Chapter 6: Playing it Safe is Risky
“Have you ever read something and felt like it was written exclusively for you?”
This question is exactly how we feel about this book. Interestingly enough, we have both read this book before, about a year ago, in fact. But weekly, we both comment to each other how it is like we’ve never read this book before. You see, both of us are in a different place (spiritually, emotionally, and even geographically) now than we were 1 year ago when we read the book for the first time. And, reading it now, has truly been like that question states: like it was written exclusively for us.
The main theme of this chapter is risk. And, the point that Batterson is trying to get across in this chapter is that no risk means no reward. He talks about how God uses risk takers and how we can build our resumes and our collections of life experiences and blessings by taking risks. However, taking risks is well, risky. And, we don’t like doing it, especially if our lives are good.
But, guess what? Good is the enemy of great. And, good is the enemy of great because when things are good, we aren’t motivated to take risks. We don’t desire to go out on a limb because we are afraid to rock the boat and to jeopardize our current lives. And, we whisper to ourselves, “Better safe than sorry” when we should be proclaiming to ourselves, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
God doesn’t just want us to have a good life. He wants us to have a great life. And, a great life is found in a relationship with Him and in a life that is constantly seeking His will for your life. And, what seems like a risk, is not a risk at all when it is a God-ordained and orchestrated move. Stepping out in faith is never a risk if it moves you closer to Jesus. The key is to remember to keep your eyes on Him and not the crashing waves around.
Playing it safe and not stepping out of the boat is actually more risky than stepping out because it keeps you from having a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. But, seeking God with intensity and intentionality and taking the steps that He leads you to take will result in the best pay-off imaginable. Don’t stay in the boat. Step out, risk sinking, and move closer to Jesus.
Have you ever stepped out of the boat and started asking yourself, “Did God really tell me to step out of the boat?” I have. Almost everyone has second guesses when they start taking that risk and chasing that lion. But friends, don’t second guess yourself or your God-inspired risk. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward. Doubts are normal and are the work of Satan. Just fix your eyes on Jesus and He will keep you from sinking into the sea of doubt.
Through this chapter, we have seen that taking risks is necessary if we want to take our lives from good to great. We need to start with a willingness to follow Jesus wherever He is leading us. And, we need to earnestly ask God, “What do you want me to do with my life?” It could be any number of things that He is asking you to do. We just need to listen and follow Him on the path to these things. And, it may seem risky and illogical to us, but we must still follow and be prepared to be blessed beyond what we can comprehend. Do not let fear of risk and satisfaction with good keep you from the God-ordained opportunities for greatness that exist for you.
Things to think and pray about this week:
1. Have you ever earnestly asked God the following question: “What do you want me to do with my life?” If you haven’t, then ask Him today.
2. Have you ever stepped out of the boat and then started to sink? Or do you feel like you are stepping out now and starting to sink? Put your eyes back on Jesus.
3. Is your life good? Would you like to make it great? Pray that God shows you how to take your life from good to great.
4. Is there one courageous choice that you are facing right now? Ask God for guidance on what you should do and wait patiently as you listen for His answer. This could be the one choice that substantially alters the course of your life.
5. Are you starting to wonder if God truly asked you to step out of that boat? Put your eyes back on Him and in His Word and hear His reassurance of your decision.
As we continue to see through the first six chapters, I hope you are continuing to see how God wants you to have a full, rich life that honors Him. And, that full, rich life requires a little risk. Remember to continue to ask for God’s direction and discernment to see the lions that God has sent into your life. We all can, and must, be lion chasers after the opportunities that God has given us. Be open to taking the risks so that you can take your life from good to great.
Looking Ahead to WEEK 7:
We will discuss Chapter 7.
Do you have any stories or thoughts that you’d like to share with others this week as they reflect on this week’s reading. If so, please feel free to comment in the box below. We welcome any comments on how you believe the Lord is working in you as you read In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.