Monday, August 31, 2009

The Lust for Security

A quote from Elisabeth Elliot in A Light for My Path:

Once we have set ourselves to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth, which is what Christians are meant to be, it is incongruous for us to continue to insist upon the sort of security the world tries to guarantee. Our security lies not in protecting ourselves from suffering, but in putting ourselves fully into the hands of God. The desire for physical and material security makes us sly and hard. No. We must be like little children. The child in its father's arms is not worried. It lies quietly at rest because it trusts its father.

We disobey sometimes because we say it is impossible to do what God asks. Impossible? Perhaps what we mean is impossible to do that and keep our security, impossible to obey without tremendous cost, or at least tremendous risk. Where, then, will we find safety? Is it likely that we will find it elsewhere than in the arms of the Father?

Prayer: Teach me to rest in your everlasting arms. Make me know that all other security is illusion.


  1. Funny! That quote is pretty much the heart of the sermon I preached yesterday from Acts 5, where the apostles were set free from prison not to escape but to go right back to the place where they were arrested and keep doing what got them thrown in jail in the first place. They went away "rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name"(Acts 5:41). Freed to be used, worthy to suffer! Hard word, especially when we apply it not jut to ourselves but our children. Am I willing for my kids to be counted worthy to suffer for the name? If they follow Christ wholeheartedly it will cost them! I remembered an old song by Keith Green where he writes,
    "Well I pledge my son to heaven for the gospel.
    Though he's kicked and beaten, ridiculed and scorn.
    I will teach him to rejoice, and lift a thankful praising voice,
    And to be like Him who bore the nails and crown of thorns."
    - Brad

  2. I know. We pray so hard for our kids that they'd be protected from everything, yet, as I heard from Beth Moore (simulcast this past weekend), she said to pray for protection from everything except God's glory. Elisabeth Elliot also says some prayers go unanswered because in the negative circumstance, the character of Christ will be formed in us. Jesus' prayer in the garden, "Let this cup pass" was unanswered. His response? "Not my will but thine." That is the litmus test. Can I pray that and be willing to live it out, knowing his grace is sufficient? May it be so.

  3. What makes Elisabeth Elliot so refreshing and so credible for me is that I met her once, on an off day for her; she was really grouchy and without pretense. Perhaps I'd put her on some sort of spiritual pedestal before that, but have been so glad for that lunch with her. Seeing God use ordinary people in large ways gives me big-time hope, far more than when I read her books with the notion that she had that unattainable super saint status.

  4. I know. I grew up listening to her radio broadcast and she readily admitted her human weaknesses. Transparency and dependancy upon God is her trademark.