This is the Faith I live by: God’s message can never be silenced
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Reprisals. Retribution. Revenge. Censorship. Fear-mongering. Alarm. Those who hate love, whether they are individuals or institutions, use all sorts of tactics to manipulate people. They use these tactics in an attempt to silence or cause people to alter their message. However, if your message is worthy, nothing will silence it. Is your message worthy?
Misinterpreting the Message
Jesus’ disciples had a small problem. They were aligned with someone many people loved, but who some people hated. Jesus came here on a miraculous mission of mercy. He came at a time when the Roman government was in power, and the people of God were on a very short leash. Unfortunately, the people of God lost sight of their mission. Instead of forwarding the message God had given them through Jesus the Messiah, they worked against Him. Because Jesus’ identity, message, and mission did not coincide with their understanding of God’s plan for salvation, the religious leaders became rabble rousers. They became enemies of the One person who came to deliver them from the yoke of Roman rule forever.
While Jesus never intended to subvert Caesar’s government, He fully intended to break the status quo. Christ had every intention of being the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream where God replaces all human rule with His kingdom of glory.
More Enemies Than Friends
In other words, the Roman government and the Jewish leaders and teachers were enemies to the disciples. Rome was hostile and paranoid because God’s message was so powerful and persuasive. But they did not understand that Christ’s message included instruction to do all you can to cause your civil society to prosper for the good of all. Then you had the Jewish leaders and teachers. Really, they were pseudo-religious. I call them pseudo-religious because Scripture tells us that there is a religion that is good for all of us. One that does not malign, disenfranchise, forget, or disrespect the needy. God says that is a true and undefiled religion that makes a difference in this world, but never becomes tainted by it (James 1:27). Both of these enemies would become unlikely cohorts against Christ and His followers. But the second was more insidious. They used the discrimination and marginalization to destroy God’s people and His message.
The Message is Greater Than Your Fears
If you are a voice for the message God has given His people be encouraged! You have no need to fear those who seek your demise. Some of them will be like the second enemy believing they are doing God’s will by oppressing you. But when God positions you in the spotlight and the cameras are rolling open your mouth and speak! Reporters will report. Social media content creators will quote. The world is watching. Speak the truth. Speak it to power. Stand up. Do not be afraid of their faces. Stand up! Speak the words that our Heavenly Father has put in your mouth for such a time as this.
Humanity is flawed. It uses all sorts of tactics to quiet godly voices. But if we maintain our composure and allow God to speak through us; if we hold fast until our work is done, then His message surely will always come through.
By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.