As a child, the stories of C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia had a great impact upon me. At the time, I was unaware of their spiritual implications. But now I know that what I learned has changed my life.
In The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe a conversation takes place when Susan and Lucy ask Mr. & Mrs. Beaver to tell them about Aslan, the lion in the story who is the Christ-figure. They ask if Aslan is a man and Mr. Beaver replies:
Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the woods and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
That conversation is loaded…please get the last line, He’s good, He’s the King…but He isn’t safe.
We’ve done a pretty bad job at trying to paint a picture of Jesus in today’s society that is safe. His hair is always perfect (did they really have product back then?) He teeth have obviously either been whitened or capped. His robe never has any wrinkles and is always the whitest of whites (I guess the dust and dirt in Israel simply refused to stick to His clothes.) And…He never becomes irritated, upset or does anything that might offend anyone (despite what we read about in Matthew 12:1-4, Luke 4:28-30, Luke 11:45-54, Matthew 23 & John 2:13-17…just to name a few!)
Make no mistake about it…He IS GOOD but He is NOT safe!
Following Jesus doesn’t EVER lead to a safe, comfortable & predictable life (despite what the guy on TV told you would happen if you purchased his prayer cloth for $49.95!)
How in the world could we EVER expect the guy who said what He said in Luke 9:23 to EVER lead us towards safety?
Jesus didn’t say if we wanted to follow Him that we needed to take up our mattress…but rather take up our cross!
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you are going to upset some people. (Matthew 10:34-36!)
- If you are going to follow Jesus, He will bring out changes in you (Luke 19:1-10)–we cannot meet Him and stay the same!
- If you are going to follow Jesus, He is going to challenge you to look straight ahead and NOT behind, no matter how good or bad it may have been. (Luke 9:62!)
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you are going to have to lay some things aside. (Mark 1:18!)
- If you are going to follow Jesus, HE will IMPACT every area of your life, (Romans 12:1), you cannot pick and choose your areas of surrender when you are abiding in Him.
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you ARE going to hear His voice clearly and accurately (John 10:4).
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you ARE going to experience an ABUNDANT LIFE…your life WILL NOT be wasted (John 10:10.)
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you are going to have to live a pure life (I Corinthians 6:18-20) In fact, following Jesus may make your dating life seem quite “boring” to others.
- If you are going to follow Jesus, you are going to have to surrender your wallet (Matthew 6:19-24, Luke 16:10-13)
- If you are going to follow Jesus, it is going to take a willingness to change the way you think (Romans 12:1-2).
- If you are going to follow Jesus, it is going to move your heart to care about and reach out to people that He deeply cares for (see Matthew 28:18-20!) I cannot say I am a follower of Christ and be unconcerned with the things that concern Him.
BUT…with all of this in mind do not forget, Jesus IS good–He IS NOT SAFE.
True life begins when we no longer live for safety but rather for sanctification…and that is not always a pretty process…and following Christ isn’t always the easy thing (because it is not safe), but it is always the right thing.
The comfort in all of this…He’s good! Scripture talks over and over again about the goodness of God! When I do not understand, agree with or even see what He is doing I can know that Romans 8:28 is true…that HE IS GOOD and that He works for the good of those who love Him. (Also see Matthew 7:9-11)
Following Jesus is the good thing, the right thing…but it is not the safe thing.
So…what will you do today? Play it safe…or follow Christ?
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