Stepping out and taking a big leap of faith can strengthen your relationship with God because it builds a deeper trust.
He called me from Waterloo Bridge. It was 9:15 am EST. Way too early for the viva, which began at 8, to be done. Tim had traveled back to England to finish the oral examination of his Ph.D. Everything rested on him passing.
As I answered “Hello,” and then the words, “I passed” scrambled over the line. Then, a barrage of sobs. Tears of joy flowed as Tim recounted to me one of the most profound moments of his life.
The viva examiners had found his Ph.D. work remarkable. The ending was what we had hoped it would be.
This 6’1’’ man stood weeping over Waterloo Bridge as emotions overcame him.
He heard the words, “Well done,” and the adventure was applauded. The risk was rewarded.
I’ve never been one to take risks. I guess that’s why God had me marry a risk-taker. When we were preparing to move to England for Tim to pursue his Ph.D., the offer on our house fell through a week before we were to leave. I curled up on our couch crying. Tim, on the other hand, shouted, “You’re going to have to do better than this.”
But slowly I’m starting to discover all the beauty that is waiting when we live a life of risk. When we do things, we might not otherwise do, and listen to that still, small voice that whispers, “Go. Do. Be”.
If we are willing to go against the voice of culture, we discover wonder we would not have otherwise. Adventure awaits those willing to take a risk for the kingdom.
The Presence Behind Risk
Scripture provides an inspiring example of someone willing to take a risk. I’ve read the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel numerous times. But did you ever notice that Elijah is a risk-taker? He risked his life by being willing to appear before King Ahab.
In I Kings 18 the Lord told Elijah to present himself before Ahab, the very man who was trying to kill him. Elijah’s response is inspiring. Rather than fearing the king, He fears God. He determines in verse 15, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”
Elijah took a major risk by presenting himself before King Ahab in person. How could he do this? Because He thought less about the risk and more about the One in Whose Presence He stood.
A life of risk is a life lived in the Presence of the LORD. When we know that He is with us we find supernatural strength to take a risk.
The Results of Risk
It was because of Elijah’s willingness to obey we have one of the greatest contests of all time. On Mount Carmel, Elijah demonstrated that Yahweh was God as the fire of the Lord fell and consumed his offering. The people saw and their hearts were turned back to God (v.37).
When we step out in faith, the Lord brings us back to Himself. Our hearts are turned to Him. Our relationship with God is deepened.
We encounter God, rather than just knowing about Him. He is no longer a God on paper but a God living among us. A terrifying presence, Who woos us to Him so that we might know Him.
Risk helps us to reignite our relationship with God, bringing us back to Himself.
Risk is also a catalyst for worship. “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The LORD–he is God; the LORD, He is God!”(v.39)
Risk will often put us in a posture of falling face down. When we come to the end of ourselves and take that step of faith, the result of God showing up drops us on our knees before Him. There is nothing left to do but worship.
A life of faith is a life lived face down in worship.
Take a Risk
We are all invited into the adventure of faith. Your risk may look totally different than mine. But it is there, nonetheless. Sadly, sometimes we don’t embrace the great adventure before us.
We retreat from the unknown and cling to security.
We care more about what others think than what God is calling us to.
We want a faith that is tame, not wild, and full of terror.
But a life of purpose is a life willing to take the risks the Lord asks of us.
Today, let’s open our eyes to new possibilities. Dream the impossible. Run to risk. And maybe, in the end, we may find a presence so real we fall face down and worship and really deepen our relationship with God.
In His Word
“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord, he is God, the LORD, he is God.” ~1 Kings 18:39 (ESV)
In Your Life
Is the Lord inviting you to take a risk? If so, is there anything holding you back from saying, “Yes”? All it takes is one step of faith, that one ounce of courage. Today, ask the Lord to open your eyes to what adventure He is calling you to.
The Beauty Chasers: Recapturing the Wonder of the Divine by Timothy Willard, Chris’ husband. This book was just released this week and describes why we need to live like beauty matters. The story Chris shares on risk birthed this book. You can order it on Amazon today.