My friend, Will Hunter, has offered a thought-provoking challenge about the amazing benefits that Christ has secured for us from Romans 5:1-11. Through the sacrifice of his Son, God has given his people the huge blessing of a justified life. However, it is so easy and so foolish to fail to take advantage of this “justified life.” You have been given the gift of being justified by faith and not by the good things that you try to do. This gift is immediate and continued access to God’s grace. You have been reconciled to the mighty, awesome, majestic Lord of the Universe. You have peace with the ultimate warrior and avenger. You need not fear death. There is no person, no circumstance that can separate you from the power and blessing of your justified life. Don’t waste this precious gift!
Will Hunter drives this point home with an illustration of people who had gone to the beach for a week’s vacation. They selected a beautiful hotel with direct access to the beach. Each day they left their rooms but instead of going to the beach, they went to the hotel pool, selected a comfortable lounge chair and spent their days poolside, ignoring the blessings and beauty of the sand and ocean. No doubt they enjoyed the attractive building and tropical landscaping, the ocean breeze, the pool, and the easy access to their rooms. However, the full benefit and blessings of the beach were wasted as they choose to not venture out beyond the pool. It was not so much that they did something awful. They just wasted opportunities to take full advantage of the beach just a few steps away. The point is God wants us to take full advantage of the justified life that he has provided. He wants us to leave the relative security of the pool and enjoy all that he as for us so that his name will be honored.
The full blessing of the justified life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God is to be enjoyed! To do that we must leave the safety of the poolside chairs and venture out to the adventure and wonder of the beach. It is there that the joy of knowing God will reach the deepest places of your heart.
Will’s challenge caused me to think of the prayer offered by Sir Francis Drake on his voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Drake’s prayer encourages us to not focus on being safe but to be consumed with the honor and enjoyment of knowing God.
Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life; when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. —Sir Francis Drake, 1577