Devotional

“David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!” –  1 Samuel 17:45-46

How do you react when you hear the words “risk-taking”?  Do you feel the rush of adrenaline or do you feel some butterflies start to take flight in your stomach? We are used to movie superheroes taking risks and coming out on top. But risk-taking is not nearly as glamorous or exciting as the big screen portrays. In reality, we find a sense of security in our comfort zones. We are content in those comfort zones.  But what if God wants to stretch us and that requires some risk? How will we respond? 

There are a lot of people that are simply risk averse. They prefer to play it safe. David was certainly not one of them. The Israelites were at war with the Philistines. Day after day, the Israelites heard the taunting of a giant named Goliath. He mocked the armies of Israel, and therefore mocked the God of Israel. Saul and the Israelites were terrified, not seeing a solution. Given this situation, what kind of boy approaches a giant with only a few river pebbles? Seems pretty risky to me. 

In fact, the Bible is full of risk. Noah building a boat on dry land. Abraham going without knowing where he was going. Moses going to Egypt and telling Pharaoh, This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship with me. Faith requires risk. Without risk, there’s no faith. But what if? What if I give sacrificially and I don’t have enough money for my needs? What if I embark on this venture on faith and it doesn’t succeed? What if I choose a different path and it leads to disaster? What if I misinterpret what God is telling me to do?  What if I utterly fail? Any of those things could happen. That is where faith and trust in God come in. 

Has God prompted you to take a risk? There is no guarantee it will be comfortable. There is no guarantee the journey won’t be littered with difficulty. There is no guarantee it will turn out the way you expect it to turn out. But will it be worth it: yes it will. Will it bring you blessing even amidst challenging circumstances: yes it will. Will God be glorified and exalted through it: yes He will. 

Risk-taking is not easy but it is a part of our faith journey. As we follow God’s lead we have risk, yet we find comfort in knowing that He first took a risk on us. How will you know what God is going to do in your life unless you take risks? Why not get up there with David and sling a couple of stones at a giant? 

Discussion Questions:

  1. If I’m truly going to walk by faith, it’s going to involve some risk. Agree or disagree?
  2. How does your faith affect the choices you make and the things you do? What have been the results of your greatest steps of faith? How have they caused your faith to grow?
  3. What commitment are you willing to make to put your faith into action?