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Beware - Adventure

Beware - Adventure

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Published by Andre
Jesus came to give us so much more than orthodox religion, dry information or boring routine! He never intended to produce nice, well-behaved people. No! What He offers is His own adventurous, even dangerous life. He has no desire to control or manipulate you, to limit or constrain you. His desire is simply to set you free to be what He dreamt you would be – an expression of His own limitless self – His image and likeness.
Jesus came to give us so much more than orthodox religion, dry information or boring routine! He never intended to produce nice, well-behaved people. No! What He offers is His own adventurous, even dangerous life. He has no desire to control or manipulate you, to limit or constrain you. His desire is simply to set you free to be what He dreamt you would be – an expression of His own limitless self – His image and likeness.

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Published by: Andre on Aug 23, 2012
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August 22, 2012
Andre Rabe

Beware - Adventure!

W

e’ve had a few comments from people, saying that it seems as if we are just having one big party. Following our travels and status updates seems to give the impression of one adventure after another.

Well, I have to admit, it has been one massive adventure! And adventure is what I want to speak about today. Jesus came to give us so much more than orthodox religion, dry information or boring routine! He never intended to produce nice, well-behaved people. No! What He offers is His own adventurous, even dangerous life. He has no desire to control or manipulate you, to limit or constrain you. His desire is simply to set you free to be what He dreamt you would be – an expression of His own limitless self – His image and likeness. So many (even sincere believers) miss this adventure because somehow we’ve bought into the idea that what we really want is comfort … and adventure sounds uncomfortably exciting. We think security and stability are basic human needs and surely those are mature pursuits compared to ‘adventure’ … sounds so childish. So let me just be as straightforward with you as I can and warn you: The life of Christ, the faith He lived by – which is available for you to live by, is much more likely to transform your life into a childlike adventure, than a seriously pious and boringly predictable life. In so many ways the abundant, adventurous life of Christ is the opposite of so many human ideals. This adventure is not comfort, but offers a reward

that will cause you to willingly go throughout the greatest discomfort. This adventure is not security, it involves risk and sometimes lots of it! This adventure is not stability, but rather disruption. Instead of the familiarity of routine, this adventure offers unknown dangers. Paul described part of his adventure as follows: “I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.” (2 Cor 11:23-27 MSG) … but then he also said: “These hard times are small potatoes compared to the good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.” (2 Cor 4:17) After hearing this, many people might wonder if they want this kind of life – the kind of life Jesus displayed so accurately – because so much of their lives have been occupied with pursuing security, stability and comfort. So many search for this comfort and security in stuff, possessions, thinking that if only I have the

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right house, a nice car etc. etc. then I’ll be secure and comfortable. Lets be honest, so many who pursue owning all this stuff, don’t realize that the stuff ends up owning them. Their time is not their own … their lives are not their own. Constantly working trying to pay for the stuff they have bought, many are realizing that instead of the comfort and stability it promised, all they have is …bondage to lifelong routine. Instead of owning stuff, they end up slaving away for the stuff that owns us. Many have sought security and found a measure of financial security. Many have pursued stability and comfort and have found a measure of that in gaining possessions. Many have avoided risk and the danger of adventure and instead settled for a form of security. However, the bottom line is this: many who at first thought they found comfort, security and stability, have later discovered that it is a life not worth living! “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:36 But there is a life which is both worth living and worth dying for. Yes, it takes courage; yes, it involves risk, sometimes more than what you are comfortable with, but Oh, it is worth it! Yes, you might have to let go of the pursuits that you thought would bring happiness, but the gain is out of all proportion. Jesus said it this way “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.” Luke 17:33 MSG Paul said it this way: “So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.” Rom 8:12-16 MSG Can you sense in those words, the energy, the vibrancy, the God kind of life that He wants to live through you? Now you might object and say: “…but you don’t know the kind of job I have, and one has to work to live. We need stuff, we need a place to stay, we need …” Now, I’m not advocating poverty. It is possible to enjoy these things without sacrificing your life for them. Paul once said that he discovered the secret of contentment, whether he abounded (did rather well) or abased (had some desperate needs). You see stuff in itself is not evil. In fact it is not comfort or security or stability or routine that is inherently bad for you. Rather, our definition of these qualities have been far too small and therefore we went searching for them in all the wrong places. In the adventurous life God prepared for you, there is a security in the midst of risk; an unshakable stability in the midst of disruption; peace in the midst of uncertainty and even comfort – the greatest comfort ever – in the midst of turmoil. So lets get back to that job of yours which you just mentioned. It is in the first place not your job that supplies, or keeps you from, the abundant life He has for you. There were people in Paul’s day that faced worse working conditions than yours – actual slavery. This is what Paul had to say to them: “Stay where you were when God called your name. Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your

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new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful “enslavement to God” you would never have dreamed of.”(1 Cor 7:20-22 MSG) So, the adventure begins right where you are. His faith will allow you to see the spectacular where others can only see the mundane. But, for some of you, this adventure involves change. This faith will enable you to see opportunities that no-one else sees. And so for some of you, it is time for change; time to quite the cushy job and do what Abba has been stirring in you. It’s going to take courage to face risks, to step into the unknown, but it really is worth it! Paul faced the same kind of excuses we hear today for “why my situation is so unique that I can’t enjoy the adventure He prepared”. Some people think: “if only I can meet the right partner, the love of my life, then I’ll be happy”, others think: “if only I can get rid of my partner, then I’ll be happy” Hear what Paul had to say to these people: “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. (1 Cor 7:17 MSG) There is a theme developing here, and the theme is this: It is not your situation, your circumstances, or anyone else that is preventing you from living the life He invested in you. Your adventure is staring you in the face – how long are you going to cling to the excuses, the familiar, the comfort and security of what you know. When will you throw off every weight and run with Him, letting Him experience this world through you and letting this world experience Him through you? God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

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