InPursuit

Learning To Take Risks {Book Club Thursday}

Welcome to Book Club Thursdays!

Own Your Life Book ClubWe’re reading through Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (aff. link). For your convenience, all the posts in the series are archived {here}. So if you missed any,  feel free to head on over and catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email!

Chapter 9: Learning To Take Risks {Owning Your Faith}

The thing with taking risks is that we don’t know the outcome. Without certainty about how things will turn out, it’s difficult to take that first step. After all, we could lose it all. We could end up flat on our face, and that would be embarrassing. What would people say? How would we look? Taking risks can leave us ashamed and ridiculed the moment things fall through.

But, what IF it works out? What if this risk results in success? What if it takes us exactly where we need to be?

Foolishness or Faith

Isn’t that the problem? The ‘what ifs‘ keep us stuck. They hold us captive in the present, causing us to feel unstable and unsure about our future. We’re unable to commit to going, yet we’re sure we don’t want to stay where we are.

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“Owning your faith means recognizing that your life belongs to God and then asking Him what work He wants to do through you.” Rather than remaining stuck on what will happen ‘if’ we take the risk, we should ask God what risk is it He wants us to take?

But are we willing to leave that to Him? Can we trust Him with that? Where do we draw the line between plain ‘ol foolishness and faith?

Faith Stealers

Perhaps we can zoom in closer by identifying some faith stealers.

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Fear- Fear has a way of gripping us so tightly we scarcely can breathe. It stops us in our tracks and leaves us immobile. We worry about the outcomes, the process, the logic of it all. We fear we lack the ability, potential, or resources. We fear we’re not good enough, smart enough, or popular enough to make things happen. “Yet God has gone to great lengths throughout history to show that we are not limited by human constraints.” If we’re not careful, fear will steal our faith before we take our first step forward.

Formula- Another faith stealer is the formula. You know, ‘how everyone else does it!‘ Here’s the thing, God creating you with a unique set of qualities and a unique personality to walk out good works that He predestined specifically for you. Following formulas gives us the false perception that all will be well. For a while, it may be. But in the end, formulas are just that, formulas. Taking risks will require us to put the ‘safe’ formulas to the side in order to trust an omniscient and powerful God who knows the best way for us.

Flesh- Then there’s the flesh. This one’s deceiving because you can do ‘great’ things for the Lord and think all is well. However, when we strive in our flesh to make things happen, we’re quickly left depleted. Our control over everything and our willingness to manipulate the situation, leaves no room for God to work. “Flesh is an attempt to live the Christian life by works and by manipulating circumstances in our own power. It doesn’t require God’s presence or blessing, and it attempts to do only what is logical or acceptable. Because it sees human possibility as the source of power, it limits God’s infinite power to work. Flesh operates as if the spiritual life is all about personal effort and gutting it out.”

Flesh, Formula, Fear, or Faith?

There are so many reasons why we’d choose flesh, formula, or fear over faith. For me, it’s been the fear of the unknown, the fear of being disappointed, the fear of not being good enough. On and on the list goes of why I feel I can’t do what God is asking me to.

Faith requires us to get over ourselves. After all, it’s not about us and what we’re able to do. Rather, it’s about the power of the Holy Spirit being active in and through us. It’s about God’s ability.

Surrendering our hard places to God makes room for Him to move. It makes way for Him to provide and bless out of the abundance of His power and generosity. Time and time again in Scripture we see Him work it out in people like Daniel, David, Joshua, Elijah, Esther, and so many more.

It’s in our every day moments where we’re required to engage our hearts and believe God for His word.

A Legacy Of Faith

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One faith step after another. That’s what it will take to leave a legacy of faith. As we trust God with our story, we empower and enable those in our lives to do the same. Our children, especially, get a front row seat to our faith in action. It inspires, teaches, and equips them to carry on this legacy of faith in their own lives.

“Either we engage in the battles by faith as His warriors, or we become Satan’s prisoners of war, ensnared so that we are unable to do anything of eternal value, live as victims, and never enjoy the glory that comes from playing our part in God’s story.”

We won’t always know the outcome. It is many times uncomfortable. There may be times where faith begins with wobbly knees and shaky declarations. Yet every time we choose faith over fear, flesh, and formulas, we make room for God to do what He does best… be God.

How about you? Are you learning to own your faith by taking risks in faith?  What has that looked like for you?  Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately).

Then meet me here next week when we’ll continue Owning Our Lives By Tending Our Hearts and Investing In Our Souls {Owning Our Emotional Health}.

*unless otherwise noted, all quotes are by Sally Clarkson.

Thoughts To Ponder

1.) Which faith stealer do you identify with most: fears, living by formulas, or trying to accomplish things in your own strength? What one step could you take today to move past that and into faith?

2.) What difficulty are you facing, and how will you be faithful to wait for God to work through the “lions of your life” or the “giant” that is looming large?

3.) What work or dreams has God placed on your heart to accomplish? What step of faith do you need to take?

Discussion Questions graciously provided by Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life Team
 
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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

Comments

  1. I had been struggling with our homeschooling. I was worrying about “getting it all done” and got really overwhelmed. I hit a pivotal moment, and realised I needed to talk it through with my hubby. I realised I didn’t need to worry about what others expect, or what I think is “right” in the eyes of others, and to rest in the Lord and relax about it all. God has a purpose, and I needed to trust Him, without getting in a twist and being anxious. Life has been so much sweeter, and I am finding joy in so much more. I am still battling with the flesh, instead of fully resting in the spirit, but there’s progress. God has a plan for my children, and it’s not dependent on the standards of men. Going forward in faith is how I need to do it. Thanks so much for this. X

    • Oh Caroline, how I understand this dilemma. I homeschool my 7 yo daughter (from the beginning) and my 15 yo son requested to be homeschooled for 10th grade (first time). It’s so easy to get distracted and overwhelmed with all that ‘needs’ to get done. That elephant comes and sits on my chest and it makes everything difficult. I’m learning to identify the anxiety as soon as it hits and since I know anxiety doesn’t come from God, I go to Phil. 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
      I start taking all my anxieties to the Lord, until that elephant on my chest has no alternative but to go. Then I’m reminded we homeschool for a reason… we don’t have to do things the way ‘schools’ do them. I re-prioritize and keep it moving! So glad you stopped by today. Praying Gods’ peace and grace over your homeschool journey!

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