Have you ever thought of the word safety? Today we think of it in many terms: Weather: Take Safety due to a Watch or Warning … Traffic: Always Wear Your Seat belt -or- Don’t Follow Too Closely … News: Another Shooting Tonight in “You Name It” Neighborhood (meaning don’t go in that neighborhood if you want to be safe!). But what does the word Safety have to do with God?
In my devotion this morning the general message was this: If you go out on the skinniest limb on the tree, you are safe, because if that is where God has guided you, then that is where God is with you. We can look at this two ways: in our own lives, and in our churches. Do we think that we are safe because we are staying close to ourselves, or are we in fact less safe because we are not following and going where God is leading us, even if we think it is risky?
In my own life I can say that most of the time I have played it safe to the chest. The first risk I took, that I feel was really stepping out of my comfort zone and being with God where God led me, was when I left a secure job to start seminary. Was I scared? – Yes!, but when I look back was it a safe decision- Yes, because even if it was a tiny limb (in which it was because I didn’t know much about the Bible, I didn’t know much about the seminary), I was safe because God was with me on this tiny limb that eventually grew into a sturdy branch. The second risk I took was leaving my home church for the unknown of Belwood, NC. Was I nervous, anxious, and scared?- Yes!, but what a blessing, what a great risk to know that God has plucked me and taken me to such a rich area for ministry.
Now for our churches, we have to be willing to follow God’s direction, be willing to take a risk, because if we do not take risk we are actually not in safety with God. We become vulnerable to a state in which we become self-serving, a place in which we no longer look to God for guidance, but we look to ourselves. In order for ministry to grow, in order for our churches to grow spiritually, in order for us to be the hands and feet of Christ, we are going to have to move in places that are uncomfortable by the guidance of God! Yes- We Have to Take Risks! and Yes- it is going to be a tiny limb, but YES!- It is going to be more safe because God has taken us there, not ourselves!
Go, Be at Risk with God, and most importantly know that the Risk is far more greater than our own self-serving safety!

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