Bible Study

Risky Business

I feel like I have been writing this entry my entire life.

When it comes achieving their goals, most people have a fear of failure.  Not me. I had a fear of success.  If you’re scratching your head at that one, join the club.  To understand the reason why, you need to know a little bit about my spiritual upbringing.  All of the success stories I heard about as a child ended with disaster.  God blesses you – the enemy comes and takes it away.  Over and over, I heard stories like this.  Well, that’s not what I wanted.  I mean, what would be the point of giving my all and trying my best if it was just going to be snatched away from me as soon as I turned the corner?  [Sidebar: THIS is the very reason things should be explained to “baby Christians” so that they don’t come away with warped conclusions that become beliefs.  I learned later that some of the blessings were “lost” because of a person’s own negligence.]  I quickly surmised that the best thing for me to do was to not try to do anything great.  Stay mediocre.  Safe.  Enjoy (oops, not “enjoy” because that might send up a red flag) so-so success.  Easy breezy with little risk.  Boring as the day is long.

Read Joshua 1.  We enter the scene where the children of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land and God is giving Joshua words of encouragement.  “Be courageous…be of good courage…everything the sole of your foot treads upon is yours…”  Why did God have to give this man of war a pep talk?  Well, the first thing the Israelites had to do before they could enter the Promised Land was cross a river.  And not just any river – the Jordan.  It was a bad boy on a regular day, but now we’re at harvest time and it was so swollen that it flooded its banks.  “We gotta cross that??”

The Promised Land was the land God promised to the forefathers as an inheritance to the Israelites – a land of plenty, flowing with milk and honey.  We’re talking about some sweet property, folks.  Cross the river?  It’s worth the risk!  Well, not everyone thought so.

Read Numbers 32. There were some who saw the risk of crossing the river and felt that it was too much of a price to pay, even for the Promised Land.  Two tribes, Rueben and Gad, decided that where they were was good enough.  Now, it was pretty good – the land was suitable for them to raise their families and cattle upon.  When I first read this I thought, “Are you kidding me?  You are going to settle for “good enough” when great is on the other side of the river??  And it’s already been promised to you??  Y’all crazy.  What’s a little water…and a wall..  If that had-da been me…”  Ugh.  I think too much.  That thought had no sooner left my mind when my own life stood before me, yawning.  WHATEVERRRR!!!!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life.  It’s not too shabby, but I have this gnawing feeling that there is more for me to do.  So much more that I can achieve.  So much that God has for me…if I just take the risk.  I’m tired of playing it safe.  I see the promise and I want it. And as for “the enemy” taking it?  Not worried about it anymore.

I am standing on the banks of my Jordan River…time to get my feet wet.

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