When I was younger I went to Sea World with my family. I had the chance to experience up close and personal many different types of animals trained for entertainment. One thing I will never forget is sitting in the front row marked “Splash Zone.” Many others chose to sit a few rows back in seats that get much less wet.
In short, the team at Sea World has clearly marked the seats in which you will leave much more wet than when you came in. No one forces you to sit there. It is all by your choice. You choose how much you want to experience. (Or if you brought a poncho or not!)
As you can see in the picture here, many of the people who came, are well prepared and expecting to get wet. (Wearing ponchos, rain jackets, etc.) It’s a much different experience when you sit that close than when you sit on the top row. Sitting further up is more of a self-preservation decision for the rest of the day, knowing that you may not want to walk around wet for the rest of the day. Yes, I have done that, and yes, I understand how uncomfortable it is!
If you decide to go to Sea World and don’t want to get wet, you do everything in your power to avoid it. If you get a little wet it could ruin your day. Sea World has water in every area of the park. Sea World is also a place built for entertainment, that is their purpose. Their website clearly says… “We are a leading theme park and entertainment company that blends imagination with nature and enables our guests to explore, inspire, and act.”
Many people that come to Sea World want the entertainment. But, do their very best to avoid contact with water while they are there. They don’t get the full experience, and stay far away from the “Splash Zone.”
MANY PEOPLE AT CHURCH DO THE SAME THING.
People come to church for the entertainment, or to feel good about themselves. But, they keep arm’s length away from truly experiencing Jesus.
You can go to many churches and watch what happens towards the end of the message. Once it gets a little too uncomfortable, or when the Pastor begins to ask people to respond to the message, many will leave to “beat the traffic,” “use the bathroom,” or they check their phone to distract them from what is happening.
Related Post: The Problem with Christians in America
I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church in the “Bible Belt.” These churches have a stigma of having people sit in the back row, and few people sitting up front. I’m not saying that you can’t experience Jesus from the back row of a church, I have many times.
One of my best friends accepted Jesus from the upper deck of a Billy Graham Revival. But as soon as he said yes to Jesus, he had an urge to get closer, and we made our way down to the field level. He wanted to get in the “Splash Zone!”
Now hear me. The “Splash Zone” is NOT the front row of the church. The Splash Zone, as I want to suggest it, is anywhere that you allow God to get you “wet” with the power of the Holy Spirit. You must make the decision to be there, and you have to come expectant for God to move.
The Disciples made the decision to follow Jesus. Thus, they walked in the Splash Zone throughout the rest of their lives.
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” – Matthew 9:20-22
Four men came to Jesus carrying a man who could not move his body. These men could not get near Jesus because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof of the house over where Jesus stood. Then they let down the bed with the sick man on it.” – Mark 2:3-4
Both stories represent people that understood the “Splash Zone.” They knew that seeing from afar didn’t make a difference. They had to get close to Jesus, they had to get in the Splash Zone for healing to truly happen.
The few keys I want to leave you about experiencing the “Splash Zone”
BE INTENTIONAL: You (Not anyone else) must make the decision to sit in the Splash Zone. No one will force you to experience Jesus, but I promise it’ll be worth getting wet!
COME EXPECTANT: Similar to people bringing rain jackets to Sea World, you must come to church ready and expectant to experience God in the full. If you come looking for it, it’s much easier to find.
IGNORE SELF-PRESERVATION: It’s very easy to think about how uncomfortable it may be to respond at church. Raising your hand in church, speaking to a stranger, going down front to pray, or getting baptized in front of your friends. One of the main reasons people say no to Jesus or ignore Him speaking is self-preservation. We don’t want to be uncomfortable. We don’t want to do something that it out of our normal or socially unacceptable in our mind. If you can put that aside, you will allow yourself to experience God much greater!
Related Post: A New Year For Strength and Courage
You can come to church every week and sit in the back and never respond or truly get engaged in the message. You can ignore God nudging you to do something out of your comfort zone and keep the status quo. But if you do that, you will never experience ALL that God has for you. There is so much more.