I have some hobbies/passions that require caution: motorcycles, shooting, off-roading, auto mechanics. These are things that could be dangerous, but are enjoyable and safe if appropriate caution is used.
The reason any person would get on a motorcycle or under their vehicle or into a swamp or behind an optic is the reward associated with those activities. There’s no freedom like riding back roads or around beautiful scenery on a cruiser. Saving hundreds on auto repairs makes the effort worth it. Seeing how much mud/water/rock/terrain you can keep moving through is a blast. Racing the timer and improving consistency, all while hearing the satisfying “ding” of a steel target is exhilarating.
If an activity is enjoyable – potentially risky, but fun – we tend to do it anyway, with appropriate caution. Even those who don’t enjoy these kinds of activities are likely licensed drivers and are glad to assume the risks involved with driving (according to the WHO, 1.25 million die in a wreck worldwide every year, with an additional 20-50 million getting injured or disabled).
I cannot justify being willing to assume risks in many other aspects of my life, but cutting out the one aspect that impacts eternity. The CDC has accidents as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Most of us drive to go anywhere or do anything more than a mile or so away, and we do this without a second thought.
Even if Christian fellowship were the most dangerous activity possible (for many in the early church it was, for some today it might be), we should be willing to pursue it. We could never hope for a greater reward than we will receive for the risk we might assume when we come together as a church.
In a world facing ever-changing circumstances, we need to be reminded of some truths about God. A great text that can help us do this is found in the writings of the Messianic prophet, Isaiah. He tells us some exciting facts about God in Isaiah 33:5-6.In brief, Isaiah reminds us of God’s transcendence (“exalted…on high”), His trustworthiness (“has filled Zion with justice and righteousness”), and His treasure (“a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure”).In the midst of upholding God’s perfect character, the prophet makes this reassuring statement: “And He will be the stability of your times.”
In part, here is what that means to us today…
There is no minimum distance we have to keep from Him under any circumstance (Jas. 4:8).
There is no restriction or limit on our access to Him and His blessings, on prayer or His Word (Phil. 4:19).
There is no chance that you will look for Him and He will not be there (Psa. 50:15).
There is no possibility that you will learn that what was true of Him yesterday is not true of Him today (or tomorrow)(Heb. 13:8)
There is no cancellation policy at the throne of grace for the child of God (Heb. 4:16).
There is no threat or danger that can keep you from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).
There is no earthly thing to nullify the truth that “the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid” (Heb. 13:6).
The more we expose ourselves to Him, the healthier we will be.
There is zero chance that you will go to Him for healing and have it fail (Jer. 8:22; Luke 5:31).
Scripture calls Him the Rock (Deut. 32:4), the shield (2 Sam. 22:31), my protection (Isa. 27:5), my shield, stronghold, and protection (2 Sam. 22:3), and a strong tower (Prov. 18:10). As Nebuchadnezzar understood, “all His works are true and His ways just” (Dan. 4:37).
Take heart. Take on the day. Take comfort and refuge. “And He will be the stability of your times.”