As a follow up to the previous post, I wanted to briefly discuss (emphasis on discuss) some practical applications of what it looks like to find our security in Christ, but also live responsibly. I would love to hear suggestions from my readers!
As our sovereign, loving Father, God does not intend to keep us from all harm. He designs the events of our lives to accomplish His perfect purpose of growing us in Christ-likeness. The means He uses are not always what we would choose. Listen to what Paul says: “You [Timothy], however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:10-13 ESV). Suffering is a guaranteed part of being a child of God as we distribute the good news to the nations. Paul understood this and didn’t limit his ministry to “safe” contexts. He followed the example of Christ who did the will of His Father, even when it brought pain. On several occasions, Christ’s disciples sought to keep him from going where there was danger, but He had the gospel in view and nothing would stop Him. His face was set towards Jerusalem. Paul was so confident of His Father’s leading in his life that he said “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18 ESV). Even though Paul endured many physical, emotional, and spiritual hardships he was convinced that this was not the true evil in the world. No, from that evil the Lord would rescue him and bring him safely to Heaven.
So what does that mean for you and me as we live in the areas God has called us to? God is sovereign and loves us and will protect us, right? So does it mean that we don’t trust Him to do as He’s promised if we install an alarm system or lock our doors? I’m just going to admit that I double check my locked doors. I don’t have an issue with taking precautions. I do have a problem with purposefully avoiding God’s call on your life because you think it’s unsafe.
I asked my husband what his thoughts were on the subject and he suggested several Proverbs. There are many examples of fools disregarding the danger of their path, while the wise discern the steps of their feet and are kept safe. So there are many principles in Scripture to support being careful and counting the cost, but there are also a number of examples of bold, courageous individuals who would not consider their safety to be more important than the gospel of Christ.
I’d like your feedback. Help me learn how to balance the sovereignty of God and our responsibility.