Last week I wrote about the persecution of faith. I asked if God was being pushed out of our lives and if so, what are we doing about it.
And it started me to thinking. What am I doing about it besides lamenting? More importantly how should I, as a Christian, stand up for my faith?
We need to immerse and arm ourselves with the word of the Lord through our churches, bible studies, prayer and daily devotional time with God. Persecutors of faith will often say that believers are using their faith as a crutch, are ignorant or that we are brainwashed. However, if we arm ourselves with knowledge of the bible we can share our knowledge with love and kindness and it is then that our persecutors begin to look ignorant, flailing and failing as they try to use the world’s trappings as a crutch.
“This is the last thing I want to say: Be strong with the Lord’s strength. 11 Put on the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil. 12 Our fight is not with people. It is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world. It is against the demon world that works in the heavens. 13 Because of this, put on all the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will be able to stand in that sinful day. When it is all over, you will still be standing. 14 So stand up and do not be moved. Wear a belt of truth around your body. Wear a piece of iron over your chest which is being right with God. 15 Wear shoes on your feet which are the Good News of peace. 16 Most important of all, you need a covering of faith in front of you. This is to put out the fire-arrows of the devil. 17 The covering for your head is that you have been saved from the punishment of sin. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-18 New Life Version (NLV)
We need to share our faith so that it will grow in spirit and body. The bible tells us to go forth and share our faith and let the love of the Lord shine through us.
“the salt seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth”. We are to be “light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill…Keep open house, be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 The Message Bible.
That’s a hard thing for me to do. I have trouble talking about politics and religion. But the Lord doesn’t want us to talk about politics or religion. He wants us to talk about our faith. Religion is defined as a particular system of faith and worship, while the definition of faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Now having complete trust in God IS something I can talk about! It is faith that has seen me through leg braces, breast cancer, coronary artery bypass, being a caregiver for my father, mother, and husband. Without faith I would not have wanted to survive. With faith, I see that I am not alone and I am loved. I see the journey, its purpose and its destination. I can and want to share that!
We need to live our lives in a Christ like manner. As a Christian I want to exemplify Christ by living according to His word and to continue to grow in my faith. We need to pray and ask that the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with the fruits of the spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23
WOW! That’s a tall order, isn’t it? Our human condition seems to negate our ability to exemplify Christ. Saying we are a Christian does not exempt us from ever losing our patience, gossiping, cutting someone off as we travel to and from work, think or say unkind words – stop me cause my list could go on forever…you get my drift. When we lose sight of God, citing a passage from the bible speaks against what we did and reminds those that persecute us that there is no one that lives without sinning. Saying we are a Christian does not mean we are infallible. It means we never give up our love and desire to do right by our actions and not just by our profession of faith.
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:12 (ASV)
And finally, we remain steadfast in showing our love for ALL people. For it is difficult for those that persecute Christians to say we are denying them their rights when we consistently show kindness, humility and compassion. Armed with knowledge, Fruits of the spirit and prayerful direction from the Holy Trinity we become invincible to the persecution of faith.