It seems like it’s been a year or so since we were living what many would call a normal life. Way back when people who actually wanted to work, had a job. Way back when if you wanted to go eat at your favorite restaurant, you could without having to wear a mask or be seated away from anyone else.
Way back when, going to the marketplace was no big thing. People actually talked to you and when they did, they were very nice. The biggest issue we had way back when was that we were probably way too busy doing way too much stuff.
We are in some very different times today; times no one could have ever possibly imagine we would be in. Many are fearful to leave their homes, go to work or worse yet, even go to church. No one really wants to talk to anyone much less shake their hands or God forbid, give someone a hug.
The Lord brought back to my memory when I and a few other leaders took some youth on a mission trip to Estonia. When we landed in Estonia, you instantly knew you were not in America anymore. Military people walked around in full military gear, carrying fully loaded AK 47’s with lots of ammo around their chest. No one smiled nor did they even want to talk to you.
At one time Estonia was under Russian communistic rule and one can only imagine how difficult that must have been for those people. Our interpreter was a young Estonian lady who at that time knew nothing else but growing up in that kind of Estonia.
I specifically remember a time when, after many days of ministering, we decided to give the youth a day off and we spent the day sightseeing. When we came to an intersection and waited to cross the street, I happen to glance over at the people who were also standing there along with us.
The people were coldly staring at us; not saying a word to each other as they did; it was an awkward feeling to say the least. When we got back to camp I asked our interpreter why that was and she explained. Way back when, Estonia was under Soviet rule and people would never been seen talking in a crowd in fear the KGB would hear what they were saying and come to their home late at night and take them, never to be seen again.
Though many feel in America we are a ways from that, I am very concerned we are headed in that direction. People have become fearful to share their thoughts or beliefs out of fear that great persecution and hostile actions may come their way for doing so.
We are sadly seeing that currently take place in many cities, in sports venues and throughout the market place in our great land. As believers, can we not see that will soon be where we will be at when persecution will come to us simply because we identify ourselves as followers/disciples of Jesus Christ?
I am reminded of three young boys in the Bible who would not cave in to what was commanded of them. In Daniel 3, we read where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image and because of that, they were thrown into the fiery furnace only to be rescued by the Lord.
Later in Daniel 6, we read where Daniel was thrown into the lion’s dean simply for doing what he had always done, pray to His God and not to King Darius.
These accounts took place way back when, but it’s not too difficult to see that is beginning to take place in our great nation; persecuting and harming people simply because they don’t agree with what others believe.
I truly believe it’s time all Christians begin to put their big boy pants on. It’s time they begin to get grounded in God’s Word, that they get locked into a body of believers where the truth is taught. It’s time they begin to earnestly pray for the Lord’s wisdom and strength and anything else the Bible says we are to be doing.
What happened to followers of the Lord way back when, I believe is knocking at the door of the church today, but as believers we are assured way back when, the ‘victory’ was won by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross, so we can be at peace and rest, knowing the Lord will be with us!!
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Categories: A Pastor's Blog