What Can God Do When You Stop Playing It Safe?

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Dawn Scott Jones

Some people are perfectionists; they strive and struggle to get things just right. Often, paralyzed by their unrealistic standards, if sticklers can’t do something perfect, they won’t do it at all.

Others are performance-driven, working hard at multiple projects to earn the gold star of approval, as if their accomplishments will convince everyone—including their own selves—that they’re valuable.

And some people play it safe, preferring the shadows to the limelight. These “invisibles” fly below life’s radar, trying to evade the measurements of others. As a result, they live much smaller than they should.

But since Jesus came to give us abundance, why would we settle for average?

Perhaps small living is the result of hurt or brokenness. Life certainly is filled with painful experiences. Survivors of trauma are often left to bondage with the desire to live unnoticed; Just blend in and nobody will hurt me again, they tell themselves.

But living small—keeping it safe by making easy choices, doing just enough to get by, refusing to reach, grow and discover—is robbing them from the full life God designed.

I believe there is more. And more is just waiting to be grabbed, if we will push past self-erected limitations, extend our hand and take it.

Recently, I heard the story of Christopher Columbus. He was a dreamer, a visionary who could see past what was into more. When popular opinion and staunch belief taught that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus, an explorer of unknown territory, refused to believe that fearful notion. He knew there was more to be discovered than what could be seen with the human eye.

Driven by faith and determination, Columbus approached the kingdom authorities in hopes of securing permission to set sail for places unknown, believing that he would certainly discover more.

Permissions were granted for him to explore, and as we all know, Columbus was right: The earth was not flat, as many naysayers had supposed. Indeed, it was round. There was more after all, and Columbus got it! Although he faced storms and drought, and fears and trials, Christopher Columbus sailed on past the enemies of success to find his dream of America.

Oh, I am not a history buff, but the illustration inspires and energizes me. The lessons are appealing, dripping with powerful applications:

  • God has created a full life for me. I should not play it safe by living small, staying as close to my comfort zone as possible.
  • God has given me permission, authority, and favor to “claim” new territories for my life. I should take it, get wisdom and ignore critics.
  • I won’t fall over the edge into a black hole if I push myself into new discoveries. Instead, I will experience a breakthrough. 
  • If God has given me a dream, a vision, I owe it to myself to set sail and discover His will for my life. 
  • No one remembers the other guys who said, “The earth is flat.”
  • We have to defeat our fears to find more.

I’m personally ready to set sail in the “Land of More.” I have dreams still waiting to be birthed—goals, ideas and desires. I’m not going to play it safe and live small. Abuse has taken enough. It’s time for more.

What about you? If that’s the cry of your heart too, join me in praying: Heavenly Father, I confess that I’ve lived short of all the glorious things you have planned for my life. Sin, Satan and selfish living have robbed me of my inheritance in You. But today, I renounce the destruction of the past and I choose to take you at your Word. You have placed seeds of greatness inside of me; a plan filled with promise and hope. You have not called me to settle for small living or scarcity, but instead you have encouraged me to reach and believe that You can and will do more—immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This week ask God to help you defeat your fears to find more. Ask Him not to allow you to “play it safe” and settle for less than what He desires for you. Thank Him that faith arises as you speak and hear His Word applied to your situation, and exercise it by telling Him that you trust Him to lead your steps and fulfill every promise He has made concerning you. Praise Him for what is now unfolding. Pray that He use you to be a catalyst of blessing to those who need to encounter Him as Lord and Savior. Continue to pray for Israel, the Middle East, and those persecuted for the cause of Christ. Pray that God would raise up leaders full of boldness and integrity to take a stand for righteousness and turn our nation back to its godly roots. Jer. 33:3; 2 Chron. 7:14

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