“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” (NLT)
Faith always means risk. Everything in life is a risk. Ecclesiastes 10:8 says, “When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you! When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax! Such are the risks of life” (NLT). There’s nothing we can do that doesn’t have some element of risk in it.
But the greatest risk of all is how we relate to other people and how we relate to God – the risk to do something about those relationships. Mark 12:30 says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). You take a risk when you love with all your heart. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Jesus reminded us that one of the greatest mistakes we can make is to play it safe with our lives. He said, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you’ll lose it.”
You probably remember the part in the third Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones came to the edge of a cliff. He was challenged to step out over the cliff even though he couldn't see a bridge beforehand. That's not a bad picture of genuine faith. Faith is stepping out and doing what God has asked you to do when you can't see what will happen in the end. You don't know exactly what God's going to do in the end, but you know he’s asking you to step out in faith.
Many times we’ll come to the edge of faith in our own lives. We’re not sure where things are headed. Maybe it is a decision to start a relationship with Jesus for the first time. Maybe you need to trust him with a business decision or something related to a relationship. There is a risk in stepping out in faith. Who will you trust? Will you trust in the Lord with all your heart? What if you’re wrong? Is it really God telling you to take the step of faith?
Practice the 80/20 principle
If you'll do the 80 percent of God's will that's clear in the Bible, he'll show you the 20 percent that's not clear. In other words, love your neighbor. Spend time in God's Word. Talk to God in prayer. Spend time with God's people. Love your family. Love your kids. Protect the way that you speak to people. Be kind in your relationships. Be patient. Do the 80 percent that’s clear, and God will show you the rest.
So take the risk. Trust God with everything you have. Do what God has told you to do in His Word. Then, when God challenges you with a risk of faith, you’ll be more confident to do what God tells you to do.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
© Copyright 2011 Tom Holladay. Used by permission.