Saturday, December 10, 2011

the limb.

"Be willing to go out on a LIMB with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the SAFEST place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe."
{Jesus Calling}

and bam. there you have it, my life (in a nutshell).

This is one of those - every single word deeply touches every string in your heart - kind of reading things. It might as well have started, "Hey Taylor, this is for you, so listen up and listen closely." I am so guilty of playing it "safe" sometimes. The limb scares me. There, I said it. Risk, not typically my cup o tea. But what's faith in "our" safety? The child-like faith we are called to, trusting that like He says He will sustain me, a lot of times disintegrates in the face of fear. We have to question our so-called safety if it is in make-shift securities, that we have created. Yes Lord, I trust you buuuttt I'm going to stay near the trunk because who knows what's going to happen ... Well, HE does know what is going to happen!

 "Your desire to live  a risk-free life is a form of unbelief." Wow, talk about convicting. With some areas of our lives it is so easy to trust Him and go out on the limb, knowing for certain He will provide, sustain, and be faithful. However, there are the others that as soon as we even think about stepping towards the limb handicapping fear literally meets us face to face and we start slowly stepping back, shying away from the thing the Lord has for us. Talking to someone I greatly respect the other day made me realize - that's ungodly, and unbelief, and it's time to call it what it is. Something we have to stand on, stand against, and say no to - stepping right through. Faith is risky. Period. After all, He risked everything for us. 

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."
 {Psalm 55:22 NIV}

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my VICTORIOUS right hand. 
{Isaiah 41:10 NLT}

Isn't it interesting that though that the scariest place for us to be is often the place that makes us feel most alive? -- because it's not about us and it's everything about the power of the sweet Lord, and His movement, and sustainment alone. That is where we are called to be. The enemy so greatly wants to stop us before we are even to get going, by fear. Fear is not of the Lord, and hundreds of times throughout the Word, He tells us "fear not" because He knows this will be a huge component of battle for us. The safe place for us to be is in the center of the Lord's will, and if He is calling us to step, we better get stepping because His power is every single step, as slowly but surely leave our will behind. He needs us to be proactive in our faith, not spending months and months of begging us to let go, convincing us to be obedient, and move. Our stubbornness can certainly leave us next to the trunk for way too long. How long are we going to stay there? By not moving are we painting our lives to look like we want it, or are we letting the Lord, the Artist, brilliantly paint what He intended?

We have created this fort-like structure around us (girls, especially - you know we have).  Of course, it may not appear to be safe in being transparent, vulnerable, being fully known, letting people in, moving to this city, starting this career, trusting He will provide - BUT He who promised is FAITHFUL. It may not even be our desire to be doing this, but we have to look at our lives and evaluate if indeed it is our tendencyHowever, we are approaching a crossroads in our journey (or for me at least I am there) and in order to follow Him WHOLEHEARTEDLY we must relinquish the desire and tendency to play it safe. 

Stand in less fear, and MORE faith.

Abraham was not safe when abandoning everything he knew to go to place he didn't even know.
(or to offer up the only son, through whom all descendants would be blessed.)
Esther, not even supposed to be in the temple, speaks on behalf of an entire people group that was said to be demolished by the very kingdom she was in, and over. Not safe.
David & Goliath, I mean, c'mon.
Sarah in believing what the Lord had told her to have a son when she was well past the age.
Crossing the Red Sea, yeah.
(the lists goes on ... )

The Lord obviously doesn't quite do things as we would, thank goodness. Let's accept the adventure and the wild ride He has for us, because we know and trust the One who is leading us, who is sustaining, and whose glory we are after exalting. He can do infinitely more than I could ever imagine or think, and He is more than worth it. I am embracing the limb, and quite excited about doing so! 

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." 
{Luke 1:45}

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