When You’re Tempted to Play it Safe

I’d prayed on the drive, preached to myself in the parking lot, and even issued an ultimatum to Jesus about the strength necessary to rise to this challenge. Just for good measure, I took some deep cleansing breaths.

It was one of a handful of times I’d entered a room full of women since a room full of women broke my heart. 

While I craved a shadow to hide in, something urged me to unclench my fingers from the rails of my comfort zone. Maybe it was a deep longing to move beyond the past. Maybe it was my husband’s words echoing in my mind, “Promise me you won’t sit in a corner by yourself.”

I’m so tempted to live a safe life.

Some are seduced by all manners of sinful desire, but what beckons me away from God’s purpose is safety—a life where fear isn’t an issue because risk isn’t an option.

God's word points us to the promise that while fear may rise up, faith always wins.

Have you ever found yourself frozen by the unknown up ahead?

Friendships you long to pursue, but don’t for fear of rejection.

Dreams you ache for, but run from because failure feels imminent.

Sins you long to lay down, yet freedom seems out of reach.

Perhaps you’ve tried and failed, pursued fullness and returned empty-handed. Disappointments and heartbreak can stall even the strongest will.

I get it. I too have wrestled with God for my way. I’ve presented all my justifications for why fear should override faith, why I deserve a get-out-of-obedience pass because the what-ifs are just too hard to fathom.

By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place … When he left he had no idea where he was going. Hebrews 11:8-9 MSG

Scripture is stacked with the stories of men and women faced with life-altering choices, deep and wide unknowns, the magnitude of which any average person would be entitled to avoid.

But what-if …

Esther shrugged off that appointment with the king?

Rahab never tied that scarlet cord in the window?

Ruth didn’t follow Naomi into a foreign land?

David had run from Goliath?

Each story points to the greatest of all opportunities for fear to derail obedience and steal God’s perfect plan … what if Jesus hadn’t chosen the cross?

God’s example to us isn’t to choose safe and simple, or live in shadows acquiesced to fear. God’s word points to the promise that while fear may rise up, faith always wins. 

Fear may rise up, but faith always wins.

{Tweet that}

I walked into that gathering with the expectation that God would answer every what-if, that He’d restore what I once lost and deliver it in a tidy package. Any other outcome was altogether terrifying.

But that wasn’t God’s purpose. He didn’t intend to deliver answers, as much as He purposed to deliver me … from fear, entitlement, and my own plan.

Much like Esther, Rahab, Ruth and David, the impact of that singular moment in my timeline may not be recorded for years to come. I’d love to see it now, but God has shown me that instant gratification isn’t the prize I seek.

Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations,
a city designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:10 NLT

God is writing our story. He is designing and building character, plans, and purpose that stretch far greater than we can see. We can be seduced by a glimpse, we can settle for safety, or we can place our whole confidence in God.

Your future may be unknown, but in Christ your victory is certain.

{Tweet that}

There is no tidy conclusion here, no charge to conquer your greatest fears. Your story is too intimate to be blanketed by any words I could deliver. So, just this …

“Lord, might our lives be an offering to You. As we offer, would You empower? Embolden us to pursue the pages of history You’ve already written over us. As You reach in to speak “power, love and self-discipline” where we might say “too scary,” would we sense Your Holy Spirit at work, Your promise to go before us. Give us the courage to follow and obey, Father. Might we live in the fullness of Your good plans, and might we live brave. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” 

By His endless grace,


Friends, I’m so excited to share something special with you! Every day next week you can join me and an incredible [honest, authentic, and faithful] group of women as we share the stories of how we came to know Jesus. We’re calling it The Testimony Tour. 

The tour begins Monday, March 20th with our hostesses Natalie at Milk & Honey Faith and Carmen at Married By His Grace. Come join us, and I’ll see you here for my leg of the tour on Wednesday, March 22nd!

The Testimony Tour | Spring 2017 - How God Saved Us

You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Jennifer Dukes LeeHolley GerthKristin Hill Taylor3dlessons4life, Heart Encouragement Thursday, and Arabah Joy’s Grace & Truth.

God's example to us isn't to hide in shadows acquiesced to fear. His word point to the promise that while fear may rise up, faith always wins.

32 thoughts on “When You’re Tempted to Play it Safe

  1. Man, this is great! So many times I’ve been tempted to let fear make the decisions for me rather than my faith! Thank you for this reminder to let go of what all that could possibly go wrong and look to Jesus! <3

    1. I’ve learned some great lessons even in the “going wrong,” and sometimes, I think, that’s half the reason God wants us to step out. Lot’s of growth, indeed! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging us to step out in faith. The result are always up to God, but obedience is in our hands. Visiting from #heartencouragementthursday :)

  3. Thank you for these words, Tiffany. It’s so tempting to just play it safe, but when God calls us to something we need to obey no matter how hard, because He will be with us every step of the way. Why do we find it so hard sometimes? I guess we just let our fear take over. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement.

    1. Yes, I think we do let fear get the best of us and even convince us that our faith isn’t enough. So glad that God promises that if we’re willing to step out, He will give us all we need. Thanks for visiting, Gayl.

  4. Such a beautiful post that encouraged me to do something God asked me to do during my early morning time with Him today. Thank you, my friend, and God’s blessings upon you and your sweet sisters in Christ as you share your testimonies next week. :)

    1. I’m so glad the words met you right where you are, Cheryl. God is amazing to bring those little nudges that we need to get us moving. So blessed you visited today, and hope you’ll come visit us on the tour next week.

  5. Thank you for these good words today! I usually do end up obeying God, but only after I have argued about “why I deserve a get-out-of-obedience pass because the what-ifs are just to hard to fathom.” Oh, how I want to let Him help me lay those arguments down before they even get started! But I am so grateful that He hears our hearts cry, and is here to meet us in those prayers. Blessings to you!

    1. Yes – those arguments can sometimes go on forever, can’t they?! I think the more we cast fear aside and step out in faith, the more we are inclined to do it again. I’m grateful too that God bears our arguments and hears our prayers. Thanks for visiting, Bettie!

  6. Yes!! This is SO me!! Glad I’m not the only one who is afraid to jump out of the boat and walk on the water. If I were in the boat when Peter leaped forward to Jesus, I would be peering on at the spectacle, maybe cheering Peter on but certainly not taking the water walk myself. Thankfully, God has His ways of encouraging us into action. Great read, Tiffany!

    1. Haha, yes – I think I might have slowly backed away from the water too. But what a great example of conquering anything when we keep our eyes on Jesus. Thanks for visiting today, friend.

  7. Oh, this is SO good! I just finished reading Francis Chan’s Forgotten God and one of the reasons he gives for us not feeling the Spirit is that we’ve crafted safe lives that don’t require the power He provides. Thanks for giving my even more courage to step out of my comfort zone and see the Sprit do His thing! Blessings!

    1. Wow – yes, I know I’m certainly guilty of crafting the life that I believe best suits me. Here’s to leaning in, seeking God, and stepping out of those comfort zones. Thanks for visiting, Liz.

  8. Gosh, I get this. And you’re so right about there not {usually} being a tidy conclusion. Thanks for linking it up at my place. Also, I love the testimony tour – looking forward to reading your installment!

  9. This is powerful, Tiffany. I’m so sorry a roomful of women broke your heart. The trust issues one gets from rejection, betrayal, or criticism can run really deep. It’s sweet of your husband to encourage you not to sit alone in a corner by yourself. I am so prone to stay within my safety net as well. This really struck me – “He didn’t intend to deliver answers, as much as He purposed to deliver me … from fear, entitlement, and my own plan.” So true. It’s not easy to not have answers, but His plan is so much better than ours, isn’t it? Thank you for this encouragement! Love and hugs to you!

  10. Such encouraging words. I fall in the category of wanting the safety net first and maybe the faith follows behind shortly, but that is not what God is teaching me now either. I am encouraged. Thanks.

  11. Funny how the temptation to “play it safe” actually looks like wisdom! I struggle with that often too. I love this point: “He didn’t intend to deliver answers, as much as He purposed to deliver me .” Yes and amen. Thanks for the heads up about the tour too- I’m not sure what it is yet, but sounds cool : )

    1. I think sometimes God does give us wisdom that says, “no, not that.” But for me, it’s often my response to His leading that can cause me to stumble. The Testimony tour is really just a blog hop – traveling from one blog to another under the theme of sharing the stories of how God saved us. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

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