Core Statement: Northstar is a faith-filled, big thinking, bet the farm risk takers. We will never insult God with small thinking or safe living.
In the book of Ruth, Naomi hatches a plan to see her widowed daughter Ruth get a husband who can give her children. She tells Ruth to spruce herself up and present herself to Boaz, who would be sleeping next to and guarding his pile of grain. She told her to uncover his feet, lie down next to him, and wait for him to tell her what to do. It was risky for a young woman to cross town alone at night. It was a huge risk to lie down next to an older man in the dark. Would he react appropriately? But Ruth makes her way to the threshing floor, and in the darkness manages to locate Boaz asleep by his grain. She gently lifts his garment back exposing his feet, then lies down.
In the middle of the night, something startles Boaz, he turns over and – there’s a woman at his feet! In the darkness he can’t see who it is so he cries out “Who are you?” “And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” (Ruth 3:9) Spread your wings over your servant meant spread the edge of your garment over me, which was a commitment of marriage. Ruth didn’t wait for Boaz to tell her what to do as Noami had advised, but blurted out a marriage proposal. This was another huge risk on Ruth’s part. How will he respond? Read Ruth chapter 3 and 4 for the complete story. Spoil alert – her risk pays off.
I believe God is calling us as a church to be faith-filled and do big things for the Kingdom. But doing big things for the kingdom is a risky business. We should never insult God with small thinking. Because you cannot play it safe and please God. We cannot be static and content with the status quo because God is not.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” In other words, if you can do everything though your own power and you never need God then you are living without faith. There are people who think that failing means you’re missing God. I’ve discovered that failing is often the first step to discovering God. We believe the fear of failure should stop us from stepping out in faith and see where God takes us. I think we should step out of the boat and see where God does take us.
That all sounds good, but by now you are asking what all that means to me. It is all about stepping out in faith. And that doesn’t mean selling all your earthly possessions and moving to China to start a church. It could mean that, but in most cases, as our series Small Things Big Difference suggested, we can start with small steps. You decide to tithe, even though things aren’t going well economically. It makes no rational sense, but you’re going to do it. And then you see the wonderful work of God through that step of faith. You start a Northstar Group and you may wonder if you can do it. But then you look back and see the Northstar Group as one of high points in your life. You decide to serve in Kids Ministry, even if you are unsure if you can connect. Then you get in there and do it and see that you are impacting future generations. You make a commitment to have a quiet time with God. That investment brings you closer to God. Some of you are afraid to try the 21 Day Daniel Fast because you are not sure you have that level of discipline. But, you decide to honor God with your sacrifice and find that God has never seemed more present in your life. There is risk in every one of these examples. But, there are also opportunities that God will honor and bless. We just need to step out in faith.
Faith is not the outcome that we want, because our faith in the faithfulness of God is what we are seeking. And as you grow your faith, we as a church community grow in our faith. We as a church are not going to sit back, we are thinking big. God did not give us a small commission, but a Great Commission and we are going to take the risks needed to help the whole world find and follow Jesus.
So what are we? We are faith-filled, big thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We will never insult God with small thinking or safe living.
1. What is the vision of Northstar?
2. Think about it a few seconds and then answer the following two questions: What does God believe I can do? What does God expect me to do?
3. Did you ever attempt something so bold that couldn’t have come through without God?
4. Is there something about risk that scares you? What specific fears or doubts hold you back from complete faith in God? What could help you strengthen that trust?
5. What are some things you’ve learned in the past when you stepped out in faith?
6. Our culture teaches us to avoid risk because of the pain it can bring and in the name of safety, seeking to control all the details we can. Pray and ask God to help us as a church and each of us as individuals to be willing to take risks and be more bold for Him in the remainder of 2015.