With this stuff having been on my mind for a few days, I went to Lifepoint tonight, and guess what Pastor Jeff was preaching about? The myth that the safest place to be is the center of God's will. Wonderfully coincidental, no? According to him, and of course, the scripture he cited, quite the opposite is true. (As a side note, much of what I say will be echoing what Jeff said, so I'm just gonna throw down a blanket citation here.) Jesus himself attests to the fact that in using us for his glory, God will put us in some darn uncomfortable situations. In John 16, Jesus explains some of the hardships his disciples will face for merely following him. In verses 1-4, Jesus says 1"All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you." He goes on to say in verse 33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Now if you are anything like myself, the first time you read over that, you didn't exactly get a lot of peace from it. I'm not to keen on the idea of people wanting me dead, you know? I don't like to rock the boat. The problem is that oftentimes, Jesus doesn't just want us to rock the boat, but to get the heck out and walk. God doesn't put us in safe places, but he keeps us safe amidst danger, and makes us dangerous.
Now, does living in the center of God's will, and living outside of our safety bubble, mean going about in the most dangerous places, being persecuted and killed like the disciples? Not necessarily. Living dangerously for God does not necessitate martyrdom. In the case of more simple people (and I'm pretty simple), it can merely mean trusting God and taking bold steps of faith outside of your safety bubble. It can mean stepping up to a leadership role, or playing worship music on campus, or simply overcoming my social awkwardness for a minute and speaking to somebody new, and over time possibly helping them get to know God. So as my little unorganized spewing of thoughts here comes to a close, here are my summarizing thoughts: God is our parachute. He will keep us safe in the most dangerous situations, so it is not our responsibility to live safely. We don't need the cushy job, or the "nice" house in the "nice" neighborhood. He will provide; he will catch us. We are just called to take that bold step of faith right out of the plane. And then, there's always Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."