Have You Come to Know the Wonderful Adventure of Knowing God Personally?
When I was first on staff with Campus Crusade, we were trained to ask people the following question to initiate a gospel conversation: “Have you come to know the wonderful adventure of knowing God personally?” While I did know God personally, I lacked the experience of it being a wonderful adventure. Sure I was grateful for knowing my sins were forgiven and that I would enjoy eternity in heaven, there was still a little disconnect between eternity and the here and now besides just keeping me out of bad choices and a fall back when I did not know what else to do.
Looking back on my life and experiences, I can say that it is definitely a wonderful adventure. The things God had led me to do and go are for me exciting. As a quick example, I have been married for 13 years during which we have moved 10 times… with several month long stays in between. All this has come up in my mind again because next Monday we are moving yet again.
He may not make you move at all as you journey with Him, but I have found that He is unpredictable in His predictableness. I may count on His love and faithfulness, but the way He chooses to show them to me are rarely the same.
God Was Determined That Joshua Listen to His Voice
I believe the book of Joshua is a good example of how we are to live out this adventure. Joshua is one of the two spies that go into the promised land and comes back ready to take it. He knew God’s call for the Israelites and wanted to move forward in faith. Unfortunately he had to wait 40 years in the wilderness because of others unbelief. Finally, he gets the green light and also gets tapped to lead the people in. He gets the clear directive on how to cross the Jordan in the land. As they followed the clear directives, God miraculously stopped the flow of water. God was leading them into Canaan.
God then delays the first battle to get all of the men circumcised leaving them in enemy territory vulnerable to attack. Again following God’s directive and not man’s wisdom.
Then as they prepare to take Jericho, Joshua seeks God’s direction and finds a new plan. Again Joshua had clear directives and again God worked miracles causing the walls to fall down before them.
Now the Israelites’ confidence was running high, so as they went to fight the city Ai, they planned out what seemed best. Unfortunately, this time they did not seek out God’s direction and lost many lives. It turned out that someone was carrying around plunder from Jericho that they were told to leave. After seeking God’s direction, He lets them know the issue and they correct it. Now they sought God’s direction again about how to fight Ai and they completely destroy them.
Feeling good about themselves again, the Gibeonites came up to them and easily deceived them. Not seeking God’s wisdom, they make a treaty with a nation they were to destroy. But then mercifully, the other nations find out about the treaty and attack the Gibeonites. This time instead of trusting in man’s wisdom, they sought God and found out that they were to maintain their treaty and go protect the Gibeonites.
The point I am trying to make is that even though Joshua could rest in the promise that God was giving them the land, he still did not know how God was going to give it to them. And the real adventure was not taking the land God had given them, but finding out how God wanted them to take the land.
God is Creative in How He Deals With Us
The Christian life is an adventure because we are following a God that is creative in how He deals with us. Sometime he wants us to walk around the city; sometimes He wants us to go out and fight; sometimes He wants to make the enemies fight themselves; and sometimes He wants to throw huge stones from the sky. We just don’t know what He wants to do, so we live the life of faith continually asking Him what is the next step. We can trust that God wants to lead us into winning our battles, but He wants us to win on His terms.
For me and my family, following God has meant a lot of moves. Each step along the way He has had something new and different for us. New people to meet, new experiences to develop us.
Don’t be so wedded to your conception of what is next that you become angry and confused when He takes you on an adventure and even more blessing. Others have also been led on crazy adventures, but you only get to the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 by being faithful building boats in deserts.