by Dawn Aldrich
I tell you the truth; whoever believes in me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things because I will return to be with the Father.
John 14:12 (The Voice)
“Take more risks,” he wrote, thanking me for sharing my testimony and obeying the Holy Spirit’s lead. His words glaringly dared me.
I’m not unwilling to risk, it simply scares me. Partly, because I fear losing control, making mistakes or being misunderstood. Words wield powerfully through a person’s core—either to encourage and empower or to tear down and wound—like a double edged sword. What if my words come out all wrong? What if I inadvertently wound or present myself a fool? It’s one thing to publish a faceless article, but to bare those words publicly? That’s risky business.
Jesus risked. He risked everything, including His life and He asked His disciples to do the same. Did they doubt? Sure. Did they fear? Absolutely. But Jesus reassured them:
I tell you the truth; whoever believes in me will be able to do what I have done…John 14:12a (The Voice)
A good teacher will never ask his students to do what he cannot or will not attempt to do himself. Jesus was a good student. He watched his Father, listened to him, and then did what the Father was doing.
…the Son does nothing on his own; all these actions are led by the Father. The Son watches the Father closely and then mimics the work of the Father. John 5:19 (The Voice)
Jesus was a good teacher. He showed his disciples God’s heart to restore relationship with mankind and all of creation—through His sacrifice on the cross and many miracles. Just as Jesus was a good student and a good teacher, He commissioned His disciples to be the same. Before he returned to His Father, Jesus said:
All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:17-20 (NIV)
We—followers of Jesus—are called to do what He did; to watch what the Father is doing and mimic him. That’s risky, yes! But did you catch what Jesus said? “And surely I am with you always…” Jesus returned to His Father so that the Holy Spirit could come and reside in us, with us and among us. That’s not only comforting but empowering!
…they will do even greater things because I will return to be with the Father. John 14:12b (The Voice)
Jesus did not commission us to hide anonymously in our comfortable solitude, but rather he called us to go! He’s called us share our stories of how he rescued us and is restoring our lives to become all he created us to be. Everyone has a story—everyone—and it needs telling. Why? Because when we speak aloud our personal victories through Jesus, we defeat Satan and his destructive work here on earth.
By the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witnesses, they have become victorious over him, for they did not hold onto their lives even under the threat of death. Revelation 12:11 (The Voice)
Are you willing to take more risks? Are you willing to share your Jesus story and bare the truth beyond your own door? If we say we’re followers of Jesus, then we must risk everything—even our comfort and reputation—to go where the Father leads and do what the Father is doing. But be assured, we are not alone. Jesus is with us. Emmanuel.