I have never served overseas. I haven’t experienced a lot of unsafety in my life. I’ve lived in the same city for all 25 years of my life. I don’t have a lot of room to talk about taking risks for God, but I do want to share with you something I think God is teaching me.
In a podcast that we just recorded (soon to be released), we sat down with Dean, the President here at OC. He talked about his experience as a missionary serving and living in Africa. He talked about the way he raised his kids surrounded by risk and danger. It really is a remarkable testament to what God has done in the world and is continuing to do.
I’ve heard stories similar to this one. Being a US-bound Christian, I usually feel the sting of regret and feeling less-than when I hear stories from missionaries. A deep rebellion in me wells up. One that wants to combat the pressure that missionaries were worth more than me. That any of the callings I have had in my life are unworthy.
But this time, listening to Dean, hearing what God has done in him and his life, I didn’t feel that rebellion. I felt freedom.
Seeking Safety instead of God
I think we as Christians live in a lot of slavery. We are still tied to our flesh, our earthly desires, our security. Though Scripture clearly teaches that we shouldn’t chase security, for most of my life I have been taught that my freedom lies in physical, financial, and social safety.
The hopes and dreams of those before us, while well-intentioned, only revolve around security and safety. I’ve been taught that if you aren’t living in that, you aren’t living the way you are supposed to. But life doesn’t work at the same pace that it used to. We all have different struggles that we are working through. The pursuit of safety is still always present.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have safety and security in our lives at all. I live in a very safe and secure bubble. I think the reality of our situation is that no matter where we are, what we are doing, who we are with, when we are in God we are ultimately safe.
Truth Setting Me Free
I think of the words of Jesus in John 8:31-32
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
This truth encapsulates a lot, but truth is that we are safe and secure in the fold of God. We are free to walk in risk with him.
Hearing Dean taught me that. It taught me that instead of feeling shackled to the adult life I am trying so hard to build, I am free.
And that is really the truth. We are free to take risks as we walk with God. We are free to live in this new person that we are.
May you be free to serve God in all the ways he calls you.