Armed and Ready
What would you do? How would you react? Have you given any thought to how you would react if you were commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus?
“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18)
It’s not a contemporary problem … the apostles faced this dilemma during the birth of the church and many across the globe today live under the same laws.
Surely by listening to the news, discerning the time in which we live is not too difficult. An attempt to silence the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ has already been seen in many nations and it’s going to get worse. Untold numbers of worshippers have to meet in secret, whispering, hiding, and closely disguising their lives so they can continue to gather as the Body to worship the Lord of lords and King of kings. It’s hard to fathom.
What would be your response if a law was passed that prohibited you from speaking about the Lord, mentioning the name of Jesus, and preaching the Christ of Calvary? Would your motivation be fear, causing you to go into hiding and never let it be known that you are a Christian? Or, would your motivation be faith, with wisdom and care leading your life in a way that the light of the Christ you serve shines through you without ever speaking a word?
Regardless of your eschatological views, we all must admit that this is a very real possibility even in our own lifetimes.
Do you have enough of the Word of God hidden in your heart to carry you through a time that you might be commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus?
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
Consider your own “Word-Level”. Are you running low or are you well prepared? You don’t have to go into battle with an unloaded gun. Open the pages of the precious Word of God and begin loading your weapon. And, if your weapon is already “loaded”, make sure your ammunition isn’t old and outdated. Keep it fresh daily. Remember, the weapons of our warfare aren’t carnal (flesh and blood), but they’re mighty through God. His Word is our most priceless possession, but it’s not worth a red cent unless we read it, receive it, and recycle it daily.
Father, it’s hard for me to fathom not being able to speak the name of Jesus or to teach openly the truth found in Your Word. Forgive me for taking this right and privilege for granted when there are, right now in our world, people who suffer great persecution for gathering together to worship You. Father, help me to be that one who has studied and shown to be approved, the workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed but who rightly divides the Word of Truth. Teach me, Lord, and I will obey. Open my heart and I will receive. Open Your Word to me and I will hide it in my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen and amen!
© Jan Ross
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