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.

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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.

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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.