God never designed life to be boring. He never intended for his kids to live a meaningless or insignificant existence. He created life to be epic. From our first breath to our last heartbeat, life is meant to be wondrous, an adventure and journey filled with challenge and joy. Boring is not in God’s vocabulary.
If that’s true (and it is), then why do so many live lives of mediocrity? Why do some wander through life with little, if any, clue about what it looks like to live the “abundant life” Jesus promised (John 10:10)? Why is it that many only experience adventure vicariously through mindless hours of reality TV? Is that the reality God planned for us?
I know what some of you are thinking, “Not everyone longs for adventure! Most of us are content to live normal lives without the need for adrenaline. Thank you very much.”
I understand. But I need you to know that I’m not suggesting that we all become adrenaline junkies. You don’t have to climb a mountain or jump out of a plane to experience God’s adventure for your life. You don’t need to buy a motorcycle (though they are fun). You don’t have to move to Africa and become a missionary. You don’t even need to leave your home to know his life in epic proportions.
The secret to living an epic life is simple: Learn to say “yes” to God and be willing to take whatever risks are necessary to follow him.
It’s in our human nature to say to God, “No thanks!” or “Not now!” or “Yes, but . . .” in a feeble attempt to avoid risk. It’s not typically normal for us to step outside of our comfort zones and into the unknown. When given the opportunity to either stay put and hunker down or to step out and go for it, we drift toward immobility because of fear.
But what if . . .
What if an adventure of epic proportions is waiting for you? What if there is a life planned by the Father that goes way beyond your expectations or imagination? What if you are just one powerful moment away from experiencing more life and more of God than you have ever dreamt possible?
I want to encourage you to ask “What if?” and to inspire you to take more leaps of faith as you learn to trust in God and his great purposes for you. By the way, leaps of faith are not foolish acts of stupidity. They are choices you make to respond to God’s Word and his invitations. It is a lifestyle of listening to him, listening to the wise and godly counsel of others, and then pursuing him with all your heart no matter what the cost or challenge.
There’s one more thing I need to be honest about before we go any further. An epic life is not always an easy life. Perhaps deep down in your soul you already know this to be true, and that’s one reason why you’ve taken a pass on life. The fact is an epic life often involves hardship and trials. There are no promises of being fat and happy all the time. There are no guarantees of a struggle-free existence. If you are always expecting a party or parade, you will be disappointed.
That being said, here’s a promise I can make: You will never regret living an obedient life of faith or taking a risk to follow Jesus. Why? Because it is on that narrow path that you will experience more of God’s presence and more of his power in and through you. Remember, Jesus said it is the narrow road that leads to life (Matthew 7:14).
A dear friend asked me several years ago, “What is your greatest regret?”
“Good question,” I replied.
Of course, I immediately thought of about a gazillion dumb things I’ve done, and I began to focus on my past mistakes. Suddenly, however, like a bolt of lightning it hit me, my biggest regrets are not just about my biggest stupid mistakes. What I regret most are times when I pulled a Jonah—the times when I directly or indirectly said no to God.
“No, God, I don’t have the time, energy, skills, or gifts necessary to do that for you.”
“No, God, I don’t feel like it right now.”
“No, God, I don’t want to forgive and bless that person because they deeply hurt me and don’t deserve it.”
“No, God, I don’t think I can give that much money to you and survive.”
“No, God, I’m afraid of failure.”
I want you to understand, there are too many times when I said “No!” and those are my biggest regrets. Honestly, we can’t do anything about the past but get forgiven and move on. And moving on is precisely what I pray for you and me.
Let’s decide to live the rest of our lives without any more regrets and without any more excuses. Let’s learn together to listen, to follow, and to obey regardless of the risk. Let’s determine right here and right now to say what Jesus said to the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
That, my friends, is where the epic journey of real and abundant life begins. In the face of risk, struggle, and even death we yield to God, and in doing so, we experience more of him and his epic life!
“Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine
by his power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (CEB)
Image “Tired Man” by Graur Codrin courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net