God doesn’t call us to security.

Talented teenage boy to prepare for greatness. Survival skills and weapons expertise required. Ability to lead the unqualified a plus. Good opportunity for advancement.

God is not going to interrupt his day or your expectations to give you an easy task that carries a guarantee of success. He doesn’t call Moses over to the burning bush to ask him to take on a few more sheep. He didn’t ask David to just practice his music in the court of Saul, rather than the pasture. He didn’t ask Paul to keep his job and just go a bit easier on the Christians. God wants your obedience to lead you so far out on the edge that you can’t save yourself, and then delight in the fact that he’s got it all under control. He doesn’t promise that it will be easy or that you will succeed. He does promise he will be with you every moment and that everything you trust him with and do for him will work out for your good and his glory.

Every time God interrupted someone’s life in the Bible, their first reaction was fear. Nearly every time an angel made a personal appearance, he began with, “Fear Not”. None of the people who said yes to God would have originally chosen the path God gave them. Most of them gave God some kind of argument or alternative plan that they were more comfortable with. But God doesn’t react to our fear with “Oh, never mind then.” He reassures us that he is in control. To Joshua he said, “Be strong; do not be afraid.” To Gideon he said, “The Lord is with you Mighty Warrior.” To the disciples he said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” You will feel inadequate and incapable, but he doesn’t ask you to do it by yourself and report it back to him when you’re done. He wants to walk you through it, to use it to increase your maturity and dependence on his power, not yours. He wants to use you to display his glory in the lives of those around you.

Every time you say no to God, your heart becomes just a little harder, and you become a little more addicted to comfort, a little more sure that you want to stay in control. Every time you say yes, you end up with a clearer perspective, more wisdom, a deeper relationship with him, more compassion for other people, and the certainty that maintaining the pretense of your control is not worth losing what God wants for you.

Bottom line is all of the big names in the Bible knew and probably feared the risk of trusting God. The ones who were bound by their fear or who made their decision based solely on the logic of their circumstances lost the blessing and a front row seat to see God’s power in human history. (What would Jonah have seen if he had stayed in the city of Nineveh to encourage those who would believe and be a part of the biggest revival in the Bible?) Those who chose to trust God more than they feared their circumstances saw the glory of God right here on earth. No matter what choice you make, it costs you something. What are you willing to spend?

If you have no concern about what’s going on in your world and how God wants you to respond to it, then you’re not paying attention. If your fear is so great that you’re paralyzed into inaction, you need a better perspective on who God is. If you just can’t allow yourself to take a risk, study the history of God’s interaction with his people. See the God who used a death sentence or a beauty pageant to put his child into place to change the world. See the God who made ragtag bands of untrained militia victorious against the largest and best equipped armies in the world. See the God who can change the hearts of powerful pagan kings like Nebuchadnezzar or Darius or change the minds of intellectuals like Paul or Nicodemus. Watch him provide all that his people need to build tabernacle in the middle of a desert or rescue Noah’s reputation just before he destroys all Noah’s enemies. Watch him protect a young family from the plans of an evil king. Watch him encourage his friend to walk on water or taste wine that used to be water. What has he asked you to do that you think is just too big or too hard or too risky for you to feel safe and in control? Based your decision to be obedient on who he is, not what you’re afraid of.

A song I loved in college had the words, “When you can’t trace his hand, trust his heart.” If you don’t know his heart well enough to trust it, start there. Find a Bible study; join a small group; ask him…he delights in being your personal tutor. If you do know his heart, but that’s not enough, then repent of your pride. Make him not just your Savior, but your Lord. What he wants for you is “more than you can ask or imagine” for yourself.

Risks will make you vulnerable, but no matter what your decision is, it will cost you something. Wouldn’t you rather lose the world, and gain God, than lose God and continue to pretend to be in control? What does God’s want ad for you say?

Wanted – a child who will love me with all of his heart. Training and experience will be provided. This is a lifetime commitment, but will include companionship of a perfect love, protection of a mighty warrior, and wisdom of a great counselor. Benefits are more than you can ask or imagine.

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