- The safest place to be is in the centre of God’s will
That’s utter tosh! The BEST place to be is in the centre of God’s will: it sure ain’t the safest! The wrong statement brings to us what many Christians want: to be protected from the enemy, comfortable, safe, secure, inside comfort zones, not rocking the boat…. Try telling my dear friend, Simon Allaby, Pastor of Bolney Chapel, West Sussex, who, as I write, is in the very part of Karachi, Pakistan, where the tragedy of the murder, by a suicide bomber targetting Christians, of dozens of Christians took place, including many women and children, just a week or so ago…..or preach in a church, but on the street outside it, in a ‘barrio’ (district) of Cali, with a nice amplified English voice, to see, moments later, a man shot dead no more than 400 metres up the road….or…well, I could go on about the far east, the middle east, north Africa, ISIS… being a Christian who wants to make a difference, or is prepared to stand for your faith in a secular/communist/muslim culture, is NOT the safest place to be….!
Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who leads one of the biggest churches in the world – the Embassy of God, Kiev, Ukraine, said this:
- ‘If you don’t have any problems, it means you have stopped being of interest to the enemy: you are not dangerous to him.’
28/29 years ago, on my first visit to Youth with a Mission, Ghana, West Africa, I quoted A W Tozer in the teaching I was giving, saying something similar:
- ‘If you haven’t met the devil today, then the chances are that you and he are walking in the same direction’
It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that YWAM there still have that as one of their ‘mottos’ – they certainly adopted it for the 11 years I went there until the late 1990’s. In case you’re thinking ‘this is un-Scriptural’, I don’t think there is anywhere in the Gospels – or the New Testament – where we’re told that it’s going to be an easy life. In fact, in John 16:33, I’m sure you don’t need reminding that Jesus said ‘In this world you WILL have trouble….’ – and five times in the four gospels, Jesus said ‘If you want to save your life, you’ll lose it: but if you’re willing to lose your life for my sake, you will surely find it’. That MUST be important, because I’ve asked theologians, and it seems it’s the only thing that Jesus said that’s recorded by each of the gospel writers, and Matthew thought it was a good idea to put it in twice… (Matt 10;39: 16;25 Mark 8;35 Luke 9;24 John 12;25)
I meet so many Christians who sail through life, trouble free, making statements like ‘the devil doesn’t trouble me’: nope, they don’t trouble him, so he leaves them alone. To be honest, I’m GLAD that the enemy thinks I’m worth assaulting. The day he knows he can leave me alone, I pray that will be the day I’m sealed in a box, and taken to the crematorium!
Safe place….centre of God’s will? Perhaps not….
Right now, in many ways, I find myself in ‘not a safe place’ – another reason for the absence of blogs, as I don’t want my struggles and battles to detract from the amazing things that God is doing, and has been doing, during the period of silence. Human nature probably ‘chooses’ to remember the battles rather than the triumphant testimonies. There’ll be another blog about SOME of what’s been going on these past months, some of the very intense battles that the enemy has ‘picked’ on me with: and the protection of the Lord during some of those times….