I once heard a prominent church leader sadly quip, “Christians have been taught way beyond their obedience.” This is a regrettable but true statement as it relates to the evangelistic responsibility of every Christian and every church. The message of the Bible is clear: We are to “go and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28: 19-20).
James sums up this point well in his Epistle when he instructs, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1: 22). Only so much talk should be tolerated before someone jumps up and shouts, “Let’s go do it.” Of course this could be applied to any of the themes of teaching throughout the Scriptures. I have heard many Christians over the years demand pastors to give them “the meat of the Word.” What they mean, however, is that they want an insightful Bible study that will give them more knowledge. Obviously, we must train Christians in the truths of Scripture, which requires a foundation of information. But information (knowledge) is not the “meat” of the Word. Jesus was clear on this point. He said, “My food [meat] ... is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work” (John 4: 34). He goes on to exhort the disciples to “open their eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” I want to suggest that doing God’s will, eating the meat of the Word, is not doing a Bible study or listening to a Bible study, but going and doing what it says, especially as it relates to working in the ripe harvest fields, which is the aim of the Treasure Hunt.
Like Ananias in our study of Acts chapter 9, the hardest part of the Adventure is the going. He did not question whether or not God had spoken to him. He knew God’s voice, and knew that what He had spoken was true. His concern and initial hesitation were in the command to “Go!” He was afraid. Keep in mind, Ananias was probably not a natural-born risk taker. In reality, he was probably a timid, introverted guy by nature. I can almost hear him thinking, “Hey, instead of going, why don’t I start a prayer meeting at the church to specifically pray for this guy Saul? After all, prayer is powerful and effective, and by the way, a lot safer!” Thankfully, against all fear and intimidation, Ananias went, fulfilling Jesus’ command to “Go!” And of course, when we do “go,” amazingly, we find Treasures beyond our wildest expectations.
I recently heard a report of a man who discovered an extremely valuable 4.21-carat, crystal-shaped diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. Interestingly, this man had no training in diamond excavation and was not an expert in gemology. As a State Trooper he was just looking for a creative adventure to enjoy with his family. As it turns out, there have been over 25,000 diamonds unearthed in this park since 1972, which amounts to about two discoveries per day by visitors. It only costs $ 6.00 to enter the park, yet few seem to take advantage of the opportunity to Treasure Hunt. Those who do “go,” however, have a chance at uncovering a diamond like the “Uncle Sam,” a 40.23-carat, which is the largest diamond ever found at the park and in the United States.
I want to suggest that Treasure Hunting provides an amazing opportunity to discover hidden gems. There are people just waiting for you to pay the price to come and find them. You do not have to be an expert Treasure Hunter. You do not have to be an astute theologian. But you do have to take some risk and go!