By Dan Beaty Living Truth; September, 1996; Volume 3 issue3
In an effort to sell soft drinks, advertisers have attempted to associate their products with exciting and dangerous sports such as skiing, parachuting, and mountain climbing. The implication is that real men love to face death for the sheer thrill of it. There should be no doubt that the powerful soft drink companies of America know what they are doing. Before they invest millions in such ads, be assured that the techniques they use have been thoroughly researched and tested.
The fact that humans enjoy the thrill of risk taking is well established. The numbers of large amusement parks multiplying all over the country owe much of their success to the exploitation of daring rides, that give one a sense of life-threatening danger. The millions invested in the making of action-adventure movies, and the billions earned by them also confirm our love for excitement. For a few dollars anyone can pretend to be a super hero or heroin while comfortably snuggled in the safety of their living room or a neighborhood theater.
At the same time, far too many of us tend to shrink from the greatest challenge of them all -- life itself! Even with all of the inner drives that nature has provided for us, we still have a habit of shrinking back when faced with the slightest appearance of any personal risk. This could possibly be attributed to the overdevelopment of another natural instinct -- self preservation.
Most everyone wants to love and to be loved, but too often this wonderful experience is prevented by other very strong emotions. There is one in particular that is related to self- preservation, and that is fear. When out of balance, these survival instincts can distort our thinking and actually deprive us of love, intimacy and many other important needs. We have seen how the fear of becoming hurt has caused an unreasonable number of failed relationships in our culture and time. Another fear, that of losing personal security has often driven people to greed, power and excessive materialism.
The greatest Teacher of all history has given us the solution to every problem faced by mankind. He understands us better than we could ever understand ourselves. Yet after 2,000 years, we still have difficulty trusting in His wisdom. Never had any man spoken like this man. His Words penetrated into the depths of our being, challenging us to trust and believe in things that could not always be seen and touched. He reached down inside men and ignited that inner light which had long been a dying ember!
By His wisdom, compassion, love and truth He intended to change the world! Even many of those who opposed Him were weakened by the love in His eyes. Could it be the people sensed that somehow He knew a secret? Do you suppose their hearts told them that this One had actually solved the riddle of life?
In a short three and a half years this man had given theologians centuries of homework. Ages of religious debate have followed His life, death, burial and resurrection, but still so few have gotten the point. Jesus came that we all could have LIFE and that MORE ABUNDANTLY! His words, and testimony were given to instill in us the faith to receive and walk in that life.
How is it that we became so preoccupied with dissecting His Words and those of His Apostles, that we have forgotten the reality of Him? If we could only give Him the opportunity to speak to us now, I am certain He would be absolutely overjoyed to share His Secret with us again!
Before reading any further, I would like to ask you who are reading this to take a few moments to wait before the Lord. By this I mean to become quiet and submissive to Him, allowing His Peace to pervade your thoughts. If you can begin to trust in His Person and grace, you might very well hear His Voice speaking very softly and clearly to your inner being. Take as long as you can and as often as you can to get to really know Him. Only then can the reality of His teachings and commandments have their full meaning for you.
This feeble effort of writing and sharing by way of the printed page has an unusually ambitious goal. Part of that goal is to help all of us recover the true mystery, wonder, and adventure of Life In Jesus. Don't laugh. This is serious. Anyone who joins in this ambitious undertaking could possibly be put in great jeopardy! Think of what happened to His first disciples! When one sets out to change the world, he might find that the world does not want to be changed! But even simple fishermen and tax collectors have been converted into revolutionaries after spending time with Jesus!
Do you want to live on the edge? Do you want to forge ahead towards a new frontier? Do you want to experience the kind of risk-taking that has real purpose and meaning? Jesus can fill you with the courage to face life and all of its challenges with confidence. He will show us how to lose our lives in order to find them. From Him we can learn and experience the true joy of a sacrificial love that is free from fear! The bonding and knitting between the participators that follows will bring a satisfaction many have never known. Then together we can all experience a greater union through which to accomplish the exploits of God!
It is time to stop splashing our toes in the water. Modern Christianity seems pressured to give us just enough of Jesus to get by. It will never work. We must be BAPTIZED into Him! It is okay! Just jump in! He will not let you drown. Just keep your eyes on Him and allow your heart to become filled with His Glory and Grace!