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May 2, 2013

Firsthand Experience | Day 19

Divine Disturbance

Scripture to meditate on: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The following is an excerpt from Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by Ryan and Josh Shook.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery; Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

This poem is thought to have been written by Sir Francis Drake, the famous sixteenth-century adventurer. That makes it hundreds of years old. But even today I (Josh) feel like this poem is the continual prayer of my life. To be honest, I feel like I don’t even need to pray the prayer, because God seems to answer it in my life whether I pray it or not. That’s because God never wants me to get comfortable in life.

Don’t get me wrong; I love being comfortable. I think it comes naturally for most of us to take the easy road in life, play it safe, and never stretch out of our comfort zone. In fact, it seems like modern society is striving to eliminate risk and make comfort and safety the ultimate goal. Our families move into suburbs built for comfort, and we try to follow the American Dream. But note this: there’s usually a big difference between the American Dream and God’s dream for your life.

Although we naturally gravitate toward settling into our comfort zone of selfishness, that’s where our souls begin to atrophy. That’s where emptiness sets in. The reality is, if we’re trying to have Christ and comfort, there’s a good chance we’re settling for a faith that’s far less than what God wants us to have.

We would argue that the best measure of whether you have a firsthand faith in Christ is how much compassion you feel for people who are hurting — and what you’re willing to do about it. Secondhand religion causes you to be absorbed in yourself, but firsthand faith moves you out of selfishness and into the lives of others.

Although we naturally gravitate toward settling into our comfort zone of selfishness, that’s where our souls begin to atrophy.

You were created to take great risks in faith and face great challenges, living a life of adventure. The rewards may not be as tangible as the ones you could acquire for yourself by pursuing a life of selfishness, but in their own way they’re so much greater! Keep asking yourself if you’re ready for the adventure of taking part in the great work God is doing in the lives of the people near you and all over the world.