Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 16, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

We live in a society that cherishes records and limits, but also celebrates those who break them. Everyone knows about Neil Armstrong in 1969. When he stepped foot on the moon, it was said to be, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Many have attempted to climb to the top of Mount Everest, with a far less number actually getting there. The same could be said about swimming from Cuba to the coast of Florida. In recent years, Felix Baumgartner broke all sorts of records related to skydiving, basically jumping from outer space at 24 miles above the earth’s surface and free-falling back to our world. And Nik Wallenda walked on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon with no safety net, then did the same thing between two skyscrapers in Chicago, which happens to also be known as THE WINDY CITY for crying out loud!

I’ll admit that I am fascinated by the feats of those who go where no one has ever gone. That being said, I went skydiving without being attached to a professional 10 years ago and still can’t really believe I did. When I think about my fears, I can’t imagine ever doing it again. I am analytical and calculating and I can’t help but think about all of the things that could go wrong. Some people are like me and might cower in fear at the thought of doing what the aforementioned individuals did. Others are adventurous risk-takers who would love nothing more than an opportunity to “stretch the limits” and venture into the unknown.

I can assure you that, when it comes to living a life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is full of adventure. If you are looking at your life and not seeing any part of it that requires you to abandon your fears and trust in him, I’m afraid you are missing out on what he has for you. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Those are the words of the Apostle Paul, who also writes about going where others have not in Romans 15:20: “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” This does not mean that continuing work that was started by someone else is a bad thing, but only that Paul knew what his calling was. God had made him a minister to the Gentiles, and most Gentiles (non-Jews) in the world at that time did not know the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it usually easier to build on an existing foundation than start a new one? Of course! But it’s only easier in the sense that it is “safer” and more controlled. God is not asking any of us to remain safe. He’s asking us to trust him and to enjoy the ride of an adventurous life!

What I find interesting is the rest of Paul’s words in Romans 15:14-22 that show just what kind of power he believes he has on his side as he goes where no one has gone before. Take a minute to read those verses. You will probably lose count of the number of times he references one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. He encourages the Gentile believers in Rome to continue in their boldness and right-living, knowing that he was given this duty by Christ himself. Paul references becoming an “offering acceptable to God,” a thought he began in Romans 12:1, that is “sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” He then makes additional references to all three persons of the Trinity in Romans 15:17-19. It is not his own power or ability that allows him to continue doing what God has called him. Instead, Paul recognizes that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that he is able to continue to preach Christ in places where he is not known and also that Gentiles who never heard of Jesus are coming to know him.

Every one of those people I mentioned above could not even attempt their feats without a good team of people helping them. For most of those adventures, the best science and most knowledgeable professionals are at the disposal of the daredevil. Who or what you have on your side makes a huge difference. For Paul, and truthfully for all believers, we have the power of the Holy Trinity leading us. Why should we fear? What is stopping us from enjoying the ride of a life of adventure with the Lord?

The late Jim Elliot, whose story can be observed to some extent here, didn’t waste much of the short life that God gave him. He had a passion for the Bible and for bringing the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus at a young age. He tried as best he could to avoid other distractions so that he could press on with God’s call for him. When his parents and others tried to convince him to take a ministry position in the United States rather than pursuing international mission work, Elliot is said to have considered the home church “well-fed” and moved forward with his passion. He didn’t desire to go to those who already knew, but longed to bring Jesus to the most remote places on the planet. Elliot and 4 other missionaries were the subjects of the movie “End of the Spear,” as they were martyred while trying to bring the gospel to a tribal group in Ecuador known as the Huaorani.

Jim Elliot and his friends planted the seeds of faith in a region that had never known or even heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though his life came to a tragic ending in the eyes of many, I would say that he probably enjoyed more adventure and deep faith in God during his 28 years than most “safe” Christians do in lives 3 times as long. Elliot is often quoted as saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” The Christian life is an adventure. Are you willing to accept that, sit back, and enjoy the ride? Who knows - maybe God will lead you to boldly go where no one has ever gone before. YOU could plant the seeds of faith in seemingly barren places. YOU could experience the power of the Holy Trinity in ways you’ve never sensed living in your security and comfort zone. YOU could let all your fears disappear. Trust God today and let him set you free from all that is holding you back.

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