When you hear “risk-taking” does your adrenaline start to flow? Do the butterflies in your stomach take flight? The thought of facing a tough challenge or taking a risk is simply not as exciting and adventurous as the big screen portrays. In reality, we find a certain safety in remaining in our comfort zones, protected and secure. But, are we truly content with where we are? Do we long for more out of life?
As followers of Christ, we will be called to step out of our comfort zones. The Holy Spirit will stretch and mold us into stronger, more empowered believers. When He calls us to step out and take a risk, how do we respond? Do we witness to the stranger, start the new business, make the commitment, or give sacrificially?
Thumbing through the Bible, David stands out as a risk-taker. The Israelites were at war with the Philistines. Day after day, the Israelites heard the taunting of the nine-foot tall giant named Goliath. He mocked the ranks of Israel, and thereby defied Israel’s God. Saul and the Israelites were terrified, not knowing how they would overcome. Given this situation, what kind of boy approaches a giant with only a few river pebbles? We can learn and apply several of David’s principles as we face our own giants.
1. Recount God’s mighty acts (1 Samuel 17:38-39)
When David is faced with the challenge of overtaking the giant, he recounts God’s mighty acts. He reminds himself and others that God delivered him from the paw of the lion and the bear. When we remember how God has been faithful to us in the past, our faith is strengthened. How has God previously demonstrated His faithfulness to you? Rid yourself of a short-term memory.
2. Don't use someone else’s armor (1 Samuel 17:38-39)
As David tried on Saul’s armor, he fumbled around. Saul’s armor did not fit. We must fight our battles in our own armor. Someone else cannot fight them for us. God will always equip us for the task, but it will be unique to the gifting and calling He has for us individually.
3. Ignore the critic (1 Samuel 17:33, 42-45)
David was told by Saul and Goliath that he was “just a boy.” He had to overcome this negative thinking. Satan will try to tell you that you are too weak, too insignificant, and too ineffective. The enemy of your soul does not want you to advance. Recognize this and ignore his lies by listening to God’s Word. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
4. Walk in faith (1 Samuel 17:45-46)
David announced to Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down.” Just as David did, we need to face our giant square on and announce our victory. Walking in faith not only takes courage, it takes knowing the One who is faithful. “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). He can be trusted!
5. Let the Word out (1 Samuel 17:46-47)
What was one of the intended results of David’s victory? It was to make known “that there is a God in Israel” and that the battle was His. In your situation, what is your goal? Is it ultimately the promotion of God’s kingdom? May His name be exalted through your situation, and may that be your main priority.
When faced with new risks, it's easy to shrink back in fear rather than see the new opportunities God has placed before us. Life is an adventure. Get excited. He has great things in store for you!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
How will you know what God is going to do in your life, unless you take risks? Why not get up there with David and sling a couple stones at a giant? After all, you are standing on the Rock.