Risky Faith

We are sinners in the hand of a loving God. As such, we need not worry or fear; we can live life to the full. Risk is involved in our relationship with God and the abundant life that God can only gives us, wants to lavish on us, and intends that we express and extend to others freely and radically. God isn’t about curtailing our growth and happiness, fulfilling and blessing. Yet God doesn’t promise blessing without struggle or growth without challenge or happiness without sorrow.

Risk plays into our relationship with God. Sometimes the risk comes with simply loving others or being who you really are, who God made you to be. These are risks. I realize that maybe if I ask you if you have faced risk in your walk with God, you will say no. That’s ok. For me there has been and continues to be real risk. I was not born Christian, so just to say yes and continue to say yes to Jesus is to risk my relationships with my family. Some family members have removed themselves from me because I turned from what they consider the truth to Jesus. This is a risk. To go to seminary, to pick up and move to Iowa is a risk. I feel called to go to seminary and become pastor. This is a risk. Sometimes you are called to come out of your comfort zone to risk all for God, for your lover. Don’t risk to just risk, only risk if you feel that God is calling you forward to do His work.

Risk means getting out of your comfort zones and steeping forward in faith. It is about doing the things you wouldn’t normally do. It could be mentoring a youth, comforting a grieving friend, sharing your lunch with a stranger, visiting a shut-in, going back to school, donating a larger sum of your income to a worthy cause, or going on a mission trip. All of these and other things are inherently risky. Risk is good, because it compels change.

We must accept how our Lover (God) really sees us if we are going to respond properly to His invitation. We were created for deep connection and worship with God. We were created for relationship and our humanity is only fulfilled within relationship with God and others. If our passion and worship is not directed to God, then we will pursue other lesser lovers. God, our lover wants to lavish gifts on us. He’s inviting us to life that’s so much more than we typically experience and an eternal future far beyond our wildest dreams. We long for intimate relationship, not just to know about it but also to experience it.

Applying the lover-beloved dynamic to our relationship with God is not a usual way of seeing God. Its implications are to see God’s love as personal and relational. God sees us our bad and good parts and loves us in spite of it all. He wants us to enter into a deep, transformative relationship with him. We begin to see God as our lover and passionate pursuer. Living the lover-beloved relationship means realizing that your happiness and fulfillment can only come as you let yourself be wooed by God surrender yourself to Him, and enjoy one another. God invites you into an incredible life of delight and pleasure.

I am not troubled at seeing God as a passionate pursuer, but maybe this idea troubles you. If you are troubled by it and don’t wish to see God this way that is OK. My only prayer for you is that you know and experience more and more God’s everlasting love for you. If you are troubled by it and wish to see God this way, pray to God and study the bible more. You could even go on dates with God. Take your bible with you, sit in a quiet place and converse with God, maybe do some service and pray that God show you what it means to have a love affair with God. Prepare yourself by allowing your desire for more of God to surface. God is pursuing you and loves to speak in various ways. Be prepared to listen, really hear the voice of your lover, your God. Invite Jesus to join you. Then wait and be open to whatever Jesus wants to do with your time. He knows what your heart needs better than you do.

It’s also important to know that when your exhausted or just don’t feel up to pursuing God, Jesus will come for you. If you’re unable to take the initiative, He will come and get you.

It has happened to me. Recently, I felt abandoned by God that life was not working out for me and I feared I would not ever get the things I want; the things I believe are part of life to the full. As I was writing down my feelings, I felt a sudden and palpable sense that Jesus had sat down beside me and was saying that everything would be OK that God was still working in me and would never let me go. Since then, even though I go through darkness I feel that God is with me working on making me all that I should be in Christ. So, don’t think God has abandoned, but know that God loves you and is working to bless you greatly.

Grace and Peace

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