A man owned a beautiful, rare piece of artwork, worth millions. But he was afraid of it being stolen. He decided “I want to keep this safe, where no one can get to it, where it can never be stolen”.

So he puts the painting in a safe in the most secure bank vault in the world. His wife noticed the painting is gone and asked

“Where did the painting go?”. He replies “Oh, I locked it away so it was safe. Now no one can steal it. I know it’s safe now.”

She replied  “Yes, but now no one can marvel at it’s beauty, reflect on it’s meaning and admire the creativity and talent behind it. It might be more safe  but no one can fully appreciate it’s magnificence.”

Many of us are like this with our faith. We want it safe and controlled. We like a nice, secure faith where we know the boundaries and where we stand. It’s much easier to have a relationship with that kind of God.

But it’s not real faith at all.

A faith that’s safe, can’t be faith. (Tweet that here)

If our faith doesn’t allow for questioning, if we cannot explore the mystery of the divine, we are going to miss out on God completely.

We will have a concept of God which we understand, which allows us to practice our faith more easily. But we will not have true intimacy with our creator. We will not be able to have real, honest relationship with the divine.

Is your relationship with God anything like this?

Mine used to be. It was limited, restrictive and eventually felt like a straightjacket. It simply didn’t fit. I wanted to break free.

I understand now that we cannot have a full relationship with God if there is no room for questions. No mystery and nothing unknown is a sure sign it’s not God at all.

If God is God and we are not, by definition there have to be elements of mystery and unknown.

There will be always things we do not know and aspects of who He is we have yet to experience or understand. No level of experience or academic knowledge will ever be enough to understand or contain Him.

 

Being honest…

 

God wants us to cut through the legalism, tradition and cheesy jargon and have an honest relationship with Him.

He wants us question Him – not just with polite questions, but the dangerous ones we’re afraid to ask. All of us have them, we feel them welling up inside of us, but we’re usually afraid to ask them.

Do you have questions you’ve been afraid to ask God?

If we’re in a real, honest relationship with God, there will be space for dangerous – possibly even heretical – questions. We won’t be afraid to discuss or explore them.

We will find we can to honest with ourselves, and with God, about who we are. Not cover it up. We are all broken, messy people, and God wants us to be open about it – and just receive His grace in response.

All of this requires trust. A relationship can’t go anywhere without trust, and truly trusting God means jumping into mystery and the unknown.

A God we can’t control. A faith that’s not safe. That’s worth risking your life for.

After all, if we can’t explore the dangerous, mysterious and unknown trusting God to be with us,

do we really trust God at all?

Trusting a God of certainty, with everything explained and clear, isn’t trust. It’s a masquerade of trust.

It’s trust we control, which isn’t trust at all.

Have you ever trusted God this way?

I used to. It was much easier, much safer. But it was flawed.

 

An invitation

 

In my ‘This is my truth’ post, part of what I was expressing was a desire to move more away from a safe kind of faith – and explore what that would look like.

That invitation is open to us all.

An invitation to a faith, a God, that embodies mystery, the unknown and allows us to ask dangerous, maybe even heretical, questions. One that is out of our control, and demands our total trust. That cannot be contained with religious rules or boundaries.

True faith. Which isn’t safe, but dangerous.

Faith should be dangerous. It should require our trust – otherwise, it wouldn’t be faith. (Tweet that here)

Faith will also, however, be an adventure. It will be exciting.

It allows us to see more of the beauty of the divine. It opens us to see more of God and ourselves. It gives us permission to really wrestle with God about issues that matter. It also allows us space to honestly doubt and room to grow.

It’s a journey, one that God wants all of us – you included – to be part of.

Are you with me?

 

Is your faith safe or dangerous?

Is there room for mystery and the unknown in your relationship with God?

Are you afraid to ask God questions?

Are you willing to step into a more dangerous kind of faith?

 

Hi, I’m James and I’m a writer. I’m passionate about digital media, creativity & our divine journey. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook. To get regular updates on my blog & receive exclusive content subscribe to my newsletter.

 

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James Prescott

Hi, I’m James. I live near London. I’m a fan of good food, comic-book movies, & books. I love to write, and I coach other writers & creative people. Thank you for being part of my community. read more...