♣ We Have It So Easy
I’ve just been reading some news letters from VOM (Voice of the Martyrs) which really brings one to realize how easy we have it in our western cultures. We have it so easily made.
I remember reading back in 1987, ‘Tortured For Christ’ by Richard Wurmbrand which had really effected me back then and hearing of what still takes place today of many Christians being persecuted for their faith.
I hear of so many Christians over here in the States complaining and demanding their rights. What rights? We don’t do anything with them anyway! Oh, we want our nice big churches with all the flashing lights and various forms of entertainment with our feel good positive messages, which is not even Biblical truth when really examined. How we love our comfort and how it has made us so spiritually lethargic and of no use to God!
I’m sure many of you are aware of thousands of Christians in other parts of the world being persecuted for their faith. Burma, Pakistan, Iran, China and parts of Africa are just some of the few to name. Some are imprisoned, physically tortured and some even put to death for their faith in Christ. Some countries have extremist movements that are determined to wipe out all forms of Christianity. Churches are closed down, burned down, even nail bombs are detonated while services take place killing many believers.
What amazes me is how so many believers continue to stand for their faith and carry on, refusing to deny their Lord and Savior despite such horrific and severe circumstances. They’d rather die than turn their back on Christ. Such things are happening at this very moment and we feel so detached because it’s thousands of miles away, but these people are real just like you and me, just like members of our families. Oh I’m sure if such things were to happen to any of our close friends and family members we would have a different reaction. We just don’t believe that such a thing would happen on our very doorstep do we? There may be many Christians, over here in the States, saying that persecution is heading this way but it’s said so easily as if a new disaster film has just been released in the Theater! These persecuted believers know their faith comes with a price, a great price and no matter what opposition they encounter they still stand their ground!
I wonder how I would react under such extremities. It’s easy to say, “I’ll go to prison for You, Lord, I’ll even die for you.” No one could have been more determined and enthusiastic than Peter in the New Testament. We read that Peter miserably failed His Lord repeatedly as he denied Him publicly; all such moments of inspiration and aspiration came to absolutely nothing. We all have a ‘Peter’ within us and in the height of the moment when we feel great and on cloud nine we feel WE can do anything, nothing will stop us. How self confident we are. The actualities prove different and reveal who we really are and what we’re really about. As Oswald Chambers so rightly stated, “Nothing so quickly reveals the true character of a person than when we are faced with a crisis.” Either we’re cowards or real soldiers for the Lord.
There are intensely moving testimonies of how God is moving powerfully among those suffering for their faith; the greater the opposition, the greater God is moving. Their encounters with God put me to shame! It is so true that the suffering church out in the far east are experiencing great and genuine moves of God while our western cultures are so happy and content for a ‘popcorn and candy’ Christianity. We are just mere babes playing with toys!
What will it take for God to move in this nation once again, and secondly are we really willing to pay the price? Are we prepared to stand up for the real causes? We Christians have so much freedom in this country we don’t know what to do with it. We’re too lazy and complacent to use it to further the kingdom of God! Maybe, just maybe God in His mercy could bring an end to OUR so called freedom that we may truly know Him once again and really see Him move and bring glory and honor to His name.
Do we want that? Do we really want God… no matter what the cost?
I’ll finish here with the words of C.T. Studd who gave up everything for God and really did NOT count his life dear unto Himself. This is the trouble with modern Christianity: we’re too dear to ourselves, we love ourselves too much and rightly so as Peter says, “…in the last days people will be lovers of themselves… rather than lovers of God.” (2 Tim 3: 1-5)
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
May God make Himself known to us once again and give us grace to really live for Him.