Adventure is out there
A while ago we decided to pursue an epic off road adventure. We wanted to explore a part of Australia only accessible by proper 4-wheel drives. The first 20 kilometers of unsealed road was easy. However, when it came to a sign that said “4-wd only” we knew that the adventure only started! After many hours of corrugated tracks (it cannot be described as a road) we made it to our base camp. I knew my car and the camper trailer was made for this kind of adventure, but only in taking it off-road I got to experience its true capability. It was hard, it was bumpy, it was rattling beyond belief, but it was worth it! I realised then that it was not made for city roads. In fact in the city it is slow and for some a nightmare to park. It may look nice and bulky, but it is made for an off-road adventure!
I think we often do the exact opposite with our faith and our expectation of Jesus. We like to “drive” the bulky 4wd, make it look rugged and ready, but we prefer the safe sealed roads a city provides. We want safe, secure and predictable lives. We have the appearance of adventure, but apart from jumping a curb here or there, we play it safe. And in doing so miss out on the greatest experience afforded to our faith!
Life with Jesus is an adventure, and we’ll be frustrated if we think he will always keep us on the road. Rather than fighting what we were made for, we need to embrace it. We need to surrender to God’s control and design for our lives. To surrender takes courage. The disciples did not just rock up at the Sanhedrin and told the leaders that they cannot stop proclaiming Jesus. A few pages earlier Jesus found them, hiding and huddling in a locked room. Probably praying a familiar prayer:
“Thank you Lord for the freedom to proclaim your name in this house.” Bless their souls. They were afraid, not going anywhere. Mark 16: 14 gives us an indication to the conversation Jesus had with them as they shared fellowship in the safety of their building: “ Later (after his resurrection) Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he has risen.” I wonder what Jesus would say to us if he appeared to us today in our “safe gathering?”
Was that what they were intended for? Hiding? Jesus told exactly what he expected them to do in the next verse: (do not play it safe), “but go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” The only way for me to experience what my vehicle was made for was to use it for what it is made for. Take it off-road. When we see Peter and John seized by the temple guard and appeared before the Sanhedrin we see one observation by the Sanhedrin: “when they saw the courageous of Peter and John…they took note that these men have been with Jesus!”
Our faith craves the same adventure! Boldness in faith happens when we are courageous in our relationship with Jesus. It takes courage to admit that we are afraid. It takes courage to admit that we are not sure what to do. It takes courage to admit that the reason we lack boldness is a lack of trust in the promise of the resurrected Jesus. It takes courage to trust completely.
It is the complete trust which is why we can follow with complete confidence.
Proverbs 3:5–6 says: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track”
Judah Smith said this: “True faith will lead you into decisions, lifestyles, and relationships that don’t always feel safe. That’s okay. Faith isn’t about playing it safe or staying comfortable. Faith is about Jesus. Your soul was built for adventure, for following Jesus, and for living life to the fullest in him.” Your soul craves stepping out. A soul, paid for eternally, is secured – why would you play it safe?
Do you ever find yourself wishing life were easier or safer? What do you think is at the root of that desire?
Is it hard for you to surrender your life to God? How does surrender help your soul be more secure?
What does it mean to you that your faith is meant to go “off-road”?