Matthew 14:25-32 – During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (NIV)
Risk taking is taking on something that causes fear and has the possibility of failure. Life holds more excitement and satisfaction when we're willing to expand our comfort zones, try new things, and dare to achieve our dreams. We say that we want to know the will of God, but when we find out what it is, we can't handle it. It sounds too scary, too difficult. We decide to look elsewhere.
People who focus on the negative circumstance, rather than on God, say, "I'm too old," "I'm not good enough," "My health is too bad," or "It will never work out." Let us in our situations refuse to focus on the negative things, and instead choose to focus on the positive things. When we ask according to His will, Christ accepts our offer to let Him show His power in us. What, today, is God prompting us to dream about, and more importantly, to put into an action plan? If there is something big that we want to do in the future, let us give it over to Jesus. Just like Peter, when we step out of our comfort zones, we need to expect things that are symbolized by the wind and the waves in different situations to be around us as a challenge. Also we need to expect surprises, just like Peter encountered after stepping out of the boat and actually walking on the water.
Most people don't take risks because they're afraid they'll fail. Problems will likely come, but the results can be different than expected, depending on one's perspective. The results envisioned from taking a risk may turn out to be something better than we dreamed. Can you think of any area in your life today that you are not putting it on the line for Jesus, because you don't know what is in store for the future? Let's be like Peter and look to Jesus to get us through to the end. The results may be something more than we ever imagined!
A story about the Atlanta soda fountain where the nerve tonic syrup was mistakenly mixed with carbonated water instead of plain water came across my desk the other day. The end result of this story is the drink now known as Coca-Cola. Asa Candler promoted the drink. Two businessmen, B. F. Thomas and J. B. Whitehead, saw that there might be a future in bottling the drink for home consumption, but Candler thought it a futile idea. So Candler sold Thomas and Whitehead the right to sell Coca-Cola by the bottle — for the grand total of one dollar. Twenty years later, in 1919, the Coca-Cola business changed hands for twenty-five million dollars! Candler gave away a multi-million dollar industry because he could not see its future. How much of what God has for us do we fail to realize because our vision is so limited? Let's be risk takers for God! Today, let's prepare ourselves to be risk takers by saying "No" to the negative and "Yes" to the positive. Let's turn our dreams into action plans today, and be ready for some challenges and surprises.
Where would Peter be had he not stepped out of the boat?
Remember the greatest risk it not to risk at all.
Prayer: O God, when I am looking to the future and don't know what is to come or where to turn, help me to lean on you for strength to forge ahead. In times of trial, help us to risk all for your glory. Lord, may we decrease as you increase in our lives and give us a vision for the future. Amen.