When it comes to risking it all, there is always an element of faith. It doesn’t matter if you’re a spiritual person or not, when you do something big or make a big decision, faith is always involved. Your faith might be in your ability to follow through or in your ability to lead big projects; get big results. Whatever the case, faith is inherent in risk.
If you know me, you know I have been a pastor for over 10 years. Any time the word “faith” is mentioned, there is always a spiritual connotation for me. It stems from a Biblical worldview. I have learned to view the world through a Biblical lens. Even more, I’ve become convinced that is what God requires of those who follow Him – to see the world the way He does. Regardless of your spiritual bend, that idea directly affects this post.
King Solomon, according to the Bible, was the wisest man who ever lived. In fact, rather than praying for God to make him rich, he prayed for God to make him wise. He wanted to lead well, so he prayed for wisdom. God granted his prayer and it showed in his leadership. In one of Solomon’s writings, Ecclesiastes, he writes, “…he [God] has made everything beautiful in its time and set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The idea is that man is an eternal being – made with eternity in mind. In turn, we will only find satisfaction is what is eternal. I believe that is why most people find satisfaction is participating in things that are bigger than them. It’s why we talk about things like leaving a legacy and changing the world.
So where does “Risking It All” come into play?
In the New Testament, Jesus poses two interesting questions. He asks, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life, [ultimately] he will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the Gospel, will save [his life]. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? For what can a man give in exchange for his soul?“ (Mark 8:34-37)
Jesus’ point is there is inherent risk in following Him, but the rewards are worth the risk. Let’s translate that into everyday life. The goal of this blog series has been to encourage you to step out, make the hard decision, take the hard challenge and assume the risk involved with doing those things. Now, I want to zoom out a little bit – take a look at life from 30,000 feet. In the context of your life, Jesus is asking,”If you take big risks in your life, your family, your business and it nets you material wealth, social status, temporal comfort, what is the price you’re paying? What’s the cost? Are you compromising your eternal nature for something that won’t outlive you?”
When I encourage you to take the big risk, make the hard decision or assume a lead role, my hope is that you’ll do that with eternity in mind. Ideally, you’re contributing to things that will outlive you; things that are bigger than trust funds, social status, upward mobility, inheritance or material comfort. Jesus’ challenge was to follow Him first, make Him the first priority. And there is risk associated with that (we’ll talk about that in the next post). Then, as you follow Him, risk it all in doing things that will last into eternity. God created you with eternity in mind. Your choices, decisions and your legacy should reflect that.
The intrinsic answer in Jesus’ last question, “What can a man…exchange for his soul?” – is a difficult one. You risk it all and exchange your soul for everything you can accumulate in the 75-80 years of life you have. Or you risk it all, make Jesus a priority, follow Him daily and live your life with eternity in mind. Your legacy can live on long after you’re dead – and it will be about more than the stuff you’ve accumulated.
Either way, you’re taking a risk. But, is it worth losing your soul? The weight of the risk is always if it is worth the reward. Just like in the “Take the Shot” post, investing the $10,000 for a $57 million return would have been worth it. The question is – is your soul worth that amount? In taking the risk, consider the eternal implications. It may sway your decision…
grace and peace,
For more on this topic – download John Piper’s book, “Don’t Waste Your Life!” It’s an excellent read and very challenging on this subject.