“What would I attempt for Jesus if I was not afraid?”
While traveled around the world, Nik Ripken and his wife have heard many stories of persecuted believers who have lost everything, including their lives, for the sake of Christ. The common thread between all of them is their refusal to allow anything in this world to steal their joy.
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of Christianity and goodwill in America… [but] I have watched too many countries go bad in a small amount of time for me to have any confidence in the arms of humans and only in the grace of God.”
Our country is on the verge of an election cycle. It can be tempting to lean on one political party or the other to save our culture from the shift that is currently taking place. Nik says that is the wrong approach. Not only is Jesus our only Savior, He alone is what keeps our joy and courage strong.
“The DNA that we are finding in believers in persecution is exactly the DNA that Jesus wants for all of us. Because what defines us is not our political environment. What defines us is how we walk with Christ and how often we share Him with others.”
The political environment of America is not as important as the faithfulness of God’s people in this environment. When we see those stepping into leadership who don’t follow Christ, it’s easy to allow fear to drive us. We can walk in courage by first recognizing that fear itself is not from God.
“We must find ways not to model fear. Fear cannot be a dominant response to the evil all around us.” – An excerpt from Nik’s book, The Insanity of Obedience: Walking with Jesus in Tough Places.
Fear is the number one tool of Satan.
God is all-present, all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing. Satan is not any of those.
“We have seen over and over again across the world… Our fear gives Satan a geographical presence he doesn’t deserve and he did not have before. That is the tool that Satan uses.”
We have to train ourselves to choose faith over fear. As Nik says, courage is being afraid but still doing what God calls you to do. When we choose fear over faith, we open ourselves to attack. It gives Satan a presence in our hearts, in our family, in our country. It’s an open door that invites Satan in. Fear invites darkness. Faith invites light and freedom. Which one are you choosing today?
Featured Songs: Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin; Amazed (by You) by Lincoln Brewster; Waiting Here for You by Christy Nockels