Three Biblical risk-takers whose words encourage me to take risks for God
Living for God is asking for a life filled with making some hard choices and risk losing certain things, whether we are risking our finances or security or risking our relationships or life.
There will always be risks in this God-inspired way of living, but taking them for Him might not always look ideal and we might feel like cowering away from it.
However, as I have been growing in this journey, there have been three biblical stories of six people whose faith in the Lord led them to risk their own lives for Him:
Joab and Abishai - 2 Samuel 10
A brief context: When the Israelites, under the Kingship of David, were caught between the Amalekites and the Syrians, Joab, who was the commander of Israel's forces, divided the troops into two and while he took charge of one division, he assigned his brother, Abishai, to take charge of the other. After they agreed to help each other if things got tough for the other, here came the amazing verse:
"Be of good courage, and blet us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him" - 2 Samuel 10:12 ESV
My takeout: The Israelites were facing enemies on both sides and they were cornered, so, Joab divided them to take charge of the different enemies and they went out there, without knowing if they were going to win or not but, because they trusted in God's faithfulness, they trusted in Him doing what He deemed best, even if it meant the Israelites losing and the two brothers, and the other men, dying in battle.
Those took a risk with their lives not because they trusted their might and wisdom, or because God told them that the victory was going to be theirs, as He had done so before, but because they trusted God to be the all-knowing and faithful God that He is, and do what He deemed best.
Their faith in God led them to take great risks for God and His people, and I want God to inspire such faith in me; to trust Him no matter what happens, to live my life for Him even when I do not know what's going to happen ahead.
May I also say, with my whole chest, in the face of great risks for the glory of God: May the Lord do what seems good to him.
Esther - Esther 4:16
A brief context: So Esther, after becoming the Queen of Persia's King, Ahasuerus, was contacted by her uncle, Mordecai, who urged her to convince the King to let go of the idea of exterminating all Jews, who were taking refuge in that land; and idea given by one the chief prince's, Haman, who couldn't stand the likes of Jews, without knowing that Esther was a Jew herself.
The idea seemed nice if not for the law said that anyone who approached the King without being called was to die unless the king lifted his golden sceptre. So, now, she had to make a choice and both presented great risks, one that directly involved her possible death and the other that involved the death of others.
She could have been selfish and chosen to not approach the king but, she did not cower away. Instead, she said to Mordecai:
"Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, x and if I perish, I perish.” - Esther 4:16 ESV
My takeout: Esther was a queen, in all senses, and though she was given a chance to let others perish as the course of the persecutors went through, she chose to risk her life for the people of God, trusting God to do what was best; even if it meant that she had to perish.
That's the faith and mentality that I want to adopt for the rest of my life. I want to say, in the face of uncertain situations, in the honour of God:
If I am humiliated, I am humiliated.
If I am persecuted, I am persecuted.
If I am killed, I am killed.
BUT, I will go and live for God in the face of those uncertainties, because it is worthy to live and die for Him.
If I must perish for preaching, I will perish. If I must be ridiculed for proclaiming my love for Christ, I will be ridiculed BUT, it won't stop me from going forwards.
Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego - Daniel 3:16-18
A brief context: In Babylon, with the Jewish in exile, king Nebuchadnezzar set up an image of gold that everyone was obligated to bow down to and worship but, not Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. Homeboys were only going to worship the one and true God of Israel and the king was not having it. If they did not worship the image, the king threatened to throw them into the fire and instead of running to the image to pledge their lives to it, the men said:
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, saying, “Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves to you. If you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from the furnace. He will save us from your power, O king. But even if God does not save us, we want you, O king, to know this: We will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up." - Daniel 3:16-18
My takeout: Burning alive is not cute and the boys were certain that God could save them from the fire but, EVEN IF God didn't, they were not going to worship anyone but Him. They were not going to adore any other god either than Him, even if it meant burning to ashes.
I want those words printed in a huge poster and plastered on the wall of my dorm room, in a place where I get to see it every time I walk in or out of the room, to
remind me that even if the day doesn't play out as I envisioned, that I will trust in God's plan and providence.
That even if people make fun of me for preaching or persecute me for being Christian, that I won't stop either and will do it with more passion because I trust in God and His plan, even if I have to die on the spot for it to be fulfilled.
EVEN IF everyone is against me, God is for me (Romans 8:29) and He stands above all authorities and powers of this world (verse here) and He works for my good (Romans 8:28).
Though living for God is not easy and we will probably have to make some tough choices that present some risks, let us trust in Him to do what is best, even if we must perish in the unfolding of it.
May we stand strong in the face of uncertainty, trusting Him who knows all and works for the best of those who love Him.