From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking
Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking
On Sunday, July 25th, I finished preaching the series, Taking a Kingdom Risk. In this series we learned that Kingdom Risk Taking is a necessary component of true discipleship and is a Kingdom protocol (code of conduct) for following Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us to risk, to obey and step out in faith for His glory and to the fullest potential for the kingdom of God realized. Every great risk in Jesus’ Name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God. That He who calls us to “step out in faith” means to trust the One who supplies us with whatever we need to fulfill plans and purposes in and through us.
Kingdom Risk Taking has 6 Characteristics that helps us recognize and understand what is required in in this endeavor. The first five characteristics I have preached about and they are described on the podcast at our website (wordofvictory.org). Here is a synopsis of the last and sixth characteristic:
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Identity.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Calculated.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Faith, Not Fear.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Invites Uncertainty.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Requires Persistence.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Ensures Growth.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green…
Godly risk taking is different than the risk tied to immediate gratification, which is plentiful in our culture.
- Immediate gratification is often self-serving and short sighted.
- Kingdom Risk Taking is God-driven with long range
The latter can take you some place different, some place better!
Obeying God and stepping out of our comfort zone to trust Him and to walk by faith not only has positive repercussions for us and others around us today, but also for generations to come in the future (see Gen. 26:24).
Because it requires discipline, tempering the uncertainty (characteristic #4) and persistence (characteristic #5)…however, Godly Risk Taking is less common among many Christians.
Have you ever felt as though you couldn't hear the Lord's voice if He were next to you shouting your name? Have you been, or are you now, in a period of spiritual dryness? If you have had a spiritually dry time and are now past it, then praise God. If, however, you are in the midst of one, then maybe this can help you.
First of all, it isn't necessarily bad to be in a spiritually dry place--unless it is because of sin. If we commit a sin that we know the Lord wants us to abandon, then He often withholds His fellowship from us. We sense a distance between the Lord and ourselves, and it hurts. Of course, this does not mean that the Lord is abandoning us, nor does it mean He does not love us. If anything, it is a demonstration of His love to let us feel broken fellowship since it moves us to repentance.
On the other hand, spiritual dryness can be a specific time that the Lord wants us to go through as a time of testing and of preparation. The Lord will allow us to be tested into order to refine our faith. Think about it. Do we stay Christians because of the feeling of fellowship we have with the Lord, or is it because we trust in Jesus, God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), as our Savior and Lord (Jude 4)? We are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1), and our assurance of salvation is found by faith--not by feeling. After all, "The just shall live by faith." (Hab. 2:4) Therefore, the Lord can use a spiritually dry time to cause us to examine what and who our faith is in so that we might rest assured in the cross and not our feelings that can deceive us (Jer. 17:9).
Spiritual dryness can also be a time of preparation. Most every major person in the Bible that was used mightily of God had to go through a desert time. This includes Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and Paul. Being in a place where we are dry, waiting, wanting, praying, examining, etc., is often the proving ground of strength and refinement. Then, after this time is completed, the thing that we have been prepared for comes upon us. Sometimes this preparation is for hardship, sorrow, and pain. Other times, it is for blessing, reward, and ministry. Remember, the Lord has not saved us to be trophies on a shelf. We are instruments in His hands to be used in the world. This usage requires that we be able to be used, able to be sent, and able to trust the Lord in spite of what we see and feel! Hence, the time of spiritual dryness that is a time of preparation.
What do you do in a time of spiritual dryness? First of all, you should ask the Lord to reveal any unconfessed sins of which you have not repented. If He reveals anything to you, then confess it as sin and repent of it, even if it is a sin you have committed so many times before. Second, you must read your Word regularly. Third, you must pray regularly. And fourth, you must trust the Lord through this. You must look to Him, and remember that He loves you greatly and will never forsake you. In this, your faith will be perfected, your character improved, your walk strengthened, and you will be prepared for the tasks ahead that the Lord has called you to encounter.
And finally, in the midst of your dryness, offer praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Do not let your feelings rob you of the opportunity to praise and thank God even when the times are not so great. Remember, it is easy to praise God when things go well, but the true men and women of Christian character praise God through the trials as well.
On to Victory,
Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 @ 9:49 AM CDT