A lot of people like to do this thing that we call “playing it safe.” We go to the places where we feel safe, do the things we feel comfortable doing, spend time with the people we like, and say the words we think people won’t judge us for. We like staying safe and comfortable.
When applying for internships this past spring, I wondered what the will of God was. What about the church in Florida or the one in North Carolina? Maybe the church in Georgia, near where I grew up, would be better? Or what about that church in Memphis? As I agonized over what I thought the “will of God” was, I realized something.
The will of God is not about living in a certain place or doing a certain set of tasks or going along some certain career path. Being in the will of God is about loving God, loving people, and enjoying His Grace and the place where we presently are.
To many people, this probably sounds like heresy, but really, if you think about it, no matter where we may trod – whether it be through the fire, the desert, or the oasis – God will be right there beside us. He never leaves us. He never abandons us.
Where we are, there God is also.
I think we are controlled by fear. We are terrfied of doing the wrong thing, afraid of screwing of up. We don’t take risks because the consequences are unknown. And every day, we live in bondage to this fear. This fear keeps us from being free. We don’t tell our friend that we are hurting, because we are afraid that she will push us away. We are afraid to go talk to the homeless man, because we don’t know how he will react. We don’t travel, because we don’t understand the culture and know if the area is “safe.”
But if we actually believe that Christ is beside us no matter what, we are free to take risks, be honest and vulnerable, and do new and crazy things, knowing and trusting that Christ will be right beside us, giving us what we need to get through.
Some people never take a leap of faith and choose to cling to their fears. I’ll get hurt. She won’t like me. He’ll do something mean. Something bad could happen. And they never live a fearlessly free life. But Christ is bigger than all of that. If he can calm the storm and conquer Hell, then I think He can handle everything and everyone we ever encounter.
God created everything good. The created this world not just for Him to enjoy but for also us to enjoy. It’s easy for us to be comfortable but it takes a leap of faith for us to fully explore the people and places within this earth-sized playground. It takes a leap of faith for us to be willing to be open, honest and vulnerable with both friends and strangers. It takes a leap of faith to trust Jesus with not just spiritually but also mentally and physically. Taking this leap of faith is what it means to live fearlessly free. Why? Because when people start being fearlessly free, people also start seeing Jesus more and more.
So my challenge to you is this: live fearlessly free. Embrace every moment you are given. Love people unconditionally, with the expectation that you won’t be hurt. Try new things, things that people would never expect a “safe you” to do. Run around, drive around, and fly around. Travel all over the world and see new things that will give you a different perspective on life. Laugh a lot. Seek Grace from God, trusting He will give it and show it to you. Show through your actions and share through your words the beauty of the Gospel to everyone you meet. Fear not, the Lord is with you.
(And heck, if you die living fearlessly free, you just get to go hang out with Jesus for the rest of eternity).