Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders

Risky Living

What would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?
What is your life purpose? Why were you created? What is your task on this planet? Is it large or small? Risky? Safe?

The late Jamie Buckingham, a former editor of Ministries Today, had a large printed sign above his desk. It read: "Attempt something so big that unless God intervenes it is bound to fail."

Jamie lived that kind of life. After two devastating moral failures that would have ruined most ministers, the experience instead left Jamie open to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and a new life of what he called "Risky Living."

He did not begin writing books until he was 35 years old--a time in life many men are giving up on their dreams. Yet, he wrote or co-wrote 45 books before his untimely death in 1992.

Jamie, who was my mentor, asked me a question in the late 1970s that was pivotal in my life: "What would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?"

Often, we dream big dreams, only to put them aside as impossible. Yet, God never puts a desire in our hearts or beckons us to walk on water, unless He intends for us to step out in faith and at least make the attempt.

Whether we achieve or not is almost immaterial; the passing of the test lies in whether we try, in whether we're willing to be obedient to the inner call to greatness--the onward call to spiritual adventure.

Unfortunately, most Christians never learn this. Or, after one attempt, they give up.

Every person will experience pain. "Either it's the pain of discipline, which weighs only a few ounces, or the pain of regret, which weighs a ton," Rick Godwin says.

Don't allow yourself to become comfortable with small programs, ideas and goals. Like the bodybuilder who pushes up those heavy weights day after day even though every muscle in his body is crying out in protest, push past the pain and move up to the next level in your life. Be willing to take a risk for God.

Don't take what God meant for you and ruin it with mediocre living.

What are you willing to give up to get what you want? What is it you would do if there were no boundaries on your imagination ... or budget?

If you haven't had big goals and dreams before now, I pray you will learn to set goals and give them deadlines. God will hold you accountable for the talents, resources and dreams He bestowed upon you.

You stand to lose nothing by going for God's highest plan for you, and when you stand before Him, you will know that you attempted and accomplished much for your Savior.

Stephen Strang is publisher of Ministries Today and founder of a multimedia company that is proclaiming Jesus worldwide.

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