If we are going to honor God with our lives in the most ultimate way, we had better settle it in our hearts: There will be resistance from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Isn’t it remarkable? In Luke 21, the great Olivet Discourse, Jesus said:
“…. not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It almost sounds like the life of faith will be uneventful; a smooth walk. But the verses leading up to this one give us a different angle:
“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Lk. 21.16-19)
None of the hairs of your head will perish, but you just might! In other words, God’s overseeing eye will be upon you even to the point of martyrdom, and He will vindicate you at the resurrection of the righteous. Jesus did not introduce a new religion when He came, He issued an ultimate call to death and resurrection, and if we are not willing to suffer opposition and trial for His name’s sake, we have not yet bought into the brand of faith that He was setting forth in the earth.
Have we conveniently removed ourselves from situations and conversations that might evoke the kind of rejection which has always been the experience of the truly apostolic Church? Have our ministries, our books, our teachings, or our lives given this “Babylonian” age anything to resist, or have we become a paltry presence, a kind of nonsensical religious entity that is unworthy of consideration and indistinguishable from the hundreds of other ‘spiritual’ organizations in the nation? How is it that we who claim to be believers meet with so little resistance, and scarcely ever suffer rejection for a true expression of righteousness and love?
Father, make us like Your Son, no matter what it costs us; no matter the consequences.