Safety is not necessarily overrated, but it can be a sign of complacency. Case in point: we often pray for safety, but I bet most of us rarely pray to be formidable. Or what about daunting, imposing, fierce, or even menacing. (Back to this in a moment…)
Last month, I took eight college students and my 16-year-old daughter on a mission trip to Nicaragua. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did have faith great enough to know the Holy Spirit would show up. And, oh did he ever – BIG TIME! We had what I can only describe as “deep devotional” time where we reflected on the day’s events, explored what the Bible said about specific topics, and shared personal struggles and victories. We had powerful prayer with everyone united as one. We laughed, we cried, and we shared encouragement.
The entire trip was life-changing. I would dare to say none of us are the same people we were when we left the States. We were changed. We grew. We matured spiritually. We bonded. We were refreshed by the Spirit. And we were… stirring. Yes, I said stirring. We were stirred by the Spirit and, in turn, looking forward to shaking things up to keep the receptivity alive when acclimating back to our daily lives.
Switching back to formidability…. what does the following three sentences mean to you when you read it?
“We have a primal longing to be uncaged. And the cage opens when we recognize that Jesus didn’t die on the cross to keep us safe.
He died to make us dangerous.”
This is a quote from Mark Batterson’s book, Wild Goose Chase. After the Nicaragua trip, I believe each of us to be more dangerous than before. It’s our enemy who needs to be on guard, not us. We are armed and fortified, protected by the spiritual armor of God. Yes, we are more dangerous than before. While our enemy wreaks havoc to hold us back and keep us quiet, we roar like lions and charge like rhinos. We fly like eagles and strike like a puff adder. We are dangerous. We send the enemy into hiding, defeated and deflated.
Jesus died for us to be stronger – eternally strong. We are not caged by our sins, we are set free by our faith. When we pose a threat to our enemy, he tries harder to cage and contain us. It’s a battle of wills. A battle of strength of spirit. I know this: if Jesus suffered the way he did for our sake and died to make us dangerous, I want to be savage beyond safety and ferocious in faith. Shouldn’t we all be such a threat that we make hell’s Most Wanted List? Now that is being dangerous!
This is what is happening! There is a movement to change personal shortfalls and a company culture that surrounds those who were on the trip. Group devotionals have occurred. Critical life discussions and accountability are taking place. Spiritual support is underway. Multiplication is manifolding. Questions are being asked. People are noticing change. God is good and He is active in the hearts of those who ask. One of the many positive byproducts of the mission trip was the candid courage each person has stood tall with. And with this courage comes the element of danger!
Their liberation is delivery from the cage that held them back! Watch out world! These young people are uncaged! They have been unshackled and are free to be formidably fierce in their faith. No featherweights in this group! I have witnessed it. I have been a part of it. I am proud of them. Won’t you join us?