So, here comes my personal epiphany. The thing that I have found to be most surprising about taking risks in the name of the Lord: after you take one, you will probably be asked to take another one. And another one. And another one. And while the risks may become even tougher, the rewards become even greater.
We’ve all heard the story of Peter walking on water (Mark 6). Don’t loose sight of what was happening before that: Peter was in the boat with the rest of the disciples. They look out and see Jesus walking on water. What does Peter do? He asks Jesus to command him to walk on water towards him.
Peter didn't have to ask Jesus to command him to come out of the boat. Peter didn't even have to get out of the boat after Jesus commanded him to. He had the choice. But Peter chose to ask AND then chose to get out of the boat. And because he did, he was able to experience that extraordinary moment of walking on water. What an incredible feeling that must have been. I wonder how much of an impact this had on him later on in life?
Every time I've asked the Lord how I can know him more, he always seems lead me a little more out of my comfort zone and a little more dependent upon him. It has meant taking on a leadership position that I was terrified of (Phi Lamb), become increasingly involved at church, living with less "stuff," confront a loved one, take a job out of state, and go on various short term mission trips. I don't know what my next "boat" will be, but I'm willing to bet it will involved a considerable amount of risk and reward.
Let me get this clear, I don’t think anyone should do anything in the name of “risk” that is contrary to what the bible says. I also don't think that everything turns out "perfect" because you followed Jesus out of one of your comfort zones (Peter did sink, after all!) But I have found the most significant spiritual growth to be in the times of FOLLOWING Jesus out of my comfort zone. Of taking risks. The more I get out of my comfort zone, the more He asks of me. The more He asks of me, the more I am reminded of His faithfulness. The more I see how faithful He is to His promises, the more prone I am to follow Him wherever He leads me to go. I have no idea what is next. But, I do know that the Lord is faithful to His promises. I know he is worth running towards, even in the midst of stormy waters. If following Jesus out of your comfort zone brings you closer to Him, I'm starting to see it more of a risk not to follow Him out. Do you have a boat He's asking you to get out of? Have you asked him?
“His divine power has granted to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness…by which he has granted to us his PRECIOUS and very GREAT PROMISES, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
I adore you all! More to come...