Age fifteen and dying for his faith, meanwhile us youth in America run around trying to find a life, complaining about our churches, youth groups, and how nobody "gets it" anymore and everyone is doing it all wrong. It is becoming "cool" to be dissatisfied, struggle, and talk about a radical life style. It gives us a good feeling, we think we suffer, but we have no idea what it means to suffer. We live thinking that somehow we will find heaven on this earth. Really!?! How can I spend all my time figuring out the best place for me to live, work and "go into service", when meanwhile this fifteen year old boy, who was probably still in school, is beaten and tortured for professing Christ. I am the guilty one here, I come back from "the mission field" and am the one trying to figure things out, how I want to live my life, what the future looks like and how I want to move forward. I spend so much time thinking about the future that I am missing right now. I dream a lot about all the great things I want to do! Then it hit me, We dream when we are asleep. Am I sleeping?
I read Luke 22:39-46 and wonder how could the disciples sleep while Jesus was sweating great drops of blood because of the agony, knowing he was about to take on himself the sin of the world, be beaten, tortured and die. I've always had a bit of a bitter attitude towards the disciple for this and thought them to be pretty weak.
I can't say a word. I am guilty! I get this picture that we in America are doing the same thing. We are sleeping while the persecuted church is following Jesus's example of laying down self for the will of the Father.
Seriously, why doesn't it connect more with us that people are giving their lives for Christ? We read about it and it hardly affect us. Am I really living for the same thing they are? Meanwhile we pray to God about financial debts and slow business. We pour thousands of dollars into our church buildings and houses. And then the rest goes into insurance to protect it. At the same time churches are are being bombed and burned to the ground and we do no more then read about it. This is only a sign our deeper issue and sending them money isn't the solution.
What did Jesus tell his disciples before and after he went a little farther to pray? "pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Have I fallen into temptation and gone to sleep? Why do I find it so hard to watch and pray as the world right around me plunges deeper into darkness? Is the American Dream the temptation Jesus warned us about?
My first reaction was I need to go to Pakistan and fight for these lives to help, and encourage them! But that again is not the answer. How can I do that, when I really can't identify with them. It's not about doing something for the persecuted church, so they don't face persecution. No I can't stop that nor do I want to, its exactly what Jesus said will happen if we follow him. It's about forsaking all that we have and identifying with Christ right where we are at. This I believe is the most we can and must do. To forsake all and follow Christ is the call. Maybe God will call me or you to Pakistan, and he does some people, but how can I forsake all and follow God in Pakistan if I can't do it right here in America. Is this why there is such a disconnect with the church here in America and with what's happening to the church in Pakistan? I am guilty that I have not been living for the same thing they are giving their lives for. Is what I am living my life for, worth Christ dying for?
I struggle posting this because I don't have the answers, I know so very little about forsaking all that I have and following Christ. My life hasn't been an example of all this. So I feel so unqualified to put this out there. I don't want to be another person trying to gain my life by struggling with what we don't do or what we should be doing. I want to be passionate about Jesus right now!