We all know what it’s like when things “come to a head.” Maybe it’s drama with a family member, road rage with another driver, conflict with a spouse, or a dispute with a co-worker. Either way, it’s easy to see confrontation as a bad thing because it ain’t pretty, it’s ain’t fun and it ain’t easy.
But what about moments of inspiration that are also confronting, like when someone challenges our way of life because of the way they live?
I heard Samer share his testimony via the Brooklyn Tabernacle podcast – which is one of my favorite podcasts.
Samer’s story, and the way he lives, could not be more confronting and challenging and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you how uncomfortable it made me feel.
But I also can’t deny how powerful of a God moment it was because in that moment, God used Samer’s life to confront the state of my own complacency. Because isn’t that exactly what God does?
He pushes us out of our comfort zones so we deepen our dependency on Him and He uses moments of confrontation to do it.
I feature Samer’s story as today’s devotional because we North American’s could stand to be reminded of the religious freedom we experience here – freedom that, ironically (and sadly), has paralyzed us from sharing our faith at all. How do I know? Because of Samer’s story.
To listen to his testimony is to stand in front of a mirror and see your faith dripping with complacency.
“You live in a free country, but for me is not easy. My mother say I bring shame to the family. My sisters cry and my brothers try many times to kill me. I been in jail three times, not because I do something wrong, but because I say Jesus is my Savior; Jesus is my Lord.”
A man told Samer about Jesus.
That same man handed Samer a Bible.
Samer took the Bible for no other reason other than to understand what motivated his enemies – Christian people whom his radical Muslim group was targeting and killing.
“When I’m starting reading the Bible, I find something for the first time in my life. In Matthew I see love your enemy, bless your enemy. Love your enemy? My Allah say kill your enemy! What kind of God does dis say?
My question is: for twenty years I not know about Jesus. Why? A lot of people without hope, are you shy about your Jesus? Why you keep Jesus for you only?”
Jesus isn’t for you and I only, is He?
Perhaps God uses moments of confrontation to speak to us because He desires for us to get used to confrontation. He desires for us to break free from the comfortable bubbles we have placed ourselves in and He wants to use us to do hard things. How else will His people make a difference in this world?
Today’s devotion is not meant to make you feel bad, but then again, maybe it is.
Maybe we need to feel bad.
Maybe we need to be confronted.
Maybe we need to be called out.
And feel shaken.
God is looking for those who will be okay with confrontation because this world needs people willing to stand up and be His voice.
If every Christian in North America could live with the same kind of passion and conviction that Samer has… well… I don’t even know how to finish this sentence.
What are the things you’re afraid of?
What are the things you shy away from?
Maybe it’s time for you to do hard things and take a hard look at yourself and your faith and ask God, what is holding me back?
And if you have 20 minutes to spare, I dare you to download the Brooklyn Tabernacle app (it’s free!) and search for “Samer’s Story.”
”You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:43-44