Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday {The Falling Away}

Easter came fast this year.  I wanted to soak in more time in the Word and have a chance to figure out what on earth the boys will wear Sunday, but here it is.  In many ways, I don't feel ready, but God did honor my request of showing me something fresh amidst the holy pages where Jesus's death was penned. 

I've thought a lot the past few months about the end times apostasy (falling away) that occurs.  What on earth would drive those that say they believe in Christ to all the sudden say they don't?  Persecution?  Suffering?  Fear? 

And then I see it in the Upper Room and the Garden and the Courts.  I see those twelve, beloved by Christ, who spent countless, precious hours with their Messiah, and they fall away

Part of that makes me shudder.  I seem to say, "Lord, I will never leave you or forsake you or shy away from your Name."  And yet, I wonder if I set myself up for failure with such haughty words.  Perhaps it is only God that holds us and keeps us??

Jesus says to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Simon, you went to sleep on me?  Can't you stick it out with me a single hour?  Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it.  Don't be naïve.  Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."  Mark 14:37-38 MSG

{What if prayer in the garden would have armed the disciples with the much needed power to stay faithful?  Instead, they chose sleep.  How often have I chosen sleep?  Or apathy?  Or ignorance to what the situation really was?}

Judas arrives with a gang armed with clubs.  He betrays his Savior with a kiss.  Jesus looks at him and says, "Every day I was with you..."  This disciple handed him over for mere pieces of silver while all the other disciples cut and ran.  Every single one of the chosen twelve deserted him.

Peter had just hours ago blustered out arrogantly, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you."  All the other disciples repeated what he said.

This falling away of Christ's most beloved friends has sobered me right up.

If those that knew him best were quick to flee, then perhaps we aren't immune, either.

"These are all warning markers--Danger!--in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes.  Our positions in the story are parallel--they at the beginning--we at the end--and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were.  Don't be so naïve and self-confident.  You're not exempt.  You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else.  Forget about self-confidence; it's useless.  Cultivate God-confidence." 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 MSG

I believe that those Christ redeems, He keeps.  I believe the Children of God will always be His children and will never lose their inheritance.  But, I also believe things could get tough enough that we could easily betray Him or choose not to associate with Him.  My newest prayer is that God would keep me faithful to Him above all else.  Above my comforts.  Above my expectations.  Above my safety.  I pray that He graces me with power to choose Him daily above everything and everyone.

Our illusion of a Christian nation has come to an end.  We are now the minority.  The hated.  The persecuted.  Lord, steel our faith before Satan comes to steal it.

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