FIRST-PERSON: Make life an adventure -- live by faith
EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) -- Megatransect! Sounds like Indiana Jones -- "Just returned from a megatransect of equatorial Africa searching for lost gold mines." Makes you want to see the movie.
Well, Indy never did a megatransect, but Michael Fay did it. He trekked through the last untouched jungle on earth. With only a few pygmy porters, machetes, a satellite phone, and hitchhiking leeches, Fay walked 2,000 miles in 15 months across the heart of Africa and emerged a changed man. His adventure is called a megatransect, a big survey.
An experienced explorer like Fay plans ahead and assembles enough resources to lower his fear level. There seems to be an inverse relationship between resources and fear -- the more resources we have, the less fear we experience.
We try to assemble enough resources around us -- insurance, money, cars, retirement plans and friends -- to take the contingencies out of life. But as we gain more and more control over life's possibilities, the dynamics of faith and adventure begin to disappear.
Africa sees more manifestations of God's power in its churches because often the people only have "blessed assurance." Americans have "blessed insurance." Ask yourself:
-- Do I live by faith?
-- Is my life an adventure -- trusting in God alone to meet my needs?
-- What role does fear of the unknown play in my life?
-- What would I be doing if I cast fear aside and began trusting God?
Setting out on decades of adventure, covering thousands of miles in unknown territory armed only with faith in God and His promises, the Christian life is the greatest adventure. Does that raise your fear level? Did God tell us He will supply everything we need in life? (Read Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:19.)
God knows what we'll need and when we'll need it. So, make life an adventure. With God guiding our steps and watching our back, what's to fear?
What adventure would you plan for yourself or your family if fear of the unknown weren't an issue? Start a new business? Develop a new skill, musical talent? Head for the mission field? Learn to increase your income now, devoting your senior years to service for Christ?
We all have unfulfilled dreams, yearnings put on the shelf. Does God want our dreams to come true? Starting something new sounds outlandish to some, but when you feel God is for it, do it in faith. Without faith, we cannot please God -- but with faith, we discover His reward (Hebrews 11:6).
Harvest these 5 fruits when you make life an adventure:
1. Discovery. Life is a process of discovery. God is unfathomable and so is the life He has created for us. But many act as if they hit bottom years ago.
2. Drive. We don't live up to our potential. Scientists say we're only utilizing 10 percent of our brain power. Why is the bar continually set higher in athletics, business and science? Because people are pushing their limits ... driving themselves.
3. Dependence. The Christian life is one of dependence -- first on God, and then on others in whom He has deposited resources for our journey. If you're not living dependently, you're not living the adventure.
4. Defeat. When failure happens, strength, gratitude, appreciation, renewed resolve and character can spring up. People who aim high fall far, but God will either catch you on the way down or patch you up when you hit bottom -- and you'll be a better life explorer.
5. Definition. At the gym we see who's "cut" -- who has sculpted his body so each sinew is taut and every muscle defined. We need Christians who are "cut" spiritually. They've cut away all the apathy and are looking for a spiritual megatransect to embark on. They know who God is and who they are -- and aren't afraid of anything.
What would you do differently tomorrow if fear of the unknown weren't an issue? If you know Jesus, you have all you need to set out on life's ultimate adventure -- living by faith! Don't let anything stand in your way.
Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
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This column has been approved by Turning Point for redistribution in Baptist state newspapers and in Townhall.com. For permission to reprint it, contact Myrna Davis at email@example.com.