August 3, 2011

Is It Really Safe?

"The safest place in the world is in the center of God's will."

This is a statement that I've heard thousands of times in the church culture. However, I'm afraid it's terribly misleading. In the big theological picture, it's true. God does take responsibility for the life that's fully surrendered to Him. On the other hand, radically pursuing God's will guarantees nothing remotely regarded as safety. Sadly though many of us guage where we are in our faith journey by how safe & secure our lives are in the moment. The thought that the center of God's will might actually be risky or outright dangerous is totally foreign to many American believers.

But what if pursuing God's plan might actually lead us into a danger zone? I mean look at some of the situations early followers of Jesus found themselves in. Paul found himself in jail or shipwrecked. Peter was so close to execution that when God busted him out of jail everybody thought it was his ghost. Even going all the way back to the Old Testament we find guys like David. In 1st Samuel 21 & 22, we find David trying to follow the life God has called him to & all he has coming his way is trouble & danger. He's on the run from the king that he has served faithfully. By the way, the king is his best friend's father & David's own father-in-law. Not only that, but he finds himself armed with only one thing: the sword of Goliath. Not a bad weapon, until David finds himself in Gath, Goliath's hometown. So David, the man after God's own heart, finds himself a hunted man who is now standing in the hometown of his most famous enemy & victory, & he's practically wearing a trophy of that victory by parading around with Goliath's sword.

What if following God & being in "the center of His will" actually leads us to places that are not only uncomfortable but might even be dangerous? What if we shouldn't be gauging our faithfulness by how safe & secure our lives might be & instead should be measuring by the depths of risk that our faith might require of us? I'm just thinking out loud a little bit, but I know that Jesus told us to expect trouble because of all of the trouble He encountered, yet so often we think following Him should lead to safety, security, & material blessing. What if we are dead wrong?

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