Before you go on an adventure, you must do your research. It’s just common sense.
All professionals know that it is not wise to go out into the world without first educating yourself and making sure you have the right gear. Even here at our camp, all of us guides know that there is a lot that goes into planning a fun and safe adventure.
Before setting out on an adventure there is usually a list of questions we ask ourselves that help us come to make an educated guess on whether or not an adventure will be safe. Some of the questions that get asked might be like;
“What’s the weather look like?”
“how long will I be out?”
“Will I need to bring food?”
“What if an emergency happens?”
“What resources and gear will I need to keep me safe.”
All these questions (and more) are practical questions that help us evaluate the risks and dangers that might be involved before embarking on an adventure. Carefully going through and answering these types of questions will help us know how to prepare and stay safe.
For example, let’s say that if I decided one day that I would like to go rafting but I fail to ask myself any of these questions. Instead, I just grab what I think I need and head out the door. I have my PFD, my helmet, a boat, and my paddle, what else might I need? Well, what if something were to happen. If the boat flips or wraps, do I have the tools with me to get out of that situation? What is the weather like? Maybe it’s a cloudy day and the water temperature has dropped to the point where I would need to wear a wetsuit in order to stay warm. All these things and more are aspects that go into planning and putting into action a successful and safe trip. It is a lot of work and thought but it is always, always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to serious adventuring.
As adventurers, it is critical that we not only stay educated but that we also use the right quality gear. People’s lives are on the line. If we don’t do our research it could result in some very negative consequences and I really don’t want to go there… But this takes us to my point for this post. The other day I was thinking about this concept of staying educated and doing the research before going on adventures. I began applying this same idea to our knowledge of God and God’s word. I was surprised to find that the same truth applies to our Christian walk.
We must be educated in the truth!
As we follow Christ in this world, it isn’t always easy. Often times we find that there is more than one way laid out before us. There are many churches proclaiming different messages about following Jesus. If we just blindly follow the ideas of this world, it won’t be long before we also find ourselves on a slippering and dangerous slope. So how do we as Christians living in this world, know what the right path is? The simple answer is- you probably can guess it! As I said above; be educated! If we don’t know the truth, we can’t know the right way from the wrong way.
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Just like we research all the conditions and dangers before going on an adventure, we need to do our research in God’s word and have a proper understanding of the Gospel before jumping into new ideas. God has given us all we need in His Word. The Bible is our ultimate “gear guide” when it comes to navigating the adventures of life. Just like how asking a set of questions helps us determine the risks and evaluate the conditions before adventuring, asking a similar set of questions can help us get to the core of the many so-called “Christian” teachings being offered in this world. Below is an idea of the type of questions one might ask when seeking to discern the truth;
What’s does God’s word say about this _____(insert topic or situation)?
Does this church’s doctrine stay true to the teachings in the Bible?
Is the Gospel and the cross the central part of this ministry/teaching?
What godly fruit is evident from this person’s life or ministry?
Just to be clear here, I’m not saying that everything that doesn’t pass these questions is going to be false and something we need to stay away from. But I also want to make a point that any teaching that is questionable in the area of the gospel, is like having cheap gear. Yes, it will still work. The fundamentals are all still there. But just like if I had PFD that is broken, it will still keep me afloat, it just won’t do a very good job and I’m taking a huge risk using it. A cheap watered-down Gospel is like using cheap gear. It provides us with the minimum amount of truth that we need to survive and that’s it. It won’t be as effective in reaching lost souls and it comes with risks.
I simply want to encourage you in this post, to not take the truth of God’s word lightly. It is so easy to be swayed one way or another and jump into what seems like good Christian teaching. But Jesus tells that in this world there will be many false teachings and ideas that claim to be the truth but are not. Even inside the Christian world, there will be ideas and teaching that don’t line up with the Gospel. So it is our job and duty as Christians, to know the truth and to be continually evaluating and running every new idea and teaching through the Word of God.
“so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, ” Ephesians 4:14-15
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Just like in an actual real-life adventure, people’s lives are on the line (spiritually). Our efforts in properly understanding the Gospel and defending the truth will go far in saving souls and bringing the Good News to those who desperately need to hear it.
To sum it up simply; do your research, in your adventures, and in your Christian walk. When it comes to your adventuring and your faith, don’t follow blindly. Don’t walk into an unsafe situation without first evaluating the dangers and risks. Be prepared and educate yourself so that on that last day, when we stand before Jesus, we can tell Him that we were faithful. We didn’t chase after cheap imitations of the Gospel and put our faith in dangerous waters, but rather that we followed Him above all and held his truth high above everything else in this world!