will from the equation and allow Him to steer us so that we do not become like the stubborn mules of this world that stand paralyzed by fear. As we read His word and share quiet moments with Him, we become more attuned to His voice and develop more confidence to share His love with others. Are you ready to engage in risky behavior and listen to what the Holy Spirit wants you to do?

It is my prayer for you this week that our Father guides you in your decision making. Whatever your circumstances may be, I pray that you would not be fearful, but that His word would show you what to do when risky situations arise. May the Lord bless you in your going out and in your coming in. May you find peace and strength as you face life's challenges this week.