Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Danger Zone

I thought it was quite appropriate that Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" was on the radio tonight, just before I sat down to write this post.
"What if we began to look at the design of God as the most dangerous option before us?  What if the center of God's will is in reality the most unsafe place for us to be?"  -Radical p. 165
"Are we willing, as the first disciples were, to be the first to go into danger and possibly even to die there in order that those who come behind us might experience the fruit of our sacrifice?" p. 165
"The more our lives are conformed to his, the more we will receive what he received in this world." p. 167
"Indeed, God knows every detail of our lives, and when we step out in faith to follow him, he will show us that our greatest security is not found in the comforts we can manufacture in this world but in the faithful provision of the only one who knows our needs and the only one who is able to meet our needs in every way." p. 174
"'Before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God...and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man.'" quoting C.T. Studd p. 178
"But in my heart, I want to change my world- more than I want a husband and more than I want comfort. I need...to tell others about Jesus." letter from Genessa Wells p. 180
Those are the quotes and passages that stood out the most to me this week. 

Danger. Change. Risk.

It is ever-more apparent that Christianity does not equal comfort.  The question is, do I live my life as if that's true?

I hear stories about missionaries who are killed, martyred for their faith. I wonder if I could go there knowing the risks to my life.  Yet, I think of all the people who tell me they could never do my job. My response is that you never know what you are capable of doing until you are put in that situation.  I may have a skill set that better enables me to do my job but if I worked elsewhere, say as a missionary, I could adapt and I know God would give me the strength.  It ups the ante when I consider that my life might be the stakes.  But when I keep an eternal perspective, when I focus on gaining heaven instead of losing out on an imagined future, I think that I could risk it all. I'm not saying it would be easy or that I wouldn't be at all nervous.  I would definitely be praying for the peace that passes all understanding!

Right now though, I'm not asked to be a missionary. I'm not asked to risk my life at my current job. However, we are all called to "risk it all" for God. It just happens to look different depending on our circumstances. 
  Maybe the danger includes volunteering somewhere that doesn't always feel safe.  Where the relationships might be messy.  Stepping outside my comfort zone.  (Putting the final details on this. A little scared...and maybe that's how I know it's the right thing to do.)

Maybe the danger means reevaluating I spend my money and putting a cap on my income. Doing with less so that others can have more. Relying on God to provide for the unplanned expenses that life often throws at us.

Maybe the danger is boldly sharing faith with people that have known me for years or that I've just met.

Maybe the danger is wanting to change the world...wanting people to know Christ- more than I want to get married and have a family.  Those words hurt to write because I can't say I'm ready to lay down those dreams.  But how on earth do they stack up to people perishing without eternal life?

So much of this chapter is why I moved to Nashville in the first place.  I was not dependent on God back in Illinois, to put it bluntly.  I took a step of faith and God has provided.  Was it dangerous to move here?  It probably depends on how you define danger.  There has been a lot of the unexpected, a lot more change than I want to face again any time soon, and a lot of adjustment and figuring things out. 

But it has been so worth it.

God has stretched and grown me.  I can see how He is at work, even now, building my community, showing me who to reach out to and how He will use me.  I don't know all the details but I know I am meant to be here. I want to bring glory to His name through a life that is open to danger and change and risk. 

As each moment approaches, I pray I will find out what I am capable of and that God will find it pleasing in His sight.

This post is part of the Radical Read-Along hosted by the fantastic Marla Taviano.

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, any purchase you make supports this site. 

5 comments:

  1. Oooooooh, this is good, Leigh. I really like all the examples you give of potential "danger zones." I'm loving how God is replacing my fear with joy, bit by bit, as I step out in faith.

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  2. i appreciate hearing your thoughts as you read this book. i love to see the progression in thought and pray that God moves mightily in you and through you, by you being faithful in your job, and anything other activity you venture to do. I'm with you in prayerful agreement on this.

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  3. Great post!
    "Stepping outside my comfort zone. (Putting the final details on this. A little scared...and maybe that's how I know it's the right thing to do.)" I think there is definitely truth to this. Sometimes the things that scare us are the things that are most worth doing.

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  4. Thank you for a dose of perspective, Leigh. Sometimes I zero in on the amazing, daring things others are doing for Christ and freeze in fear that he might ask me to do the exact same thing. You reminded me that my danger zone will not necessary look like Elizabeth Elliot's or anyone else's, for that matter!

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  5. @Marla, it's wonderful how joy comes along after we take those steps of faith. Thank you again for hosting this Read-Along!

    @Doug, I hope you'll pick up a copy soon. I'd love to know your thoughts!

    @Casi, I think you're right. Scary=Go for it!

    @Natalie, I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by other people's Big Stories and wonder how or if you could ever do that. We're called to live faithfully wherever we're at and to still take risks, even if they "pale in comparison."

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