Can I just be real with you?
Sometimes I don’t know what to do with messages that tell us that when we serve Jesus that life will be tied up in a nice neat bow.
It so goes against the image of a group of dedicated, uncertain men and women who left everything familiar and traditional to follow Christ.
The disciples weren’t always understood, and many times they were questioned or opposed.
And yet they had found something so startling real and life changing that they embraced whatever came their way. Not always with bravery or even in the right way, because you see they were learning how to be disciples of Christ. But in the end we find men and women of strong faith who plunged into ministry and faith with passion and direction, despite the obstacles.
Did they suffer? Yes. Did they struggle? Absolutely.
But as I read through Acts, one passage leaped from the page. Peter and others were arrested because miracles and conversions were taking place and it was creating upheaval among the traditional crowd. This put the authorities and religious leaders in a bind because that arrest led to the possiblity of riot due to the unfair arrest and imprisonment. So one wise leader said this:
My advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God (Actus 5:38-39).
But it is the next verse that is just as impacting. It says, “The apostles left the high counsil rejoincing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.”
What does this say to us?
It’s a reminder that whatever we do in His name, if we do it because we are following Him, and it’s bathed in prayer and we are listening for His direction, then it’s in His hands. Nothing can stop what He wants accomplished. That might look different than what others might call success.
But secondly, it’s a reminder that following Christ is one of the most amazing and rewarding steps of faith we can take, but with the understanding that God leads us out of our comfort zone, and that destiny and purpose rarely waltz with comfort and seeking material riches.
I want all that God has for me, but what if that includes questions, mountains to climb, and uncertainty at times? Do I still sign up? Do you?
For me, the answer is yes.