... or so we ought to think. We will learn a God-glorifying outlook on our current situation when when Christ teaches it to us.
If we ask the Spirit of Christ what are the best times and places to obey Him, His answer will be: Right now is the best time, right here is the best place.
God's Spirit is in the business of freeing people to obey Him wherever they are, whenever they are. He is the same Spirit who has always been. He is the same God in the United States as He is everywhere else.
Right now, Christ is commanding us to weigh all our resources in favor of obeying Him. This is opposed our western mindset, which is to obey Him so far as seems reasonable. But, for those who know the Lord, the scales cannot help but tip in favor of life-consuming obedience.
We western churchgoers tend to esteem our circumstances so as to minimize Christ and maximize our insecurities. We would like to imagine ourselves as exceptions to God's irresistible rule, as if we were so extremely independent that we might transcend any need for daily guidance and teaching from Christ.
The most widespread problem I can make out, especially in the United States, is that we should feel crushed with an excess of opportunities to proclaim the God's goodness. For those of us who know the riches of God's grace in Christ, there is an overwhelming amount of encouragement to listen, follow and obey Him right here, where we already are. If there is any problem that plagues us Americans, it is that our United States are too ideal for God's kingdom.
I'm sure that, out of the multitudes of religious people in the west, there remain at least a few seekers who are wise enough to look for open doors rather than bang their heads in futility on all the shut ones. I would especially like to encourage these open door seekers.
Anyone who has caught a glimpse of Christ will perceive a multitude of "yes's" and "amen's" in Him. This is especially true for those who have joyfully died to themselves and the world in favor of having only Him.
The heavenward path is irresistible for sincere kingdom-seekers. But a heavenly outlook on life is incompatible with the skeptical heart or the cowering little-faith.
I know at least that in the United States we have freedom of speech so, if there is any substance to Christ, then, in all humility, let's speak up!
Whether or not we stumble over our words and make a few mistakes at first should not matter. We should expect a stage of awkwardness as we take our first steps toward speaking and living the Truth boldly. And, until we get more accustomed to lifestyle obedience, God is making room for us spiritually and politically to learn as we go, all for our encouragement's sake.
God's Spirit has cleared out a pathway of possibilities for His Christ-seekers that stretches out beyond our ability to imagine. Christ, in Himself, encapsulates an infinitude of possibilities. In the U.S. in particular we are unhindered by things such as rampant starvation or government-sanctioned persecution. Not that any of these things will ever hinder God's work anyway, but I am pointing these things out for our encouragement.
by Patrick Roberts. Find his book and additional material at www.BooksByPatrick.com
Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ.
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