“The safest place to be is in God’s will.”
I’ve heard this statement for years – first from well-meaning youth group teachers, and recently floating around Facebook and Pinterest. It always gets a rise out of me. While it’s a nice sentiment, I wholeheartedly disagree. It is a lie.
I see how this can be confusing with so many multi-millionaire pastors who have their own jets and wear designer clothes. (This infuriates me to no end.)
When we are truly in God’s will, we will be asked to give until we have nothing left. To love until it hurts. To completely empty ourselves. To give up our safety and security.
American Christianity sells the gospel of safety and prosperity. It professes that if you love God enough, pay your tithes, go to church on Sundays, and send your kids to church camp every summer, that you’ll be happy, healthy, and prosperous. Middle-class values have somehow become central to the Gospel of Christ, yet they have no place there.
Being in God’s will is not safe. It should wreck our comfortable little world.
Jim Elliot was in God’s will. He lost his life.
Safe to say that Jesus was smack dab in the middle of God’s will; he was hated and executed, betrayed by his closest friends. To be a Christian is to be like Christ. He did not live a comfortable life.
We feel loved and protected — happiest — when we’re safe and warm in our houses with our families. We reap the benefits of the American Dream and view it as God’s ultimate blessing.
I’m not saying that if you have a wonderful life, full of safety and happiness, you’re not in God’s will. That’s not my intent. Having nice things and a savings account doesn’t make us unholy, but we must be careful not to be duped into believing that those are guaranteed by God.
What about Christians in heavily persecuted parts of the world? When practicing their faith, they are in harms way. They’ve chosen to give up safety and security for the sake of being in God’s will.
Living in the reckless raging fury of God’s love is not a safe bet. Do not be deceived by comfort and the freedoms we so often take for granted.