From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
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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.
“At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.” (Ephesians 6:16 GNT)
As a follower of Jesus, you have fiery darts coming at you all the time. So what kind of fiery darts are coming your way? Satan implants the following thoughts into your mind:
• Doubt. You start asking yourself, “Did God really say? Can I really trust God? Isn’t that just your interpretation?”
• Discouragement. Satan tells you, “You’re never going to get any better. Your life won’t change. Don’t even try.”
• Delay. You ask yourself, “Why is this taking so long?” Something that you want to happen hasn’t happened by now.
• Difficulty. You ask yourself, “Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to make my marriage work? Why is it so hard to get a job?”
• Depression. You tell yourself, “It’s not worth it.” You don’t even feel like making an effort.
All these darts come your way on a regular basis. They create uncertainty in your life. In times of great uncertainty, like when you're out of work or going through a major family transition, these fiery darts will fly at you even faster. You better be ready for them.
Paul gives us the only proper antidote to these fiery darts: the shield of faith. The Bible says, “At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One” (Ephesians 6:16 GNT).
How do you handle these darts? Put on the shield of faith. It’s the only protection you have against doubt, discouragement, delay, difficulty, and depression. Trust God, no matter what you see, hear, or feel about the world around you. You need the certainty of God when you face the uncertainty of Satan’s fiery darts.
In short, you’ll need to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs. Most people do just the opposite. They doubt their beliefs and believe their doubts. That’s just silly. Believe what God tells you in his Word.
I saw a bumper sticker many years ago that said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” It may be a nice sentiment, but it’s bad theology. The truth is, God said it, and that settles it whether I believe it or not. God’s truth isn’t based on whether you believe it or not. It’s still true even if you don’t believe it, because God can’t lie.
You need that kind of certainty in difficult days. With the shield of faith, you have certainty that God’s promises are true even when they don’t appear to be true in your life.
Whenever you start believing your doubts and doubting your beliefs, Satan cracks a door open in your life, and he’ll use that door to attack you on many levels.
You can’t ever take off the shield of faith, either. Paul tells us to wear it “at all times.” Satan will never stop throwing his fiery darts at you. Stay on your guard. Trust God and His Word, no matter what’s going on in your life.
Think It Over
- Which fiery dart is causing you the most uncertainty — doubt, discouragement, delay, difficulty, or depression?
- What do you know from God’s Word that should provide certainty as Satan attacks with that fiery dart?
On to Victory,
Published on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 @ 5:10 PM CDT