Thursday, May 5, 2016

As a Deer Pants - Thirsty Thursday: Adventure

As Christians living in the world, we will face temptation. One of the things the world whispers to us that it has to offer is excitement. Isn't this sin so much more exciting than "being good" all the time? Isn't it fun to be the good girl (or boy) gone bad?

While John Eldridge might have us believe men are designed for danger, I would argue that many of us women also have a deep longing for adventure.

We Christians have done ourselves, and the world, and the Lord, a great disservice when we portray our lives as Christians to be a drudgery of rule-following, good-doing, church attending, and early bedtimes. Recently I wrote about faith and trust in the Lord ... some of that reading, coupled with my recent encounter with awe and worship as a storm hit, made me realize God never intended for our lives to be boring.


In reading the stories of martyrs around the world, I see that our American freedoms have also bound us. By no means am I intimating that I wish to have my freedoms taken away, but I want to appreciate them more than I have. But I suggest that perhaps some of us are more easily drawn into sins that offer excitement because we have built our lives into luxuriant, predictable comforts and something in us misses that edge ... the edge of the knife of hunger and thirst, the sliver of discovery being caught with something someone doesn't want us to have.

But perhaps it is easier to rely on God, to draw close to Him daily, when we are serving Him dangerously. I'm not saying to go out and do something stupid - God is also the God who grants wisdom to the wise. But have you ever been on a hike and forgot to take enough water? I have. One of the first hikes Tim and I went on ended up being on the first 100+ degree day of the summer of 2009. We took a lot of water ... but it wasn't enough. It was a bit of an ordeal to make it back to where we started.

And water had never tasted so good.

Just imagine, in a country where Bibles are illegal, what an adrenaline rush a young pastor must feel passing near law enforcement on a bike headed to a remote village? Imagine the joy of handing those Bibles to someone who has never read them, who is so anxious to read those precious pages that they risk life, limb, and livelihood to hold them. Taste and see that the LORD is GOOD.


We talk about persecution when cashiers can't say Merry Christmas to us. And I agree, it very well could be a sign of changes coming which will mean true persecution, but the very word persecution implies we are being actively pursued. Quite frankly we've made the enemy's work fairly easy here.


Yet the Bible promises trouble will come to those who serve Him. Not if. When. And what better time to recognize His daily provision when we aren't sure if it will be there tomorrow? My parents' electricity went out early this week, and I couldn't help but think how we plan for a week or two in advance what we will eat ... yet a few days without power and our refrigerators would quickly become fetid stockpiles of rot.

But we are also promised He cares for us. He loves us. Nothing is going to change that. So why not grasp the adventure He may in store? Talk to that friend. Take that job. Go to that country. I'm not saying our lives will be filled with the heart pounding surge of adrenaline every day - but don't you think God meant us for that? Those "Wow God I don't know what I'm doing but I know you asked me to do it so here goes nothing" moments?


Don't be afraid. Don't believe the lie that being a Christian means being boring. Trouble doesn't mean God doesn't love you. Trouble means an opportunity to depend on Him. Instead of worrying about our stockpiles and how we're going to continue to afford our comfortable life ... grab your sense of adventure and be willing to follow God's leading. Recognize what we have and show gratitude to the One who gave it to us.




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