In talking with Christians today, many believe that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. I would argue, the best place to be is in the center of God’s will, but it is not always the safest.
I am vividly reminded of this today as I am working on sending a team of volunteers to an extremely unstable part of the world. The team will be putting their lives at risk, as they seek to minister in a place scarred by violence and conflict. Their commitment reminds us: following Christ requires a sacrifice of self. Jesus teaches this truth in Matthew 10:39 when He says, “He who finds his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Our Lord clearly lays out that following Him involves risking our safety and security.
The truth of the Gospel calls us to lay our lives on the line for eternity, rather than living for the temporary. In Matthew 10:16, Jesus tells His disciples, “I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Jesus paints a picture of defenseless sheep, surrounded by a pack of wolves. The calling of Christ may require us to go among those hostile to the Gospel, so that they may have opportunity to hear and be transformed by the Good News of Jesus. The questions arise: Do we really believe that the reward of eternity outweighs the sacrifice of the temporary? Do we believe enough in Jesus, our Savior and Lord, to lay it all on the line? Would we give our lives for the sake of the Gospel?
Obedience to Christ is not easy. The nations will not be reached for the Gospel without sacrifice. Fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord is often dangerous. It requires us to go wherever He leads, sometimes as sheep in the midst of wolves. But, the Word of God assures us, it is worth it. Christ has promised that all who follow Him will enjoy an eternity filled with the riches of glory. Even as the wolves knock at our door, may we be reminded, that our great Savior will always be enough for us.