“Most people believe God is real, but few people actually live like it. The result is a widening gap between their theology and their reality. They allow their circumstances to get between the, and God instead of letting God get between the, and their circumstances.” -Mark Batterson Chase the Lion
I remember reading a book once that we, too many times, measure the truth of the Bible against our life experience rather than measuring our life experiences against the truth of the Bible. While these might sound like the same thing, really they could not be more different. We read the Bible sometimes with an air of disbelief in our hearts. How can we even rationalize Peter walking on water? What kind of science can validate this ever happening? How do we explain Elijah being carried up into heaven on a chariot of fire? Or can we even fathom Enoch simply disappearing from the earth because God couldn’t wait to have him with Him? We celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Christ, but how many of us have even stopped to consider the likelihood that a resurrection occurred?
We take these things on faith, sure, because in the end, either God is all truth or all lies. We can’t take one part of the Bible as truth without accepting all of it. The easy path is to simply treat the Bible as a buffet, picking and choosing what we want to eat on. The more difficult path is taking the Bible at its word, choosing to push past the doubts that our natural minds tend to muster and trust that we are who God says that we are and that our lives should be all that He died and rose so that they can be. The hard path is choosing to take Christ at his word when he told us that if we believed in Him, greater works we would do.
And it’s dangerous.
We live safe lives of relatively little risk when we think of our brothers and sisters in remote parts of the world. I’ll never forget seeing a FaceBook video of Chinese Christians receiving Bibles for the first time. They kissed the leather. The held it against their faces and cherished it. The world of the Bible was not Christ-friendly. Their lives were constantly under harassment. Believers had to prove what they believed in, and I believe that because of this, they saw things that we would be blown away by.
I find myself slowly growing sick of this kind of living. If Christ said it, I want it. If Christ said it is possible, then I want to experience it. If Christ dreamed it, I want to live it! That is the life that is possible for every Christian. I believe this with all of my heart.
“Most people believe God is real, but don’t live like it.”
If you are a believer in God, how are you showing it? Are you feeding the hungry? Clothing the naked? Praying for others? That’s a part of it. That’s the part that we are most comfortable with, but if we are going to truly live our lives like God is real, we must be about the business of taking risks for the Gospel. I’m not talking about the stupid kind that God has no hand in. I’m talking about pursuing the dreams and visions of God that are too big for your hands. I’m talking about staring out on the waters, watching the waves crashing upon the shore, and taking a step anyway, because you’re sure that you can see Christ standing out there calling you forth.
I want to say one more thing about all of this. In 1 Samuel 23, we see a few verses about Benaiah, the character that Mark Batterson’s book is all about. He chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and emerged victorious. I believe that it is 1 Peter 5:8 that describes Satan as a roaring lion prowling to see who he can destroy. To commit to living a life that lines up with the word of God means that we are committing every day to chasing the lion, and if that lion ends up being Satan himself, so be it. We are committing to jumping into the pit in every situation, those that have bearing in our lives and those that don’t, for the sake of Christ. We were not created to be safe. We were created to seek out those areas of spiritual conflict and emerge victorious. We might emerge with scratches and scars. We may spill blood onto the ground, but in the end, we will be able to lift our spears and let loose a war cry that will warn any force of darkness to take notice at the power of our God in this earth! Satan might be called the Prince of the Powers of the Air, but God is still the King of the Heavens and the Earth, and as his ambassadors, we carry his power and authority with us wherever we may go, and wherever He might lead us!
The Bible is not simply a collection of stories meant to inspire us. it is a collection of truthful accounts meant to spur us into action. Without our action, the Bible becomes words on a page. The world has enough words on enough pages. The world needs to see what conquering living looks like, and it begins with us! We are the church! We are the mighty! We are the anointed. Our lives must line up with the word of God. Our life experiences must be lead by the Spirit of God.
You want to know who you really are?
You are a lion chaser and a lion killer.
You are the danger to the forces of darkness.
Grab your spear. It’s time to hunt.