Someone I know said to me the other day that I was a full-fledged Christian. What she meant by that was I am bold about my faith. I stand on my convictions and I stand on the Word of God even if it reveals that I am sinning. I speak often about Christ's return. I try and encourage everyone to dig deeper in their walk with Christ.
I thanked her for her high thoughts of me. Then added that it's because God and I go way back. :)
Later in the evening that conversation came back to me. I believe the Holy Spirit asked me some important questions concerning that talk.
He asked me these following questions:
Am I so bold when I am not sure of the other person's faith?
Do I find it easier to preach to the choir then to proclaim God's goodness on the street corner?
If I didn't live in America would I be so 'full-fledged'?
When the time comes for me to give up my body for Christ, will I do it willing?
My heart skipped a beat. I have always been an "end times girl". I am raising my children to follow no one but Christ. To never denounce Him. We have had talks about Christ's Second Coming. How life may be like. What we would do and how we would behave. My boys know that there may come a day when they have to choose between life here on earth and Christ. They know that they are to always choose Christ. Even if our lives are threatened.
The questions God asked me made me take a second look at my heart. No, I am not so bold about my faith when I am not sure of the other person's. Yes, I do find it easier to preach to the choir then talk about God to a lost person. I don't think I would be so bold if I didn't live in America. I am thankful that God has given me America. I am free. I can disagree with you. I don't have to like your views and I can freely and openly disagree with you. Heck, I can even have a debate with you about it. I don't have to hide my faith. I don't have to hide my face. You get the idea. Anyway, on the last question ... YOU BET! I have always had the resolve that I would not deny Christ. I can remember a conversation my mom and I had when I was 10. We were reading the Bible together. She paused and asked me "What would you say if men came in here and pointed a gun to my head and ordered you to denounce Christ?" Instantly the gift of Faith empowered my spirit and I said that I would not denounce Christ. She would have to die. I still, 20 years later, 3 boys and a husband later, know that I wouldn't denounce Christ.
I now realize after God and I talked, that even though I wouldn't deny Who He is, I'm not so sure I wouldn't whine and complain about the torture. Would the pain be so unbearable that I simply blame Him for it? Or would I hold my head up high and consider it pure joy? Would the words of Paul ring in my ear "To live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21) Would I ask God to forgive them? Honestly, I pray so. I pray I will be like Stephen.
Acts 7:55-60 NIV
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he said this, he fell asleep.
Whew! Can you imagine that?! Seeing God and Jesus looking down at you. People rushing at you to kill you because you believe in God. Asking the Lord to receive your spirit. Then ... asking God not to hold your death against the people who are killing you. Powerful stuff.
Well, with all that said I leave you with this ...
Don't just get through the hard times with Christ. Learn to stand firm on those times. Create a history with God mixed with great times and 'learning' times. I tell you what, it's hard to imagine leaving some one who never leaves nor forsakes you! Hebrews 13:5b
Be Blessed! Walk in Peace! Walk in Christ's freedom!