As I was preparing to write this, the thought that came to my mind was that faith is risky. Now please don’t assume that I am a heretic or that I mean that we are to be presumptuous in our faith. But what I want to communicate is that there is a huge element of risk involved with walking in faith.
Let me define what I mean by risk. When God calls us to do something or to step out in faith there is an inherit risk because when we obey we are not sure of what the outcome will be. But we go for it because we have faith. Imagine the thoughts that might have been going through the nation of Israel as they began to march around the walls of Jericho? What about Gideon who had a trained and equipped army but God said to pare it down to just 300? And then there is David who was just a teen but had more faith than all of the armies of Saul. He faced the giant with five smooth stones and a sling shot. What about the disciples who left their jobs to follow a man who called them to follow?
Throughout the record of biblical history, godly men and women had their quiet lives interrupted by a call to act courageously in obedience to God. They were given a call
which asked them to leave the serene security of their lives to accomplish a work that God has set aside for them to do.
In all of these circumstances they had no idea of what the outcome would be. What if on the seventh day and the seventh time around Jericho the walls did not even vibrate? What if the walls had not fallen? Imagine the glee of the inhabitants of Jericho? Imagine the laughter and ridicule that would have come from the city? Imagine the sense of failure on the part of Israel?
But the nation stepped out in obedient faith. In fact, each step they took was a step of faith. It was a risk but it was worth it. The reason they could take the risk is that they had a promise and a plan initiated by one greater than them. In Joshua chapter 1 we see why they had such great faith to do something so wild and crazy.
First of all, in verses 2-3 they had a word from God that the land they were to possess was theirs already; all they had to do was take it. They could take the risk because God was leading them and their success or failure was not in their ability to accomplish the task but to trust God. In fact, in verse 5 they had been given the promise that they would succeed because they had the presence of God with them. He would not allow them to fail.
Secondly, their success was predicated on their obedience and willingness to follow God with a whole heart. Joshua their leader had received and had communicated to the nation that they could and should be strong and courageous. They did not have to fear the enemy. As they obeyed God the walls fell and they totally conquered Jericho. The enemy had been destroyed.
But a problem occurred as they ran to take Ai. The problem is that they did not seek for God’s direction; they simply ran on their past successes to defeat Ai. The sad commentary is that they were defeated in the process. The people of Ai routed them out of town. The Israelites that were once victorious now bowed their heads in defeat.
The risk in faith is that God does not always do the same thing in the same way. Read through the Bible and see how God moved upon men to accomplish great things for Him. In each case, God uses a different method and a different means to accomplish His tasks. The lesson for us is that faith requires us to fully trust God for He has a plan and a way designed for our victory.
As individuals, we are in a place where we must trust God fully for His will to be accomplished. As he moves, the way His will is fulfilled may be totally different than anything that we have seen in the past. The key for us is that we hear God, obey His call and then be faithful to see it through. To us that may seem totally risky because it might be outside of our comfort zone but if God is leading let’s do it. So, are your ready for risky faith.
Points and questions for consideration:
- Do you have a risky faith or are you content to stay in your comfort zone?
- Think about a time where you had to take a risk. What emotions did you experience?
- Share with someone about a time when you took a risk and God did something totally awesome through the risk.
- Take some time to read the many Biblical stories of men and women who stepped out in faith based on the call of God. What is God showing you through these stories?
- Are you in a place that you need to have risky faith? Ask God for His strength and the courage to step out.