Salvation is a choice and it is for each individual. We can’t force it. We have to plant seeds, pray, and trust God to do the salvation work.
I’ve accredited the help of my salvation to many ministries over the years, like K-Love or Fresh Life Church or New Life Church. There were many ministries and individuals that participated in me coming to know Christ, but the truth is that I was depressed.
I was driving home from work, my hour and a half typical commute, with my little baby in the back seat. We were listening to Christian music, not because I was a Christian, but because I couldn’t stand listening to the talk show hosts on the other stations who helped people discover that their spouses were cheating, or listen to the songs in the afternoon about how he wishes she was someone else. I knew in my heart that my marriage was crumbling and it was killing me to hold it together, but I also couldn’t lose it or I would have nothing. So I was depressed and that Christian music was soothing. It was nuetral. It didn’t tell me what to do, how to feel, or what to think. It just calmed me. But as I kept listening, it started to do something else, it started to minister to me. It started to be a voice of truth to me.
And one day in April 2015, I was driving home and crying, because I knew that I couldn’t live another day in the life I was in. I loved my husband who didn’t love me. I wanted to die, but I couldn’t abandon my little boy to be raised by my neglectful (and I didn’t realize at the time, but abusive) husband. But I also couldn’t keep living the way I was living. In a moment of desperation, I asked God what to do. And He spoke to me. It wasn’t through the radio, it wasn’t audible, but I knew the answer. He said “give me a chance.” And I though alright, fine! Just to check this off the list, I’ll give it a chance.
I got home and tucked my baby into bed. I found a dusty Bible tucked away on a shelf in the storage closet. I went to the porch and lit a cigarette and flipped through the pages to Romans. And I started to read words that I didn’t understand, but really wanted to. And God because speaking to me. Before I realized what was happening, I was changing. I gave over my life to Christ and said yes, you can have a chance to change me.
In fact, my wicked spirited husband noticed the major change before I did. “Don’t you think you’re taking this God thing too far?” Before I even knew what I was saying, the words came out of my mouth. “For the One who created me on this earth for His purpose, no I don’t think there’s such thing as ‘going too far’.” He had to drop the subject.
A few weeks later, in our marriage counseling session, I had the courage to beg my husband not to make me choose between him and God. “If you make me choose, I will choose God.” A few years later, he did make me choose and I kept my promise.
Remembering back to my salvation helps me see these wicked people in this world in a different light. We are in terrible and frightening times. But God is with those of us who follow Him.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
We have to be wise. There are Satanic things happening in our world. They aren’t just passive things that we can ignore or keep going on with our lives. The big scale is becoming smaller and smaller. It’s in our back yards now and it will be inside our homes before long. We can’t be ignorant of the issues in our world and the demonic force that stands behind them to steal, kill, and destroy. Bio-weapons that are destroying lives and killing friends. School board members that are targeting children to make their parents shut up. People screaming from the car windows to silence a voice that stands up to fight for our freedoms. I’ve personally experienced all of these things in the last 6 months. It’s real and it’s happening to us right now and if it hasn’t effected you, it’s because you’re not paying attention.
Pope Felix III said about lethargy:
“Not to oppose error is to approve it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
We are in a pandemic called lethargy. Our country is a major player in it’s grip. We just want our “normal”. We want to “get back to normal” and we ignore the shouts and cries of evil in our world, because it isn’t convenient for us to open our eyes and address the matters. Human Trafficking, babies being killed by the billions in China, and now world-wide fear. But those are overwhelming evils. What can we do?
First thing we need to do is recognize the truth. We can’t remain lethargic anymore.
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes! Who are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags. The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent? You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices. Behind your doors and your doorposts
you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies. You went to Molek with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead! You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.
“Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me? I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you. When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.”
Observe two things from this passage. First, there is this kind of evil and wickedness happening in our world right now. We know that God has not given us a spirit of fear, so we know this isn’t of God. We do not fear the devil or man or the world, but we Fear the Lord.
So secondly, we need to continue to ask ourselves is “Where is God in this?” This excerpt of Isaiah tells us that God is at work. He isn’t defeated. So where is His hand moving and what must I do to walk in His ways to help my people, my city, my state, my country, my world? Ask God to give you His direction, recognize His voice, and obey where He leads.
2 Timothy 2:3, 8-10
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus…Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Recognize the truth was first. Doing what God leads you to do is second.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
The very minimum we should be doing is meeting together with other believers, praying, worshiping, tithing, fasting. The “Christian” things that we should do. God’s power is in all of these things. It won’t kill any of us to spend 10 minutes a day praying for those at the top who need Christ. I know that’s a huge call, considering how wickedly they have behaved, but God saw it fit to convert Paul, who was the ultimate Christian hater and killed and tortured Christians for years before his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. Imagine how much better our world would be if those at the top followed God. It hurts us not at all to put down our pride and pray.
Also, remember those people in places like China who have to meet together in secret. We are so blessed to be able to meet unashamedly with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It might not be that way always. Our children or grand children, even we might end up having to go underground at some point to continue to serve our God. We have to decide now who we follow and we can’t be lazy, luke-warm, or lethargic about it. We also have to decide not to war against each other. We have to stand together as the body of Christ.
I’ve heard a lot of people speak about the issues our world is facing. I’ve not heard a lot of what we can do about it though. We as Christians have the greatest power. We have to recognize that the God we serve is bigger, mightier, stronger, greater, higher, and more awesome then the crushed, destroyed, broken, defeated, already-lost-the-war enemy. He whispers lies, but he will not win the victory.
We have got to do what God called us to do. Go and make disciples. That means standing for salvation. Standing for the salvation of the people who run our nations and our world. Standing for the truth to be revealed in a road to Damascus kind of way to them. Standing for them to see God and to change their wicked ways. The only thing we can actually do is to pray and stand for the salvation of those who hold the power. The enemies plans have been detailed to us, and we see his schemes coming to fruition all around us. We have to be shrewd as vipers and recognize the truth. We have to be gentle as doves and bring Christ to these people, through prayer and petition to God, and through whatever ways God leads us to speak to these people.
Let’s remember that we were once the wicked. We are justified and made righteous through our faith in Christ. Let’s usher in these wicked to change their ways and know and love Christ. If Christ could let his accusers kill him, then we can choose to be kind to people who believe the lies and try to show them the truth and pray for them, even if they won’t see it. We have to be standers.