Have you ever heard of a Nigerian 419? Your answer should have been yes, though you probably did not know it by that name. A Nigerian 419 is a scam artist best friend since it comforts the individual being scammed with an apparently legitimate large sum of money upfront, only later after a portion of those funds have been returned or forwarded is it revealed the original money was fraudulent. Many intelligent people have fallen for a Nigerian 419.
Have you ever sent in your $49.95 to learn the insider secrets of making money? I got an email just yesterday promising "Limited Risk, High Reward Investing." I am convinced step one is to send out spam asking people to pay for your investment advice.
The most amazing part to these is that people believe there is a "secret" money making plan, or that a person wants to part with 25% of their hard earned cash in a "secret" agreement. As there is no secret plan to easy money, there is no easy plan to a reconciliation lifestyle. Relationship with God is a HIGH RISK ADVENTURE, and if it is traveled as a low risk experiment, there will be no reward for the investment.
Abraham experienced the risk of relationship with God. In a three day journey with Issac by his side he traveled to the place God had told him to place his son on an altar. Moses experienced the risk of relationship with God. Standing before his close relative the Pharaoh of Egypt, Moses aligned himself with God's demands despite the great power of the king he was addressing. David experienced the risk of relationship with God. Though he was king the prophet called out his sin with Bathsheba and claimed the life of their son. Hosea experienced the risk of relationship with God. Called to marry a prostitute and then reclaim her a second time from her whoredom he paid the price for her redemption. Paul experienced the risk of relationship with God. Standing before kings, being jailed, beaten, and shipwrecked he still lived boldly the gospel that caused his abuses.
Experiencing God is a high risk proposition. It will cause us to feed the hideous, to bathe the foul, to clothe the unappreciative, to fellowship with the crazies. Reconciliation is high risk with few tangible rewards. It is not about community with our homogeneous neighborhoods. Instead it is about becoming family with those most different than ourselves. Reconciliation is high risk with few tangible rewards. It is not about teaching the secrets of eternal life to our Bible Class peers. It is about entering the places where death is most present in our world, and BEING LIFE in that darkness. Reconciliation is high risk with few tangible rewards. It is not about sharing an inspiring cliché to ease our BFF's guilt over a harsh word spoken or another failed diet plan. It is charging headlong into the places of our greatest fear, like the altar where our son is to be sacrificed, like the throne room where the powers that be are about to be challenged, like being open to an exposing rebuke by God's prophet, like at the pimps door to redeeming a whoring wife, like in the face of physical abuse and imprisonment. It is entering the places of where our fear s are most realized, and resting in Christ peace!
Isaiah 58 is famous for it's contrast of two kinds of Fasting. The first limited risk fast is that which informs God of our offering, waiting for his approving reward of our efforts. The second fast is the High Risk Adventure of ENTERING WITH GOD into the practice of Jubilee. God promises when we enter into that fast he will be our rear guard, or as we Gen Xers says, "God will have your back!"
Here I Am Lord! Send Me High Risk And All!!!
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