Safety of the Known
Snorkeling along the edge of a living coral reef is beautiful. On the one side stands the reef, an intricate structure, full of life in every square inch. On the other side lies an expanse of blue that has no visible beginning or end. It is deep, dark, and foreboding. Though the reef is vast, it can be navigated. Venturing out into the open ocean, however, has no visible markers by which to guide oneself. In addition, the deep is where predators live. The reef represents a major food source, so though they may not be always visible, they are never too far away.
Floating there at the intersection of known and unknown is much like the life of faith we live. We can choose to stay within the known, with its beauty and understood dangers (like moray eel types of people and places), but where we feel in control. Or we can launch out into an unknown with only God to guide us, someone we cannot see and who rarely communicates with us in a direct fashion. Just how deep are we willing to go with him?
Most of us have become good at talking a good story about taking steps toward deeper impact for God’s glory. We find ourselves in the right places, surrounded by the right people, and saying the acceptable things. Conversations about getting out there with people who need us happen, and maybe we move in that direction, but then we hurriedly retreat into the reef and its protection. Our passion for lost ones struggles to find its way into action. The sacrifice and risk are great, and we are not sure we are up to the task.
Venturing into the Deep
The truth is, we can’t do it. When face to face with the sharks of the deep, we lose every time. I am sure this is how the armies of Israel felt facing Goliath. In their own strength, they were hopeless against him. Then this snotty-nosed, baby of the family, David shows up with food for his brothers. Not even old enough to be conscripted into the army, he takes his sling and armed with his faith in God alone, takes Goliath out.
What is holding you back from a deeper impact for the kingdom?
To be brutally honest, you are. You are the only thing standing in the way. The Holy Spirit dwells within you, empowering you to slay the giants of the unknown, but how deep will you go with him? The choice is yours. God doesn’t force us into service. The opportunities are there. What will you do?
“Further up and further in!” C.S. Lewis The Last Battle