January 5, 2018
Climb Out On a Limb, With God
As a young boy, I often looked for a way to go on and adventure or escape. I loved sci-fi, but also had a fascination with tree houses and climbing trees, especially apple trees. I would scramble up, pick the apples, eat a few, and then throw some down to my friends. However, I couldn’t get the best apples, which always seemed to be hanging farther out on the limb. When you’re climbing and you hear the slight crack of a limb, you retreat to the trunk. I was a big kid, so getting far out on a branch literally wasn’t easy, so I always played it safe. Fear of falling stole my chance to grab the choice apples out on the edge of the limb.
Just like that apple tree, the juiciest rewards in life are on the end of the limb. Sometimes I think God asks us to trust Him, and go out on that limb. Playing it “safe,” not going out on a limb, is sometimes how Satan wants you to engage with life. The cracking sound you hear as God calls you to the edge is Satan trying to trick you into thinking that moving closer to God is dangerous and painful. So keep your eyes on your Lord as you step out in faith. Grab His hand tightly as you edge your way, following Him onto that limb.
Since He goes before you, you can keep your eyes on Him as you step out in faith. Soon you will arrive at a resting place. While gripping His hand, look toward the horizon. Enjoy the view from this perspective. You are actually safer there … out on this limb with your Lord … than you would be on your own hugging the trunk, or even standing on the ground.
Overly familiar surroundings feel safer, but they may also lull you into sleepy self-reliance. That’s when we tend to forget about our need for our heavenly Father. Being in His hands is so much safer than any place to which Satan lures us.
Just remember the story of Abraham, who waited over 20 years for God to give him a son. Then once he finally got his son Isaac, God asked Abraham to go out on a limb and sacrifice his son. Abraham climbed out on that limb and received a juicy reward … truly amazing. It would never have happened if Abraham had not followed God out to the very edge of the limb, up that hill, putting Isaac on the altar.
Today, when doing the right thing feels risky or uncomfortable, envision yourself climbing out on a limb and hearing the crackling of Satan’s call. Instead of going back to the world and the trunk of the tree, see God leading, holding your hand and guiding you to the edge of the limb. Enjoy the activity and view this trip in a new way. In this challenging situation (out on a limb), you will be more alert and not so quick to let go of His hand. Whether you run back to the trunk or you Edge Forward toward the end of the limb is your decision, so choose well. Edging Forward will help you trust God’s leading and avoid Satan’s trickery.
Dear Father God, You are the author and finisher of my faith. I want to follow You wherever You lead me … even if it’s out on a limb. I pray, Father, that You will help me follow You with confidence. I know that wherever You lead me is the safest place I could be. I bring all my fears to You, Father. I now know that unmet fears tend to grow and magnify themselves. I pray in the name of my Ultimate Life Guide and Protector, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.