I have thought a lot about posting this. I don’t really want to, but I feel that maybe it will help someone.
Last fall, there was a shooting in Oregon where Christians were asked to stand up and were killed for their faith. It was hard to process, and it brought up some hard questions. What would I want my children to do? What would I do?
And here’s the truth: I would have wanted my children to stay seated to save their lives, and I would have done the same with 100% certainty.
But here’s what the Bible says about denying Jesus:
If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. 2 Timothy 2:12
But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:33
But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. Luke 12:9
And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 1 John 2:22
My response was a clear red flag. These were the wrong answers for someone who truly believed in Jesus and trusted in salvation. I knew with this realization that I was no where near where I wanted to be with God. Rather than become despaired, I chose instead to continue to focus on my relationship with Jesus by spending more time with Him. I was in an in person Bible Study, an online Bible study and my own personal study already though, I only occasionally went to church.
So… What more could I do? I took opportunities that came my way! I attended a women’s conference, I tried (and fell in love with) a new church, listened to countless podcasts on faith, participated in an Explore God discussion group, read the Case for Faith, joined another in person Bible study, began listening to worship music outside of church (Air1 anyone?) and faced a phobia that was limiting my world. Through it all, my mom began to point out some changes in me. I became a patient person–what?! I stopped having severe road rage–what?! I put feet to my faith by flying to Florida despite a flying phobia and relied on God every step of the way–what?!
Let me be clear, I cannot take credit for any of this. This is all GOD! This is all about how Jesus can transform if we come to Him willingly and we stay with Him. I am far from perfect, but I know first hand that Jesus changes us. The only way to become like Jesus is to study Him and spend time with Him. I am still a hot mess, my house is a wreck, I sometimes say bad words, I drink wine fairly regularly, I gossip (working on that!!!!) and I somewhat compartmentalize my faith because it is hard to find that balance in public education, but nevertheless, Jesus is making me want different things. He’s convicting me in ways He didn’t before. He is changing me.
I realized the other day that my answers to those original questions have changed. Today, I would want my children to stand up for Jesus. Today, I would stand up for Him too. I pray that we are never in that situation, but if ever we are, I pray that we will bravely stand up for Jesus as He stood up for us and died on the cross.