On the Difference Between Faith and Risk Management

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September 29, 2018

Mark 8:11-21

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

CONSIDER THIS

120. We want signs.

That’s where Satan began with Jesus. Remember back in the wilderness after Jesus fasted forty days when Satan approached him with this, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread.” Jesus promptly turned that one around with the reply, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

If we are honest, we want a sign. We need to see something before we believe. Jesus says it’s just the opposite. Those who believe will see. Faith is a disposition of the heart—eyes that see and ears that hear. Jesus warned them– demanding signs is the antithesis of faith. Faith is not an empirical certainty but a deep inner confidence. The clamor for certainty leavens the clarity of faith.

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

121. So often in life we come to big decisions in life and rather than the way of faith, we opt for the path of certainty. We list the pro’s and con’s and do the cost benefit analysis, hoping the defining sign will present itself. And to be sure, due diligence in our decision making can a good thing, but I’m not sure it’s the way of faith. I have a hunch that faith is built more on counting the cost than analyzing the data.

122. Are you facing a big decision in the days ahead? Ask yourself, what would it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? Faith is not blind. It’s a much deeper, richer, and ultimately clearer way of seeing. Spend more time counting the cost of the decision rather than endlessly seeking more data. Don’t let the quest for certainty override the gift of clarity. The ways of the Pharisees, which is the religious version of the ways of the world leaven faith by amplifying the fear of failure. Faith means risk, not risk management.

THE PRAYER

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Lord Jesus, thank you for calling out our faith. I confess I want to minimize my risk by seeking more certainty. Show me what it means to count the cost and boldly risk rather than sheepishly trying to play it safe. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. For the glory of your name, Jesus. Amen.

THE QUESTION

What keeps you from walking by faith? Fear of failure? Fear of looking foolish? Indifference? What might a practical step of real faith look like in your life right now? Identify the risk and go for it.

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For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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