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Friday, April 29, 2011

Christian Persecution...a new outlook

Latlely, Jesus has been dealing with me about sacrifice. I have learned through his dealings that true Christianity is about sacrifice. I think we often tend to water it down.

I used to pray, often asking God for things that I wanted. I was often left disappointed. But by letting go of sin and committing myself to his word, I can hear His voice. I see that God isn't there to serve us with our wishes...He has a plan. Order. By following his plan and Trusting, good things grow.

He has led me to give up many things. Much of my time. Many of my things. Christianity is truly about sacrifice. But I am finding an immense joy in "letting go." I have the true peace that surpasses all understanding. I have the innocence that I thought was lost.

True Christianity is, for me, evolving into this beautiful thing. If we look at the life of Christ, we can see a man who gave up everything. He walked from town to of himself..never expecting anything in return.
We see him mocked. Abused. Crucified. His life embodied sacrifice. But he never complained. He never wavered. He never faltered.

At first I had a very very difficult time of giving up some of the things He wanted. I don't have many possessions to begin with.

I have 3 major possessions, a massive book and music collection...and a nice vehicle.

I remember the night He asked me to sell my book collection and give the money to the poor.
I had this huge knot in my stomach. I had worked very hard for my collection. It took a few years to acquire my beloved books. I loved the smells. The feel. The spine. I truly didn't want to let them go. I struggled with the "knot" of holding onto them.

But as I decided to let them order to help others....there was an overwhelming peace.
He told me that if I would sell them, then He would give me knowledge.
The very night night came these very real dreams that were more like experiences.
I spoke about this dream in several other was a beautiful dream that is shaping my view of Christianity. That very simple and real dream is shaping my view of the world.
....I digress

Anyway, I struggled with the "letting go" of things, but as I gave! true joy and learning...

One day I was pondering on the subject of Christian Persection. So many people hate Christians. To some, Christianity is a major turnoff. I have friends who have seen "Christians" worshipping on Sunday and then delving back into thier life of lies and deception during the week. How sad...

Don't they know they represent the Greatest Man that ever lived? Don't they know that others are watching thier lives? But this isn't what true Christianity is...True Christianity is about
love, giving, and sacrifice.

So many chuches preach hate. We aren't to hate. We aren't to judge. We are to live our lives as Christ lived. Reaching out, giving, loving, sacrificing our needs and wants......

I digress...
back to persecution....
Over the past few months, I've read news articles detailing horrendous events and crimes against Christians in other countries. Christians of all denominations and faiths. Preachers and Priests are targeted. Thier homes are being burned down. Thier churches are being destroyed.
Miltants sometimes open fire on entire congregations of worshippers.

Catholics. Protestants. anyone who knows and believes in Christ is a target. This is happening around the world!

I know that in the Bible, it states that in the last days Christians will be persecuted more than any other time on earth...

I see these events and I get this huge knot in my stomach...Things, I feel, are only going to get worse.

My heart breaks for the people in these countries.

I know that we all want to believe that we are safe on our homeland. I pray that we are. But I wonder if the economy collapsed....if a true true breakdown of society ever occured....if the conditions were right for Christian persecution on our home many people would truly be able to freely give thier lives for Christ? How many would deny Him?

If someone came to your door right now, with an AK 47 and said, "Deny Christ or Die" we think that it would be easy to say...."I can't deny Him, I will die for Him."

As I was pondering all these things, Jesus reminded me of the stuggle in the "letting go." A true struggle.

So, heres a question...some food for thought....

Has He ever asked you to give up anything for Him? a habit? an addiction? a possession?
A sin? A stronghold?

Did you struggle?

I asked Him about this subject, here's what He told me,

"If people are having trouble giving me these things, How can they truly expect to so easily give me thier life?"

As He showed me this, I jolted. I think so many of us would think it would be an easy task. But if we aren't giving Him our time or any of the things that He asks of us...What makes us so sure we can so readily give up our very lives?"

Write down your most treasured possession. Now give it up. Give the money to the poor.
Not easy is it.
Just some food for thought....

Side note.

One night I had this dream...that as people began to give people began to let go...and give what He was asking...habits, addictions, time, things....then strongholds would come down and lives would be changed.

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