Are You Risk a Taker ?
Matthew 17 20 “… if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Galatians 3 26 “You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus … Hebrews 11 1 “… faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” The New International Version - Anglicised, (London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.) 1984.
Unhelpful ideas about faith “Faith – believing something you know isn’t true” Straining to produce a little faith?
Faith is God’s gift to us, which He grows in us as we experience His faithfulness and goodness. Faith cannot be summoned by intense effort It is grown in us as we learn to trust God - through experience, understanding, observation and placing ourselves in an appropriate “growing” environment
Holy Risk-taking “ ‘Faith’ is spelled ‘R-I-S-K’ “If you never do it, you never get to see it” John Wimber Faith = Believing = Trust = Risk How can we trust God to do greater things?
Holy Risk-taking Relationship is risky! • betrayal? • broken confidence? • vulnerable to pain • what will people think? • can I take this risk?
Holy Risk-taking Relationship is risky! • God has come “very near” in Jesus • Turn from a wrong life • Believe the Good News • Receive the Holy Spirit “If you never do it, you never get to see it”
God calls us into the risk of a relationship, not into the cold certainty of a contract For some evangelical Christians, this is really hard to handle! (“Dispensationalism”; “Health and Wealth” theologies; God “always heals” if you have enough faith)
Holy Risk-taking But that’s DIFFERENT! I haven’t met God like that …
Holy Risk-taking Learning about Believing as Relationship • study the scripture • study how Jesus trained disciples regarding faithdemonstration, participation, supervision, commissioning • read accounts of past revival and present day renewal • read good Christian biography • develop your understanding of what it means to live NOW in the Kingdom of God
Holy Risk-taking • God’s sovereign rule HAS come in Jesus • This sovereign rule has drawn close - and challenges us to respond by turning from our wrong direction • This sovereign rule is invaluable, invisible and highly influential • This sovereign rule is at present incomplete, but WILL be fulfilled • We pray for this sovereign rule to be extended so that (like in heaven) it is known everywhere
Holy Risk-taking God’s Kingdom is now, is near, is not yet, and is yet to come!
Holy Risk-taking Jesus announces, demonstrates, inaugurates and preaches the Kingdom The “in-between” time … during which the Kingdom continues to “break through” Jesus returns, and the Kingdom is at last complete
Holy Risk-taking The supernatural Kingdom of God that Jesus brought Our physical world, with all its observed laws and patterns Healing! Miracle! Insight!
Holy Risk-taking When God’s sovereign rule was perfectly present in Jesus, “breakthroughs” were guaranteed In the “in-between” time, with the Kingdom infiltrating a broken world, “breakthroughs” are anticipated and pursued – but NOT GUARANTEED When Jesus returns, and God’s rule is finally fulfilled, there will be no more evil or suffering to be overcome
Some things are certain – the sin and failure of our past is dealt with, our present is wrapped up in the love and blessing of the Father, our future with Him is a sure promise ….
… but the process of living in relationship with God is not “guaranteed” – every step of obedience takes the risk that God will not do what we want Him to do. This is how He set it up!
Holy Risk-taking What can I do to increase the possibility of seeing more Kingdom “breakthrough”?
Holy Risk-taking Learning to take (acceptable!) risks with faith • if you can, invest time (and money!) in visiting places where more is happening than you have experienced so far
Holy Risk-taking How to make the odds better! • a personal life which pleases the Holy Spirit … godliness, spiritual disciplines, sacrifice, serving the poor • corporate life as a church which demonstrates the heart of the Father • worship which allows the Holy Spirit space • telling the stories of what God has done
Holy Risk-taking “Health and safety” in holy risk-taking • learn to recognise the voice of God • only then do what He says – without question, with thorough preparation • tell others that God will provide what is needed • exercise the trust you have learned about both the commands and character of God
Holy Risk-taking Taking risks in church • ask for prayer (practice; demonstrates faith!) • offer simple ministry (spouse, friend, colleague) • develop prayer for healing • encourage simple prophecy • report successes! “If you never do it, you never get to see it”
Holy Risk-taking Three choices: Dodgy theology Disobedience Dangerous living! “If you never do it, you never get to see it”