I dare you.
Do you remember the first time you heard those words?
We have all been dared by someone at some time. Perhaps someone at school dared you to be mischievous. Or maybe someone dared you to push beyond your previous achievements in a physical challenge.
We all respond differently to a dare. Some see it as an opportunity to prove themselves; others hear it as a challenge to their competence. Yet it’s often the I dare you moments that push us beyond where comfort could keep us and the familiar would fence us in.
Such moments seem to appear more frequently when we are young, as part of our regular interactions with friends. As we get older, these conversations become less common; we become too mature to entertain something that seems so childish. But what if discarding the I dare you moments means we are keeping our potential hidden away within us? Perhaps the very thing we thought to be immature is what we need for our life to mature. What if the presence of the dare could open new doors for you?
When we read the Bible, we get a front row seat to many I dare you moments of the past. God’s Word is the record of those who went before us, the ones whom God used to forge the future through acts that were not for the fainthearted. The consistent theme of these accounts is a willingness to dare to go beyond the usual or normal: Moses before Pharaoh; Daniel in the lions’ den; the disciples leaving behind all they knew to follow a man they had only just met.
Our present faith was shaped by those who dared in the past. Now it is our turn to dare to go farther and shape the future.
Perhaps it’s time we all got back to the place of daring. A journey awaits those who, with courage and willingness, take the first steps on an uncharted path. For so long we’ve been safely managing our destinies, but it’s time to make friends with the discomfort that comes when we choose to make God’s words our security. The farther we go on the I dare you adventure with God, the more we discover His expansive capacity, His power and unfathomable ability.
The more we see the One who works for us and in us—and who longs to work through us—the more we come to know His faithful and steadfast nature that never fails us.
Where fear has closed the door, we need the challenge of I dare you to open our lives to possibilities once more. Where we have held back because of doubt, we need to dare to trust and step out. Where we have stopped daring because we don’t want to face failure, we need to allow the dare to deepen our learning and understanding.
Several years ago, some dear friends invited my husband and me to join them and a few of their friends—whom we had never met before—for a weekend of adventure. I was unsure about the invitation; I am much more of an introvert than the friend who was inviting us, and I didn’t know how adventurous I would feel in a house full of strangers. However, we decided to take up the challenge, and I dared to say yes. It was while we were away that I found myself going on my own journey of daring to be.
One afternoon we had been out on the water paddle boarding. As we came back to the dock, some of the group started to climb up a hillside to a diving ledge and leap off into the water below. I was very sure this was one activity I had no interest in doing. And then someone said these words: “I dare you.”
My immediate internal response was, No thank you!
But then I began to think, When was the last time I took a dare?
This dare wasn’t going to harm me, but it would stretch me. I am not a fan of heights—but what if this dare could help me face a fear that needed to be challenged?
As I started the ascent, I was so nervous and yet determined. I was reminded of something I had forgotten, a feeling I had left back in my youth—that nervous energy that stirs you to be a bit braver, a bit more courageous. I had my new friends at either side of me, holding my shaking arms as I stood on that board for well over ten minutes, trying to talk myself into jumping off. Everyone around me was cheering me on.
After what seemed like forever, I remember walking to the end of the board, holding my nose, and very ungracefully taking a leap into the water below. As I hit the water, everyone started applauding. I was so thankful it was over, but I had done it! Not that long before, I wouldn’t have considered it a possibility.
But I had leapt, and I had landed. Perhaps it’s time for you to start ascending into the dare that God has waiting for you. Perhaps it’s time to face a fear or remove that area of limitation, to take the leap so you can land somewhere new. This book was written for you, so that you will hear a voice cheering you on—just like the voices of my new‑found friends around me as I was on the ledge that day.
The very thing you are seeking could be on the other side of your daring. The leap you most fear may just be the leap you most need.
Excerpted with permission from Dare to Be by Charlotte Gambill and Natalie Grant, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR 97408. Copyright 2021, Charlotte Gambill and Natalie Grant. www.harvesthousepublishers.com
Natalie Grant is an eight-time GRAMMY® nominee and five-time GMA Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year. She has garnered more than 500 million streams and multiple number #1 albums and singles on the Billboard charts. A respected author and philanthropist, she is the cofounder of Hope for Justice, a nonprofit organization fighting human trafficking with 32 offices across 10 countries and 5 continents that has helped more than 100,000 children in the past year.
Charlotte Gambill has an infectious love for life, a deep love for people, and a zealous love for God’s house. Her passion is to build the local church across the earth, to see people reach their full potential, and to develop and strengthen leadership. Known for her practical, humorous, and passionate application of God’s Word, she is an author, speaker, and mother. Charlotte, who leads LIFE Church, UK in England with her husband, Steve, has authored more than ten books.