The Adventure Club

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As a kid I craved adventure. There was nothing more exciting than following a handmade map to find a treasure buried deep in the backyard. My brothers and I spent countless hours exploring the woods that surrounded our house, searching for bugs or rocks or anything exciting that forced us to venture out of the mundane and into the unknown. Some of our favorite movies were The Goonies and Indiana Jones because they kept us on the edge of our seats. Even as a society, we start out young playing games like hide-and-seek, going on egg hunts for Easter and scavenger hunts for birthday parties–all moving us to do what we were created for in the first place: to seek, to expect, and to find, as we long for the element of surprise. Why is that? Because you want adventure. I want adventure. We all want adventure.

During my last summer in college, I worked at a preschool and day camp for kids. One day, my boss came running into the office wide-eyed and thrilled over what had just happened to him, and he had to tell me the whole story. He had received a phone call from a lady in Kentucky who claimed to have information on a treasure she believed to be buried in a state park not far from where we lived.

Just a few months before this she had started reading a book with her son called A Treasure’s Trove, an interactive story for children and adults filled with puzzles, hidden poems, and layers of clues that led to the twelve hidden creatures in the story. Every night, the mother/son team was on a search to find the hidden creatures of the book, especially since they found out that the author of the story had actually hidden twelve gold tokens in twelve state parks across the U.S. It gets even better. The author had hired a famous jeweler to create twelve corresponding elaborate jewels with a combined value of over 1 million dollars. If you could decipher the puzzles, they would lead you to a gold token that could be used to redeem the matching jewel. In other words, you could cash in big time.

The lady from Kentucky had asked my boss if he would help her find the caterpillar token that was worth $12,000. If you knew him, you’d know he was usually doing something mischievous and always up for a new adventure. This was way more intriguing than his last geocaching escapade, so he quickly agreed and took one of his friends with him on the adventure.

They arrived at the state park and followed her directions closely to find the tree where she thought the token was hidden. My boss spied out the park all weekend, watching as people who were also on to the treasure surrounded the area and tried to get the coin out with a magnet. But my boss knew it was impossible because a magnet cannot stick to gold. He waited till the treasure hunters cleared out and then decided to use a Shop-Vac from his truck to get the token out of the tree.

The one-of-a-kind gold token that he held in his hand mesmerized me, not because of what it was worth but because of the adventure it represented. As he told me his story, I was so stirred up that I felt like it was my adventure too.

Adventure is in our blood because our Father is the great Adventurer. He lies awake at night thinking about us, planning His next exhilarating paragraph in each of our tailor-made stories. As He writes His love-plan upon our hearts, we sense a stirring, begin to dream again, and realize that we were made for so much more. Romans 8:15-16 msg says, “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us . . . inheritance!”

I love that it says our life is “adventurously expectant” asking, “What’s next, Papa?” We have a big part to play in our stories.

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the first part of any adventure is TO SEEK.

Real heroes study the treasure map before they even step foot into new territory. We also have a great advantage in that we are able to ask the opinion of the One who drew the map in the first place. In the Old Testament, King David goes on one adventure after another, but it’s interesting to note that before every heroic moment, the Bible says that he inquires of the Lord. Getting wisdom should be number one on our to-do list. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom.”

A wise adventurer finds out what is truly valuable in life and spends his time chasing after that. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” We were never meant to seek the riches; they were meant to seek after us. After my boss found the gold token in the tree, the lady from Kentucky gave him half of her reward. He said later that they had never discussed splitting the earnings before he went out on the hunt. That showed me that the adventure itself meant more to him than the money.

Our motive should never be money. Instead, we should crave the King and His kingdom. His adventure plan is the real treasure we are after. If we will do His will and follow His map, there will be treasures waiting for us around every twist and every turn. His plan and His provision go hand-in-hand, and on His path, there are pleasures forevermore! But we will only find them after we discover who is most valuable in life and begin to seek a rich relationship with Him.

Recently, I wrote this song desiring to communicate how valuable Jesus is to me:

Finer than gold, more costly than silver,

no treasure in this world compares to You.

You outshine the brightest stone,

You satisfy my soul,

no treasure in this world compares to You.

Jesus, You’re all to me,

worth more than anything,

no treasure in this world compares to You.

If I searched the world, I’d find nothing compares 

to the joy I’ve found in You.

You’re the one I seek, you’re the one I desire

it is You, none like You.

Jesus, You’re all to me

worth more than anything,

no treasure in this world compares to You. 

Jesus is the ultimate Treasure. To find Him is to find life. Even though I’m so thankful I found Him, my search is not over. I still look for Him every day around every turn. I love how David describes his search for the only One who satisfies, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory” Psalm 63:1.

About a year ago, Jeremy and I sensed the Lord dealing with us to be in Branson for church on the weekends that we were not traveling and ministering. It was worth the eight-hour car ride once and even twice a month in order to lay hold of our treasure. When we realized that there was a specific place where God was speaking to us, we were willing to do whatever it took to get in those services and discover His plan. We needed to be in the place where we were giving and receiving life. My pastor recently said something to this effect, “The quality of the Word you hear will determine the quality of the life you live.”

Stepping out in faith always requires taking a risk. The dictionary even describes adventure as a bold undertaking with unforeseen events. Many people never see their reward because they are afraid to take risks. But not us! One of my favorite authors, Lillian B. Yeoman’s, puts it like this, “God delights in his children stepping out over the aching void with nothing underneath their feet but the Word of God.” Every day we should be listening for our next mission, ready to jump, fully expecting Him to catch us.

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Our next part in the adventure is to expect.

The expectation phase is the part of our stories where we may not be able to see what is just ahead of us. In literary terms, it is called en media res, or simply put–in the middle of things. So what can we do after the initial stirring and before we see our faith become sight? The Lord spoke to my heart once and said, “Give thanks a lot in the space between the unseen and the seen.” The voice of expectation is thanksgiving, and thanksgiving is the key that will unlock the door to the treasure you’ve been believing for.

Who you invite along on your adventure has a huge part to play in your story as well. Over 600,000 people purchased A Treasure’s Trove and began searching for the tokens. They even started websites where they teamed up to share solutions and secrets, all seeking and expecting to find the same treasure. Though only a few found a gold coin, many said that the friendships they made along the way were the real treasures.

People who share the same passion and are seeking the same thing are rare and precious to find. When God adds them to our lives, we should treat them as valuable, one-of-a-kind treasure, thanking the Lord for them every day. It’s much more fun to set out on the search as a team, and when you reach the treasure together, beholding the blessing of the Lord overflowing beyond your wildest dreams, you’ll have each other to laugh with, to cry with, to celebrate with, and to rejoice over the goodness of your God.

The Bible is our treasure map that leads us to what is truly valuable in life. The Holy Spirit is our torch, and if we’ll hold on to Him, He’ll light up our path and keep the fire burning. If we’ll let Him, He’ll take us on some of the most exciting adventures we could ever dream of. Yes, there may be a few snake pits to swing over, some crocs to kill, and some tigers to tame; but we’ll also get to explore crystal-filled caves and travel through gold-laden tunnels and sail on oceans of His love. If we’ll hold onto Him and let Him be our Guide, He will bring us safely through every valley; and at the end of our story, we’ll still be standing on a mountaintop, strong and secure, heroes with hands lifted high to heaven giving all the glory to God.

I believe that people of faith have a spirit of adventure. They take risks when others play it safe, and they step out when God whispers, “Go!” They refuse to be bored but live life on the edge of their seats. They know His fire burning deep inside, and they let their hearts run wild.

If you haven’t discovered yet the joy of a rich relationship with Jesus, I’d invite you to pray this with me:

“Jesus, I make You the Lord of my life. Take my life and do something great with it. Holy Spirit, be my Guide, and I’ll follow You all the days of my life.”

If you prayed this prayer with me, I want to be the first to say we’re all in this together. Welcome to The Adventure Club!