If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
– Jesus (Luke 9:23-25)
Can following God be dangerous? Yes, but not nearly as dangerous as not following God. Danger, real danger, is having a faith you say you have which no one else can see you have.
- Dangerous faith is a faith you can have and still do as you like – it won’t interfere with your job, bank account, marriage, parenting, hobbies, politics, how much time you spend on the links or how many activities you put your kids in week-in and week-out.
- Dangerous faith doesn’t demand much from you outside of showing up and listening to a preacher once or twice every month or so.
- Dangerous faith promises to keep you respectable, preserve your image and maintain your status amongst your peers.
- Dangerous faith gives you the permission to describe your faith to others as something that’s merely private and internal…And let’s just keep it at that.
- Dangerous faith finds assurance from a ‘decision’ you made in the past without looking at what you really believe in the present.
- Dangerous faith convinces you that grace is something God does for us but not necessarily in us.
- Dangerous faith pursuades you that ‘Jesus as Savior’ is essential but ‘Jesus as Lord’ is optional.
Is following Jesus dangerous? Yes. But not nearly as dangerous as not following Jesus. James 2:26 sets us straight: “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” This should help us see that a dangerous faith is the one that gives permission to say you believe in God without actually having to demonstrate that belief in God. So make no mistake…
The most dangerous faith is the faith you possess that doesn’t possess you.