With head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr leading the way, the 4-1 Oakland Raiders are one of the best stories early on this NFL season. They have plenty of talented players, but the difference in most of their games so far has been their willingness to “go for it.”

The Raiders have shown boldness and confidence by going for it on 4th downs, throwing it deep at key times, choosing the 2-point conversion, and even passing on 59 percent of first downs. Some may view these strategies as risky or taking a gamble, but at the core of these decisions is the deep faith Del Rio has for his team.

He trusts his quarterback to make plays in high-pressure situations, and believes his wide receivers will come through with big catches. “We love that he believes in us and the empowerment of the offense that he believes in us to get it done,” Carr told reporters after Sunday’s win. Del Rio doesn’t implement a play it safe philosophy, but is willing to bypass calling normal plays in order to really “go for it.”

NFL writer, Mike Tainer, wrote on BleacherReport.com, “Not every gamble will pay off. Not every close finish will go the Raiders’ way. It’s the lessons the team learns, habits it forms and confidence it builds while winning that matter. A team that knows it can score a touchdown on fourth down has a brighter future than one that was always afraid to try it.”

As followers of Jesus, faith is at the core of everything we believe. We trust in an all-knowing, loving, and powerful God. We place our faith in the God of the universe for salvation, lordship, and day to day decisions.

As we walk closely with Him, there are key moments in our lives where we must exercise a deep faith and make decisions which outsiders may view as “risky,” “not normal,” or “taking a gamble.” In these moments we demonstrate our faith in God by obeying what He is clearly leading us to do.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:5 (ESV) says, “So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

It’s amazing to see what God does when we really “go for it,” instead of always playing it safe and being afraid to take faithful risks. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that You would give me a big faith. I pray that I would have the boldness and confidence to go for it when I feel you leading me to go a certain direction. I pray I wouldn’t let fear or normalcy get in the way of taking faithful risks. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.