Safety is an American virtue, the safer it is the better. Oddly enough at the same time so is risk; “dare to follow your dreams.” Each American has his or her own level of risk they are willing to take, and some feel the need to share their value of safety on others.
This topic is magnified this week as our Lifeworkx team is planning on flying out to South Korea this week. While normally a safe place, the actions of their northern neighbor and our home country leave the planet wondering if we will see a nuclear world war. Safety is a valid question to ask. So let’s look to the Bible.
God, in a very un-American way, does not guarantee our safety when we follow him. He in fact does just the opposite when he says in John 16:33 that “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” Notice he points to a larger reality- his victory over the evil of the world and his kingship of the world. This is why Paul says that Jesus is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21). In Colossians 1, Paul expounds further by saying that Jesus created the power and authority we humans use. Because God created the authority that we use, He can change it. Even the wisest King Solomon knew this when he wrote “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). To put this lesson in today’s context: the actions of President Trump and Supreme leader Kim Jong-un are under the knowledge and decision of God.
Even with this knowledge of ultimate authority, war could happen. If the Lifeworkx team is in South Korea when that happens, death is a real possibility. Our death would mean deep
sorrow for our families and friends. Also our ministry could pass away. So why go in light of the possibility of losing so much?
Because of the other question: what would we lose if we did not go? Lifeworkx has a 15 year connection with the church we are going to minister with. This year 52 missionaries (this includes kids) are ready for us to come. Our not going would be their personal loss, loss of God’s presence in a new way, loss of value given to them by our presence, loss of connecting with friends that they will meet, loss of ministry effectiveness because they have not dealt with the burdens they are carrying. Their loss is kingdom loss.
We have chosen not to let our fear of risk limit the kingdom of God. We go prepared with contingency plans for if things get bad (5 actually), but we do not go with fear. We go in the presence of God. As Steve says, “There’s no safer place than in the will of God.”