In the next hour, somewhere, someone, (actually more than one “somewhere” and many “someones”) in the world will be asked to choose death or rejection of their faith.
But, you’d never guess – I’m persecuted for my faith.
Somewhere in the world, church services are being held in secret. Steeples do not rise as billboards proclaiming “worship here, freely, if you like”. There, they open the one and only Bible share by the congregation and swallow it like the last morsel of food by the starving.
But, you’d never know – I’m persecuted for my faith.
Somewhere, new believers, under the threat of social ostracism, family banishment, imprisonment and death, come to Christ every day. They pay the cost of conversion.
But, I’m telling you – I’m persecuted for my faith.
My persecutor is silent and slips undetected through my world every day. I can feel him following me, watching me. I hear his whispered threats to my faith. I see an evil grin curl the corner of his mouth at my wandering, stumbling and falls. He knows I am his prize and he licks his lips, as he waits to devour me. I saw him in the dim lights of my front porch, this morning. I saw him in my reflection in the glass panes of the door!
Who is he? Where was he?
He is me!
It would be easy to blame the Devil, Satan or the forces of evil; but it is me, who persecutes me. Life, the abundant kind, and death, the spiritual kind, are chosen by me. If my Bible is locked away, unused; it is by my choice. If I do not walk through the church doors, it is not chains or threat of arrest, but my own schedule, which prevents it.
I inflict persecution on myself? How can that be?
I steal peace from my soul by a lack of commitment to my faith; lack of faith stagnates my growth; lack of growth leads to regression. If I am not moving forward, I am falling back.
And, I am the persecutor!
My soul may belong to a holy God, but I damn myself to persecution from a lack of contentment by my choices. My eternal destination may be determined, but I wander aimlessly looking for peace. I have access to unlimited divine power, but I choose to empower myself with prideful self-determination.
I’m not beaten for my faith; but my lack of faith beats me about in the storms of life. I torment me in my refusal to relinquish control and recognize the authority of my Creator. I refuse to reject my “non-faith”; and so, I continue the persecution.
See, I told you; I am persecuted for my faith; well, not “for my faith”, but my lack of faith.