Playing it safe

When was the last time you took a risk? I mean a really big risk that led you into a place where if God didn’t show up you’d be in trouble. With God life is full of adventure and we learn more and more about faith when we take risks. Not being afraid to fail or even be called a fool. It’s the fool bit that we may struggle with most. Nobody wants to be called a fool. Our pride often hinders us and the one thing that will always stop us from taking a risk – is fear!

Fear will immobilise you – if you let it.

Fear can set itself up in your mind as a giant – if you let it.

It can trap you and box you in. It can come in many different disguises like the fear of man, a fear of sickness, a fear of dying, a fear of loneliness, a fear of rejection, and the fear of being let down, a fear of losing a loved one or financial ruin. Having a fear of failure can sometimes become emotionally crippling – if you let it.

What aspect of fear is lurking at your door?

What giant of fear are you struggling to overcome?

There are many great stories in the bible that we can learn so much from and take encouragement as we face similar things in our lives even today. The life of David is one such example, someone who knew what it was like to see fear in the midst of the Israelite army.

In the story of David and Goliath, the Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armour came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul the King of Israel and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. David was probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. So David volunteered to fight Goliath.

Can you imagine this for a moment? – David volunteered to fight – a shepherd with no experience – volunteered and he actually had the courage to go out and fight with the faith to win.

It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd’s staff, sling and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults. As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole in the armour, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath’s sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

In that moment fear was replaced by courage and a greater faith in God was imparted to the Israelite army.

What courage David had and what an uproar he caused- David defeated the giant – which everyone feared because God was on His side.

David knew what it was like to face a giant – fear, the prospect of failure and he wasn’t afraid to look like a fool before the multitudes. But what enabled David to have such courage, take such a risk and fight this battle in a way that was least expected and yet win?

David’s faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God’s point of view.

Maybe there is a need in our lives to look at the giant – fear – from a different perspective?

If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God’s perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we can see more clearly and we can fight more effectively.

God loves it when we step out in faith –when we put our whole trust in Him and if all else fails there is one thing for sure – His ways never fail and He will never let us down. But the reality in life is that not every step of risk taking will be a success but it doesn’t mean that we have failed either. God still loves us no matter what. Although sometimes the step of faith –can actually help to point us in another direction where another door of opportunity may open. But without taking the initial step of faith in the first place we would never know what would unfold.

Could it be that one step of faith that doesn’t quite work out the way we expect could in  fact lead us into another step of faith – causing our courage to grow and our faith in God to flourish even more. God knows what He is doing with our lives even when we don’t fully understand.

Here’s the thing – we will never know until we step out in faith and take a risk. We can trust God for each and every step of the way and in the really important decisions that we have to make. When we submit our will to our Heavenly Fathers will, we can have confidence to know He will lead us. He will guide us. He will take pleasure in teaching us. He will help us to overcome the giant of fear in our lives with greater courage. Even in our weakness we can be strong. Even when we stumble and fall – His grace carries us on.

Over the course of the past year in my life and journey with God –I‘ve be learning much more about the importance of leaning in to the arms of Jesus and having daily intimacy with the father. The one thing that gives us the greatest confidence when facing our giant or having to make really important decisions in life, that involve big steps of faith and stepping out of our comfort zone, is that when we remain near to Him and have intimacy with the father – He will be near to us and we will hear His voice. He wants to speak to us –He wants to lead us – He wants us to listen to Him and He wants us to experience more and have a greater revelation of the father’s heart for us. He wants to ruin us with His love and affection.

Like David, we too as the people of God can have great courage in the midst of fear – we can overcome the giants in our lives – because God is with us.

We need to stop playing it safe – we need to believe that we too can overcome fear and step out in faith and enjoy being stretched into a place of knowing what it feels like – “if God doesn’t show up I’m in trouble”.

Maybe you are facing a giant problem or impossible situation in your life right now?

Remember God’s opinion is the only one that really matters and He wants you to see clearly from His vantage point. You have nothing to fear.

Go on – take a risk – you will never know what God may have in store until you step out in faith and face that giant – fear!