Dear friends, I trust that the Lord has been preserving and blessing you. We live in an electronic age where everything we do and say is being closely monitored by our governments. Wholesale surveillance is no longer an exception but the norm. In the name of counter-terrorism operations, telephone calls, emails, and all digital and off-line communications are being monitored by governments. It seems that the very governments that should protect and preserve the civil liberties of their citizens seem to be brazenly violating them. There will obviously be arguments in favor of and against such surveillance. It’s sad that sometimes confidential and financial information is also hacked and stolen. Law, politics and ethics aside, I’d like for us to focus on something completely different. Should we Christians seek secluded lives?
I’d like for us to turn to Matthew 5:14-16. These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus during His famous Sermon on the Mount. The Lord likens us, His Children, to the light of the world. We are the Image of the invisible God, made in His likeness (Genesis 1:26), and we all with unveiled faces reflect the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are the embodiment and personification of the Lord Jesus to a world that doesn’t know Him. It’s God’s will to expose us to the world so that others may see the life of God in us. When we start getting comfortable in our little circles and group of friends, sometimes God shakes things up to fling us out into the uttermost parts of the world to fulfill His will.
In Acts 8:1 we read that “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” Again in Acts 11:9 we read that “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen….”. God allowed Satan to shake up the church in Jerusalem, because it had forgotten its mandate (Matthew 28:18-20). In Acts 2:42-47 we read that the church of the Apostles was growing and blessed. They got so comfortable that they became a clique, while God’s intention was the exact opposite.
In 1 Corinthians 4:9 the Apostle Paul goes to the extent of saying that God had made us a spectacle to the whole universe. The sufferings of the Apostle Paul, his trials, beatings etc., were very public. It was as if he didn’t have a private moment in his life at all. A better example would be the Lord Jesus Himself. He was constantly mobbed by crowds seeking healing, deliverance or some other favor (Mark 5:31). Occasionally He withdrew from the crowd for times of solitude with the Heavenly Father (Luke 5:16), but most of His ministry was very public, including a very public execution (or should I say murder?) (Matthew 27:32-40). He was so exposed to the public that He didn’t have enough time for His family (Luke 8:20).
Everything about the life of the Lord Jesus, His private wedding dinners (John 1:2-11), His public ministry and His crucifixion were all events used by God to witness to a lost and dying world. We all love our privacy. But we Christians have a higher calling and purpose. God will use us and our families any way He chooses to accomplish His will. The call to discipleship (Luke 9:23) is not always a call to actual abandonment of our families, but relinquishing our right to be with them. Our times and lives are in God’s Hands. If we trust our Heavenly Father to use us as He pleases, not only will we be blessed with much stronger family bonds (Matthew 19:27-29) but we’ll also receive the eternal pleasure of accomplishing our Heavenly Father’s will (John 8:29).
Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.