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.
In Numbers 13 and 14 is the account of the 12 spies who were sent to explore the Land of Canaan. This land had been promised to the Israelites by God and now it is time to go into the land “flowing with milk and honey.” When you read the account of what the spies saw and then reported to Moses and the community, there is clearly a division among the 12 as to what needs to be done. In a nutshell, 10 guys said, “We can’t trust God to do what He said He would do.” While 2 others, Caleb and Joshua, said, “The land is ours because God is with us.” I have a question for you to consider:
What made Joshua and Caleb act differently from the others?
The answer is found in God’s words to Moses: “My servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed fully.” (Numbers 14:24)
I should point out that the overwhelming majority of Israelites were ready to go along with the other ten spies’ advice. They were afraid of being slain by powerful enemies in Canaan. How did God respond to this?
The Lord commanded the ten spies and all who agreed with them: “Turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea” (14:25). In other words, “You’ve chosen to go back to the wilderness. And with that choice, you refuse to inherit the land I promised you.”
“Except for Caleb… and Joshua… not one shall come into the land where I swore I would make you dwell. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected” (14:30-31).
There’s a clear message here for everyone who follows Jesus. It is this: If we don’t seek to be of a different spirit, our choice will have an adverse effect on our entire community.
Our choice to wander in a wilderness of moderated faith doesn’t just hurt us but also those around us. Our children are especially at risk. Even though God doesn’t charge them with our sins, they are deeply affected by our sinful choices.
What a hard lesson. Yet there are scores of Christians today who are just like those Israelites. Such believers are content to wander in a wilderness of fear-based faith. Their only desire is to blend in with the crowd at church.
They tell themselves, “Radical Christianity isn’t for me. I just want to be faithful to my faith community and my family. Is that so wrong?”
Numbers 14 addresses this very mindset. God says here in essence, “If I have promised something to you, I will provide a way for you to obtain it. Yet by your own choosing you have refused what I offer. Therefore, you will never inherit what I’ve promised. You’re destined to wander in a wilderness you’ve chosen for yourself.”
Clearly, there was something in both Joshua and Caleb that set them apart within their faith community. And that difference was clear in God’s eyes. What was it? What did the Lord mean when He said these men were “of a different spirit”? And what does that look like in a believer today?
What exactly sets apart a person with a different spirit?
The difference is revealed in the contrast between Caleb and Joshua and the other group of 10 guys. In short, what makes someone of a different spirit is a consecrated life. There is no other answer.
What does “consecrated” mean? The first part of the word, “con,” means “with,” and the second part means “holy.” Consecration is an attachment to holiness. It means being “with” a life outside your own. It is a life filled with the Spirit, which comes from God alone.
I want to pass on to you an important lesson that I learned years ago from a mentor in my life. He told me, “Mike, you can have as much of Jesus as you want.”
I’ve seen this proven again and again. God never holds back His anointing from those who press on in His high calling.
So, are you living a carnal life? Do you wonder what God desires of you? Your Father wants to make His desires clear to you if you will take time to know those desires. Is your life full of weakness, lacking vision? He wants to restore you and give you His vision, that you may accomplish the works He has prepared for you.
If you’re living a moderated, compromised life in Jesus, there is but one thing to do. Call on Him to renew your sensitivity to His Spirit. He will answer you. He wants you to be of a different spirit!
Published on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 @ 9:43 AM CDT