A dictionary definition:
-an epic poem attributed to Homer, describing Odysseus’s adventures in his ten-year attempt to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War.
-(or) a long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc.
To me, the first odyssey is the Abrahamic (call) Odyssey. We know the story, Abraham hears God and trusts him while going forth. He does not know the final destination, but he has a missional contract in his hand, a promise, and enters into a relational journey with God that starts off the Christian faith. This step was primarily based in obedience.
The second Odyssey is with Moses. The Exodus of Gods people in the desert towards the promised land. Again, Moses did not know the final destination other than that it was very good. An act of obedience again, but this time we have the Tabernacle at the heart of Gods people while they were on the move . The presence of the Lord as they were going.
At this point remember the second definition of an Odyssey ; …… a long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc.
The third Odyssey then is Jesus’ call to go. The Great Commission Odyssey. There is no final destination here other than to make Jesus Lord and to follow Him with our whole lives. Like the previous Odysseys it is based in radical obedience. The great commission states we are to make disciples, to be a blessing to the all nations …..WHILE YOU ARE GOING! Jesus promises to be with us as we go.
It all gets down to choice. What will our present steps of obedience lead to in terms of a final destination? All of this must be about the endgame, the final outcome. That is the point of being obedient to the word of the Lord at the beginning of a new journey, an Odyssey with God. There is a bigger picture and we cannot always see it in the present tense. All that we can see is the next few steps ahead of us, lit up by the lamp of the Lord. What our obedient steps will lead to and what the long term fruit will be in the end, that is for us to find out……
So finally, what will we need for this journey? The 4th Odyssey includes the need for clear vision as to the ‘why’ should we even begin. How we will go needs also to be clear in terms of what we will need to get started. In any journey with God there must be a digging deeper into His word found in the bible. This is how we are fed along the way. And in that place of dwelling in the word, we are also nurtured by the tangible presence of the God amongst us. We can enjoy being with Him, even being guided by Him as we go. Finally, we need to be going together – it is a corporate act that includes accountability and supporting one another along the way. Inevitably, this leads to personal growth and becoming more like Jesus. The 4th Odyssey must ultimately end in becoming more like Jesus and giving glory to him throughout all the nations of the earth…….