I was browsing Amazon today and came across a book title that caught my attention. "Risk is Right" by John Piper.
Here is the description:
A choice lies before you: Either waste your life or live with risk. Either sit on the sidelines or get in the game. After all, life was no cakewalk for Jesus, and He didn’t promise it would be any easier for his followers. We shouldn’t be surprised by resistance and persecution. Yet most of us play it safe.
We pursue comfort. We spend ourselves to get more stuff. And we prefer to be entertained. We are all tempted by the idea of security, the possibility of a cozy Christianity with no hell at the end. But what kind of life is that really? It’s a far cry from adventurous and abundant, from truly rich and really full, and it’s certainly not the heights and the depths Jesus calls us to.
I don't know about you, but this resonates with me in a huge way. It seems that almost daily, there is this struggle that goes on inside my head. Do I want to be comfortable or do I want to follow Jesus and step out in faith. This takes various forms...
- Sleep-in for 20 more minutes or read my Bible?
- Get extra hours in so I can make more money, or spend some quality time with my wife & kids?
- Watch tv or read a book?
The list is endless really. Boiled down, it involves any of my time that is sowed to the Spirit as opposed to sowing to the flesh.
As it relates to ministry and the bigger decisions in life, it can really become difficult. Our motives get so muddled in the distractions of life (Jer 17:9). We build walled gardens with layer upon layer of security built in. But how can Christians honestly reconcile this kind of lifestyle with the life that Jesus lived?
Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
I wrestle with these topics on a seemingly daily basis, and the verse that I'm reminded of often is "to whom much is given, much is required".
If you are a Christian living in America, we need extra wisdom in this area. We desperately need to wake up and realize that we were not placed on this earth to fulfill our own pleasures. We were placed here to fulfill God's purpose for our lives. To bring Him ultimate glory.
Take risks. Step out of the boat. And don't just step out tentatively like Peter did the first time. JUMP out of the boat with all your clothes on like Peter did the 2nd time! What do you have to lose?