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Only A Risk Away! (08.26.05--Under Pressure!--Judges 6:25-30)


Is it worth Risking? It used to be that life was a matter of “this I will risk” but “this I will not.” Risk was something that was weighed on a daily basis. It was a part of life. You picked one thing over another because you had weighed the risk and come to a conclusion that one risk was more palatable than another.


For example, farmers traditionally have walked a risk-filled path in that daily they had to weigh whether this day or that day would be the better one to disc the field. Because the weather was something out of their control and all that they had was their “folk” prognostication and intuition for predicting rain or sun, farming had traditionally been a pretty risky business. Sometimes you decided correctly and others you didn’t. It was a matter of risk and faith and most farmers were attuned to that because that was the only choice that they had. That is, of course, until the advent of modern weather forecasting. Today risk is far less of a factor in farming. The person we once knew as the weather-bitten and feisty guy in the bib jeans who kibitzed down at the mill each morning speculating on whether the skies would be dark by noon or not, is rapidly becoming an image of the past.


Although we live in society that is no less “risky” than in the past, we live under a governing system that has made it its job to secure us from as much of it as possible. Seat belts, helmets, social security, even weather forecasters who tell us to go down to our basements just because the conditions are “right” for a tornado. With all this “help”, it seems we are rapidly becoming obsessed with living safely over living faithfully. I recently read where a bowler who was one pin away from bowling a perfect game just couldn’t bring himself to play the final ball. Instead he silently packed his shoes and ball and walked out -- and never again set foot inside a bowling alley!


Does God want us to take risks? Certainly not foolhardy ones. Yet, when he presents us with situations that require thoughtful deliberation and a faith-filled heart, He isn’t expecting us to back down because there might be risk involved. God once told a soldier named Gideon to confront the risks and pull down the pagan altars in his land. Despite the risk that others would be offended, even moved to attack him, Gideon faithfully obeyed. When God puts us into pressure-filled situations we always have a choice. We can pray for strength and take the risks He has put before us; or we can weigh the risks and decide to walk away. If we walk away we may never know the perfection God has reserved for us. Our “300” game may be only a risk away.

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