Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Monday, April 18, 2016

Addicted to safety

 I mentioned this in my last blog post, but it has been on my mind ever since I read the book that talked about it, this addiction to safety so many of us have. I like to feel safe, but who doesn't?

We lock our doors and even use dead bolts and security systems so we can feel safe to sleep.

We buy guns and get permits to carry them so we feel safe,

We avoid certain areas of some towns so we are safe.

We vote for certain candidates so we can feel safe.

We want financial safety

We want economic safety

We want physical safety

We want to feel our health is safe

We want our country to be safe

  And the list could go on. We just want to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.

  I'm not much of a risk taker. You'll never find me zip-lining or up in a hot air balloon. For one thing, I am very afraid of heights; and I view those as very unsafe activities. I don't like walking in the woods or high grass because due to my fear of snakes, I feel unsafe. I feel unsafe with a man like Obama running our country. I feel unsafe with a woman at the wheel of a car (just kidding!), I feel unsafe drinking milk after the sell by date, I feel unsafe on the four lane when semis are flying past me at the speed of light. I like to be safe, feel safe, and do safe things.

  There is nothing wrong with the desire to feel safe and be safe, but it is wrong when it gets in the way of doing what God wants.

  The Bible is full of people who did things that were not safe, and God used them and worked miracles:

Daniel, praying with his windows open after a law had been passed forbidding it.

Noah, building an ark when it had never rained.

Abraham, poised with the knife above his only son lying on the altar before him.

David, going up against a giant that seasoned soldiers were cowering from.

God, giving a teenage girl and the guy she was marrying His Son to raise.

The disciples, preaching in the open after already being jailed and beaten.

How much more could we accomplish for God if we weren't so concerned about our safety?

We feel like we should speak to that person about God, but fear stops us.

We feel like God wants us to put that amount of money towards His work, but we fear we won't have enough money for what we need.

We feel God calling us into a certain ministry, but fear we won't make it financially.

We feel God wants us to adopt, foster, take someone in and let them use that spare room..... but we fear the outcome.

  The thing is, God doesn't always guarantee our safety. Back in 1956, a young 29 year old man named Jim Elliot went with four other men to evangelize the Auca people. They all felt the call and answered it, and all 5 were killed by the very people they were trying to reach for God. Would they have gone had they known they were walking to their deaths? I believe they would have. One of the men even made the statement that if it meant losing his life, he was going to do it. Sixty years later, I also believe they would say it was worth it. That tribe of wicked and murderous people came to God because those 5 missionaries were more concerned with doing what God wanted them to do, than with their own safety.

  When Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego were faced with the fiery furnace, they said their God was able to save them, but even if He didn't; they still wouldn't bow. Most of us would bow and then tell God we were sorry later, but obeying God was more important to them than  their safety.

  Could we American Christians be too concerned and preoccupied with safety? Is it possible we have put our safety above God? An idol doesn't have to be something we take out, kneel before, and pray to. It can be anything we put before God, including safety and comfort.

  How could God use me and what could I accomplish for Him if I didn't let safety concerns get in the way? What could you accomplish? What could the church as whole accomplish for God if Christians across this world stopped worrying about safety so much and just did what God wanted them to do? We could change the world.

  I read a story several years ago, and a lot of the details are fuzzy. The gist of it, was this man was diagnosed with a fatal disease and was given a fairly short time to live - less than a year, I believe. He became fearless, and tried all sorts of new things he had considered dangerous. He even went marching into a standoff between some gunmen and the police and convinced the gunmen to surrender. They were so surprised by this fearless man marching up to them, they didn't shoot and gave up.

 But then something happened. The doctors discovered they had misdiagnosed the man's condition. He didn't have a fatal disease. He wasn't going to die in less than a year......and he lost that fearlessness he had had. He went back to being the same man he had been before he had been misdiagnosed. He took no more chances, and his mortality became more important to him.

 There is a difference in not being so worried and concerned about safety, and being too reckless. God gave us common sense.... well, some of us were given common sense. He doesn't expect us to be careless and reckless and risk our lives foolishly. But He may ask us to risk our lives on what appears to be foolish to us and those who look on.

 I am sure after Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and the other 3 men were murdered that there were people who criticized them and thought it was foolish of them to have walked into that ambush and lose their lives.

 There were most likely people calling Shadrach and his buddies idiots for risking their lives by refusing to bow.

  People won't always understand what we do and why we do it if we stop being so worried about safety and do what God wants us to do..... but that shouldn't stop us.

 But I believe the main hindrance is ourselves. Safety, security, and comfort have become so important to us, that too many of us let those get in the way of what God may want us to do. I am guilty. No, I don't feel a call to be missionaries to murderous people or anything like that, but I have let my fears stop me from doing some things in life I felt I should do.

 If we all stopped being so concerned about our safety, security, and comfort; I believe we could turn the world upside down for Christ. Many have done it, many are doing it......while we sit and warm a pew in our air conditioned church with padded pews.

  As Christians, we need to deny ourselves daily and put Jesus above everything........ even our safety. May He help me to do exactly that and not let fear stop me from doing His will.

 This blog post has been brewing in my mind for over a week. I actually had about half of it written a week ago. As I walked today with my iPod playing music, a country song I like played. It is one of the few country songs that are truly worth listening to, and it addresses this idea. It is about a man who who got some bad news about his health, and started taking some risks because of it. The song is Live Like You Were Dying........a great reminder of what we Christians should do.

He said I was in my early 40's,
With a lot of life before me, 
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what'd ya do.
And he says,


I went sky divin', 
I went rocky mountain climbin', 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper, 
And I spoke sweeter, 
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying, 
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband, 
That most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin' fishing, 
Wasn't such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I'd do
If I could do it all again.
And then.

I went sky divin', 
I went rocky mountain climbin', 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper, 
And I spoke sweeter, 
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying, 
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

Like tomorrow was a gift and you've got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.


Sky divin', 
I went rocky mountain climbin', 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper, 
And I spoke sweeter, 
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

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