By Joe Chesser
Did that grab your attention? The following quote is from an article I read by Sherman Cox:
“Dream dangerously. We currently live among a generation of people whose dreams are too realistic to do the world any good.”
This article challenged preachers to stand apart from the crowd by preaching what their hearers needed, not what they wanted to hear. Cox compared many of today’s preachers to Esau, who sold his birthright for something that would only satisfy the moment – a bowl of soup! Preaching that makes you feel good at the moment requires no courage or risk. Anybody can help people be what they already are. It’s a cautious way to live. Everybody loves to feel good, to feel that everything is OK, to think that they are at peace with God. But like the prophet Jeremiah wrote, many are crying “‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). The Lord said that in the end they will “fall among the fallen” because they are no longer “ashamed of their loathsome conduct.” In fact, “they do not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15).
But preachers who dream about truly helping the lost to be transformed into the likeness of God are those who, like Jeremiah, are willing to dream and live dangerously. They have the courage to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. It is ironic that it is in living dangerously that true and eternal peace can be found.
However, living dangerously is not only for preachers. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). If you thought being a Christian was going to be easy, you were greatly mistaken. Satan hates those who have chosen to live for God, and he is committed to do everything within his power to make it difficult for you stay faithful to God. He schemes (Eph. 6:11); he prowls like a lion (1 Peter 5:8); he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14); he want to make you as miserable as possible (Job 1-2). He will turn your friends and family against you. He will take your money and health. He will make it difficult for you at work or school or home. He will temp you with anything and everything he thinks might work. To stand up against him is a struggle (Eph. 6:12). It’s a fight for life. It truly is a dangerous way to live.Without God’s help it would not only be dangerous, it would be impossible. Without the power of the blood of Jesus we could never be forgiven and separated from the kingdom of darkness (Col. 1:13-14). Without the battle equipment God gives we could never stand up against Satan (Eph. 6:10-17). Without the fruit of the Spirit we could never grow into the likeness of God (Gal. 5:22-25). Without the resurrection of Jesus we would be hopeless (1 Cor. 15:12-19). “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:58). By living dangerously we are set apart from the world Satan controls; by living dangerously we gain the victory!