Managing Risk By Retreat? Heb. 10:39

As I was spending time with the Lord on Saturday morning, I had a growing awareness of all my areas of weakness and dependence, of all the ways that failure threatens my life. I think about my marriage and about parenting, about my job and my finances, about relationships and about witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ. On a larger scale I think about my purpose and about eternity, about sin and evil and death. I think about all these areas of my life where stumbling and failure are ever-present risks, and I realize how much I depend on the Lord every day.

When these threats begin to overwhelm me, my tendency is to seek fleshly ways to manage these risks. One way to manage risk is to limit activity and to limit involvement, the strategy of managing risk by retreat. While there is some initial appeal to this idea, this option is not open to the believer. The believer is commanded to be courageous and act (1 Chronicles 28:20) and is forbidden from shrinking back (Hebrews 10:39). The author of Hebrews declares that “we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” So I cannot shrink back or retreat or withdraw or disengage because I want safety or simplicity, but instead I must choose to act boldly and without fear on the basis of my trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:4; 84:5, 12). Therefore the believer takes obedient action and presses forward toward the goal, aware of the risks and the challenges and the dangers, aware of the possibility of failure and even the possibility of death, but infinitely more overwhelmingly aware that the Lord is with him as a dread champion (Jeremiah 20:11) and that if God is for him, who can be against him (Romans 8:31-39). Other verses to consider are Psalm 46:1-2; 91 (all); 142:3; 143:3-4.

When the challenges of life press down hard and the fears of failure seem to overwhelm, then continue to press into Jesus Christ and remember that He will never leave you or forsake you, and that it is our calling to be dependent on the Lord, weak in ourselves and faithful in the face of threats, so that God receives the glory when He displays His power.  SDG rmb 12/6/15

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