Covenant Weekly - September 26, 2017
September 26, 2017
I'm currently spending some time slowly working through Psalm 119 in the mornings. The following comes out of some time spent reflecting on Psalm 119:109.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. (Ps. 119:109)
Safe v Holy
So often we want to be "safe". We can't travel there - it wouldn't be safe. We can't walk in that neighbourhood - it wouldn't be "safe". Don't play with that, talk to them, or climb on those - it isn't safe.
When I read the Bible, staying "safe" isn't a priority for men and women of faith. Yes, the Psalms are full of asking God to protect someone and keep them safe, but that is because they are regularly taking "[their] life in [their] hands" and putting themselves in contexts where they aren't safe and need divine protection. But safety is not their pursuit. Obedience - yes. Wisdom - yes. Courage - absolutely. Playing it safe - nope!
Consider some of what God called people to do:
- Moses - Go back to Egypt where you are wanted for murder to lead God's people.
- Joshua - Lead God's people into the land filled with ones who seem like giants.
- Gideon - Go into battle with only 300 men.
- Daniel - Face the lions.
- Esther - Risk your neck approaching the king without his invitation.
- Mary - Accept an unwed, teenage pregancy.
- Disciples - Go preach the message of Jesus to a world that already killed him and will come after you.
The way of Jesus never promises to be safe - in the conventional definition of the word. Certainly we are secure in both the relationship we have with God and in our eternity to come. But we aren't safe. We are invited into a life of holiness characterized by bold love, integrity, and peace that will very likely lead to us facing mocking, criticism, ostricization, and - for many Jesus followers in our world - physical persecution. It is an adventure that promises far more than playing it safe will ever provide.
Lord God, help me to live the way of Jesus, who - because of his love - gave up safety for the cross. Help me to live open to your adventure, accepting security in you as enough. Help me pursue a holiness that looks like Jesus and all that comes with that, rather than settling for safety.