I am not sure if I have posted this previously or not, BUT I noticed it was posted four years ago on another blog I wrote and I thought I would share it again.
Have you ever had regrets? Maybe you had a once in a lifetime opportunity like taking a trip to a new or exotic place but didn’t go. Possibly you didn’t take a job that sounded great and had potential but you didn’t take it because it involved a change that you were afraid to make. There could have been an opportunity you faced that required you to get out of your comfort zone but you just weren’t willing to give up your comfort, so you opted for the "safe route" and ended up doing nothing?
God invites us to take risks. Sometimes these risks seem uncomfortable, foolish or outrageous. I look back on some decisions I regret and I realized that my “but” got in the way; in fact my “but” was too big. I think back on the times I have said (personally and in ministry), “I would love to do ____________ BUT I don’t think it will work.” Or “I think God is calling me or the church to ____________ BUT I don’t think people will respond in a positive way.” I am guilty of being a “But” head. The reality is that sometimes I do allow my “BUT” to get in the way of what God has for my life. I believe God is not a conventional God. He is a pretty extreme God and He does whatever it takes to accomplish his will and purpose. Look at Gideon in the book of Judges. Gideon builds an army of 20,000 men and God whittles the army down to 300 men. God uses these 300 men with clashing symbols, horns and obedience to defeat the city of Jericho. How outrageous is that? Can you imagine how many “buts” Gideon may have used in his conversation with God? “LORD, I know you are mighty BUT this seems ridiculous!” That’s what I love about God; He will use us no matter the size of our “BUTS”. I believe God invites us to take risks sometimes so he can display his power and in return strengthen our faith to give him the worship, glory and honor he deserves.
So why are we paralyzed by our “BUTS”? I believe there are two reasons..
1. Fear of Failure
2. Our Love of Comfort
Why don’t we take risks in life? Because we don’t want to fail AND we don’t want to change the way things are. Security is safe and I believe too much comfort can be dangerous. Sometimes comfort makes our faith stagnant and we can fall in love with our comfort more than God’s call. I think of a recent example when I did something I wasn’t overly comfortable doing. It seems silly now but it is applicable. Some friends blessed us with a trip to Maui a few years ago. One of the things everyone wanted to do was go snorkling. We booked a trip with a company and set out. So far doesn’t sound too risky does it? O did I fail to mention I am not a good swimmer and I can kind of freak out in water sometimes? So going out in the ocean with just a wet suit, goggles and a snorkle didn’t sound as fun to me as everyone else. Thankfully the company was very helpful in helping me along on this journey. As I swam and looked at the beautiful world below the clear waters off the shore of Maui I forgot all about my fears. At one moment I even looked back and saw we were a long way from the shore. With my fears behind me I spent a good long time viewing exotic fish, sea turtles and coral. It was literally paradise underwater. Initially I could have argued and not taken the snorkling tour. I could have justified my fear and insisted on sitting on the beach while everyone else explored. That would have been comfortable and safe. But I didn’t and I am glad I took the risk. It doesn’t seem like much to some but it was huge for me. I was so glad I didn’t allow my “But” to get in the way.
Is your “But” getting in the way of taking a risk that God is inviting you to take? The truth is that if God is inviting you then there really isn’t a risk at all.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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