(Note: this is a continuation of chapter 1 of the Irreligious Followers book I am working on. The first part of this chapter is here and then here.)
The Predictable Way or the Jesus Way
We often love Jesus but, really, we love even more our comfortable religious boxes, our titles, our roles, and our predictable programs and routines. It’s easier to stay in the boat of religion than to get out and follow Him. We might fail. We might look foolish. We might get all wet. We might not like the change.
But one thing is sure: if we don’t get out of the boat there is no chance that we will ever walk on water.
The life of the follower is still, and always will be, a life of faith. Faith will always involve forsaking some comforts, even religious ones, in order to step out.
If you are going be a trapeze artist, you have to let go of one bar in order to fly through the air and catch the other bar. In Hebrews 11 we see that people of faith acted in a way that was contrary to the comforts and sensibilities of others. They went somewhere, built something, sacrificed, chose to suffer with others, gave something up… there was risk and action to their faith. They let go of what they could grip to grasp hold of an experience with God.
Followers of Jesus are regaining the courage to risk when God is speaking. We no longer want to settle for play-it-safe, cookie-cutter religion that has no life, teeth, focus, or power to it.
I know risk and faith can be used by irresponsible people to do irresponsible things. Quitting a job, for example, because “God told me to” could be an act of the irresponsible not wanting to grow up. But, on the other hand, let’s not write something off just because it offends our rules of comfort and sensibilities. I have a young friend who recently did this very thing. Honestly, I don’t know if God has spoken to him clearly or not. But in our play-it-safe world, I’m excited to see what will happen and I’m excited that he is doing his level best, today, to follow Jesus.
It’s almost impossible to see God-things happen while we are playing it safe.
Most churches are playing it safe. Many Christians are playing it safe. Yes, risk can sometimes bring with it the element of danger. But, then again, not risking when faith calls us forward could be even more dangerous!
The awakening, audacious followers of Jesus are world changers because they are compelled to act according to their faith. And where faith is engaged, God is revealed.