One of the American Church’s biggest sins plays out almost every day:
We play it safe.
Have you ever thought about how often Jesus was pleased by the active faith of people from whom He least expected it? The Syro-Pheonician Woman, the Roman Centurion, Blind Bartimaeus, and others?
I truly believe – more than ever – Playing it safe just makes God grieve.
I’m reminded this morning of Peter’s decision/desire to step out of the boat and walk on the water toward Jesus. What an incredible risk. What a seemingly stupid move. I mean, what is the point of walking on water? What benefit was it to anyone else other than Peter to do it?
Can’t you see the disciples rolling their eyes and nudging each other as Peter proclaims, “Lord if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water!” And John leans in to Andrew and says, “What’s up with your brother?” And Bartholomew says, “Here we go again! Impetuous Peter can’t ever just shut up.”
Yet Jesus told Peter – “Come.”
And you have to ask why? What would that do for the kingdom of God? I’d like to do some crazy things that would be impossible but is it constructive? Are they helpful things? And are the necessary?
But maybe I have my calculations wrong. Maybe I’ve been seeing this from the wrong perspective. I’ve been living life from the point of view of one the other disciples. I need to see this story from Jesus’ perspective. One of my followers is so desperate to be near me, he’ll jump out of a boat in the middle of the storm just to follow me.
And I wonder now, have I been playing it safe with my life?
Have I been rolling my eyes at those who are willing to challenge the status quo for the sake of being near Christ? Have I been folding when I should be raising? Have I been counting the cost and fearing I’ve got too much to lose?
Maybe the message is this simple. Go for it. Take the risk. If you sink, Jesus will catch you. If you do the wrong thing, God will forgive you. But if your heart is for being near Christ – then go for it. Take the step over the side of whatever boat has been boxing you in and feel the rush of raging waters beneath your feet.
It’s time for our church to take another big risk. Every once in a while I start to think, “Maybe we should play it safe. It’s a tough economy. People are out of work.” And now more than ever I’m thinking – WHY NOT JUST DO IT!?! And I’m reminded of Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God. For those who come to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those that diligently seek Him.”
I hope you will join me in this step. I don’t know how it’s going to end, but I can at least show you how it’s going to begin. (Thank You Matrix).
Here’s to the Next Adventure.