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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There Is No Security in Safety

Many of us have watched in horror as a coach calls for the "prevent" defense. This is the defense that supposedly makes sure that the other team never gets behind the defense so that they are able to score a quick touchdown. We, the fans,  think that the only thing the "prevent" defense does is that it prevents our team from winning. The regular defense is more familiar to the players. The "prevent" defense puts an image of the other team's score in your players' thoughts. The "prevent" defense is one of fear. The "prevent" defense is more often a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is no security in merely working for safety.

Many times God's people will call a "prevent" defense. They will work for safety rather than stepping out on faith to do what God wants. They will be satisfied with safety rather than faith. They will accept a good effort rather than a committed life. The problem is that their is no security in safety.

Most of the churches who are dying today have a story of safety rather than faith. They may have begun by faith but soon afterwards began to work for safety. They did not build or start an ambitious program because of what might happen negatively. Someone stood in a business meeting or an elders meeting and pointed out the possibility for failure. Fear set in and nothing was done. For a long time it may appear to have been the right thing to do. Even now, as the church is dying, no one is connecting the dots. They do not see that their lack of faith has put them in the position they are in. They just want things back like they once were when the church was full of people. They don't realize that filling of the church came because people acted on faith to begin the church. Their faith and obedience, which stood up in the face of safety, made the church grow. 

This is as true for the individual as it is for the church. Staying in the job you hate when God is calling you to do something else is the most dangerous thing you can do. It looks like safety but it contains no security. It looks like you are leaving a sure thing to go after a maybe. However, stepping out in faith is the only security you can ever find.

God's will does not always lead us to the land of prosperity. It will lead us into His presence. It will lead us to His protection. It will make us grow. It may bring us to a place where we must sacrifice but still brings us into abundance. This abundance may not be money. It is the full life that the Lord has wanted us to live. It is the removal of our anxieties. It is the only secure place we can ever be.

No one says, "He played it safe," as a compliment to us at the end of our lives. Safety is the widest road to mediocrity. It is one which will leave you forgotten soon after you are buried. Who would want these words on his tombstone: "He always played it safe?"

Faith is the only security we can have. Faith is hearing from God and acting on it as God directs. 

There is no other place I want to be. I want to be faithful. It is the only secure place I know. What about you?

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