What would it look like to live as though Jesus could return at any moment? What would it look like to live a life fully surrendered to him withholding nothing? What would our world look like if Jesus was Lord and King over all? How different would our lives be if we lived the way the Bible prescribes?
Our Western Christian lives have become so safe, free of intense or life—threatening persecution and comfortable, yet are we really living? When I read the stories in the Bible, they endured so much hardship, yet it seems as though they were also so much more awake than I am.
We read books and watch epic stories about characters becoming heroes, yet heroes are not made in easy times; heroes are those who overcome oppression, challenges and hardship. We want to be heroes, but we are unwilling to pay the price.
Life as a missionary
Could someone do what I do without God? I try to ask myself if I'm living in such a way that requires God to show up; to live in a way that welcomes risk; to live by faith in God and not by the sight (or circumstances) I see around me.
Before the ease of transport and travel, life was so much more about taking risks. Missionaries would board boats to sail to an unknown land, knowing they may never see their loved ones in this lifetime. Men went into bloody battles knowing the person standing next to them may not make it back.
They were willing to sacrifice, to give it all for the sake of Jesus and the spread of the Gospel; they knew the cost of their sacrifice, but to them there was no cost too high to pay for the love of their Saviour.
The example of David
In 2 Samuel, chapter 24, King David is commanded to build an altar to the Lord. After arriving in the land, someone offers him all the animals and materials he needs for the altar and offering free of charge, but David quickly turns down the offer and replies, "No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing."
Throughout the book of Psalms, you realise that King David saw the beauty of God. There was something He saw in the personhood of God that he was addicted to and could never seem to get enough of. He was enamoured by God's beauty and lived in such a way that showed God was worth everything to him; God was more than worthy of any price David needed to pay to obey and honour God.
Yearning for more
There is something deep inside the human spirit that desires to live for someone or something worthy of sacrifice. We were created to live for a story bigger than ourselves and to die for a worthy cause.
So many young men are being recruited into armies of the enemy because something inside of them is attracted to the idea of being a part of a bigger story requiring sacrifice; and sadly, we as the Church are not offering this kind of life. Suicide bombers can be found everywhere because people are willing to die and sacrifice themselves for a worthy cause or person.
The older I get, the more I seem to be unwilling or not interested in doing things that scare me. I am more and more comfortable with being comfortable. This, in itself concerns me, so I try to do something every day that scares me. I never want to get too comfortable in my temporary life here on earth that I am unwilling to take risks for the eternal kingdom of God.
One of the reasons I enjoy working with young people so much is because they are not afraid to abandon everything and take risks; to do things that scare them and live life to the full (not all risks being beneficial, but they seem to learn that along the way).
The risk is worth it
Every time I get a glimpse of Jesus, I am more convinced he is so much more worthy than any sacrifice I could make. Jesus initiated everything and sacrificed all to be with us, now he beckons us to follow his example and live lives of reckless abandon to him; lives requiring sacrifice and risk, but also lives full of adventure and overcoming hardship; lives where heroes are made.
How will your story end? Are you willing to take a risk?
Laurinda is a missionary at Youth with a Mission in Brisbane where she leads a discipleship program for young adults. On her day off you can find her hiking up a mountain or swinging in a hammock.
Laurinda Rapp's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/laurinda-rapp.html