Monday, January 31, 2011

Running the Risk

For most of us, we think very little of everyday events that might otherwise be risky; like talking on the cell phone while driving. I know none of you guys do that, but I do sometimes. Or how about digging something out of the garbage disposal? Something that just won’t grind up, so you stick your fingers down inside and try to retrieve whatever it is that’s making such a horrible noise. Only to momentarily hope the switch doesn’t get turned on while your hand is down there.

Or the simple task of eating alone. Now I know that sounds kind of paranoid, but seriously, have you ever choked on something when no one else was around? It gives you that feeling of abject vulnerability and you have a fleeting thought that “Wow that was close I could have died”. Okay maybe I’m weird like that, but people do choke you know!

Or how about surfing the internet without proper protection software? Or shopping online with a credit card, while you don’t have Norton or some other protection software? Again, maybe you think I’m being paranoid, but just wait until someone tries to steal your identity. It happened to me and it took over a year to get things straight. Fortunately the guy doing it died.
Or run with scissors in your hand, I dare you! You know, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye; but all kidding aside.

These are everyday events that most of us think little about, as far as their risks, yet for many, there are far greater risks they take and don’t even consider the consequences or risks involved.

I’m thinking about the person who goes through life believing that they have a nice religious relationship with God, but He never really knows them on a personal basis. Or what about the person who says they’ve forgiven another, but deep in their heart forgiveness has not really occurred. What a rude awakening that will be when they stand before God and have to give an account of their failure to truly forgive.

Over and over in the Bible we see people presuming upon the grace of God. These folks run the risk of missing God’s truth and redemption, simply because of their presumption. That’s right, presumption. (Even King David prayed that the Lord would keep him from the great sin of presumption.)

This type of presumption is based upon the personal folly of thinking you know God and what He’s talking about in His Word, when in reality you filter the Word and Spirit through your own experiences, your own pains, problems and bigotry. Ergo the reason we’ve got so many types of “Christians” running around this planet. Many of which rarely if ever truly reflect the Living Christ.

So here’s the deal: We’ve all been wounded or offended from time to time. Usually by people that you’d think should know better by now, but they really don’t. And painful feelings, left unchecked, can ultimately produce a root of bitterness that keeps us from fully understanding the magnitude of God’s special grace; His willingness to save sinners such as us.

Meaning, we believe that everyone else is worse than we are. We believe that everyone else is to blame for our pain, so if they’d just stop hurting us (sinning against us) life would be good and we could get on with all the stuff God has planned for us; right? Yet we never do.

So are you Running the Risk of missing God’s special grace? Are you Running the Risk of affecting others with your foolish presumptions that keep you thinking you’re better than others?

Oh I’m sure most of you reading this have never struggled with this problem, but I know I have. And I know that Running the Risk of missing God in any given moment is simply not worth, my vain thinking that my pain in life is everyone else’s fault, but never mine.

At any given moment, I can give my pain to Him, if I will simply speak aloud to Him and ask Him to speak to me and show me what’s going on. He will, and yes it’s that simple. (Jeremiah 33:3)

But take caution, and be ready, for He will reveal things that you had no clue were causing your pain. He will show you things that are causing you to stumble, but you must be ready and willing to obey as He guides. For therein you will find the REMEDY and you will at that moment in time cease Running the Risk.

So go ahead; trust Him. Come on, you’d stick your hand in a garbage disposal, so why not trust God? He is on your side and He’d never flip the switch. At least not while your hand is down there; right?


  1. Great word Russell! There seems to be an epidemic of "Christians" missing God almost continually, and like you said (paraphrasing now)...I wander in and out of that too. (unfortunately)So many times Christians live by principles rather than His presence. I'm trying to live more in His presence while still being guided by His principles.

  2. Thanks for the reminder that we need to daily "come clean" with God, keep our faith in Christ and listen to the Holy Spirit.