Outside the Box

As Spirit-born Christians, we are not in the box the world would like to trap us in.  A God-composed journey of faith following Jesus Christ is a divine creation of God designed to set us free (Jn. 8:36), lead us into all truth (Jn. 16:13), and establish a personal relationship with God that lasts for all eternity.

But a God-composed journey of faith life-script for each one of us has an element of peril…the peril of change.  An adventure of faith with God does not stay within the comfortable confines of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…because of where we start out on our individual journeys.

The gap…the space…the linear displacement…of where we start and where we need to finish…needs to be filled-in with our God-composed adventure of faith…which as defined within the Bible involves the open-minded thinking of being willing to leave behind some or all of worldly conventional thinking.

The reality is that we live in a broken world.  Sin…the absence of goodness, light, and God…within the realm of conventional normalcy and thinking…has as its mission to destroy us…to keep us in mediocracy…to steal our eternal destiny…to deceptively warp us into something we were not created to be.

John 10:10 reads: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The truth of this…along with the peril involved in stepping into our adventure of faith that leaves behind worldly conventionality…is starring us in the face in the narrative stories of faith in the Bible.

Joseph staying in Canaan is a disaster.  Joseph is going nowhere in this dysfunctional family dynamic…created by what honestly has to be described as sin…the absence of spiritual light, goodness, and love.  But God’s brilliantly creative solution is for Joseph to be sold-out by his half-brothers into slavery in Egypt…resulting in the unusually clever arrangement of graduate management schooling in Potiphar’s house and in Pharaoh’s prison for 13 years…fashioning Joseph into the epitome of the humble servant/leader with a life storyline that is admired and cherished by millions upon millions of people down to this current day.

David is going nowhere in his father’s household as the youngest and least valued son according to the social customs of that day (1 Sam. 16:11).  Yet, like Joseph, David’s rise out of worldly conventional expectations and limitations involves a perilous adventure lasting 13 years with David walking along the edge of the precipice…leading to his becoming king and fulfilling his God-intended and scripted destiny.

Abraham staying in Haran, Jacob staying in the employ of his unscrupulous uncle Laban, Ruth remaining in her home country of Moab, Esther sitting by inactive while Haman the Agagite destroys the Jews, Peter living his life as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, and Saul/Paul staying in Jerusalem as a Pharisee and scholar…are all scenarios that remain boxed-in within the limitations of worldly conventional aims, aspirations, and expectations that fall far short of the liberating yet difficult adventures of faith God had planned for these people…along with all of the other biblical people of faith not mentioned here.

God’s higher ways for our lives lifts us out of sin…through the redemption that is in Christ and the blood He shed on Calvary…but also in a perilous adventure of faith that brings eternally meaningful and beneficial…yet challenging and difficult…change into our lives.

The cross of Christ is what makes this reality perilous…because for progress to be made God has to displace our ways with His ways.  God has to exchange the normalcy that occurs within conventionality…with something new and full of spiritual life that exists higher up the vertical graph-line continuum of goodness and light.  God displaces the lower with the higher.  God exchanges light for darkness…good for evil.

But where we start out is at the point of repentance looking back on a broken and ruined life…by others and by ourselves.  This is why God-composed journeys of faith are outside the box that the world would like to trap us in.  This is why we desperately need God.  This is why Jesus Christ is our Ruler and King…the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6)…our one true Guide into the abundant life God intended for us.

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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