Play it safe—risk everything

Play it safeI’m not a risk-taker by nature.

I was the girl who rode my bicycle in the center of the bike path. I was content playing Barbies in the bedroom with my neighborhood friends. I stayed (basically) within the boundaries my parents set for me.

So when I read words like this from Jesus, they sound unsafe to me:

He said, “That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”
Luke 19:26 (The Message)

Why would I do what’s unsafe?

Because things aren’t as they seem.

To be self-sufficient, to live to please others, to follow the rules “just in case”—those things are NOT safe.

They lead . . .

  • to scarcity, not abundance
  • to hypocrisy, not authenticity
  • to death, not life.

They’re not just risky—they’re suicidal.

Because they’re not of faith. They’re not of Jesus. They’re of self.

And self isn’t safe.
Self can’t save.
Only Jesus can.

So once again I resolve to give it up. Risk it all. Put all my eggs in one basket. It’s Christ or bust.

The truth is, it’s the safest thing I can do.

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

* * *

Are you comfortable taking risks? What’s a risk you’re about to take next? 

revised for the archives

36 thoughts on “Play it safe—risk everything

  1. Mary

    I am such a “safe” girl my friend! But I am stepping out. For almost a year I have felt the Lord tugging at my heart to do book study with ladies from church. I finally sent the e-mail and am organizing it. I am SO. SCARED. While it seems like a small thing to many, it is a very large thing to me. I have ton a lot of public speaking and I would rather speak to a crowd of 500 any day, than to have a small group in my home for a book study!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good for you, Mary! That’s fantastic that you’re stepping out and doing this book club. Sometimes it’s a big thing to me to even ATTEND a new book club, so I hear you. 🙂 I know the Lord will bless you through it and will reward you for taking this act of faith. And may He bless others through it also. Who knows–you may be beginning a new phase of ministry….

  2. Debbie

    I tend to prefer my comfort zone. After all, it can be scaring taking risks. But yes, God has not called us to a safe life. In fact, truly following Him can become very challenging filled with uncertainty. But I’ve been learning to …trust Him. Trust Him with my life. Trust Him with my loved ones. Trust Him with the path He has for me to travel. My one word for 2013 is …surrender.

    So there you have it. I choose to risk it all to Him and for Him.

    Blessings and love,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I gain courage just reading your words, Debbie. Yes, trust Him with more and more and more. That’s really the most secure place we can be. Your one word surrender has been such an inspirational one to me. Seeing others take risks helps me take risks too.

  3. Kim Adams Morgan

    I guess I am a calculated risk taker. But an introvert, so putting myself out there is different for me. This blog and taking time away from a career to write for the Lord and follow a dream is a risk I believe is worth talking. How do you every go wrong following Jesus?! I received a call and I’m just answering it. Kim

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “a calculated risk taker”
      I can relate to that. I tend to think of myself as a realist, weighing the balance between risk and reward.

      But you’re right: We can’t go wrong following Jesus. I don’t need to overanalyze when he asks me to step out in faith. Just do it. I’m glad you’re answering your call, Kim. It really is encouraging to the rest of us when one of us does that.

  4. Dianna

    I think my one word for 2013 has really helped me to be a bit more courageous about stepping out of my comfort zone (as much as I’ve always loved it there). It is pretty hard to “SURRENDER” to Him and then say no to Him when He asks me to do something…to surrender something …to Him. That means giving HIM complete control…and that is scary to me. It isn’t that I don’t believe He has my best interest at heart when He asks it of me, but there are days that it is just plain HARD. I’m learning more and more about this precious word TRUST as a result of it. I always feel a more secure person when I’ve learned to trust and as those times are beginning to add up it is easier to trust Him for the next thing. An area He seems to be dealing with me in right now is reaching out to the hurting…and that is not always an easy thing. I’m thinking thoughts like, “I’ve never been where that person is before” or “how will I know what to say?” But I’m learning…He’s leading and I’m doing my best to follow! 🙂 Hugs to you, Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Like I said to Debbie above, your choice of “surrender” as your one word is awesome to me. It’s a difficult thing to do. But I know you are doing it, Dianna. You have such a heart for spreading your love for Jesus into the lives of others, and that does require a surrender and a sacrifice. I’ve seen you trust Him in situations where you’ve been scared before, so I know you’ll continue doing it now to those who are hurting. You’re a special woman of God; I know He uses you mightily. I thank God that I can count you as my friend.

  5. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I think I take a risk every time I put up a blog post. Big breath…click the ‘post’ button. Yikes!!! This is definitely out of my comfort zone.

    But, I think God is happy that I take the risk, and talk about him in my life. Same as you 🙂

    Happy Monday!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh yes, taking risks with our blogs. I can understand that. 🙂 Every time we hit publish, it is a risk. It does get more comfortable over time, until we step a little further from our comfort zone and it can seem risky once again. So glad you’re taking that step though, Ceil. I know your blog is blessing many.

  6. floyd

    Wow. We’re on the same page today, Lisa. I’ve been a risk taker my entire life, but did it for the wrong reasons. As you stated, when we’re living and doing life by faith and trust in our Savior there is no fear… and only in Him can we truly say that… it’s far beyond the scope of the catch phrase on T-shirts…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, we are on the same page today. ha. I know some people who seem fearless to me, and they don’t have to conjure up courage to do things. Not me. 🙂 I’d be a buyer of your new t-shirts: “Much Fear, But More Courage.” We are all motivated by different things, and we can’t always tell what that is, just looking at the outside of a person. Only the Lord knows. And he’s loving enough to cover it all in grace!

  7. Hazel Moon

    Be wise and take only the God given risks such as speaking out when something is not right, and sharing Jesus when there is an open door. I am glad you are willing to take a risk for Jesus

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It definitely feels safer to stay inside the lines. Until those lines start to close in on us. Then it feels safer to step on outside them. Praying for the non-risk-takers like us to be especially attentive to discern when the Lord wants us to take risks. Thanks for sharing, Wanda.

  8. laura

    “The truth is, it’s the safest thing I can do.”

    If only I would remember this! I’m one of those that always wants the safety net too, Lisa. That’s what Playdates with God is all about for me–trying new things with God, even just small things. I have to be faithful with my small before I can be trusted with something bigger, after all. Taking your words to heart, friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Laura. Being faithful in the small things is definitely something I can relate to. I appreciate the Lord being gracious by often leading us through baby steps to remind us of how faithful and powerful he is to never lead us astray.

      I’m so thankful you continue on with Playdates. Your experiences of attentiveness to the Lord encourage many of us.

  9. Sheila at Longings End

    I colored within the lines for much of my life. Then two years ago I took a huge leap of faith — especially after the very dismal marital circumstances I had come through — and eloped with a man of God I had known for only 47 days!! And we have been on an adventure ride with Jesus at the controls ever since.

    A year ago I left the “security” of full time employment to raise our “heart child” Longings End, growing it up into a substantive blog flowing with His love and inspiration. And along the risk-taking way, He has deepened my faith. NO, sometimes it has NOT been fun, but I am not sure I could ever go back again to running the gerbil wheel in my life.

    And now our home has received an offer that just might fly and that will send us packing to points unknown. Wherever He may call us, which could be an apartment around the corner or somewhere halfway around the world. Emotions of elation and excitement mingle with sadness and a longing for what was in my home — as a single mom with three sons who by the grace of God was able to keep this sweet roof over our head in good times and very bad times.

    It’s risky, radical business this living by faith, but then Jesus never played it safe either!
    Thanks for letting me share, Lisa. Great post!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s a lot of coloring outside the lines, Sheila. 🙂 I love it. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart here. The times in my life when I’ve taken the biggest risks are also some of the most rewarding times and ones of spiritual growth.

      I’m glad you pointed out that Jesus never played it safe either! Excellent example for us to follow.

  10. bluecottonmemory

    I have to let go of my playing-it-safe attitude. I understand your examples – because a lot of me lived them. However, I learned that I had to let go of safe in order to grab hold of things worth holding – like an amazing husband and an amazing God! Risking for God is a win-win:) Your post is a beautiful cheer of encourage to jump – to Jesus!

  11. tcavey

    I’m usually not a risk taker…I like rules, I like to play it safe. But in this instance, I don’t want to play it safe! I want more of Christ! I want to follow HIM.

    Great post!

  12. Dolly@Soulstops

    Dear Lisa,
    Your post hit home as I am going out of my comfort zone to go on a short missions trip to Guatemala in October. And you are so right, things are not as they seem, because God calls us to live by faith and to believe that what is unseen is eternal while what is unseen is eternal. Blessings, brave one 🙂

    1. Lisa notes...

      Good for you for going to Guatemala. (I wonder if that’s the trip I was considering taking–with other bloggers? I never followed up…) I know you’ll come back with many spiritual lessons to share with the rest of us. It is a risk but one worth taking! My trips to El Salvador were scary for me but I’d take absolutely nothing for the friends I made there and for the lessons the Lord taught me.

  13. Betty Draper

    Lisa, I recently took a risk and joined a writers club at the Senior citizen center, have met four people so far. I took another risk and told them I was a Christian to which I heard from a Hindu, to non believing Jewish and one other lady who I think is Catholic but the only one who talks about the Lord. I have already been accused of trying convert the one man who is Jew just because of reading a story I wrote that had the gospel in it. Because of our ministry I am usually with Christians so I wanted to on purpose put myself out there where some lost people were. I actually do not fear them but realized right away I have been in a missionary bubble. I don’t these folks are interested in why we lived overseas, only that we did. I was more comfortable overseas then I am here in America…

    1. Lisa notes...

      Love, love that you shared this, Betty. So often we get so caught up in our Christian circles in America that we no longer interact much with those who still need to see Jesus. Bravo for you in joining the writers club. I pray you’ll continue to have opportunities to show the love of Christ to all there. And enjoy the writing part too. 🙂

  14. Maria

    Great perspective. I was like you growing up, always within the boundaries. But I realized my life was richer when I took “safe risks” meaning not the thrill seeking dangerous types, but just stepping out of my comfort zone without worrying if what I am doing will be criticized or if it is “trendy”. Sometimes risk is taking the path less traveled.

    1. Lisa notes...

      “Sometimes risk is taking the path less traveled.”

      You’re exactly right, Maria. God has an individual and distinct path for each of us, and if we are always just following the crowd, we’ll miss out on so much of why we’re here.

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  16. David Rupert

    Haha! Loved the cartoon.
    I’m just the opposite. I add risk to otherwise safe situations. Makes me kind of wildcard to be around.
    If there are two roads — one is paved and one is dirt — I’m going up the dirt one every time!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      So you’re one of those kind, huh? 🙂 I wish I had a little more of that gene in me. We’ll just wave hello at the intersection of paved and dirt roads. ha. My daughter and I ended up some dirt roads recently on our way to a farm. Couldn’t believe GPS would navigate us through the woods like that, so when we finally ended back up on a paved highway, we were both very thankful.

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