Two Hundred and Seventy.

Occasionally during the course of my day, sometime in between my morning day morsels and before I lay my little head down upon my pillow at night, I ask myself several questions throughout the day. Mostly these questions range from the rather usual variety such as, "Did George Washington really have wooden teeth?", to the much more odd question such as, "I wonder what it is like to get cut in half by a katana?" However, every once in a very rare while I will ask my brain a rather important and philosophical question. It just so happens that yesterday one of these rare instances occurred. I can remember the scene perfectly in my head, just as if it happened yesterday: I was at my job, hating it as usual, when I began to think about God, and what God is like. Where did God live before He created the world? What did His house look like? Was He lonely at times? These were all strange and random questions I asked myself, and for the most part, I really couldn't come up with a solid answer. Then, for some reason or another, a rather more serious question entered the gray matter located within my skull: Is God currently happy with us?
At the time, I didn't really think about it too much, but on my way home, I began to think about this question a bit more in depth.

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, Bin Laden was found and (supposedly) killed by American troops on Sunday night. After the news had been announced that he was dead, it wasn't long until my Facebook was exploding with comments left and right from people exclaiming with great joy that Osama had finally been killed, and now America could finally live in peace, and so on and so forth. Even on the news a similar story was being broad casted. I saw that in New York, people were celebrating in Times Square that Osama had finally been killed. After seeing this, I started to think more about the question I had thought of earlier in the day, and I began to wonder if God was up in Heaven somewhere, dancing around on a cloud and having a party to celebrate the fact that Osama Bin Laden was now finally dead (and likely in Hell). Just as soon as the thought entered my head, I also remembered a verse in 2 Peter that says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Right then and there, I figured there’s no way God could be as happy as most us Americans were that another person was dead. And it was then and there that I learned of the answer to my question: There’s honestly no way God can be happy with us as a nation, and there’s no way God can be happy about the place that Jesus Christ’s church is at within modern day Christianity.

I’ve heard it been said a thousand times by preachers, but each time I hear it, I still end up taking it for granted: as Christians, we are truly blessed to live in America, yet at the same time we are cursed in so many ways. In other countries throughout planet earth, Christians are being persecuted and even killed on a daily basis for the very same things that we do here in America with no or very little cost. It is still considered illegal to be a Christian in over 60 different countries, with many more countries denying basic human rights to people who profess to know and love Jesus Christ. A site I checked out earlier claimed that last year, nearly 270 Christians were being martyred everyday throughout the world. Just think about this for a second. This isn’t the 1800s we are talking about. This literally happened just last year. Every day while you and I are too lazy, too tired, too bored, too stressed, and too overworked to get up and go to church, or actually do something for God, someone was serving Christ to the point that it meant dying for Him; and were not just talking about one or two people here, but an average of two hundred and seventy every single day. Can you imagine what sort of state “American” Christianity would be in if people in this country were threatened on a daily basis for praying, talking, and worshipping God? I can’t help but think the results of such persecution would end up shattering three-fourths of the population of American Christians, and would end up leaving them to desert God, forsake their beliefs, and ultimately reject their faith. But what about that other 25%? What would happen to them? Would they fall by the wayside, just like the rest of their Christian brethren? Or would they be so filled with the Spirit that they continue on in such a way that made their Christian walk seem more real now than it ever was? Would their faith become truly great as they had to rely on God not only for their day to day needs, but also for protection as they continued to try and serve Him? Now obviously all of this is quite hypothetical, but it seems quite feasible to say that the Christians who are threatened on a day to day basis when it comes to serving God are ultimately on a higher level as far as their relationship with Christ is concerned, compared to the rest of the Christians in America who seemed to approach their spiritual lives as if it’s some sort of recreational activity. Throughout history it seems that those whom are forced to depend upon God for their general survival, seem to develop an intimate relationship with Him that seems to be only accessible throughout complete and utter dependence upon Him. Ultimately, it is when we are at our lowest and at are weakest that God becomes the realest.

So then, why would God allow us to be persecuted in the first place? I mean, if we are doing what He wants us to be doing then everything should work out fine, right? Well, Jesus actually spoke on this several times, and in John he actually says, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” So right there Jesus kind of gives it to us straight. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, which is serving Christ, we are going to be suffering some level of persecution from it at some point or another. That’s how I can know for a fact that God isn’t happy with us right now. Then there’s also the verse in Psalms 116:5 that says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints.” Man, that doesn’t sound like a God who wants my best life now! When we have a country that preaches things life a Prosperity Gospel, and people say that your life will simply be easier with Jesus in it, I know for a fact that God cannot be pleased with the way American Christians are “serving” God.

So I guess the whole point of this post is just to get you (as well as me) to think about your walk with Christ. As an American it can be easy to think, “Well I’ll for sure serve Him when it gets rough”, but the problem is, most of us aren’t even really serving Him right now when it’s easy and costs practically nothing!  So let’s try and please God for once. Let’s try and actually do what we can for Him now, so when the hard times do come, we can already know what it’s like to rely on Him before things get really tough.