Loren Cunningham’s Daring to Live on the Edge is filled with testimonies meant to challenge us to life an extraordinary life. Living by faith is not the domain of only those Christians called to “full-time” ministry. Every Christian can enter into the adventure. What is important is not our vocation, but whether we are committed to obeying God’s will in our lives. If you are willing to step out in faith and trust in God, doing whatever it is He has asked you to do, then you will see His provision. Once you have experienced this, you will be spoiled for the ordinary.
Summary- Chapter one is all about God’s provision. It is filled with stories of how missionaries have been at their wits end on how to continue in their own strength. God always comes through and provides for them in ways they did not expect or imagine. The same applies for our finances when we surrender them to God.
Quote- “There are many ways of trusting God in finances. We can learn to live by faith in His variety of provision. And we can step out and see him at work on our behalf. Best of all, we can learn his ways. Once you have experienced the life of faith, it ruins for you the ordinary.”
Quote- “Whatever your situation, My desire is to see you do anything God calls you to do, no matter how daring. But the choice is yours. You can settle for the ordinary, or you can have the thrill of a new walk with God. Are you ready to live on the edge?”
Summary- Chapter two focuses on the issue of worry. It is a chapter that encourages laying worry down and to take after the birds which never worry about a thing. We stop worrying by trusting in God’s care and following his path laid out in the Bible.
Quote- “Have you ever seen a worried bird?… No, you haven’t seen a worried bird! We can learn from the birds the secret of living like this. Jesus told us that we were not to be anxious for what we would eat or drink or for the clothes we needed.”
Quote- “Knowing what God wants you to do is the first part of Bible faith. The second is taking steps of obedience that he shows you to take. Bible faith requires action on your part. It isn’t passive.”
Summary- Chapter 3 shows that we have to stop trusting in ourselves. When it comes to finances, man will always fail himself. God on the other hand has the ability to lead in ways that will never fail. Our faith shows that he exists and is active.
Quote- “All of us are given a measure of faith, according to Romans 12. Faith is a gift, but it must grow through use. Faith increases as we exercise it. It’s like physical exercise.”
Quote- “We can’t have our faith in any human systems. They will fail. You may invest in insurance plans or annuities or stocks and bonds. These things are not wrong. But don’t put your faith in them. Put your trust higher than man.”
Summary- Chapter 4 revolves around the idea that money is not evil. Yet although money is not evil, it can lead to evil things if we allow it to. God is in control of all the money so we trust that he will send what we need.
Quote- “Money is not evil, though the love of money is. There’s nothing wrong with money itself. But because of the sin in men’s hearts, the love of money can lead to pain and bondage even for Christians.”
Quote- “We need to realize that the lack of money is just as definitely from God as the provision of money.”
Summary- Chapter 5 aims to show that Satan is always looking to deceive and ruin people. One way he does this is through money. Money allows for lust, pride, and fear. To avoid his use of money, believers must employ Godly principles to handle their money.
Quote- “How would we describe this role of satan today? We wouldn’t call him the king of tyre. We would probably call him the king of wall street.You see, Satan is trying to control the trade of the entire earth. He controls people through their lust of money.”
Quote- “Satan, therefore, rules people through the area of finances, using greed, the lust for power, pride, and fear.”
Note- Living by faith in this world is like flying a plane through cloudy weather. We must rely on outside resources instead of our experiences.
Principle 1: We should be wise with our finances, but not worry about them. God will provide for us.
Principle 2: We should make sure that God is first in our hearts.
Principle 3: We should work. Everyone has an innate desire to be productive. Watch out for idleness.
Principle 4: We should invest our time, talents, and finances wisely and watch the growth happen.
Principle 5: We should be generous because “everything [we] are and have belongs to God” (pg. 71). We should seek God’s council before financial decisions. We should trust God with our finances. He will take care of us.
Quote- “Choosing not to worry [about money] will require as much power of will as it would for a pilot to rely on his instrument panel rather than his own sense while flying through fog” (pg. 66).
Summary- It is voluntary and will produce joy. There are four types of people, the breadwinners, the poor and needy, the sent ones, and the manna people. The breadwinners are the majority of people and are provided for by their work. The poor and needy are provided for through the breadwinner’s generosity. The sent ones are nonprofit missionaries and they are also provided for by the breadwinner’s generosity. The manna people are people who are provided for directly from God. This is more rare and is usually not for long periods of time because God wants us to be generous so that we can receive the blessing.
Quote- “Generosity is always based on the proportion of the gift to what the giver owns” (pg. 74).
Quote- “[Giving] comes first out of love for the Lord, then love for people” (pg. 75).
Summary- Giving and supporting each other builds relationships. God’s focus is to restore our relationship with him and our relationship with each other. We need to rely on each other in Christian love. It is a humbling experience to accept a gift from someone when it is something that you truly need. Missionaries need more than money. They need prayer and emotional support from people. Missions the Jesus way is to be supported by people on a personal level. We should not give with the intent to control. We should see money as simply a means to further God’s kingdom.
Quote- “We don’t need more money in the body of Christ. We need to get more money flowing” (pg. 96).
Quote- “Why doesn’t God quickly provide all the money we need for His work on earth?” (pg. 83)
Summary- All of us have a spiritual calling from God. We must pray to God to seek his guidance for our lives as well as have a willing heart. Christians are very capable and should, if called, pursue professional careers. Christians should be servants in their careers. We should make sure to take a seventh day of rest. Gaining wealth is not a bad thing, but we should be careful to keep our eyes on God and look to him for guidance on where to invest. Be open to God’s guidance.
Quote- “Christians who are moving in integrity will make a mark not only for their business, but for the Lord whom they serve” (pg. 103).
Quote- “The first thing that Christian business people should know is that they are missionaries and that they need to have a calling, then the second thing is to realize that the Holy Spirit is committed to their excelling in that calling” (pg. 101).
How do we submit to God’s will for our giving and decide where to give in a world where we are constantly bombarded with avenues to give? We should always seek God’s guidance when we are presented with an opportunity to give. We should ask God if we should give and how much. We should develop a world mindset with our prayer and giving. Spiritual leaders should set the example for giving. We should trust God with our finances and live in faith, giving generously.
Quote- “The only way to remain sane, solvent, and soft in our hearts is to ask God to direct our giving” (pg. 112).
Quote- “Find out about the whole world, pray for the whole world, and as God leads you, give to the whole world” (pg. 117).
Summary- If God is calling you into missions, don’t worry. He knows all your needs, big and small, and will provide for all of them. You may be called to share your needs with others or keep them private. Five questions to ask yourself first are; is God telling me to do this, how much will it cost, what do I already have, am I to tell others about my need, and what do I do to get started?
Quote- “God is practical. Don’t be afraid to obey Him, thinking He is not thinking about all the things you are. He is thinking about them, and about the needs you will have that you don’t even know about yet.” (pg 127)
Quote- “In every situation, go to God first, get His guidance, then work hard to bring it about.” (pg 140)
Summary- When raising support it is important to know what to do and what not to do. Don’t use guilt to ask for money, make financial appeals on the basis of pity, appeal to greed, appeal to fear, or appeal to donor’s pride. Do keep your priorities right, ask the Lord to bring to mind people He has given the gift of giving to, maybe have someone ask for support on your behalf, remember that obedience is more important than money, and always remember you never outgrow the need for guidance.
Quote- “We should never see people as sources for money but always value them as friends. We must guard our hearts to love people and use money, never the other way around.” (pg 145)
Quote- “A final reminder when making your needs known: remember to seek the Lord’s guidance as you do so. Sometimes He may lead you to write one or two personal letters. At other times you may need to travel somewhere to talk to one person. Or you may need to send out a printed newsletter to several friends, asking them to pray about giving. Keep flexible in each situation.” (pg 148-149)
Summary- How does wealth fit in with Christianity? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. We must seek God and His will for how we are to live. It also depends on what cultural context we are living in; we should not live above or below those whom we are serving. We need to beware of greed, avoid envying others, be content, and keep giving as the Lord leads us.
Quote- “Paul reminded us that either poverty or riches could be the will of God for us and that we can learn to adapt to either: (Philippians 4:12-13).” (pg 154)
Quote- “We should avoid letting this world’s values become our own. We need to bring our spending power to Jesus and let Him rule this area of our lives.” (pg 157-158)
Summary- What do you do when you believe that God has called you to something and then all your money runs out? God provides, but there are some questions you have to ask yourself. Do you love things more than you love God? (Materialism) Have you missed the will of God? Are you in debt? Have you been tithing? Have you been generous? Have you been grateful for God’s provision? Have you been faithful in the small things? Have you asked God to supply your need? Are you more interested in learning what God is trying to teach you or in having your needs met? Have you been working hard? Have you been looking to God for provision, or have you looked to other people or yourself?
Quote- “The formation of Christ’s character in us is what God considers most important. We focus on our needs, even though He always has the ability to abundantly provide for us…the Lord is more interested in changing us into His likeness than in feeding us.” (pg 166)
Quote- “Sometimes a lack of finances can be God’s signal to us that we have gotten off the track somewhere. It’s amazing how our pocketbooks can get our attention, even when we ignore the clanging alarms of our conscience.” (pg 169)
Summary- It can be hard to wait on money to come in, but those times are important for growing your faith. Often God uses those times to remind you to rely on Him and to show His provision in amazing ways. Try to avoid comparing your situation to others. God can use this time to show you what you truly need versus what you think you need. You should journal and recount the past times that He has been faithful.
Quote- “Finally, while waiting on God for financial release, meditate on Psalm 37. This psalm seems to be written especially for someone needing money. It tells us three times ‘fret not’ and to trust in the Lord, rest in Him, and wait patiently for Him. It reminds us not to envy others and says that the prosperity of the wicked is temporary.” (pg 185)
Quote- “This is what it comes down to, in living by faith. It is faith in God Himself. There is no system or ritual to it. It is faith in a living person, faith that He will help you accomplish the job He has given you to do.” (pg 188)