Recently I was out on a boat with some friends of mine and we were talking about how calm it was on the water. Now their boat is by no means small, but even the littlest of tinnies would have been still. There was a tranquilness about being on Lake Macquarie that Saturday afternoon. It was relaxing and very enjoyable, a much needed break from the fulness of my everyday life.
But as I reflected upon that time, I got to thinking that sometimes we can strive to live a life exactly like that - one which stays in the calm waters but doesn’t really go anywhere. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with calm waters, they are great for a time, but when we anchor there and don’t go beyond the safety of what we know, we are actually doing ourselves and the Lord a disservice.
Think about this - in Mark 4 we read an account of some disciples freaking out in the middle of a storm and of how Jesus calmed the waters. It’s easy to read this and only marvel at the power and authority demonstrated by Jesus. But have you ever noticed how that passage begins?
Have a look at what we read in verse 35 - “That same day, after it grew dark, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” Jesus knew a storm was coming, he knew what was ahead, but still he told the disciples to leave the safety of the shore. Jesus directed them into the storm, not away from it.
And that’s because Jesus doesn’t want us to anchor in the calm waters of life and stay there. He doesn’t want us to simply find a safe place and never move from there. The Christian life, personally and professionally, has to be about more than just that.
The great commission found in passages like Matthew 28 and Mark 16 tells us to go, to leave behind what we know in order for the good news of Jesus to be made known. Imagine if the early church, those first handful of followers of Jesus, simply anchored down and didn’t go beyond what they knew.
If that was the case no one, including you or me, would ever have heard about Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. We would never have known the extravagant love or abundant generosity or never ending grace and forgiveness that we receive from our Father in Heaven.
But thankfully those early believers were willing to leave what was known in order to expand the Kingdom of God, and we need to be willing to do likewise. We can’t get so comfortable that we forget the commission we have been given. We can’t stay safe and forget the millions of people who still don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
So today, lift up that anchor, raise those sails and see where the wind of the Spirit takes you. Many years of ministry experience has shown me that it’s an adventure worth taking.