I’ve heard it too many times: “Why go to [country]? The government doesn’t like you there. You could be arrested. You could be questioned.”
I’ve heard that OR “Why not just teach English there? You’d still be in the country and make a difference. Why do you have to go to the ‘dangerous’ places? Be careful not to draw too much attention! They could hurt you. They could kick you out, and then what?”
Yes, I’ve thought about those possible situations, and as I read the Word of God I realize those situations have been part of almost every life of the Bible Heroes of Faith. They were thrown in prison, risked their lives, thrown into lions dens, chased by kings, beaten, blasphemed…yet, stood true to God and saw miracles. They saw deliverance. They saw kings redeemed. They saw people groups discipled to know Jesus.
What if they had just played it safe?
I believe we are living at the end of times. It’s time to make the most of every opportunity, to redeem the time! It’s time to rise up from our comfortable sleep and get busy in the fields, wherever He says to go, because the reality is there isn’t any safe place anymore. Those days are past. Yet, we do not fear.
The Psalmist wrote:
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? – Psalm 118:6
Yes, Jesus sent us out to every nation, tribe, and tongue, but sealed it with the promise, that He would always be with us. And really, what can man do to us? They could kill us—then we’ll forever be with Jesus. They could kick us out—we can move on to another place. They could throw us in jail—we can worship and even see miracles as the apostles did. They could exile us—we can receive a revelation from the Lord like John did. They could harm our bodies—our spirits still live.
In all of this, I’m by no means saying not to live “smart”. Jesus said to be wise serpents and innocent as doves. It’s important to be aware of surroundings and attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit told Paul not to go to Asia so he changed his course, yet later told him do go to Jerusalem even though trouble awaited him and he went anyway.
Here are 3 reasons I want to choose to live risky:
1. Too many people groups still need to hear about Jesus.
Even though the Western world has been immersed with the Gospel in past years, thousands of unreached people groups still haven’t had the opportunity to hear the Truth. Yes, there are lost people in the Western world, but most have had the choice to refuse God or to refuse passing it down to future generations. I live in the 10/40 Window and have been to people groups who have NEVER heard the Name of Jesus. Never. Ever. EVER. These groups do not even have a name for Him in their tribal language.
I hear: “Oh, those people are dangerous! They could kill you!” “It’s not safe for a woman to go there.” “It takes too much work.” “How could you ever learn that language?” “Why not go to [country]? It’s easier and people already know something about God there.”
Yet, I cannot get the faces of unreached peoples dying and going to hell. Instead, I like to imagine these whole groups doing tribal Jesus worship dances around the throne forever. Therefore, someone must go to them. Someone must choose to be risky when God says, “Go there.” As Paul said: “How can they know unless they have heard? And how can they hear unless someone tells them?”
2. Risky obedience opens up opportunities for miracles to happen.
Daniel saw God close the mouths of lions. David saw a giant fall. Peter walked through prison walls. Elijah saw fire fall from heaven. Esther saw her people group delivered. Moses saw the red sea part. Joshua saw Jericho’s walls fall down. Philip saw evil spirits leave and the crippled walk. WHY?
They had all put full trust in God’s power and lovingly obeyed Him. Even in risky situations. Situations where people would say, “Don’t do that!” “That’s not smart.” “Not now.” They fully trusted God would somehow show forth His glory and went ahead in obedience. What did God do? He displayed HIS GLORY.
I want to live my life with full trust in God’s ability and see Him show forth His glory amongst the nations. How can I see that if I don’t say “Yes” when He asks me to do something or go somewhere risky?
In the realm of what is humanly possible, we don’t need God; common sense is our god. – Oswald Chambers
3. I have experienced God’s love.
God rescued me out of darkness into His marvelous Light! I am His child and am daily lavished with His love. This love “compels” me to “no longer live for [myself] but for Him” (I Corinthians 5).
God’s love casts out all fear of the “what if’s” and replaces it with courage. He is with me, indwelling me, giving me strength to do whatever His will is for my days. He is my Good Father, protecting me and giving me full provision.
I no longer live for myself. How can my life be taken away if I’ve already given it away? I live unto Him to be His hands and feet to go wherever HE wants to go, and to give whatever He wants to give. A “great cloud of witnesses” cheer me on! I may not see them, but my heart is emboldened with faith as I read their stories. God’s love compelled them to give their whole lives to Him, not withholding one iota of it for themselves.
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