May 15, 2013

Firsthand Experience | Day 28

Choose Reckless Confidence Over Boring Religion

Scripture to meditate on: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” (Ephesians 3:12)

The following is an excerpt from Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by Ryan and Josh Shook.

Maybe the most important action step that recharged us was taking risks in faith and experiencing the exhilaration of seeing God be real in our lives. We took to heart what Oswald Chambers said: “Faith is the heroic effort of your life; you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God. God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him.”

Firsthand faith requires that each of us constantly take risks in faith to obey God. We think Oswald Chambers would call firsthand faith a faith of “reckless confidence on God,” one where we constantly let go of security and comfort and let God catch us and hold us.

What does reckless confidence on God look like in different people’s lives?

You—and we—were made to live passionately, taking risks in faith and following God with all our hearts. But as we go through life, we naturally drift into seeking comfort and security and minimizing risks. When we do that, joy and delight go missing from our faith. But when we step out in faith and trust God, we come alive and get to see His faithfulness firsthand.

We watched our parents step out in faith and plant a church when we were boys. They had very little money at the time, just a dream God had placed on their hearts to reach the lost and hurting. They started with fifteen people, and from there it dwindled to eight after the first gathering. Five were our family! Now thousands are part of the church. But we know all the little miracles God did along the way as our parents would step out in faith and watch God come through.

We feel as though we’ve had front-row seats to watch God working in our parents’ lives as they’ve taken risks in faith to obey God’s call. But in a sense it’s been their experience, not ours. We need our own experiences of stepping out in faith and watching God act. We don’t want front-row seats anymore. We want to be in the game! We want to see God at work up close and personal in our lives.

We have to admit, one of the reasons our faith slipped into the crises we talked about at the beginning of this book was that we stopped taking our own steps of faith in reckless abandonment to God. But what is Christianity if it’s not a great adventure with the God who made us? From our own experiences, we can tell you that when we stopped taking risks in faith, all we had left was boring religion.

It’s different now. Both of us have graduated college and live thousands of miles from our hometown. We are pursuing our respective passions of film and music and believing God for big things. It’s scary. It’s exhilarating. And it’s right where God wants us to be right now, trusting Him one day at a time. We feel inse- cure and afraid at times, but we also feel completely alive, knowing we have to trust God.

What about you?

Much more important than moving somewhere new is stepping out to take risks of faith every day to obey what God is speaking into your life. Risks like opening up to a friend who doesn’t have a faith in Christ about what your faith means to you. Like going on a mission trip and getting out of your comfort zone. Like being a friend to someone who isn’t in the popular crowd at school without worrying about what people think.

What adventure is calling you?