Not everyone has the freedom to attend church. Not everyone is allowed to worship the one true God. We forget that. Often.
I have been so guilty of this in the past year. Since our exchange daughter was moved this past weekend things have really heated up here. As was on a call from the organization the other day in fact, she came by to visit. I was informed that we are no longer allowed to have contact with her (understandable sure, painful but we can handle it) and then thy stuck the knife in my heart. She can no longer attend church services. She must cease – and we must support them.
We did not of course. I made my case, prayerfully of course. But I could feel that heaviness in my spirit as the whole time I am watching her playing with our children – laughing and smiling – knowing that these moments are over.
There is power in the name of Jesus. There is truth and power in being born gain, baptised in His name and filled with the Holy Spirit. It cannot be denied. The fear that encompasses folks when this happens – it caused them to uproot our daughter; move her against our wishes and her wishes and her parents wishes back home even. Fear.
They say they do not believe yet its considered a life altering decision – its not allowed. Yet who can say to God that He must wait because of the rules man has placed upon someone? I am sad for them. Yet I am hopeful – her tstimony has been shared over and over again as she has stated her case to people in the office here in the states; in her home country in Brazil. Every detail. From her first Bible study, to her experience in services, to her being baptised and filled with the Holy Ghost. There is power there.
Planting seeds. Its a slow process. We have planted lots in the past weeks in our house. We see growth in some. Others not so much. We must be patient and diligent and wait. We trust in the Lord and allow His will to be done. I knew this was coming. My husband and I both did. Her joy after she was born again – sharing photos and her story – our time was short.
I sat in service last night, praying and worshipping – and I felt the sorrow that I know she felt. She planned to attend that service with a friend from church who she convinced to come check it out. What a shame she was not allowed. I know that He has a plan ~ I am sure that it is one that I would not understand even if He allowed me a little glimpse of it all. But I trust Him.
The last time she was in our church our Pastor came to preach and said he had a message prepared but was unable to deliver it. Something was more pressing to him and he proceeded to preach (for her I believe) A message that was clear – do not be swayed, no not allow others to beguile you and convince you of another truth. We must hold strong to all that we have been given. He spoke of how God, not man, makes al things. How the Bible is not just a map showing how to get there but its stories of those who have been there. Those stories are to bve an example to us. I love how he said so pointedly that te only one we need to turn to is Him. And we can find in those pages someone who has been where we are. We must study them, come along side them, and learn that we may do as they had. Stay in Gods will.
Let us be a nail in a sure place. Let us pray for those who are persecuting us for there is power there. Paul says the Lord “will bless each of you according to your works..” 2 Corinthians 7:* speaks to the sorrow of repentance and Romans 5:14 confirms that while Adam made us sinners, Christ made us forgiven.
Its so true that our commitment to Him shows- in our life. If we are in discontent, it will show in our spirit. It will show in our prayer, or lack of, and we will be easier swayed than if we held onto that peace and joy that comes with salvation. Throught the Bible the men of God were persecuted rejected and alone – they faced horrible things that even in my imaginings I am not sure I could withstand.
We are all given freedom in Christ when we are born again but that does not mean that we are all free to worship Him as we choose. There are those who feel threatened by this – you can see it in the news and the papers (or online) It is everywhere. We are not all free and we must remember that. We must never take for granted what we have been so blessed to have. As I freely worshipped last night I could not get her out of my mind and how desperately I am sure she felt being unable to come and worship as she wished to.
You know you have the truth when everyone is so set upon aking it away from you. One da every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess His name – Until then we must pray for those who are not allowed, or not safe, worshipping Christ as we are. We must be strong and vigilant.
Let us go and preach the word – no matter the season – no matter the storm.
To God be the Glory!