ISSM Core Values: Risk

(This is the second in a seven-part series outlining the core values of ISSM as represented by the acronym: P.R.E.C.E.P.T. The ‘R’ stands for “Risk.”)


Any new thing we attempt in life typically involves an element of risk. For most of us, this entails pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and embracing the failure that inevitably occurs during the learning process. Comfort zones are overrated!

Bill Johnson: “When my kids were learning to ride bikes, I took them to the park where there was grass so that when they fell, there would be a soft place to land.”

Living a supernatural lifestyle often requires putting ourselves somewhat at risk for the sake of another. To embrace the risk, we must transition from asking ourselves What if I’m wrong…to What if I’m right?!!

To keep with Bill Johnson’s bike theme, we have found that when God begins teaching us something new, He gives us the equivalent of training wheels on our bike.

The first word of knowledge I ever received was by the inward voice of Holy Spirit speaking quietly to me: Encephalitis

Sandy and I had led worship at an event in a hotel conference room in Oklahoma City. The speaker for the night had finished his talk and was praying for a white-haired woman who had come in with the aid of a three-pronged walker.

I was praying under my breath, not knowing what the sister had requested prayer for. I was not even wondering what her need was, to be honest. I was just agreeing in prayer when I heard very faintly, encephalitis. I thought that’s odd. I wonder if that thought was from God. His voice was so faint as to be almost imperceptible.

After the meeting, I approached the speaker and told him about the word I had heard. He smiled broadly and said, Yes, that was it. She wanted healing from encephalitis!

My new friend turned out to be Dr. Clint Burns. He further explained that from his perspective as a physician, when he saw the woman walk in the room, he initially assumed that she had experienced a stroke. Later his assumption proved to be in error.

Why did God reveal her condition to me? Training wheels! I was under no pressure to pray with the woman, only for her. God knows that if He shows us things in low-risk situations, we will grow in confidence to be able to step out in faith when the risk is higher.

This is how ISSM students grow in the realm of risk. We provide a fun, safe environment where students can try hearing from God in new ways. When they step out and take risks, we rejoice with them whether they are right or wrong! We celebrate courageous effort, not just success!

Soon students are able to ride their bikes without the help of training wheels. Risks will always seem, well—risky. But through practice, students find it easier to take the risks that are often required to live a supernatural lifestyle!

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