This is the fourth article in a four-part series . . .
If you have been paying attention, and if you have read the previous three articles over the previous three days, you have been wondering what all this was building up to, and where it was all going. The only problem with the Fearless Christian life is that I believe so many Christian men wrongly believe they are there.
Go back to the Floundering Christian life for a moment, and realize that when you ask God to use you, and God begins to take you into the deeper waters, there is panic. There is unease. There is a complete loss of control. When God intervenes, and we are taken back to the safety of the Favored Christian life, there is a tendency to pat ourselves on the back for having made the effort - never to try again. As God calls us again though, we begin to resist, and there is the danger. God wants us to grow, and he will nudge us to grow, and He will call us to grow, but God will never force us to grow.
Peter walked on water! He also got distracted, sank, floundered, and had to be rescued. How Jesus responds to him at that moment is telling. It is not a clap on the back and a "You did really well out there for a few moments!" comment followed by other accolades. His words are ones of disappointment of what could have been . . . Matthew 14:31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
It is a powerful story, because later this same Peter continues to Flounder. Ready to die with Christ one moment in the Garden of Gethsemane as soldiers come to take Christ away, he soon denies he even knows Christ by the fireside and runs away . . . runs back . . . returns to his old life as a fisherman . . . back to the favored life he once knew where all was safe, everything was OK, and the floundering could cease. However, Christ was not finished with him yet.
How many fearless men in the Bible can you name? Moses, fearless before Pharaoh. Abraham, fearless to offer his own son. Joshua, fearless to raid the land of Canaan. Paul, fearless before many trials and afflictions. What makes these men fearless? For some, the time of their Floundering is aparrent, but for others the Bible does not focus on this and it is less clear. Still, I submit to you that each of these men had their doubts, their fears, their time to flounder before coming to the point they were fearless. Why do I say this? How can I know this?
Return to the pool. Go back to the time of learning how to swim. Floundering in the water, flailing wildly, desperate to extricate yourself from the situation, you slowly built the foundation and the mechanics of swimming. I remember those times, but I also know that today I am comfortable jumping into any body of water with the sure and fearless knowledge that I can swim.
God has a greater purpose for every man's life, and it is not to continue to live the Favored Christian life either. I believe God wants to use you, too, but to get there, God has to take you into the deeper waters and allow you to Flounder. There He can teach you, train you, allow you to learn who you really are, and where your talents and strengths God has given you reside. Coming through all that, you gain a knowledge of your purpose, your place, your identity, and who you really are as a Christian man.
The problem is, too few are ever willing to enter the Floundering Christian life, and so they rush back to the Favored Christian life as quickly as possible. There are some out there though, dissatisfied with the Favored Christian life, who know there is a Fearless Christian life to be lived with a name and an identity, but they do not want to Flounder. They resist the unknown, and so they enter and step back, again and again, trying to work up the courage to surrender to the process God has for them. Of those who enter the Floundering Christian life, it seems all too few ever emerge Fearless.
Look around you. Who among you has given up and allowed "Failure" to be stamped on their life? Who among you would rather live the "Favored" Christian life? Who among you resist the "Floundering" life? Though they want God to use them, they refuse to endure. Who among you, is truly Fearless?
Reposted from MenRising.com