When Risking it All Really Isn’t That Risky
I recently read an article on the Gospel Coalition marking the 65th anniversary since missionaries Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming were killed in the jungles of Ecuador. (I’ll link it below!) Since reading this article I have been thinking about what it means to live with an urgency for the gospel as a university student, as an individual who is not that much younger than Nate Saint and his friends. In a conversation I had with my dad, he said, “You, as a university student, are in a very unique phase of life. You are young, single, without obligation to family.” Basically, he explained that I am in a position where I could completely risk it all for the gospel with minimal negative impact to myself or anyone around me. I could pack up and move to Ecuador with a few friends and preach the gospel to an unreached people group. I could, essentially, do anything I wanted to in an effort to impact the kingdom of God and I wouldn’t risk losing much. This caused me to question whether or not I was living with the correct amount of gospel urgency. I would like to challenge you to join me in taking a look at your life and examining your own gospel urgency and intentionality. Before I do this, though, I think it’s important to explain a bit more why this season of life we are in is so unique!
I don’t know every detail of your daily life. I don’t know your family situation. But I do know that if you are reading this, you are likely a high school student, university student, or a young adult of similar age. If your life is somewhat similar to mine – you are not married, you do not have kids, and you do not yet have a mortgage to pay off. You likely live with your family or on a university campus. You likely don’t have a ton of financial flexibility, but you also likely don’t have a ton of obligations. This lifestyle allows for a lot of unique freedom in decision making. This can’t be said for many other stages of life.
Next... let’s look at what it means to actually live with gospel urgency and intentionality. Here’s a big question to chew on: what is the meaning of your life? The Westminster Confession of Faith describes the human purpose as this: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Surprisingly simple! But, how do we glorify Him? I think a large part of living a life that glorifies Him is obeying the commission that Jesus gave to His disciples at the end of His time on earth.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If we know our purpose (to glorify Him) and we know our calling (to GO and make disciples), then should we not be filled with a sense of urgency? And should we not carry this urgency forth into intentionality in our daily lives? It’s important to acknowledge that living this way does not require selling all that you have, packing up, and moving to Ecuador. But what it does require is a willingness to risk it all for the sake of Christ.
So, how can we live our young adult daily lives with this perspective? Like I said, you don’t have to move to Ecuador. But maybe it means you don’t just pursue a degree for the sake of obtaining a stable job after college. Maybe it means you pursue the degree that you believe will best equip you for wherever the Lord might call you. Maybe this looks like pursuing a law degree for the purpose of working to bring restoration to all of the racial unrest in the United States. Maybe this looks like going to med school and becoming a doctor who actively lives out the gospel in his or her field of work. Maybe it looks like getting a degree in journalism and using a gift in writing to spread the gospel in the literary world. Maybe it means you don’t go to college at all, but instead spend time being the practical hands and feet of Jesus through volunteer work in your community. Or, maybe the Lord IS calling you to abandon your current life and move to a third world country. Living with gospel intentionality could look like anything, but it must come with the recognition that all is loss in comparison to Christ… and it is worth it to risk it all for His sake.
Now, this is the part where I challenge you to join me in taking a look at your life and asking, “Am I living with gospel urgency and intentionality?” Often, my answer is no. Let me ask you a few questions that might help you answer this. Why are you going to the university you’re going to? Why are you pursuing the degree that you are pursuing? What is your biggest goal when you graduate? Is your core motivation glorifying the God who saved you? the God who abandoned it all and became man to bring you out of darkness and into light? Do you want a college degree simply so that you can obtain a well-paying job, or so that you can be equipped to make Christ known no matter where He calls you? Are you willing to risk it all for Christ?
Maybe spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord to reveal the honest answers to these questions. College is good. Degrees are good. Careers are good. But pursuing these things with an urgency for the gospel and an intentionality for spreading it is better.
Risk it all. Emotionally and mentally sell all that you have, pack up your bags, and shift your perspective to one focused on eternity. Take advantage of this unique season of life in which you have been placed, where risking it all really isn’t that risky.
Link to Gospel Coalition article: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/the-secret-of-good-vs-better/