I went grocery shopping today. I typically drive about 30 minutes to a neighboring town and go to the same three stores for groceries.  Costco, Mom’s Organic Market, and The Common Market (another health food store).  I go to these three stores because I know that I will find exactly what I am looking for there.  Granted, the health food stores are by far more expensive than if I shopped at Wal-Mart, but they have what I need, what I am looking for.

Sometimes I think people get a wrong impression of the Christian life.  It seems like we can sometimes get stuck in the “green pastures and still waters” perspective and believe that’s what becoming a Christian feels like all the time.  I think becoming and living as a Christian is more on the edge than behind the hedge, at least an authentic one.

What does it require to live an authentic Christian life?  Risk!  Lots of it.  One of the risks we are asked to take centers on giving up what consumes me that doesn’t come from God.  Worry.  Fear.  Doubt. Self-sufficiency.  Sometimes these can be very hard to let go of because they are so familiar to us.  Familiar is comfortable, even if it’s something we know isn’t good for us, it’s better than letting go and diving into the unknown.

Following God isn’t cheap–It’s the most expensive thing you can do.   We can feel like we are pretty well off, that we live a pretty good life and have a pretty good outlook on things.  But God lays it out for us in Revelation when He tells us that, though we think we are rich, we are really poor, though we believe we live a good life, our righteousness is dirty rags, and our intelligence that gives us vision, is really blindness.  So then God says, “It’s OK, though.  I have eye salve that will heal your vision, white garments you can wear, and my blessings to give you as riches.”  It takes a lot of risk to believe that.  It takes even more risk to act on it.  And the greatest risk to give up all the “fool’s gold” in our lives that we so desperately cling to, and trade it in for what makes us truly rich: a one-on-one connection and relationship with Jesus.  And that’s only the first risk in living an authentic Christian life.  Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Risk #2: The truth that sets you free.

Solomon said, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6, KJV).  Notice what this says, “WE trust in the Lord, and then HE directs our paths.  Risk is the only way to truly know God.  Unless you risk trusting Him, He is not real to you.