The Great Adventure: Our Journey with Jesus
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him (Matthew 4:18-20 ESV).
The invitation of Jesus to His disciples (us) is a call to a life of adventure. All adventures have an element of risk - otherwise it would not be an adventure! Leaving the safety and stability of one place and moving into the unknown, while often challenging, should be embraced with excitement, as no matter what we may face, we will not face it alone. The Master will always be with us, and if we follow His leading, we will be able to face whatever challenges that will arise. Yet we must go, we must leave behind what we know and those things which we trust in and rely upon, and fully embrace the adventure in faith - and faith is spelled R-I-S-K.
Our response to the Master's call must be "immediate" - taking action towards His direction without hesitation. We cannot debate with the Master about His intention, we must respond with obedience in the moment, whenever we hear His voice. We cannot expect the Master to completely define the path, or what the outcomes of the journey may be. He will always tell us the next steps, and indeed, the things which we may face along the way, enough so that we may be prepared for whatever may lay in the next segment of our path. But He is our King, and kings need not explain themselves to their servants. We must "drop our nets" and head out into the journey with Him.
The Master calls us to follow Him and His Way while we are in the common spaces of everyday life - work, home, school, family life, ministry - all of our relational spaces. Sometimes He calls us out of those spaces and into another, but most often He calls us to follow Him while we remain in them. The newness of the adventure is found in a daily encounter with Him in the midst of life. It is not simply the experience of something new that energizes our adventure in Christ. Rather, it is the One Himself who is leading us on the path that excites us, with the anticipation of walking the day with Him being what stirs our hearts and moves our feet into our next steps. It is a longing for Him, His will, His way - His Kingdom that encourages us towards His preferred future for us. Because of Him we can find the adventure even in the things others might consider mundane. The call to follow the Master is not a singular event, a one-time occurrence, but a daily response in the everyday things of life. In Him, the average can become the exceptional, the dull and monotonous can be filled with meaning and life.
When Jesus calls us to follow we often think we have an idea on what the adventure with Him will be like. Be assured, you do not have a clue! His first disciples responded to Him in the hope of an "upgrade" - leaving behind the lower-class life of fishermen and ascending to new heights as apprentices to a young, new revolutionary rabbi. They had no clue of who He was, or what was in store for them in the journey ahead. And none of them would have chose the adventure if they had! Their dreams were not His dream. Their vision was for themselves, His vision was for the Kingdom. And they were dense, really dense, when it came to understanding His real intentions (this is comforting to me!) The Christ Himself was seemingly exasperated with their closed hearts and clueless minds (ref. John 17:17). So, when we do not "get it," there is grace. (Indeed, the journey is full of grace.) We must be satisfied with His dream, His vision, His adventure for us. As I always say, "All control is an illusion." If we truly desire His adventure, we must be willing to release control and allow Him take us into the future that He intends for us. He is the King. He is the Master. It is His way, His journey, His adventure. It is simply ours to embrace, nothing more.
So, let me ask you this - how is the Master asking you to follow Him right now? What does the adventure look like at this point in your life? Can you see the path? Do you have an idea where you are going? Are the next steps in your journey clear, or are they clouded by the mists of uncertainty, doubt and confusion. Clarity comes through alignment to His will through the transformative work of the Holy Spirit:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2 ESV).
Is your excitement simply in the "what" that is next, or is it grounded in the Who who takes you there? Is it the experience that you seek, or is it the Master, the Person, the Author of your grand and epic journey? Is your desire for something new simply reside in some kind of restlessness, a human need for a new experience? Or does it comes from a holy discontent, a Spirit-led dissatisfaction for the status quo? Maturity is found in pressing into His journey:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained (Philippians 3:12-16 ESV).
Are you resisting the call of the Master to follow Him into the unknown, into uncharted territory? Do you still need all the details before you make the move? We are all "recovering control freaks" who will only receive freedom through radical trust in the Master:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation (Isaiah 12:2).
My prayer for you is that you may embrace your adventure with Jesus, and run in the Way of your Master. May you release the illusory control you think you and have, and free fall into your future, trusting the King and His dominion over your life, your family, your ministry - your future. May the Holy Spirit bless you with "shema levot," the hearing heart, that you might instantly and immediately obey Jesus - even if you do not want to. May you have a daily sense of wonder at the love and grace expressed towards you by your Heavenly Father through the fabric and happenings of the journey itself. Your adventure is an epic story of His love and purpose for you - may fully embrace it, and may you enjoy the ride!