Have you read the story of the birth of Jesus in the books of Matthew or Luke? If you haven’t, you should! It’s a story full of mystery, danger, risk, and fear. In the narrative we read about dramatic dreams from God, terrifying angelic encounters, and perilous escapes. And Jesus’ birth isn’t the only Bible story full of intrigue and risk … just think about David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den … Samson, Joseph, Gideon, and more.
The stories found in the Word of God are intended to serve as a template for how God moves in the lives of men and woman. They are meant to inspire and propel us to dig deeper into the nature, personality, and character of God … to find out more about Him and then to boldly live out our own adventures in this life.
Think about the stories you tell when you’re reminiscing around the Christmas dinner table with extended family … You tell about the times you risked much, when you did something dangerous, when you lived on the edge and went outside of your comfort zone.
But some people don’t have a story. They have allowed fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or even fear of being uncomfortable to hold them back from any kind of meaningful or risky experiences. But where’s the fun in that? How can God possibly use someone who won’t leave the house? And let’s face it, no one wants to hear about the day you did nothing, right?
Life was meant to be lived. It was meant to be experienced. The Lord intends for us to have dramatic encounters with Him … times when He reveals Himself to us in new and spectacular ways. If we’ll obey Him, going where He says to go, doing what He says to do—He will fill our lives with adventure. Yes, there may be danger along the way. And yes, we may have to risk looking foolish. But would you have it any other way? Would you really want to allow your fear of failure, or your fear of being outside of your comfort zone to dictate what you’ll accomplish in 2011? I won’t! 2011 is going to be my best year yet. I’m going to step out more; doing the things I’m called to do … using every talent (no matter how mediocre) to His advantage.
The quote below describes perfectly how I’m feeling:
“Life is not a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely, in one pretty and well-preserved piece, but to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out and defiantly shouting ‘Geronimo!’” (Author unknown)
I love this quote and the imagery it conjures. When I read it I think about how people will sometimes pass an open casket at a funeral and say, “Ohhh, she looks so good” – almost as if the aim in life is to be physically well preserved right up until the end … to leave this earth with a wrinkleless forehead and plumped lips. But the true aim in life is to be poured out and used up for a purpose bigger then ourselves. To live dangerously for Christ. To allow Him to take us on adventures, to save us from peril, and to see Him use us in radical ways—and to live to tell the story!
So here we are on the cusp of a brand new year. And my question is; what has God told you to do? What is it that He’s been prodding you to achieve? I can tell you this; it will likely be bigger then what you can accomplish by yourself. You’ll have to rely on Him in greater ways then you have in the past. You’ll most likely have to hook up with other believers and ask for their help too. Perhaps you’ll have to do some fundraising … or you may have to do some writing and speaking… It might involve a loan from the bank and a brand new business … perhaps you’ll have to learn to do some marketing and promotion to get the word out. But whatever “it” is, I can tell you that it’ll be worth any amount of effort. It’ll be worth any amount of sacrifice. It’ll be worth risking failure, and foolishness, and odd looks from those in your circle—because doing exactly what you’re called to do is LIVING!
Make 2011 the year you finally get out of your comfort zone. Make 2011 the year you conquer fear of failure and finally begin to be the person you know you could be. Make this year the year of living dangerously for God—and I promise, it’ll be the best year of your life so far!
Paula Friedrichsen has been speaking at women’s retreats and church conferences regionally, as well as nationally, for years. She is a member of Church on the Mountain in Crowley Lake, California, where she serves as Communications Coordinator.
Paula began writing professionally in 2004, and saw her first book, The Man You Always Wanted is the One You Already Have, (Multnomah, 2007). She also writes magazine and newspaper articles, as well as book reviews.
The heartbeat of Paula’s ministry is to encourage believers in a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ. Whether she’s talking about marriage, joy, abundant life, or even how to thrive in today’s faltering economy—the sub-theme of every message is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
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