The Bible is full of stories of risk-takers. One such story is of Esther—she took a great risk to rescue her people from annihilation! This young, inexperienced woman literally took her life in her hands and approached the king. Before doing that, she asked for all the Jews to pray and fast for her. That’s a good principle! You don’t just go headlong into some risk without knowing God is leading you, and you are fortified with prayer.
Once Esther knew she had to take this risk, she said, “I will go to the king even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). Esther was a meek, humble young woman. She was not equipped for such an assignment. She could have given any number of legitimate excuses why she just could not take this risk of approaching the king in order to save her people. But she knew it was a unique opportunity, and she knew it was the right thing to do. She did face the possibility of failure; she knew the extent of the risk she took; however, she knew she had to do it. So she said, “If I perish, I perish.”
Many of us are very willing to serve Jesus as long as it’s comfortable and not terribly demanding. We have our life plan in place and we’ve put Jesus in the schedule. Yes, we love him. . .but we’re not all called to be missionaries, right? We go so far but no further. We see some people who are taking risks for Jesus and doing amazing things, but we rationalize and tell ourselves that it’s just not our thing.
God is looking for believers who are so in love with him—soul, heart, and mind—that the risk doesn’t scare them, or if it does scare them, they go ahead anyway! When God is opening a new door and I know he wants me to take the next step, I usually feel very overwhelmed, inadequate, and just plain scared—scared of the risk of failure, scared I won’t be able to do it, and scared I’ll make a fool out of myself. In those times, I tell God I’m scared, give my fear to him, and take the next step.
John Piper says, “Doing nothing needs forgiveness as much as doing the best you can and erring.” It is right to take a risk for Jesus!