Recently I’ve been paying more attention to those who are not free to worship or even speak of Jesus without facing imprisonment or even death. These articles, pictures, and conversations were enough to make me ask myself “how far would you go to proclaim your belief in God and the gospel?”
Because of the manner in which I experienced God today I can say with conviction, “as far as I need to, however it would take surefire assistance from the Holy Spirit”. But just two days ago when I started writing this all I could think was “man I’m not quite sure”. Being so uncertain threw me into a world of
self-condemnation that I had to break through quickly by congratulating myself for being honest with God about that fear.
We all face the barrel of a gun daily as we die to our flesh in order to live for Christ. We give up things, people, places, and addictions that we love regardless of their negative impact even before a replacement comes along. Sometimes these processes of release are too painful and it’s just easier to continue in them than to give them up…There we deny Christ and his ability to deliver, change, and restore us. Think about it, we deny him for trying to remove the harm and give us a better quality of life.
So what about those who face the barrel of an actual gun? That risk their lives everyday just to have faith? Just to own and carry a bible? Those who risk execution to do what we take for granted? Would you love Jesus and publicly share that information if it became illegal? Could you still stand firm on the word if it not only caused metaphorical death of the flesh but a literal death?
If you can’t answer that or are afraid to, no worries. It’s a loaded question that tests our faith and I don’t think it can be answered with a simple yes or no, especially if it is not something that you’ve pondered. But I’ve said all this to make one point:
Please take advantage of the freedom we all have to worship whomever we please. I choose Jesus! My free will, my decision. This week put a fire under me to appreciate that I can say “thank you Jesus”, “Lord help me”, “God bless you” in public without being shot to death. It made me want to build a greater relationship with him so that as the enemy does come against me, my faith will be able to stand strong enough to answer with the letter “A”: “as Peter did saying I will not deny you”. That because of this relationship, I will be able to deny my flesh. I will be able to stand on my own convictions no matter how many people talk badly about me. I will be able to walk away from those I need to walk away from and allow those in who need to come in. I will no longer deny him with blatant disobedience.
If you are a believer, I pray every chance you have to represent Christ is taken fearlessly and without shame. Nobody’s perfect, but I think all God asks of us is to try to do better and work to get to know him a little better than we did yesterday. The greater our relationship the greater our ability to withstand any barrel of any gun.
Join me this week as I continue with this topic. Here’s what to expect:
Monday: Am I a keyboard Christian?
Tuesday: Ride or Die
Wednesday: The OG ride or die
Thursday: Have you denied him?
Friday: What have you died to?
Saturday: Take advantage of it
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