Saturday, January 18, 2014
Three approaches to living ...
So, then, what can we do with this life God has given us?
When it comes to living our lives for God, there are three approaches we can choose from:
The TENTATIVE TREKKER - This is the person who approaches life with the attitude of, "It depends ..." If things are safe, easy, cheap, personally rewarding, then we might step out; but if they are difficult, risky, costly, or don't directly benefit us, the Tentative Trekker will likely stay in a comfort zone.
The Tentative Trekker is described by Solomon in the following way ...
"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest," Ecclesisastes 11:4.
You can be so tentative that you fail to live as you trek through life.
The FABULOUSLY FAITHFUL - This is the person who takes a full measure of life in Christ and goes all in. Jesus equates living life as a journey on the Way as His disciple, and describes a wise follower as someone who does this ...
"But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, 'There's the person who started that building and couldn't afford to finish it!' Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him. And if he can't, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own," Luke 14:28-33.
When you take a truthful look at life, you'll discover that the things that are important are bigger than you are; they will require Christ in you. And seeing that truth, the Fabulously Faithful goes "all in" on trusting Christ for all they will need to complete building a life that is both fulfilling and God honoring.
The FEARLESS FRONT MAN - The last option is the "Fabulously Faithful" disciple on spiritual steroids. This is the person who pours out his or her life to make opportunities to glorify God. The Fearless Front Man lives life as "the tip of the spear" for advancing the kingdom of God.
This kind of character is represented in the life of Jonathan, the son of King Saul. The king found his immediate forces whittled down to 600 men facing a bigger, meaner foe among the Philistines. While Saul approached things conventionally, Jonathan decided to see what he could accomplish within God's will with no more assistance than that of his armor bearer. The setting begins in 1 Samuel 13:15, and in 1 Samuel 14:1 we read:
"One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, 'Come on, let's go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.' But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing."
Verses 2-10 tell how Jonathan made his way to the enemy outpost, and then we pick up with verse 11 ...
"When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, 'Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!' Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, 'Come on up here, and we'll teach you a lesson!' 'Come on, climb right behind me,' Jonathan said to his armor bearer, 'for the Lord will help us defeat them!' So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind. They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre," 1 Samuel 14:11-14.
The rest of the story is told in the verses that follow in the same chapter, but it was Jonathan acting as a Fearless Front Man, through the power of God, that put the enemy on the run.
So how are you choosing to journey through life: as a Tentative Trekker? Or as a Fabulously Faithful disciple? Or are you a Fearless Front Man for Jesus?