Most Christians can quote grandiose themes of scripture like, “It’s impossible to please God without faith!” But faith is fleshed out in our ability to take great risks.
God wants us to use every tool at our disposal, including our intellect and our life experience. Those can, of course, hinder us as well, but as people who are trying to take huge steps of faith, we should trust the tools available to us more than we are worried about them getting in the way. Remember, you have the mind of Christ. You are hardwired to hear His voice and you are capable of making great decisions.
Risk assessment and management in the world’s system starts with over-estimation of the probability of something going wrong. We must let God’s Spirit disciple our minds and stay focused on what God can do for us, instead of focusing on how man will fail, what the economy might do, or what our competitors are planning. When we assess risks, we have to start with data, then measure the data against our internal compass and instinct. What is God saying?
Faith is when you aren’t a self-made man or woman, and you don’t limit yourself to your own ability, but you trust that God has more for you than you can perform. Still, it is also vital to be wise stewards and understand how we can “count the cost” before taking a big risk in faith.
Below are some of many questions you might want to consider before taking a big risk:
- Have I sought wise counsel? Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV) says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” It is important to put together an executive summary or strategic plan and have others review it. It is important to research market demographics and talk to people in the industry. It helps to understand that there is a lot of groundwork needed to start a business and grow it to success.
- Am I willing to move forward and value relationships even if my risk is unpopular? Other people will not necessarily align themselves with your risk until it’s over. This sounds really simple and might even look foolish to some of you, but relationships can break over the risk we take for God. We must continue to value relationships as well as staying obedient to God’s voice. Ultimately, you are the CEO of your life and it is your responsibility to go to God and hear His direction for your life. You can’t expect others to hear for you, but it is also detrimental to get bitter if they don’t align with your risk.
- Am I willing to work harder than I have before to see it through? I’ve met with and talked to so many people who have great ideas, but the courage, discipline, impetus, or work ethic just isn’t there. We must partner with God, not sit back and expect Him to do the work. We need to grab hold of our divine assignment, bridging the tension between what is possible and impossible by actually living it out.
- Am I willing and able to bounce back emotionally, spiritually and financially if it does not go as planned, or do I need to strengthen myself first? If it turns out that it wasn’t the right thing to do and you missed it, or it did not go the way you planned, will you be willing to adjust and watch Him work it out for your good? Or, will you give up and get bitter or hopeless? I think of Joseph’s dream, and how it did not work out at all the way he thought. It was much harder, longer, and more painful than he imagined. But, those times where we feel we have failed, are sometimes the birthing ground for the greatest success!
If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” it does not necessarily mean you should not take the risk. It simply means you have discovered a divine opportunity! It means you can spend some time praying into these things, creating backup plans, and practically building yourself up in those areas. Just like Joseph went through trials that taught him how to manage something bigger, you can learn skills that will prepare you, in God’s perfect timing, to take that big risk. Then, you can fully sustain the vision, hope and drive to see the vision become a reality in your life.
I think there are many more good questions we can ask before taking a big risk with the Holy Spirit. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, so that others can also read them and be encouraged and strengthened! What are the steps you take to mitigate risk and partner with the Holy Spirit? Do you have a story about taking a risk that might encourage other readers? Share it below!