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Summary: What step of faith do you need to take? What decision do you need to make? On what promise do you need to put down a stake?

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Introduction

Before the first raindrop fell, Honi had to feel a little foolish. Standing inside a circle and demanding rain is a risky proposition. Vowing that you won’t leave the circle until it rains is even riskier. Honi didn’t draw a semi-circle. He drew a complete circle. There was no escape clause, no expiration date. Honi backed himself into a circle, and the only way out was a miracle.

Drawing prayer circles often looks like an exercise in foolishness. But that’s faith. Faith is the willingness to look foolish. Noah looked foolish building a boat in the middle of a desert. The Israelite army looked foolish marching around Jericho blowing trumpets. A shepherd boy named David looked foolish charging a giant with a slingshot. The wise men looked foolish tracking a star to Timbuktu. Peter looked foolish getting out of a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. And Jesus looked foolish wearing a crown of thorns. But the results speak for themselves. Noah was saved from the flood; the walls came tumbling down; David defeated Goliath; the wise men discovered the Messiah; Peter walked on water; and Jesus was crowned the King of Kings.

Foolishness is a feeling that Moses was very familiar with. He had to feel foolish going before Pharaoh and demanding that Pharaoh let God’s people go. He felt foolish raising his staff over the Red Sea. And he most certainly felt foolish promising meat to eat for the entire nation of Israel in the middle of the wilderness. But it was his willingness to look foolish that resulted in epic miracles: the exodus of Israel out of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the quail miracle.

Drawing prayer circles often feels foolish. And the bigger the circle you draw, the more foolish you’ll feel. But if you aren’t willing to step out of the boat, you’ll never walk on water. If you aren’t willing to circle the city, the wall will never fall. And if you aren’t willing to follow the star, you’ll miss out on the greatest adventure of your life.

In order to experience a miracle, you have to take a risk. And one of the most difficult types of risk to take is risking your reputation. Honi already had a reputation as a rainmaker, but he was willing to risk his reputation by praying for rain one more time. Honi took the risk and the rest is history.

The greatest chapters in history always begin with risk, and the same is true with the chapters of your life. If you’re unwilling to risk your reputation, you’ll never build the boat like Noah or get out of the boat like Peter. You cannot build God’s reputation if you aren’t willing to risk yours. There comes a moment when you need to make the call or make the move. Circle makers are risk takers.

Moses had learned this lesson well: if you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle.

Optional Illustration:

Share an example of a prayer or promise that felt foolish. Example from The Circle Maker: purchasing the first drum set for National Community Church (TCM, pages 114–115).


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