Because I know, we are scared and freaked out. The early reports say Christians were singled out, and if this is true, what does it mean for us since we profess the same faith? Our question to ourselves echoes loud: could I, in that moment, gun to head, profess Jesus? Would I? And our faith, that often unused, teetering, on the fence, halfway in, easy come, easy go…suddenly feels a lot more serious. This is a question we don’t have to think about in our normal, getting up and going to our job, driving carpool and cooking dinner, life. Yet we do.
In moments like this our tendency is to panic. This is human but not helpful. It keeps us imprisoned to the evil act and doesn’t help us rise, rally, and do what needs to be done, next.
First. Let us not think about ourselves, which is our tendency. Let us fall to our knees and on our face, pray to God, our Help in trouble. Let us thank Him for men and women of deepest faith and courage who remind us how to live and yes, God forbid, how to die. Let us beg Him for peace and comfort and mercy for the families left behind who now have to go on. And let us ask for an uprising of greater faith in us and through this pain, some lives saved for eternity by coming to know Christ.
Second. Let us learn and listen and take this moment to change and prepare. We cannot…I repeat…WE CANNOT keep burying our heads and pretending this stuff is not real. We cannot pretend we can do church and it be a cool smoke and lights experience and that is the extent of our Jesus world. Friends. Please. As believers in Jesus Christ, we did not sign up to be life observers and consumers. We signed up to be battlers and conquerors. We signed up to be peacemakers and servants. Things aren’t about to get real- things are real. Now. Today. We can either live and learn or listen and learn. We can either prepare or be caught off guard. The Bible is a Book of preparation, so God found preparation extremely important. Everything we need to know for life is found in the Word of God, and it must become our life. Read. Memorize. Dive in, like the survival is in the pages. (It is.) And p.s. I love you, but we don’t have time to keep giving ourselves pep talks and worrying about our every flaw and issue. Self-help isn’t the answer. God help is the answer. Jesus is our hope and security, not our ability to strengthen our humanity. It’s time to put our warrior boots on and live and walk in the authority of God, which will, in turn make us better, kinder, honest, more wise, less fearful, more determined people. (More on this, see THIS POST.)
Third. Let us remember that evil does not win. God wins. Always. Evil exists but God OVERCOMES. (John 16:33)
Fourth. Let us determine, in his very moment, that we will love God fierce or not at all. Fiercely honoring the Word of God. Fiercely serving and loving people. Fiercely standing for truth and tenaciously defending the Savior of all, Jesus Christ. Fiercely dying to ourselves and living for God. Fierce, believers, or not at all.
And may Romans 1:16 be our rally cry. WE ARE NOT ASHAMED of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are believers. We are people otherwise dying. But oh glorious God: through Him we LIVE. And that others may come to know He is the Only Way is our life mission.
May this become our stand and our record. May we not live in fear, but in God-fueled passion and steadying peace.
Jesus, now. Jesus, then. Jesus, forever more.
Believers: this is the time. We are the people. God has this. No matter what happens, IT IS WELL.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. (Romans 15:13)