Stop Playing It Safe

My husband recently confronted me with this. In that same way, I hope to challenge you. Because life is too short and God is too good for us to continue to play it safe.

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Leaving a Lot Behind

On New Year’s Eve 2018, I heard my former pastor preach a message that I’d heard before. But this time, I knew God was speaking directly to me. Titled “Leaving a Lot Behind,” Pastor Von’s shared the story of Abram (not yet Abraham) and how God told him to leave some things behind.

Now the Lord said to Abram,
”Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
— Genesis 2:1 NASB

Abram left his father’s house, but he took his nephew Lot with him (v. 4-5). Over time, both Abram and Lot accumulated considerable wealth. Genesis 13:6 puts it this way: “And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.” This is when Abram realized that he needed to separate from Lot.

In this same way, Pastor Von was urging us to consider what God might be calling us to leave behind. The following week, my current pastor touched on this exact same passage, so I knew I needed to study and pray over it.

When I did, there were a few things that I knew the Lord wanted me to leave behind: my job, jewelry-making for a period of time, and some of my friends. Each of these things meant a lot to me, and though it was difficult to fathom, I wanted to be obedient.

I made the tough decisions to leave my role at Cornerstone Crossroads Academy (CCA), a place where I’d spent some of the most amazing, defining, stretching, and anointed years of my life. I also stopped making jewelry for awhile, and I pulled away from some friends whom I previously couldn’t imagine living without. Out of all of these things, leaving CCA was the hardest for me.

Change of Pace

Recently, I have experienced a great deal of transition. In addition to letting go of some people, places, and things. I completed my Master of Arts degree in Counseling, along with the accompanying 300-hour student counseling practicum. Kenneth and I got married, and we moved out of our two separate apartments into one together. To say the least, life looks very different for me these days.

I’ve always been a busybody, but in this season, God has really slowed me down. Every now and then, though, I find a way to try to pick up the pace and get ahead of His grace. Lately, I’ve done this in the form of a job search. While I felt the Lord giving me the OK to revisit Identity Jewelry Co., I also felt the need to have some consistency and financial stability.

Every now and then, though, I find a way to try to pick up the pace and get ahead of His grace.

I began sending out resumes and cover letters, completing job applications, and tweaking my rarely-used LinkedIn profile. I thought I found the perfect position, and I even got through to the second round of interviews. But immediately after the second interview, I knew that I wasn’t selected.

Don’t Play It Safe

The hubs text me, asking, “How did it go?” and we proceeded to discuss the interview. I informed him that it went really well, although I had a feeling that I didn’t get the position. While I thought I could very well do the job, I questioned whether it was what God was calling me to do at this time.

It was at that very moment that I knew I needed to face my fears, walk in faith and obedience, and return to the dream that God had put in my heart.

Ken encouraged me by reminding me of the unique opportunity I had to pursue whatever God has made me passionate about. And He followed up with “DON’T PLAY IT SAFE.” When I read those words, I realized that that’s exactly what I’d been doing. It was at that very moment that I knew I needed to face my fears, walk in faith and obedience, and return to the dream that God put in my heart.

Is This You?

If it is, it’s OK. I totally understand. I mean, if anyone gets you, I do. It can be comfortable to stay in the same place, to keep doing the same things, to not take risks. But when you play it safe, there are a few things you miss out on, like

  • Opportunities to trust God,

  • The chance to grow in your faith,

  • Opportunities to see God’s faithfulness,

  • Opportunities for God to bless you,

  • Opportunities for God to bless others,

  • The chance to be a faithful steward of what God has entrusted to you.

And instead, you settle. You settle for where you are and for what you currently have. When you play it safe, you become complacent with what you can see, feel, do, be, or have as a result of your own doing. When you play it safe, you show that you have fear and doubt rather than faith. Playing it safe is evidence that you don’t trust God with the dream that He’s given you.

If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow anymore.
— Shirley Hufstedler

Take the Leap of Faith

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies when we take leaps of faith, but one thing’s for sure - God is faithful.

Here are a few other things I’m pretty certain of: 1.) because I believe the Word of God, and 2.) because I have firsthand experience:

  • Fear does not belong to you. Timidity does not belong to you. God did not give it to you, therefore, you do not have to keep it. Instead, grab hold of what He has for you: power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

  • You have the ability to exercise strength and courage, as God has commanded you, because He is with you every step of the way. (Joshua 1:9)

  • You don’t have to worry or be anxious about anything. Instead, take everything to God in prayer, with thanksgiving, and He will give you His peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)

  • God will instruct you and teach you the way you should go. (Psalm 32:8)

  • You’ve gotta trust God with all your heart, rather than depending on your own understanding. In all that you do seek Him, seek His will, and He’ll show you the way to go. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Whatever it is the Lord is calling you to do, my friend, you gotta hear and heed Him. And you’ve gotta stop playing it safe.

Chime In

Are you playing it safe, or are you following after the Lord, wherever He leads you? If the latter, would you mind sharing in the comments what helped you take the necessary leap of faith? If you chose the former, take a moment to imagine with me. What would it look like for you to stop playing it safe? What’s the first step you’d take towards your God-given dream?