Like many of you, I can close my eyes and see the images of aircraft being flown directly into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and hearing about American Airlines Flight 93 going down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. My mind went to so many of my high school classmates whose family members where part of the NY City Fire and Police Departments. Calls back home brought news of not being able to pass through towns for weeks without needing to stop for funeral processions.
We all experienced the horror of this attack against America on her own soil. The whole thing felt so surreal. After all we were one of the greatest Super Powers in the world. We were the country that went to fight for peace globally. Aside from Pearl Harbor, battle had not touched our borders. We are the Land of the Free.
Thirteen years later, I marvel at my children’s memories compared to my own. Our two youngest children have never lived in a country that has not been at war. They have grown up with our soldiers in active combat. They have experienced the insecurity that our land was attacked on its own soil, yet little has been done to reinforce our borders or bring our armed forces home to protect their own people.
A key point that seems to keep arising in discussions with our children is the fact that those terrorists that attacked us 13 years ago were motivated by a Holy War. Whether we agree with them or even despise their values, the truth still remains that they are willing to go to the extent of sacrificing their own lives in obedience to the religious convictions that they hold dear. My question this evening both to myself and those reading is:
If you call yourself by Christ’s name, how far are you willing to go to stand true to God as an act of obedience.
It is easy in the safe confines of our churches and prayer circles to pray for the survival of the unborn. It is much harder to approach a woman on the sidewalk sharing the gospel with her just before she enters an abortion clinic.
It is easy to send a Shoe Box through Operation Christmas Child. It is much harder to go into the inner city to feed hungry children if it means that you might get mugged and beaten because of the color of your skin.
It is easy to pray over your meal at home. It is much harder to stand before the local school board heading up a petition drive to put prayer back in our schools with the realization that just taking such a stand may cause you to be arrested.
It is easy to nod your head in agreement as the preacher stands in the pulpit and shares that God will always be faithful to care for His people. It is much harder to have faith that His care and provision will be sufficient when we face a grave diagnosis from the doctor or the cupboards are bare.
The terrorists that were on their own suicide mission 13 years ago were willing to go to their death for their deeply held religious convictions. There is someone else that I know that accepted a mission that would mean the end of his earthly walk – my Savior Jesus Christ. Christ came to this earth on a mission to save us and in all things never failed His Father. When we are called to worship Him, we are called to go out with the same intensity and passion as an act of worship. The greatest purpose of a Christian on this earth is to become molded like our Savior – even unto death.
The Church needs to arise out of its complacency and apathy. We need to stop being satisfied with the easy, but live radically for Him. The hour is now!
I write these words as they are the very message that God is impressing on my heart and challenging me in having a radical faith in Him that requires me to act and not just think about acting. How about you? We will only take back America and return her to the roots in which she was established if we are willing to do more than think about it or engage in conversation in back rooms or prayer closets. We are saved by faith, but the expression of that faith is being the salt in this world that is rapidly losing its saltiness.
Will you join me? What is God calling you to radically do? What is your act of worship that will help to claim this world back for Him.
If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The Word of God and our lives as His children can be powerful tools and weapons in the spiritual battles that wage in this world, but we must be willing to put them into action.
In closing, I would like to say thank you to all those that serve our country through military service, being active members of our police and fire safety departments, or family members that stand by them. Our prayers are with you as the remembrance of September 11, 2001 has a whole different reality for many of your families.