by Dr. Charles Stanley
The Risk of Obeying God
As Christians, we can waste our lives standing on faith's shoreline, never venturing beyond ankle-deep water. There we have little need for God; after all, we are safe on the beach, far from the danger of high waves and storms. But believers who release themselves into deeper waters of obedience need the Lord desperately.
By casting oneself farther offshore, the Christian relinquishes control of his life. No longer can he pretend to determine his own fate, whether regarding career choice, financial decisions, or church involvement. God is the captain of the boat, whereas the believer is the obedient first mate. Will storms come? Yes. Will the Captain at times make difficult requests? Yes. Will the first mate on occasion feel scared? Yes. But the surrendered believer experiences the Lord more intimately than someone on shore ever can. He receives a boatload of God's goodness and blessing.
Most churchgoers easily claim, "I've yielded my life to Christ." To actually live out the words is more difficult. We want to cling to a measure of control in case God does not work events to our satisfaction. Too many Christians are content merely to dip their toes into faith because they fear life might not turn out according to their plan. But how much greater is the believer's loss if life does not turn out according to God's plan? He can do much more with a surrendered existence than a sheltered one. The Christian life becomes exciting when we wade into water so deep that our feet no longer touch the bottom. Then we must stand on God's promises.