Thursday, 4 June 2009

Embarking on the adventure

I've been reflecting recently on how certainty is often considered uncool at best and arrogant at worst when talking about spiritual issues. The Bible speaks of confidence, of certainty and of being sure - yet to many people, this appears to be a boring turn-off.

Many people are suspicious of confidence. They're suspicious partly because it sounds as though it could be dull. We are surrounded by seemingly heroic people who are on a spiritual quest into the unknown – and Christians say, “We know.” And it sounds like if you become a Christian you’ll never going to go on an adventure again; it sounds like you’re just going to close down your mind and resign yourself to a cosy future with cardigans and slippers and just a small little world.

Actually, it is not knowing that is paralysing. The present economic climate is a great example of this. Whilst there is so much financial insecurity, it's very difficult to make long term plans. It's difficult to embark on an adventure when it feels there's nothing solid to build upon.

Similarly, as long as we are not sure about God, there is a kind of paralysis. We never live lives which are completely hung on the gospel, because we're not sure. We’re not quite sure we want to put all our eggs in his one basket. We feel as those we need to keep our options open; so we live a bit for Christ and a bit for other things as well. And when this is the situation, the Christian life seems very average.

In contrast, when the Bible writers say 'be sure' (and, as I've shown before, the Bible writers want us to be sure), we need to realise that being sure is not the end of adventure, but rather being sure is the beginning of adventure, where the Christian life can really take off! Life knowing the God that made you and redeemed you can really take off in all its richness and joy, because you know you can hang your life on Jesus and your death on Jesus. Hanging your life on Jesus means that you will serve and sacrifice and find joy in a whole range of unexpected places. The adventure really begins.

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