Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
At our church yesterday, we heard a man speak who is a Christian from India. He is a leader in an international Christian ministry and he travels to the USA to share God’s word for believers. He does raise money along the way, but his primary purpose is to preach God’s message. He told us yesterday that without that message in his heart, he would not travel the way he does. His support is up to God, not him and his fund raising abilities.
As I sat and listened to him preach in our two worship services yesterday morning, I started asking myself if I had simple faith. Simple Faith. The faith of a child that will jump off anything as long as “daddy” is standing there to catch them. The faith that is built on the knowledge that God is ultimately in control. The faith that carries you through the darkest moments of your life as you simply trust God.
I am not sure how my faith stacks up. I know that I am not supposed to compare myself to someone else. I realize that God actually gives us the faith that we need for the circumstances we are in. The problem is that we have to appropriate that faith. It might be the gift of God, but we can leave it unwrapped. It is our responsibility to put that faith to use.
I think that we as Christians in the USA are spoiled. Very few churches have been terrorized here in our land. I am aware of the fact that those instances are increasing, but most are from a disgruntled or insane person. That does not alleviate the hurt and horror that is caused by the attacks. Those events would be completely terrifying. There are churches all over the world that meet with the fear that the government leaders could come, police could come, or hostile enemies could come and arrest, beat, or kill them for being Christians. We don’t have that fear. Yesterday it was raining here and people chose not to attend because of the weather. We as Christians have gotten lazy or lax in our commitments to God. I have heard that we are blessed here in America, which I agree that we are. Yet, do we really thank God for the blessings? Do we trust God even though we feel self-sufficient? I am afraid that the answers to my questions are resounding “NO’s!”
I am guilty of trying to think of ways that I can help God meet my needs. I am guilty of telling God what I want and how I want it. Yesterday, as I sat listening to this man of God speak, I felt so convicted. I felt so humbled in his presence. Not because of the man, but because of the anointing that God has bestowed on him. His strength and his humility combined was almost the perfect picture of true meekness. (Only Jesus is perfectly meek.) God does not want my help in meeting my needs. He does not need my help in meeting my needs. He wants me. He wants my dedication to Him. He wants my reverence for Him. He wants me to concentrate on Him as He does the work in my life.
Do I have simple faith? I have answered that question for me, now is your turn to answer the same question. Do you have simple faith?
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.