Living Dangerously in God’s Wonder

Sara and I are rereading Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli each morning as our focus before she leaves for work. This morning we read one of my favorite passages in this one of my favorite books:

 

Predictability and faith cannot coexist. What characterized Jesus and His disciples was unpredictability. Jesus was always surprising the disciples by eating at the wrong houses (those of sinners), hanging around the wrong people (tax collectors, adulterers, prostitutes, lepers), and healing people on the wrong day (the Sabbath). There was no Day Timer™, no strategic plan, no mission statement; there was only the eager anticipation of the present moment. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to be the same as they were. His truth should be should be the same truth that they had spent centuries taming. But truth is unpredictable. When Jesus is present, everyone is uncomfortable yet mysteriously glad at the same time. People do not like surprises—even church people—and they don’t want to be uncomfortable. They want a nice, tame Jesus.
 
You know what? Tameness is not an option.
 
Take surprise out of faith and all that is left is dry and dead religion. Take away mystery from the gospel and all that is left is a frozen and petrified dogma. Lose your awe of God and you are left with an impotent deity. Abandon astonishment and you are left with meaningless piety. When religion is characterized by sameness, when faith is franchised, when the genuineness of our experience with God is evaluated by its similarities to others’ faith, then the uniqueness of God’s people is dead and the church is lost.

 

I love his sentiments even though I’d differ with his use of the term ‘church’. The church that Jesus knows prefers the danger of walking with the Living God to the routines of safe institutions any time. This church thrives in the wonder of the Living God, present among his people to accomplish his purpose even if that means he defies all of our preferences and expectations. May God have his way even if that thwarts our best-laid plans or ruffles up our comfort zone.

 

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6 Comments
  1. Allan (from las vegas) June 2, 2004 at 3:55 pm

    it is so very funny or interesting that we find ourselves by giving ourselves over to mystery, sometimes it seems like confusion, but really it is mystery. a beautiful, wonderful mysterious God

  2. Allan (from las vegas) June 2, 2004 at 6:55 pm

    it is so very funny or interesting that we find ourselves by giving ourselves over to mystery, sometimes it seems like confusion, but really it is mystery. a beautiful, wonderful mysterious God

  3. Steve June 3, 2004 at 9:07 am

    Have you ever thought about the mystery of the first love. The way your heart almost jumps out of your chest everytime you see the other. The trembling in anticipation of going where you have never gone before. Experiencing the intimacy that you have never before experienced. Indeed it is dangerous and there needs to be a patience in the unfolding of that relationship. The faithfulness of both parties needs to be established, sort of a testing of their love. A time of preparation in view of the ultimate rapture (is that the right word?) of the final giving of the two to one another. What amazes me is how our Lord has loved us so much even when we were so very unfaithful to him, He was willing to wait on us. That is one of the greatest mysterys about this God who loves us so. He continues to reveal Himself to us, a peek here, a glance there, just enough to cause us to want to run after Him. Oh how wonderful to betrothed to one so faithful. The whole process transforms us in a way only He can do. It is His faithfulness that is at the heart of this love affair. Ours only grows as a result of it. Talk about a mystery. It is so very far beyond my understanding. But my heart keeps crying to know Him better and I find that I am quite willing to share His love with those who are just as desperate for Him as I am in fact I must. The mystery of Christ and His bride. Very dangerous living indeed. Especially dangerous for the enemy of our souls. Thank you Lord! No one can ever be quite like You yet you desire that we become just that..conformed to your image. Another great mystery. He is so very awesome.

  4. Steve June 3, 2004 at 12:07 pm

    Have you ever thought about the mystery of the first love. The way your heart almost jumps out of your chest everytime you see the other. The trembling in anticipation of going where you have never gone before. Experiencing the intimacy that you have never before experienced. Indeed it is dangerous and there needs to be a patience in the unfolding of that relationship. The faithfulness of both parties needs to be established, sort of a testing of their love. A time of preparation in view of the ultimate rapture (is that the right word?) of the final giving of the two to one another. What amazes me is how our Lord has loved us so much even when we were so very unfaithful to him, He was willing to wait on us. That is one of the greatest mysterys about this God who loves us so. He continues to reveal Himself to us, a peek here, a glance there, just enough to cause us to want to run after Him. Oh how wonderful to betrothed to one so faithful. The whole process transforms us in a way only He can do. It is His faithfulness that is at the heart of this love affair. Ours only grows as a result of it. Talk about a mystery. It is so very far beyond my understanding. But my heart keeps crying to know Him better and I find that I am quite willing to share His love with those who are just as desperate for Him as I am in fact I must. The mystery of Christ and His bride. Very dangerous living indeed. Especially dangerous for the enemy of our souls. Thank you Lord! No one can ever be quite like You yet you desire that we become just that..conformed to your image. Another great mystery. He is so very awesome.

  5. Jeanne June 6, 2004 at 7:40 pm

    Wayne,

    I am reading Dangerous Wonder for the first time. I am loving it, and I am being challenged, I have been a Christian for many years and I have lost the wonder for sure. God is stirring it up in me.

    BTW, COME BACK TO COLORADO!!

  6. Jeanne June 6, 2004 at 10:40 pm

    Wayne,

    I am reading Dangerous Wonder for the first time. I am loving it, and I am being challenged, I have been a Christian for many years and I have lost the wonder for sure. God is stirring it up in me.

    BTW, COME BACK TO COLORADO!!

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