Are you on the way or in the way?

Friday, October 12, 2012

I've been whitewater rafting a few times, and I hope I get the chance to do it again. It is soothing to float down a river and peacefully glide by the trees on the riverbank. Then it gets exciting, when the group obediently and quickly follows the instructions of the guide to make its way through the rapids. It's about as "extreme" a sport as I care to undertake, but I love it.

We might compare our journey of faith with this adventure. Followers of Jesus Christ are meant to be on the move, adapting to changes and participating in the alternately peaceful and thrilling aspects of sharing the gospel with the world God loves. The first followers of Jesus in Palestine were called people of "The Way," a good indication that faith in Jesus Christ is not about staying in one place.

The temptation we face constantly is just that - staying put. We find some equilibrium in our lives or our churches, and we prefer maintenance over adventure. It's a natural inclination, natural for us as sinners, that is. Over and over again in the stories of Scripture, God makes it clear that keeping things comfortable is not the first priority. God calls us to move beyond our small expectations and our settled existence to the people and places where He wants to use us to help meet other people's needs. In the process we will grow in faith too. Faith generally doesn't grow in comfortable surroundings.

Would you rate yourself as more of an adventurer or a couch potato when it comes to your faith? If you're a couch potato, chances are that you are actually a hindrance to other people's response to the gospel. You're in the way and not on the way. God doesn't need Christians depicting an unrealistic form of Christianity to unbelievers. Followers of Christ are called to action. Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me." That implies a way of sacrifice and movement.

A preference for comfort doesn't help the community of faith - the church - either. Whatever we do has an influence on other believers. I wouldn't want to be accused of promoting apathy and lethargy to my fellow Christians by the example I set.

It's a lot more fun being in the raft on a river than sitting still like a rock in the river. Sometimes we do need to stop and quiet ourselves, but I suspect that most of us need a push to get moving more often. Watching people come to faith and helping them overcome adversity is thrilling. The adventure is worth the effort!

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  • Awesome word! Thanks for the encouragement!

    -- Posted by PastorKevin on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 11:13 AM
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