I have often said that following Jesus is not for the faint of heart. Generally I’ve spoken about this in terms of the gritty, sometimes dangerous, consequences of being a follower of Jesus. In numerous countries around the world, following Jesus could easily cost you your life. Even in the West, declaring you are a disciple will often be met with sneers and derision. But there is another way that dedicating oneself to Jesus is not for the timid. He will often lead you to places that are far outside your comfort zone. To follow Jesus with all your heart will require great faith and will surely involve great risk.
If you claim to be a follower of Christ and aren’t regularly stepping beyond the bounds of what is safe and comfortable for you, you may want to make certain you are still walking in His footsteps. Throughout His life, Jesus consistently went where others would not go. He defied tradition and custom by associating with the outcast, the criminal, the diseased, the poor, and the sick. No person was beyond His reach and no area was off limits. I can only imagine the discomfort of the apostles as they tagged along. Surely this was not the mission for which they thought they had signed up!
It’s the same for us today. Most of us were sold a “religion” of peace, comfort, and perhaps even prosperity. It’s not the gospel of the Bible of course, but it is the version that has been adopted by Western culture. We have been sold a bill of goods. Following Jesus is neither safe nor comfortable. We are called to be His ambassadors in the darkest places on earth; so much for hiding behind our manicured lawns and picket fences. The good news is that with faith and risk comes the opportunity for great adventure!
Jesus’ disciples never knew where they would go next. Imagine their amazement with every new miracle, their fear when the crowds got a little heated, and ultimately their horror as they watched the crucifixion of their Lord. There was nothing safe, ordinary, or predictable about their lives. They left that behind and chose to follow Jesus instead. As long as we are clutching to what is safe and familiar, we will never be able to walk in His footsteps. We were created for more than this.
A life of certainty and security is available to a very small percentage of people on this planet. It’s a trap and a diversion that lulls us to sleep and prevents us from becoming the people we were created to be. People who do not risk or exercise faith will never fully utilize the talents God has bestowed upon them. A safe life is a mediocre life and there is nothing mediocre about God. We glorify Him when we risk and trust on His behalf. Don’t settle for a life of comfort. Don’t buy the lie. Dare to risk; step out in faith and utilize every gift and passion God has placed inside you.