This week we are discussing taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone.
Endurance is your weekly spiritual workout, whether you think of yourself as a beginner, an intermediate, or advanced!
Andy B unpacks this week’s theme by first defining what we mean by the expression: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”
He further explains taking risks with examples of stepping out in faith from his own life. In addition, he gives an example from Bear Grylls climbing Mount Everest.
Andy B also looks at some of the risks Benaiah, a character from the Bible who oversaw King David’s bodyguard, took during his life. Benaiah is one of Andy B’s favourite characters from the bible.
Steven and Nathan discuss taking risks, especially in view of the remarkable exploits of Benaiah, a well-known character in the Bible.
They explain why not taking risks can be riskier than taking risks; being inside your comfort zone is often more dangerous than being outside your comfort zone.
They also talk about how Jesus dying on the Cross was a risk in itself, because He knew many would still reject Him even after He had given His life for them.
We should apply wisdom in taking risks though, as Steven and Nathan explain. Thankfully, God generously give wisdom to us when we ask Him for it.
Steven and Nathan
Welcome to Endurance. This week our theme is Taking Risks and we've titled it
If you always do what you've always done.
…. Your bit.
Yep, so if you want to keep up to date with all that we produce, you can like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel or you can sign up to Berry Bytes, our newsletter. And we're also on Twitter and Tumblr, so you can find us there as well.
Cool. So Andy B we'll unpack for us this the, ah, sorry, this week's theme of taking risks, after the break.
I was asked to record a video and write a book by a friend. He had seen so many people with broken dreams, just hopeless about the life they were living and the life before them. So I wrote a book, my very first book. It's called Broken Dreams, and Hope!
It's based on my own life, some struggles that I've had and the fact that through those struggles, however bad they were, whether they were caused by me, or caused against me, throughout all of that there was still hope.
Let me just read a few things that people who've read this book, already, have said.
"It's a page turner with each chapter leaving you wanting to read just one more".
"You gave the reader motivation to look up and grab the hand that can lift you up, on your feet, and walk you through life's muddy mire. And I love the way you spoke of hurt and abuse, but never going into details that would have robbed the reader of their own inward pains, and ability to take hold of the Lord's extended hand, the hand that will never let go."
Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a book I wrote because I know what it is to have broken dreams. I know what it is to feel hopeless. But I also know what it is to have hope. Because that hope has a name. And that name is Jesus Christ.
Don't avoid a challenge just because you might fail. You can learn a lot from failing. #SpeakTruth.
If you always do what you've always done, you always get what you've always got.
You may have heard that phrase at some point. And it's quite good. I quite like that phrase. It's a good reminder that we need to refresh what we're doing. We need to rethink how is it we're doing this? Even if it's something good, and we should be doing it, we know we need to do it, it's still good to think are we doing this the best way? Are we getting the most out of this? Or is there more that we can do.
But as human beings we kind of crave change. And we kind of crave consistency. We don't want things to change, but we want them to be different. And we sometimes end up with this juxtaposition of not wanting change, but wanting something different.
And I once saw areally, I think this probably sums up adulthood. "Adulthood is the constant, and perpetual situation, of going to the cupboards and not knowing what to cook for dinner." And I think that sums it up. By the time you've had spaghetti bolognese, and sausage pasta, and jacket potato, maybe a bit of pizza and you kind of start to run out of foodstuffs. And we get into these ruts don't we where we're doing the same things over and over again.
We like taking risks, but we don't want the danger. That's why theme parks are so popular around the world. We want to have ourselves scared. We want to experience fear, but only as long as it's safe. Which isn't really testing ourselves at all. And it becomes boxed. Fear boxed experiences. They're not really that exciting. Not really.
When you speak to people who have had adventures in the desert, and I met a guy when I was a Scout, back in the day, and he was almost asked to be on a real amazing expedition to the North Pole. He had some great stories. He didn't just try and do something that maybe made him a little bit interested, and maybe challenged him. He really pushed the boat out there. And he faced dangers and those dangers, that didn't kill him, obviously because I was talking to him, actually, they made him really was which is a fascinating man.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
Now, one of my favourite characters in the Bible is a guy called Benaiah. Now there's a guy called Mark Batterson who wrote this book. And it's a really good book! It's called "In a pit with a lion on a snowy day." And sorry for that little microphone stand bang there. It's a really good book. And he takes one little verse in the Bible, Samuel 23 verse 20, and he opens it up into an entire book, and it's brilliant. If you can get hold of a copy of that book, it's really great.
We were given that book by a friend who said, Andy, Jo, you're already doing what this guy's talking about. You're already taking risks. Because we'd sold our house, we invested it into a business, we were living in a little portable caravan that you tow behind a car. We were taking risks and we were going for God, and we saw some amazing blessing and things. We also saw the business crumble around us, when a recession hit. But we took a chance, we took a risk.
Let me just read this out. So it's to Samuel chapter 23 verse 20,
"Benaiah" awesome, dude, "Benaiah, son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Cab Zeal, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moabs best men", so Moab was another nation. "He also went down into a pit on a, on a snowy day and killed a lion, and he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear,. Such were the exploits of Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. He, too, was as famous as the three mighty man. He was held in greater honour than any of the 30. But he was not included among the three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard."
If you're not sure who the three and the 30 I'll go read to Samuel 23 for yourselves and figure that out.
When we want to do some't amazing we want someone to have done it before us don't we. If you ever read any exploits, I read the account that Bear Grylls wrote his book about, when he climbed Everest. He didn't get to the top of Everest by being ahead of everybody. All the local guides went ahead and they put ladders out for them. So, in effect he was, for the first part of the journey anyway, he was treading where people had already gone. It wasn't that amazing at one level. Yes, it was. But let's keep this in context. When he got higher up, he was literally taking steps where nobody had been. So the first part, yes, there was help, and then he had to keep going. And that's what makes Bear Grylls who he is. He keeps going. But he walked in the footsteps of others. People had already climbed Mount Everest. It's an amazing accomplishment. I don't think I'm ever going to do that, to be absolutely frank. And I don't particularly want to. I don't like the cold that much.
But when we accomplish something, we look back and think I did that. When I hold up my first book, I think, "Wow, I actually made a book. I wrote it. I got it published". It was really cool.
Eric Liddell you may have heard of Eric Liddell has a great quote from J. John, which I read. Canon J. John. If you don't know who Canon J. John is, he's an English speaker. He's a Canon. He's a great author, and speaker ,and he's, yeah, he's really good. But he's been doing this thing on Heroes of the Faith, and today it was, ooh and gone on me hone. Let me refind that as I'm talking. Today it was about Eric Liddell. Eric Liddell, you may know, was a runner. He was in the Olympics for the UK, for England. And what Eric Liddell did was he didn't race on Sundays, because he's a Christian, and that's God's day. So, here's a quote from Eric Liddell.
"It's easy to utter pious words about surrendering to God, until you have to pay the price". In being willing to forfeit success at the Olympics Liddle showed he was prepared to pay what it demanded."
He could have raced. The Olympics. It's the pinnacle of any athlete's career. And he didn't race because it was on a Sunday, and that's God's day, and he put his faith first. That is a man of God like Benaiah who puts faith first. Why did Benaiah chase a lion, into a pit on, a snowy day, and kill it? Well, we don't really know. We know that King David chose him to be in charge of his bodyguard. That's quite an honour. And, obviously, in two Samuel 23 we're seeing all these amazing things, and comments about Benaiah which we don't get that much about, that many people in Scripture, quite as we do as of Benaiah. So, he's obviously a special character who meant something to King David. You don't put people in charge of your bodyguard who you don't trust. But King David and Benaiah had some similarities, similarities. They both killed a giant. David and Goliath is a story you probably know, but Benaiah killed a giant, two of Moab's best men. Well, they were big guys with a big spear. David would have killed shepherds trying to protect his sheep. Well, Benaiah chased a lion into a snowy pit and killed it. The snowy pit? That's the lions domain! Why did he chase the lion down? Who knows. We don't actually find out. Maybe it was to prove a point. Maybe he was annoyed and angry, was he thinking it through? Possibly. I suspect he must have been because he doesn't sound like an idiot. He doesn't sound like he was stupid, or foolish. He seems like quite a good guy, with a good brain.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll never chase a lion into a snowy pit. If you always do what you've always done, you won't sell your house and invest it into a business when you've prayed for God to teach his faith and God has taken you that way. You won't see that business grow and fail. But before it fails, you won't get to see your willingness to stand in the gap for God, and to do what He's asking you to do, when He's placed you in that place, and you won't be able to know that you have stopped a lap dancing club from opening in a town. I can say that 'cos I did that. I don't talk about it often. I don't say it to myself look good. We were willing to make a stand! And we took a stand. God placed us in that place. We had a business. We invested our house, money that we had accrued, and we invested it and it went wrong. But we took a risk. And do you know what? The business didn't pay off. But that step of faith did pay off, because we got closer to God. We learned to rely on Him far, far more. That is a risk worth taking.
Eric Liddell not running on a Sunday was a risk worth taking.
If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you always got. It's a bit of a, a naff ending to the phrase. But if you always do what you've always done, you will always get the same kind of results. And you won't take risk. We wanna take risks, but we don't. We, we want to see differences but we don't. We we want to improve things, but we want them to improve for us. And it's really easy to slip, and slide, into a lazy approach towards life. That's why we like theme parks, as I said, at the beginning. But taking risks for God is the safest risk you can ever take because, at the end of that risk, is an eternity in heaven with a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's the safest risk you can ever take.
We once went for a job. We didn't go for it in the end. We pulled out! We were offered the job and we said, "No, we don't want that. Thanks. We don't feel this is right!" But, at one point, we were saying, 'Look, we're gonna have to find a house. It's very expensive here' and some of the people interviewing us said, 'you know, it's really dangerous you know, it's very risky! How can you, you take a job and you don't even know if you can afford a house?" And we said, look, it's a step of faith. We know that God is going to provide a house because He's promised us that he will. And the Minister of that church said, steps of faith aren't risky if you know you're walking towards God, because He will be there to help you. He will resource you!
Is God asking you to take a step of faith, to take a risk, to do something different for His kingdom? Then do it with boldness. Maybe it will mean, for you, chasing a lion into a snowy pit, and killing that lion. Maybe it'll be selling your house, investing it in money into a business, and going for it not knowing if it's gonna succeed. But, if you're doing that righteously, prayerfully biblically, with accountability, going for God, with a pure heart, it's worth that risk. Because that risk, God's got the other side of that. Don't be afraid to take risks!
Shall we pray? Heavenly Father, I thank you for characters like Benaiah, who teach us that taking risks is good when it's for your kingdom, when we know it's righteous, when we do it. prayerfully, and biblically, and we've checked out what we're doing, when we know we're called to do it. Lord, would you encourage each one of us to take risks for you, for your kingdom? Not to build ourselves up, but to build your kingdom up. Because when we take a risk for you, we can know, absolutely, that it's worth taking. And risks that we take for you are the safest risks that we can do, with the greatest rewards too. Lord, help us to be risk takers for the gospel. Help us be risk takers for you.
In 2018, Jo and I were full time children's ministers, loving what we were doing, and wanting to share our resources, freely, with others to use. Scroll on two years, to 2020, and we'd finally launched our BerryBunch.family website, chocked full of resources.
It was a bit embarrassing when we had one video. But we've now got nearly 500 videos for you to use, stream, share and download, with 900 posts all full of information that you are free to use in your situation, whether that's a church, a family, or just for your own personal use.
We've been asked to do all sorts of things. We've made logos for somebody who wanted a new logo for their blog. We've been asked to create a children's discipleship group. So we've done that. We've been asked to create a book about Broken Dreams, and Hope! and we've done that as well.
We love creating resources that are relevant for your situation so get in touch with what your needs are.
Our vision, and our passion, is to create material that is family safe, For free, For All, wherever you are in the world, and that is exactly what we do.
So if you want to help us continue to do that, or if you want us to make something specific for your situation, then get in touch.
Here we are the last segment of Endurance. And we're talking about taking risks. So the first point we wanted to make, which was actually your point, is it can actually be more dangerous not to take a risk. What we mean is, if God's asked you to take a risk, it's risky not to take that risk.
Yeah, I mean, where God has called us to be is the best place for us, and the safest place, in a way.
I mean, we, it may be risky, to step out in faith. But God, as Andy B said, if we're going with the way He wants us to, then He will be with us.
Absolutely. And the second point was? Oh yeah, the risk that Jesus took when He died on the cross. He knew that there were going to be people who wouldn't receive His forgiveness. They wouldn't accept what He had done for them. Right isn't it? Yeah! Sorry, I lost my train of thought. Pick me up will ya?
Yeah, I mean, obviously, Jesus, when He died on a cross, He knew that many people well, still, reject Him, despite all that He's done. And it seems illogical to risk such heartbreak really, such pain
Cory Asbury song. It's a brilliant song!
Oh, yeah. The last point we wanted to make is that taking risks, you have to have wisdom. There are some risks which are just not worth taking is it? You've got to, obviously, balance it up. If you're wise, sensible.
Yeah. If, I mean, obviously Benaiah, going into a pit on a snowy day, it's probably not the sort of thing he would have just done out of rash, anger.
Possibly, but, you know, with wisdom of God, he clearly felt that was the right thing to do. I mean, all sorts of things in life we, we need to make decisions. And whether or not to take a risk is something we need to make sure we ask God about.
Yep, definitely, seek God's will. Listen to the Holy Spirit and use wisdom. And if you lack wisdom, just ask God for it. It says that somewhere in
James? Yeah, I knew that. Yeah, so three points to GoDo are? Go on then.
Taking, not taking risks can be even more risky than taking risks.
Jesus took risks, and He is the best example of how to live. Lastly, weigh it up with wisdom. How can we apply it to exercise?
Well, like, I suppose taking a risk? Finding a new, new exercise, which, like weight training is more prone to injuries, I suppose. So increasing the weight could be risk.
Yep, but it's a risk worth taking?
If you want to get
fitter, stronger, yeah
If you want to lift more weight, there are certain risks.
And then to the Christian faith, how do we apply that? Well it's simply, very simple isn't it? When God asked you to take a risk, take it! And even if He hasn't asked you, and you misunderstand, He's gonna catch you because you step out in faith. He'll see that heart. So, #GoDo.
There are many ways to keep in touch with the Berry Bunch. Visit our website and sign up to the Berry Bytes Newsletter, so that you can be notified of all our videos, posts, exciting news, and seasonal events.
Subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube channels, where we post brand new, homegrown, video resources every week.
Join us on DingDash. A fabulous place that connects people from all around the world. It's social media as it should be. Come join the rebellion!
Like us on Facebook, where we hang out and post extra things to encourage and inspire you. We're on Twitter and Tumblr too. You can also follow us on Instagram, where we share extra photos from the world of the BerryBunch.
If you've enjoyed any of our posts, or videos, share it with a friend and encourage them too And if you want to encourage us then like, comment and share on what we make. To help support the Ministry we freely provide, check us out on Patreon, where you can support us financially as you feel led
Written by Steven The Dude