And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage. Judges 1:12-13
Risk, many times, precedes reward, and reward may follow risk. War is risky because you endanger life and limb. The stakes are high. However, the rewards of war are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The victor enjoys the spoils of war, while those humiliated in defeat suffer loss. Marriage is risky because it entails the co-mingling of money, time, trust, and loyalty. What’s yours becomes hers and what’s hers becomes yours. You become one flesh, for it is a relationship of oneness (Genesis 2:24). But the rewards of marriage are love, joy, peace, companionship, sex, children, and spiritual/emotional maturity to name but a few. The many risks of marriage are overshadowed by the mammoth rewards it hands out to the husband and to the wife.
Business and ministry are risky undertakings. You have prayed about an idea, and now you are on the precipice of launching your start-up enterprise. You have invested a tremendous amount of sweat equity and financial resources. Your spouse has been extremely patient, but now you are at the point of no return. The stakes are high; you may lose a ton, or you may gain a lot. There is a risk of failure, which means your confidence may crater and your reputation may reel from your inability to deliver. But the rewards are the sense of accomplishment and the ability to build an enterprise defined by a Christ-centered culture.
Like David, your model of risk-taking may inspire others to greater vision (1 Chronicles 11:19). You have the reward of positioning yourself to invest in and influence Kingdom endeavors. Keep this your goal, regardless of whether you fail or succeed. Success will always be accompanied by mini failures. So stay focused on God and obedient to His calling. Risk and reward are kept in the right perspective through prayer. God will lead you by His Holy Spirit because these initiatives come from a divine directive. Therefore, there is no need to take unnecessary risks. Be patient, and God will lead you to just the right opportunities at just the right time.
Over a lifetime, there are limited God-ordained opportunities that require risk. Therefore, allow the Almighty to guide you through the risky terrain of life. Avoid shortcuts and, instead, wait on Him. Pay the price of patience and seize the moment only when your faith, His Word, and godly counsel validate your direction. Persevere in the process because God may ask you to do things that seem larger than life. He has prepared your way with people and resources, so follow hard after Him. And what may seem risky to others will be peaceful to you. When you draft off the wake of Holy Spirit directives, you are positioned for rewards. However, for some, the rewards remain dormant until death. Your risk may be living an obscure and obedient life to Christ, with the joy of remaining faithful as your only earthly reward. But the reward of knowing and obeying Him is eternal, and it is enough. The risk is rejection from people, but the reward is acceptance from Him.
What a privilege to honor, serve, love, and worship Jesus. And then your greatest reward is when you see Him face to face and hear, “Well done” (Matthew 25:23).
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© 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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