Paul, a traveling missionary to the first century world, put it like this:
“…I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. To know him is the best thing of all. Because of him I have lost everything. But I consider all of it to be garbage so I can get to know Christ. I want to be joined to him.
For me, being right with God does not come from the law. It comes because I believe in Christ. It comes from God. It is received by faith.
I want to know Christ better. I want to know the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings. I want to become like him by sharing in his death. Then by God’s grace I will rise from the dead.”
These past 4 years, these words have run repeatedly through my veins, pumping renewing life straight into me, reminding me of the reasons why I move and breathe. I could weep as I write this-- there is nothing better, no greater adventure, than the active pursuit of knowing and following God.
Webster defines adventure as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity…. the exploration of unknown territory.” I resonate with this when thinking of when I first dared to venture to that place of fully surrendering myself to the Lord and His ways. In my short life, I have gone on a handful of unusual, yet exciting expeditions into unknown territories. Some were less than thrilling; some have left my life forever changed. But there has been nothing—nothing that has taken me deeper into scariest and hardest parts of the world and myself, nothing that has left me more in awe and wonder of something outside of myself, and nothing that has completely changed me from the inside out, or left me in a place where I am so broken for people, more than the daring expedition of being in the trenches of knowing Christ, suffering like Christ, and seeing the world like Christ. The things of this earth, the praises of men, & the "adventures" of this world... cannot compare to this.
Knowing Him is the best thing of all. Knowing God is the greatest adventure.
Whether I was on my knees, alone in Beijing, China, learning how God was a protector, or traveling for years between states, between homes, learning that God was a provider, or finding community and a stable home, living life a little more conventionally, learning how God was a friend-- there was nothing I experienced on any of those journeys that could hold a candle to what I was learning about the Lord. Hands down-- if I was seeking God with all my heart, I was in the best place I could be-- knee-deep in the trenches of encountering Him. If I was hungrily diving into His Word, I was on a journey far surpassing anything worldly. If I was dying to myself like Him, seeing the world like Him, and loving others like Him, I was on the greatest adventure of all.
For many of us, this adventure is not a physical place. It’s a place God is calling our hearts to be. Maybe for some of us, the heart of God is still unknown territory, an undertaking we know has been waiting for us for a while.
Whatever part of the world you are in, whatever job you are in, whatever season of your life you are in, God is begging you—step away from the viewing section. Step away from looking at Him at a distance. Step away from enjoying the sites of other people knowing and serving Him. And come into the trenches of knowing and following God. It’s unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, and much of this territory will remain unknown. But it’s worth the risk; it's worth throwing comfort to the wind—to better understand the personality of the risen Savior, and to personally encounter the power of Resurrection.
He is the best.
And He is begging us…
To join Him on a greater adventure.