Over the last three months I’ve had the opportunity to read two books about men driven by purpose. The first, “Into the Wild” speaks of Chris McCandless who for years wandered the wilderness of the West and Northwest, and finally Alaska, chasing a freedom that cannot be found outside of Christ. The second – “Lost City of Z” – tells of Percy Fawcett an early 20th century explorer, who chases after an unknown city in the jungles of the Amazon multiple times. A city, that cannot be truly found on this Earth, because as believers we know that this is not our home! Both of these true accounts (Which I highly recommend reading) speak to the heart of a multitude of issues I believe we face as creatures of our beloved Creator.
Firstly, God has given us a powerful vision/pursuit designed for us and for His glory. Percy and Chris were men of vision; men of purpose; men of a grandiose idea. But their hearts had not been shaped by the redemptive power of the creator, and thus their purpose and vison was ever “just out of reach”. (Neither Percy Fawcett – who most surmise died in the jungle with his oldest son and his son’s closest friend – nor Chris who died in an abandoned bus in the wilderness of Alaska found what they were looking for). Yet our God is not one who gives us vision and then tantalizing dangles it just out of reach. He speaks it into the deepest part of our being and then consistently and constantly calls it out in us as we pursue Him and His design. Which leads to my second observation.
Both Percy and Chris heard a similar call, but instead of submitting to the authority of the Lord (as we as believers and followers do) they tried to chase after it in their own power. You see, the vision God gives us is not our vision at all, but His, and we get to play a valuable role. In so doing, we relinquish the rights to this vision and submit constantly and consistently (through faith and obedience – the book of James speaks on this) to His will. Chris and Percy consistently sought to pursue everything in their own power. Scripture is never more clear about how this will work out than in John 15:5 when Christ reminds us that without Him, we can do nothing! There is no vision that God gives that is not designed, supported, and maintained without His provision! We do not pursue in our own power, we simply submit and obey by faith.
Finally, let it be known. My heart was stirred by the courageous, bold, and seemingly radical lives that Percy and Chris lived. These aspects of their character are littered throughout God’s people in scripture. In fact, I feel my heart was stirred to them because I read about them daily in scripture. Except their names are not Chris and Percy, but Moses, and Joshua, David and Peter, Daniel and John, Paul and Stephen. You see, God has stirred in our hearts all that we need for His vision/purpose/design for our lives. We can live bold and courageous lives because Christ has given us the freedom to do so (Read the book of Romans). We can live bold and courageous lives because we serve a God who has already gone ahead of us (Read the Book of Joshua). We can live bold and courageous because we are led by the Holy Spirit (Read the book of Acts). There is nothing being withheld from us. And unlike Percy Fawcett and Chris we can rest assured that our pursuit and submission to His vision will never, ever be in vain!