Listen to the Podcast here (or read transcript below):
Dear fellow Ponderers, I apologize for my absence as of late, you see we had a double whammy in our home. First our four wonderful children were off of school for Spring Break. Secondly, all four of our wonderful children caught the flu during this week of Spring Break…so it’s been an interesting week to say the least.
I wanted to talk to you today about the scariest journey anyone will ever take in their life.
No, I’m not talking about a visit to a war torn country or a treacherous climb on Mount Everest. No, this journey is something more common place, and yet so frightening that few people ever truly embark on it.
There is the story of a rich young ruler in the bible and he goes to see Jesus. The rich man is pretty confident that he is doing life the right way, and so he asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus lists the ten commandments to this rich man, and the man insists that he has indeed lived a disciplined life and has kept those commands since he was a little boy. Then Jesus says the scariest thing to him , despite keeping all of these laws and doing all the right things, “You still lack one thing…” In the rich man’s case it was selling all of his possessions, giving it to the poor and following Jesus…
There is another story in the bible, this time from the old testament. A story about a guy named Abram. His story is in the first book of the bible, and in chapter twelve God calls Abram to participate in the scariest journey of his life. God says to him, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
God called Abram from what was known into what was unknown.
God called this man from the familiar into the unfamiliar.
The scariest journey we will ever go on doesn’t happen in the deepest darkest jungles in some remote country in the world, instead it happens when we say yes to God’s calling into the unfamiliar. The rich man was called out into it and he said “no” because he didn’t want to leave the comforts of a lavished lifestyle and what was familiar. Abram left and God promised that he would be the father of mighty nation. Both men were rich, yet one man said yes, while the other walked away.
For you and for me, God calls to us to leave the familiar and follow Him into the unknown. This is a scary calling. This calling could take us away from the things we feel comfortable with. God’s calling moves us into action. Our response determines this path. And you see, the Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives. He wants to move us from where we are right now into a deeper relationship with Him. It’s like going on a journey and coming to a train station right in the middle of the journey and saying to God, I’m just going to stop right here…it’s kind of nice right here…I think I’ll just stay here. Yet God knows that there is something better in store for us if we just continue on this journey even though we might not know how long we have travel and what we might see along the way…but He knows that this little comfortable stations along the way isn’t the destination…He’s got something better in mind for us. In a way, we often tell God that we know better and that where we are right now is good enough, when in fact God has something even better for us in mind if we only trust Him to lead us out into the unfamiliar.
Abram trust and God led Him…Abram wasn’t always perfect and he did make mistakes along the way, but we left the familiar and embraced the scariest journey because of his faith in God.
So let me ask you today, where are you on this journey?
Are you where God has called you to be, or are you at some sort of midway station along the journey enjoying the comfort and familiarity? If we can admit that the Holy Spirit has more and expects more from us, then perhaps it’s time to move into the unknown. Perhaps God is calling us into a deeper faith that requires us to take a step out of our comfort zones…and perhaps one step turns into twenty and twenty turns into a hundred and then we just keep traveling out into the unknown.
I love that song Oceans…admittedly it has been played out a bit on Christian radio, but in the bridge or refrain part of the song it it says, “Spirit lead me where my faith is without borders, let me walk upon the waters where ever you make call me…” This is a very scary place to be – to leave the familiar and embrace the unfamiliar. To stop living the status quo and to start living an all-in kind of life for the Lord regardless of what other people think or regardless of where this takes you. This could take you away from your present church or ministry. This calling could take you away from your families and your current job…this calling could make you reevaluate your entire life. That’s why this is the scariest journey to ever embark on…but I believe this will be the most rewarding one of our lives. So let me ask you, are you prepared to move if God asks you to? Are you prepared to take that leap into the unknown if that’s what it takes? Are you okay with stepping out into the unknown because you trust in a God who is known?
It starts with saying “yes” to God regardless of where that yes will take you.
That my dear fellow Ponderers is the scariest journey for us to take…
God bless you today!
Music used – Oceans (Hillsong).