Do you want to know a secret about great adventures? In my experience, they usually come with a warning. Somewhere there will be a sign posted that warns you of the dangers which lie ahead. If it’s a truly grand adventure you will be required to sign your life away, literally. You’ll be handed a piece of paper to sign that you probably won’t read. If you read it, it may frighten you enough to turn around and run. But all great adventurers know if you do that you’ll be missing out on something great, something spectacular. So you sign and date the paper, sealing your fate and assuring others that if you die on this grand adventure they won’t get sued.
I signed my life away a couple of weeks ago when I went ziplining through the mountains. It was an incredible experience! It may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience – but I hope not! I’d love to do it again, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to sign my life away again. As my grandpa Marlowe used to say, “We’ve gotta have a little fun every now and again, haven’t we Josie?”
I have to admit, I’ve done some crazy things and I’ve have had more than my fair share of “looking back on this, it probably wasn’t a good idea” adventures. However, the greatest adventure of all is my relationship with Jesus. “Really?” you ask. “That’s the greatest adventure?” Undoubtedly, yes!
Life with Christ is always an adventure and it’s one that should come with a warning sign. When we make the decision to follow Jesus we’re in essence signing our lives away in preparation of the greatest adventure we’ll ever take.
We’ve been going through what I’ve titled The Madman Series. Psalm 34 is King David’s song of celebration after God delivered him from a dangerous situation. His life was in grave danger and he pretended to be crazy so that a King who wanted to take his life would instead let him go free. It’s a psalm of praise and a psalm of instruction. David shows us, by his own example, how to live a life that honors God in the midst of suffering.
Throughout this series we’ve looked at a madman’s worship, deliverance, fear, desire, and Savior. As we end our journey, we’re going to study the words of this madman that we know to be a very sane David, King of Israel. In Psalm 34:19-22 (ESV) we read about a madman’s redemption.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
That’s where most of us are mistaken. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that we’ll have an easy life if we follow Jesus. In fact, we’re told that we’ll face afflictions, be persecuted for Jesus’ sake, and have many trials and sorrows.
So why would we want to follow Jesus if our life is going to be miserable? Because it’s so worth it! This seems like a silly answer, but I believe it with all my heart. Everyone suffers in this life. No one is exempt. When we suffer with Christ, we don’t suffer alone. Jesus knows what it is like to be a man of sorrow, much afflicted. He’s walked that path and He walks it again, alongside you and alongside me.
“The Lord redeems the life of his servants.” According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary redeem can mean to buy back or win back; to free from what distresses or harms; to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to release from blame or debt; to change for the better.
If you choose Jesus it’s time to walk past the danger sign, scrawl your name at the bottom of the page, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. It might be a little scary, but I promise it will be worth it!