In American, Christianity remains a safe choice for most everyone. It is not so in other areas of our world where refusing to reject Christianity costs your life. In our safety, we assume we would stand in the face of persecution. That is a deception the enemy would like us to hold onto. Just as an athlete cannot be lax in preparation for an Olympic event, we cannot assume our faith will stand in the face of a major test unless we prepare.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
This treasured verse leads us through the covering which is Christ Himself. The only real place of safety is in Christ, but in our comfortable safety, we seldom practice that reality. Instead, we reject Christ in the details of our days—stepping out of Him to stay in our own strength. That is a dangerous thing whether we live in safety or persecution.
Our faith muscles grow mighty every time we believe and act on the Word of God; alternatively, we grow weaker by knowing His Word and failing to stand upon it. In essence, we reject God by ignoring what His Word says—or by not caring enough to find out what it says. Perhaps contemplating the reality of rejecting Jesus on a daily basis will pierce our hearts and lead us to lives of deeper faith.
The sword of rejection has sliced every heart—dating disasters, divorce, betrayals, and job losses. The pain of being deemed ‘not enough’ is something every person knows—and a pain we would not knowingly inflict on our Lord. Before salvation, we reject Christ by living life on our own terms. Most Christians feel that their rejection of Christ ended there. Accepting Christ as Savior is only the beginning, though. We must take care not to reject Him in the details of our days. Failing to trust in the goodness of God, lashing out at others in anger, failing to stand against unholy things…all of these are rejections of Christ. We grieve His Holy Spirit. We excuse ourselves: ‘I am only human. They deserved that. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t take it anymore.’ But Scripture says we have all things we need to live holy lives. We must practice using those things. We must exercise our faith with eyes on Christ and feet running on His paths!
Cultural Christians are common everywhere…committed Christians make definitive choices to embrace Christ at every turn. We do not want to wait until a crisis to grow strong. There is much for us to learn from our persecuted brothers and sisters, and they desperately need our prayer support. The International Day for the Persecuted Church is coming soon: November 2nd. Consider participating in that day.
Visit www.vombooks.com for a free DVD to have others pray with you. During this time of safety, though, let us be determined to strengthen our faith muscles so we, too, can stand in the days of trial.