Hi, I am Penny Lyon, singer, and songwriter with the Christian band, Out Of The Ashes. Welcome to God Today. I am going to talk today about taking risks for God. Now, I have a child and I remember playing games with him where he would stand on the table. And I would say, “Come on! Jump into my arms.” And he would kind of lean forward, both of us laughing. Until eventually, gravity would take over. And I would sweep him up into my arms in a cuddle.
We play this way as well at swimming pools, where our grandchildren or our children are near to the pool. We say, “Come on! Jump into my arms!” And they are thinking. It is wet there, I am not sure I want to do that. But ultimately they do. And they realize that it is such a fun game. That game where somebody you love helps you to trust them that you will jump into their arms from wherever.
Now, this happens in our Christian life too. I have a particular story to tell from when I was in my 20s and I was in Church. It was Sunday. It was a great church and I loved going there. The music was great, the sermon was always great.
But this evening I was further in the back of the church, not getting too involved, just enjoying myself. And I felt God say, “That girl over there, I want you to go and tell her how much I love her.” I looked across and there she was. And she looked angry. And I started off by saying, “Lord, really, no? Really, no? She doesn’t want to talk to anybody. She just wants to be left alone.” He said, “Wait till the end of the service. Go and tell her how much I love her.”
I am embarrassed to admit that first of all, I didn’t hear any of the rest of the service because I was too busy arguing with God. And secondly, the fact that I did argue with God. But come to the end of the service, He’s not giving up. I realized If I leave the church that evening, having done what He asked me to do, I was going to regret it.
What I did was, I said, “Lord, if you really want me to talk to her, can you make her less frightening, please. Just for a moment. Just open her face up. Make her look as though she won’t bite me if I go and speak to her basically.” And He did it.
And I looked up as the service ended. I am not going to say she looked welcoming, but she was looking around. And she was looking as though she was waiting to see if somebody would speak to her. So, I took my opportunity. I went over, cautiously. And I came up to her and I said, “I am really, really sorry to bother you. Please forgive me if this seems inappropriate, but all the way through the service, God has been asking me or telling me to come and tell you how precious you are to Him. And how much He loves you.”
And I waited. And then I saw her face crumble. And then I heard her telling me about a life that was in ruins. Children born out of wedlock. A family that didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Alone in the world. Drugs, alcohol, life in a mess. She said, “I came here tonight and I had no idea what to expect. But I didn’t really expect to be welcomed. And you just came to me with those words.” To be honest, I don’t know which of us was more blessed by the moment. Whether she was blessed – which I am sure she was – by hearing how precious she is to God. Or whether I was blessed, which I was certain. To be the one with the privilege of taking that message of telling her how loved she was.
What I am here to say to you, today is that taking risks for God is often scary. But when we actually prayerfully do what He asks us to do, no matter how unable we feel to do whatever we see in front of us, He will be with us. He will back us up.
There is a Bible verse from Hebrews. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” We can say, with confidence, “the Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
I’d like to close with a prayer. Lord, Jesus Christ, thank you that you love us so much. Thank you that you love us enough to include us in your plans. That when you want to tell somebody in this world that you love them, you allow us to be your messenger. Father God, we ask that your Holy Spirit comes on each one of us now. Filling us with the confidence of your ministry, your mission, that we might go out and do your will with confidence. Thank you, Father God. Amen. And thank you.