There have been several subtle attempts at undermining the foundations of the Christian faith in the past and recent times. We have heard about laws passed against prayers in public places, people ostracizing those who openly condemn homosexuality as a sin, the pressure to opt for political correctness rather than the biblical stance on certain issues and so on. Now, the reality of the enemy’s attack stares us in the face as we witness the physical harassment, extreme torture and brutal murder of saints in various parts of the world. This is no longer subtle but brazen-faced. There is a systematic and deliberate plan to wipe out Christianity if they could. I am confident that this is not anything more than a mirage because I know that Christ would build His church and all the powers of hell would not be able to conquer it. But I also know that our liberty to worship God in a peaceful atmosphere is under serious threat. You all know the details of recent happenings so I have no intent to catalogue or chronicle these incidences. Interestingly, history shows that the church has always come out stronger following periods of intense persecution.
One challenge about situations like this is that questions (spoken and silent) about your faith stare you in the face. What do you tell your child who asks you if identifying with Christianity is worth any pain or sacrifice? Can’t we just stay neutral and accept all faiths as one and the same? How do you defend your choices and decisions when people of other faiths attack you with reports or stories – real or distorted – that castigate Christianity? What are God’s thoughts on the events ongoing in the world today? We always appear to have some explaining to do. I remember that Paul was in this situation in the synagogue and in the school of someone called Tyrannus (Acts 19:8-9).
So how do we stand in times like this? How can we earnestly contend for the faith delivered to us? I have some thoughts here for you to ponder.
One, deliberately teach your children about Christ and Christianity. Tell them about the good news and tell them about the history of your faith. Ok.., but how much do we really know about the history of Christianity? I guess we ourselves need to do some research. Has the church always understood the message of grace? Have Christians always had access to the Bible? What did it cost to get the good news to your city or town? Who are some of the notable heroes of faith in the recent past? Let’s find the answer to these questions and others and tell our children. These facts help to reinforce their belief in the truth you have told them. (I intend to write in the coming days on some of the people and events that have defined our Christian history).
Secondly, the battles we face are not those to be prosecuted with physical weapons and military might, knowing that the backings of our enemies come from the spiritual dimension. We must know this and respond with our weapons which are mighty through God. We must pray the counsel of God over our nation into fulfilment. We don’t have to wait for a call to prayer from any Christian body or denomination. In our quiet time, family prayer time, small groups and gatherings, let’s pray specifically for the nation. Let’s take authority over the forces of darkness that work against the peace and progress of the land. Let’s pray for a genuine revival that would sweep across the length and breadth of the land. This is our call, not anyone else’s. There is no use praying for your prosperity and that of your family when your homeland is in turmoil. Otherwise you might just have a situation akin to destruction while the choice food is in your mouth.
Next, we must be fearless. One of the oldest battle strategies of the devil is instilling fear in the minds of people. He knows when people panic, they are disoriented and they make hasty and wrong decisions. He knows that when hearts and minds are shaken, it is easier for him to overrun and plunder the people. We must boldly resist the devil and remind him that he has no hold over our lives and those of our family members. He has no influence over our psychic, perspectives or mindsets. Our precious blood-bought lives are secured in Christ physically and spiritually.
The battle is the Lord’s and it is already won. We would overcome, conquer territories and obtain a good report at the end. Selah.