I took my kiddos to a wildlife park yesterday, just south of Puyallup, WA. They love going and looking at the various animals. The sleeping creature above is a grizzly bear and my son was fascinated with it’s beauty and size. Malachi would point and say, “Dada, dada, [something I didn’t understand]. Dada, dada]. He was excited and wanted to make sure I was seeing what he was seeing.
Of course we would never purposely get this close to a grizzly in the wild, but here we can get up close and personal. It’s safe and comfortable. We can sit back and enjoy the view with no danger of losing our lives. If by some supernatural chance, though, we suddenly found ourselves in this bear’s enclosure, our sense of comfort and safety would be gone in a heart beat. My guess is that we would be quickly moving to find a safe place; hoping not to wake the sleeping beast.
Many try to treat Christianity in much the same way; look at it from a safe distance. Don’t get too up close and personal, for to get too involved is to risk “losing your life”. Many want to be safe and maintain their life so they keep Christianity caged up and show it off to others. When it is not convenient, you lock the “animal” away in it’s cage, but Jesus will not be locked away.
I saw a quote recently by C.S. Lewis that said, “If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” There’s a lot of truth to that. Following Jesus means that our old life is crucified with him but we are raised to new life with him. It also means that we are not the same.
If you’re comfortable in your faith, then something is wrong. We are not of the world and the world hates that and therefore will make things uncomfortable for you. If you’re comfortable in your faith then you are of the world and your religion is locked away behind a “protective barrier”.
The Good News, though, is that discomfort in your faith is a holy discomfort, meant to sanctify you and bring you closer to God through Jesus Christ. To seek comfort in religion is to worship the world. So don’t lock away your faith but rather jump into the wild enclosure with Jesus and embrace the “unsafe” discomfort. Do not allow the world to sell you a comfortable bill of goods. Embrace the discomfort and draw closer to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Pastor -|—