One of the hardest things to do is trust in God. There’s always a doubt about what you’re going to do, but that doubt is seeded, and it’s something intentional to keep you from enacting God’s will. A lot of the time you’ll have this nagging sense in the back of your head: I need to do something. If that something is uncomfortable for you, something that scares you, and something that you can’t see how it would benefit you—odds are that small voice in the back of your mind is God.
This past week in church I was particularly inspired because we have a pastor who has been called to go found and create a new church. He’s packing up his life, leaving, with nowhere to live, nowhere to work, just going based on what he heard from God. I can’t see myself ever doing that. With a family, this sort of call is extremely difficult, but it’s also something that we’ve seen throughout the Bible. This is exactly how God calls us. From Moses, who stuttered and couldn’t speak being called to be a leader. To Jonah, who was told to go to the Ninevites. To the disciples who were fishermen and tax collectors, normal people who had no business being leaders. This is how God calls.
I had a nice theological discussion with someone on Gab last evening, where the person echoed this sentiment with: “screw up for God.” Though it’s a bit crass of a way of putting it, the sentiment is actually correct. God calls us to action. If we’re afraid of doing it wrong, or getting bogged down in the details of “can I do this the way he wants” we’re never going to accomplish anything. And so it’s better to put ourselves out there when we hear his voice.
I had this nagging voice for years in an uncomfortable situation – to witness to the Science Fiction readership community. It’s extremely uncomfortable because this crowd is hostile in the extreme toward the message of Christ. Many spit at Christianity, deeply engrained in their worldly religion of scientism that rejects any of the supernatural or any faith.
But that’s also where God’s needed the most. We need to create strongholds within the Enemy’s domain. In the places that seem like they’re solid rocks and too hard to penetrate. We need to be the voice inside the echo chamber. It’s really hard, it’s not fun at all. It’s cost me a lot of friends, and my name is mocked and spit upon regularly as a consequence.
But that’s not meant to deter you. A great friend approached me a few weeks ago when I was really taking some heat, and in the middle of my failing and responding negatively to it, he reminded me of the words from 1 Peter:
“Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for this is you were called that you may obtain a blessing.”
It’s counterintuitive, and I fail in this often, but we are called upon to receive reviling. When we get this, we have to keep in mind that it’s a good thing. We are being blessed and we should bless those similarly. It’s really hard to do, and it takes constant reminding and remembering. Part of writing this is to help remind myself to do this. Peter later mentions the reason why and a call to action:
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’s sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect; having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
We have to suffer for doing what is good. He reiterates that it’s a blessing. We have to also be out there, speaking loudly the good news of Jesus Christ, even if it appears not welcome in the world. And it will appear unwelcome. It’s uncomfortable, and that’s where it comes back to trusting God.
I strive to be more like this pastor who is willing to give up his life and walk for Jesus. Just like the apostles did. Though it’s more comfortable just to be quiet and let the world go as it would – even though at a time like this with a book release, it’d be easier to stay on the fiction topic, just talk about happy entertainment and not post a message like this, even though I risk turning off new readers. God has called me. I have to speak. I have a lot of work to do in myself based on the passages above. But I’ll try to rejoice in the future and maintain blessings on those who hate me.
I’ll leave you with these questions to reflect on: what’s God calling on you to do? How can you bring about a greater glory for his kingdom? Are you blessing those who revile you and showing the world what is right?