What is Adventure?
Adventure. What comes to mind when you hear the word adventure? Death defying swings on a rope across a canyon? Running through an unfamiliar forest to find your way back to civilization? Or running through a city with the cure in your hands, the clock ticking down, and sick people at the end of your journey?
This is what Hollywood tells us adventure is. You know what? Hollywood is right. (on this.) Adventure is the stuff that gets your heart moving. Adventure has the element of danger. It has the sense of promise and despair floating in the air together. When we think of “fun” we often mean adventure. Water park slides, roller-coasters, bungee jumping, sky-diving, etc. Things that thrill us. If you could add a pinch of purpose and a dash of honor to that roller-coaster ride you’d have TRUE adventure… Just like Indiana Jones hunting down the Lost Ark.
Life is not a problem to solve, but an adventure to live. ~John Eldredge
How Does That Relate To Me?
Have you ever thought about your life as an adventure? Let’s face it, many of us have not. We get up, go through the routines, come home, go through more routines, and crash in the bed exhausted. We actually feel further from adventure by living like this. We do this to reward ourselves with a few hours on the weekend to really live. You know… watch football, hang out with friends, go to a movie… real adventure.
Now that my bout with sarcasm is over I’ll tell you my little secret. My life IS an adventure. I’ve been a Christian for a long time. Although I gave my life to God at age 12, I didn’t begin living as a Christian for many years afterwards. In fact, I lived in defiance of many of the Christian principles. Sometimes unknowingly and sometimes not-so-unknowingly.
When I decided [and I mean I made an active decision] to follow Christ my life became an adventure. I know it sounds hokey. I can’t even believe I just wrote that, but it’s true. My view of the world changed. Many of the “challenges” I faced didn’t appear to be adventures at first, but in hind-sight they were. Countless times I was challenged with obstacles in my life. Tough career choices, decisions about how to support our growing family, and many others. I began to realize I couldn’t do life alone. Everywhere I turned came up short of what I needed to get through the challenges including myself. My only place to turn was Jesus. I learned that it isn’t one decision to follow Christ that we must make. We have to constantly make active decisions to follow Jesus. Even in our thought-life. We must even take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. I learned that this adventure called life comes at a price. If we want true freedom, Freedom in Christ, then we have to fight daily for it.
Where The Battle Begins
When God first created man, man was both spiritually alive and naturally alive. Adam and Eve received a command from God. “Do not eat of this tree or you will surely die.” They did not fight the flesh that said, “How beautiful this fruit is. It must be tasty.” Adam did not fight the world (others around – Eve) that said, it looks good and I’m eating some so you should too.” They did not shut the devil down when he instigated the whole thing by lying and saying, “You will not surely die. Besides, it’s good for knowing things.” Nope. They chose not to fight to keep God’s command and what happened? They sinned and died. They didn’t die naturally yet, but they immediately died spiritually. Their sin or separation from God was a choice that they made. As a result they lost the sense of true freedom of being spiritually alive with God.
From that day on, man-kind was born naturally alive and spiritually dead. Then because of what Jesus did in His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension we have the gift by His grace to receive spiritual life again. We may be born again, spiritually. That is definitely Good News… in fact, it is THE Good News. That covers our spiritual birth ever so briefly, but what about our natural selves?
As Christians we are dying to our old, natural selves each day and becoming more like Christ. We see ourselves being made new again and again with every passing day. When we follow Christ, we aren’t just taking a stroll to watch pretty fall leaves change colors. He’s guiding us through unnavigable terrain. He’s taking us back through the gorges of our mistakes. He carries us when we cannot walk across the burning lava of grief. He helps us cross the canyons of doubt and shame. He puts a sword in our hands to fight the demons of our past and conquer ourselves for His glory. He’s taking us on an adventure… Our lives.
What’s Your Adventure?
Are your eyes opened? If not, you are safe. Shrouded in your view of ONLY the natural world. You don’t have to feel bad or good about anything. You are free to live without God. He has granted you that. Or have you chosen to truly follow Christ? Not just with your lips on Sunday mornings or bumper stickers. I mean in your EVERYDAY life. I mean even when it’s so scary you want to cry. I mean when you are about to look the other way when you see that person steal. Or when you are about to spread that juicy story about your co-worker and you have to ask Jesus for the courage to shut down the rumor.
Yes, those are little adventures too. Are you ready to face those down as well as the big challenges in your life? Are you willing to turn to Jesus then too? Are you willing to grab that rope from HIm and swing to the other side of the hell you’re facing? If you are ready all you need to do is give your heart to Him. Profess it. And begin at your beginning.
Ask God this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I honor you as my sovereign Lord and I want to follow you. Be gentle with your servant and show me the way. I praise you for loving me and I thank you for allowing me along on this adventure. I give all that I know of me to all that I know of you.”
Be brave. He’s got you in the palm of His hand.