We have an obsession with being safe. People pay a fortune when building a public place in order to meet the various safety codes. Parents sometimes lurk over their children to make sure they do not come to harm. We can find ourselves hesitant to look for adventure because it may not seem very safe. We practically worship safety. There is another word for it though. Safety is comfortable. We want to be comfortable, and make are surroundings comfortable.
We often take this obsession with safety, and apply it to our view of God. We become obsessed with a God who is safe. It is a God that is our friend, lover, and doting father. It is the God that is all love. It is the God who is full of compassion and mercy. It is the God who would never lead us towards danger. It is the God who will do everything to make sure that we do not experience pain.
We are obsessed with safety. C.S. Lewis wrote about God, “Safe? Of course he isn’t safe, but he’s good.” This is such a unique concept to me. God is not safe, but he is good. Why am I so obsessed with wanting a God that is safe? Why do I only want to focus on the qualities of God that provide me with comfort?
What makes this even harder is that God is the one I am supposed to depend on completely. This is where the dependence becomes difficult. I am depending on a being that is full of power and might, and it is not just for show. The truth is do we really want a God that is just safe? Scripture makes it pretty clear that God is not safe.
God was not safe when he flooded the earth. He was not safe when he sent the Israelites into exile for disobeying him. He was not safe when he sent fire down from heaven to burn up an altar. He was not safe when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He was not safe when he had the walls of Jericho come crashing down.
A man of wrath would end there. I’m not much for wrath though, and so I know that there is more to it. God may not be safe, but He is also good. He was good when he acknowledged Noah’s righteousness, and spared him and his family. He was good when he allowed a way for his people to go back to their land after they humbled their hearts. He was good when he spared Lot and his family from the destruction of their city. He was good when he rescued Elijah from the queen. He was good when he spared Rahab and her family who lived in the very wall that He destroyed.
Do we really want a God who is completely safe? A God who is completely safe would not be able to defeat sin. A God who is completely safe would not have died in our place. A God who is completely safe would not be able to be the savior that we needed.
But this idea goes far beyond a God who shows his might and goodness in those events. It deals with you and me and our dependence on God. We are told that we are incapable to live this life on our own power, and this must rely on the one who has all the power, but that means we are putting our lives in the hands of one who isn’t safe.
Christianity is not a call to safety. It is not a call to comfort. It is a call to die to yourself. It is a call to take up your cross. It is a call to live a life that may put you in harm’s way. It is a call to danger. Did you ever think about that? Christian life is a call to danger. It is a call to danger because it is a call to the unexpected. It is the call to do whatever we are told to do. It is a call to stick a staff in sand in front of a sea. It is a call to pray to God to send down fire. It is a call blow trumpets at a wall. It is a call to expect the unexpected. It is a call to trust.
God is not safe. The Christian life is not safe. It is also full of wonder and beauty. Look at the life of Paul. He spent time in and out of prison for preaching the gospel. He had faced death for preaching the gospel, and yet he never regretted it. Instead he says that he has fought the good fight. He says that he has kept the faith. Paul understood that in the midst of danger there was life.
The Christian life is not safe, but it is life. It is the hardest thing you will do. It will be painful. It will mean getting out of your comfort zone. It will mean putting your trust in God. It will mean continuing to put your trust in Him even when it looks like He took you down the wrong path. The Christian life is not safe, but it is so good.
This blog is called utterly dependent. I strive to live that out in my life, and I strive to bring that theme back in my posts on a regular basis. This is perhaps the hardest part to that theme. The part that says not only must you depend on God, but you must do it knowing that you will no longer be living a life of safety. Many people never listen past that part, but if they did they would hear the rest. They would hear that it is also the only life worth living.