LISTEN TO THE MUSIC • Shake It Up – 3/17/24

People over the age of 90 were asked, “What changes would you make if you could live life over again?” The survey’s top response was, “Take more risks.” You don’t have to be 90 to look back and wish you had taken the risk and pursued some opportunities that crossed your path, but for whatever reason, probably fear, you didn’t go for it and wonder what could have been.

You may be on the fringe of faith, looking in, curious, but afraid to really find out if God is real, if Jesus is who he says he is. Perhaps a friend’s faith, a personal crisis, or dissatisfaction with life has moved you to wonder if the Christian faith is all it claims to be. The only way to find out is to pray a risky prayer. “God, open my eyes to who you really are, and then I’ll open my life to you.” You may be afraid of the outcome, thinking, “what if it IS true, then I’ll have to surrender to Christ and change. I don’t want to be a Bible-thumping misfit that my friends reject. I might have to admit some things about myself that I’d rather ignore. I don’t want to lose my freedom.” The thing is, true freedom isn’t found in doing whatever you want.; it’s found in walking with Jesus. God doesn’t place rules in our way to make us miserable, just as parents don’t set rules for their children to ruin their lives. It’s about love. God’s rules are not burdensome. You can only find out if you open your heart and pray that risky prayer!

If you are a Christ-follower, you haven’t arrived, and won’t until you go to be with Jesus. God expects your spiritual growth to continue as you walk with him. Playing it safe will only produce boredom and stagnation. You need to keep moving forward, shake it up, take risks, and experience the adventure God has in store. Ask God to stretch you! Pray, “God, use me like never before. Help me to creatively serve others and touch people’s lives. I want your will to be done in my life.” Allow God to lead you to serve for the glory of his kingdom. That may mean teaching youth, helping those in crisis, volunteering in a ministry, getting involved in some mission or sharing Christ with your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. Isn’t it worth the risk? It’s your choice: stagnate and miss the risk and reward, or shake it up and allow God to lead you and use you.

Scriptures: Matthew 16:25; 1 John 5:3; Romans 12:2; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 5:8; Matthew 7:7

Verses: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Mt 16:25) Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. (1 Jn 5:3) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mt 7:7)

Questions: Are you praying risky prayers? If so, share. If not, why? If you are serving and sharing Christ with others, how do you keep your faith vibrant? Why do so many Christians fall into the safe mode and stop venturing into new avenues of service? 

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to be willing to pray risky prayers, prayers that move me out of my comfort zone and into the areas of service you have planned for me. Forgive me for my complacency because I know the needs are great, and I am available. Create a willing heart within me! In Jesus Name I pray, amen.

About the Author