A Startling Fact about Security and Following Jesus

Discipleship Principles

At the University of Oklahoma, for many years a project was underway to teach a fifteen-year-old female chimpanzee named Washoe to talk by combining sign language with simple recognition. Since 1966, this chimpanzee learned 140 signs. Finally, the project directors decided that Washoe was prepared to “conceptualize.” This meant that instead of merely imitating some human’s words, the chimp would express thoughts of her own. Now, understand, Washoe was a pampered animal in the university’s laboratory—well fed, physically comfortable, safe from harm. She had security. And yet, when she was able to put words together on her own into a phrase, these were the first three—and she has said them again, repeatedly—“Let me out.” 1 Even a chimp knows that security is not everything in life.

  • Do you remember the comic ‘Peanuts’ by Charles Schultz?
  • Do you remember Linus tenaciously clinging to his security blanket?
  • All the world is right for Linus as long as he has his blanket.
  • We are going to talk today about giving Jesus your security blanket.

Luke 14:26 (TNIV)
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even life itself—such a person cannot be my disciple.

  • Following Jesus is an all or nothing deal

A Startling Fact about Security and Following Jesus

  • Here is a startling fact about security and following Jesus.
  • If your life is really secure and really comfortable and you like the place you are in, you are probably missing God.
  • Following God, reading His Word and hearing His voice, will keep your life on a razor’s edge.
  • He will keep you trusting Him.
  • He will keep you leaning on Him.
  • He is going to give you assignments that require you to give up your security blanket and come out of your comfort zone.
  • He will not give you assignments that you can do with the comfort of your own abilities.
  • Why does He do this? 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 tells us why.

1 Corinthians 1:26–29 (TNIV)
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

  • There is something about the human makeup because of the fall of man that requires a leaning on God so that no one may boast before Him.
  • It’s just the way it is.
  • So, saying it again…
  • If you are comfortable, you are probably missing Him.
  • If you are not challenged by His will, you don’t know it yet.
  • Remember, God chooses people who are weak and can’t get stuff done to get stuff done.
  • It’s amazing how we draw back in some areas when that is the exact area that God wants to use you in.
  • Think about these areas for example.
    • Someone asks you to get up and give a testimony in front of people and you shrink back because you say I can’t do that; I am no good at that.
      • Congratulations, you are exactly in the place you should be; you are exactly in 1Cor. 1:26-29 territory and that’s why you should get up and give it, trusting God on the inside as you step out.
    • Someone asks you to go on a mission’s trip and you say, that’s not my calling.
      • Congratulations, you are exactly in the place you should be; you are exactly in 1Cor. 1:26-29 territory and that’s why you should probably go.
  • Did you hear Moses when the Lord approached him and told him that He was going to send him to Pharaoh (Ex. 3:10)?
  • How did that conversation go?

Exodus 4:10–12 (TNIV)
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

  • If God had to teach Moses what to say, if God had to help him speak, that means that means emphatically that Moses did not have the ability to do what God assigned for his life.
  • Moses did not have what it took though he was educated at the highest levels in Egypt.
  • Moses didn’t have what it takes and you don’t either.
  • Let us repeat this again; if you are not challenged by His will, you don’t know it yet.
  • If your Christian life is a nice neat package, you are missing it somewhere.
  • If your idea of the Christian life is being nice to a few people, going to church, praying a little bit, giving a little bit (not too much just a little bit) and staying in your comfort zone, you have a distorted view of what following Jesus means.
  • Jesus will keep you trusting God.
  • He will keep you praying to Him.
  • He will keep you asking questions and seeking for His wisdom.
  • The Spirit of God will lead you to do things way beyond where you are.

The Reward of Risking All

  • What does this all mean to you?
  • One gentleman penned these words.

Here’s what I’d love to hear God say when that day comes: ‘You abounded in my work. You took real risks, you dreamed honorable dreams, you rolled up your sleeves and sacrificed comfort and poured yourself out like a drink offering.  And … you abided in my love. You sought to be transformed by my Spirit, to live in intimacy with me and authentic community with the people I love. You abounded and you abided.’ 2

Call to Action:

Is that your desire today? What dreams, what words from the Spirit of God have you not acted on? What areas have you not been willing to take a risk and step out on the naked Word of God? It is simple to go back and take up again those words from Him and bring them in front of Jesus in prayer and say ‘Lord, I can’t do this by myself, show me how to do it, help me get it done.’

Question: What have been some of your personal points of dedication to Jesus? Would you please share some of that with us in the comments section below?

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References

  1. Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 156–157.
  2. John Ortenberg “Making Devoted Disciples | Spring 2000 | Leadership Journal,” accessed August 21, 2014, http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2000/spring/.