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.
In Isaiah 6, verse 8, Isaiah answers the call of God with the words, “Here am I, send me!” In spite of the freshness of Isaiah’s vision, the overflow of his heart, and the sincerity of his offer to God, he couldn’t help but blurt out as he visualized the work ahead of him, “For how long, O Lord?” (6:11)
In other words, “I’m not sure I can do this. It sounds like it could be dangerous. At the least, this job will make me unpopular, and I’ll probably lose any social standing I might otherwise have had. There can’t be much money in this either, so I’ll probably be poor. But the worst is that I can’t imagine the heartache of pouring out my life to tell others about You and never having anyone respond positively, receive it personally, or repent permanently. Maybe my gifts lie in other areas, Lord. Could I try it just for a little while…?”
There must have been a ringing sound of authority and finality to the Lord’s voice as He responded to Isaiah’s query, because He left no doubt as to how long Isaiah was to serve: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.” (6:11-12)
So, here is what Isaiah understood about his assignment:
1. Isaiah was commanded to serve until he no longer had any opportunity to do so or until judgment came.
2. His service was not to be some “holy hobby” or some short-term project. It was to be a lifestyle!
3. The success of Isaiah’s service would not be determined by the number of people whose lives were changed, but by his faithfulness to obey his Lord.
4. A deep sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy he longed for, would come because of his obedience to the Lord. These are rewards Isaiah would find as he lived his life to serve and please the One he loved.
What Assignment has God given you? Would you ask Him? I know He has one in mind for you because He told us clearly through the words of the Apostle Paul, that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)
What “Living Strong” means for you:
1. Don’t dodge your assignment because it seems to lack any chance for success.
2. Don’t miss your assignment because it seems to be an insignificant, small thing (Zachariah 4:10). FYI – The church in Europe was birthed when Paul spoke to a handful of women on a river bank.
3. The size and scope of your assignment is up to God, and the effectiveness and lasting impact of your service are also His responsibility.
4. You and I are simply to be faithfully available…and obedient.
5. The assignment that God gives you will take you way beyond your comfort zone. Some assignments begin small and stay small. Others begin small and grow large.
There have been times when I have argued, resisted, procrastinated, and questioned, but in the end, I always give in, because He is my Lord! Like Isaiah, I have seen Him, and I love Him. I don’t serve Him because I have to. I serve him because I want to do something for Him. In the process of doing something for Him, I have come to know Him, and so will you.
Have you said, “Yes Lord, here am I, send me”?
Live Strong this Week!
Published on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 @ 10:30 AM CDT