Earlier this year I reread a book I own called The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. In the book Erwin argued that much of modern Christianity had become so tame that it is ineffective in changing the world around it. He said the cure was to become, what he called, a barbarian. He didn’t mean barbarian in a bad-mannered, ill-tempered, vulgar sort of way. Instead, he used barbarian to describe an adventurous life of following Jesus.
“When His Spirit is poured into our lives, we are inspired to an extraordinary level of living. Barbarians never exist simply to survive. Barbarians never just get through the day. Barbarians wake to live and live life fully awake. To be filled with the Spirit of God is to be filled with dreams and visions that are too compelling to ignore. Live or die, succeed or fail, barbarians must pursue and attempt such dreams and visions. The barbarian spirit dreams great dreams and finds the courage to live them.”
I loved that book. It was so encouraging and inspiring to me. In fact, after reading the book I started referring to our family excursions as adventures. Even when I took my kids to the park we were going on an adventure. We would do things like explore the “wilderness” surrounding the park rather than walking on the pavement. We were explorers and adventurers who were not willing to be domesticated.
The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is hope. Hope is one of the strongest forces on the earth. Hope can bring about marvelous and unbelievable results. Great achievements are made by people who have dreams and who are stirred to action by the hope that they can fulfill those dreams. They are living an adventure.
Hopeless people however, tend to live life as an ordeal. Hopeless people are pretty sure that there is nothing for them now and they can’t figure out how anything will change in the future. Those who have given in to hopelessness have decided that the way life is, is the best it will ever be. Hopeless people learn to live with problems rather than try to fix them. After all, what’s the point when nothing will ever change?
People can become hopeless in any area of life. We can become hopeless in…
We can even become hopeless in our relationship and service to Jesus.
When our lives quit being an adventure and become an ordeal, it is because we have lost hope. When our relationship with Jesus and our service to Jesus quit being an adventure and become ordeals, it is because we have lost hope.
Many people today seem to be living an ordeal instead of an adventure. Sadly, this is even true for many Christians. Their life, their relationship and service to Jesus is a 24-hour a day, seven day a week ordeal. It begins when they wake up and it doesn’t end until the go back to sleep.
I know that there are times when I can feel the ordeal over adventure mentality creeping into my life. I think that hope is something that is desperately needed in our day. I know that the hope we have as Christians is certainly something I need to be reminded of and want to get and keep in the forefront of my mind. I want my life and my life with Jesus to be an adventure instead of an ordeal. This requires hope and that is what I’m going to be blogging about for the next week or two.
How would you describe Biblical hope?
How can hope make life an adventure instead of an ordeal?