I have Persecution Blog‘s rss feed on my google homepage so I can see new items when they are posted (well, based on how fast google updates the widget that is). Yesterday, I saw this post entitles A Time of Costly Words and wondered what it was about. So, I opened the article in a new Firefox tab and started reading:
In Albania, the first self-declared atheist state in the world, a young Christian by the name of Valerii Nasaruk was arrested for boldly tattooing a cross on his hand. He wanted everyone to know from the first handshake that he stuck to his faith in God. Valerii was frustrated, however, by not being allowed to verbally tell others about Gods love.
Wow! That is convicting. The government has a law restricting this brother’s free speech so he thinks up a way to get around it. As we can see, the government didn’t like that so they arrested him. At the trial he was found gulty, but the judge appealed to his mom:
At the trial, the judge told Valeriis mother, Tell your son to change his ways so he can go free.
WOW! What would happen here if that happened? How many parents would tell their child to renounce their faith? But God was with his mother who stood firm:
She thought for a while before responding through tearful eyes, Valerii, my advice to you is to stand firm and not deny Christ, even if it means your death.
Stacy then goes on to ask:
God loves us, and he has great plans for our lives. The problem is, everyone else has plans for us, too. Do this. Do that. Try this. Try that. Words of advice are cheap and plentiful. The time comes, however, when words are costly. Any time another believer encourages us to carry on with Gods call on our lives despite the consequences, we know we have heard from a godly person. Anything to the contrary, even well intentioned, is bad advice. To whom do you listen for spiritual guidance? Recall and record the last bit of spiritual advice you received from a trusted friend. How well have you followed through?
How true. Everyone is trying to pull us one way or the other. We
need must be ever vigilant to stand on the truth. Even advice from “christians” can be wrong. So, to answer Stacy’s question I listen to those believers who are more mature in their faith. If I have a question, I choose one of them and ask. I expect their answer to be firmly rooted in the Bible. I then take what they say and “bounce” test it against what the Bible has to say. Then I pray about it. I ask those same people to pray with me. Only then do I make up my mind.
As an asside, I would like to ask all of you to join me in one request: I pray that if I am ever put in this situation with Lydia, I would do the right thing: encourage her to keep on keeping on and striving for the faith.