Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 11, 2011

never flinching faith

Over the last few days our reading has brought into full view the extreme difficulties that the apostle Paul encountered for his faith. After his dramatic conversion to Christ, He was radically changed. His life was singularly focused on the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul went through intense persecution, was put in prison, stood trial before the Romans and was accused by the Jews for his religious beliefs. Yet, from my viewpoint, he seemed to never flinch. He knew the Truth! Nothing could deter him from the mission to which our Lord had called him. We all need a good dose of his never flinching faith in a world that needs the Truth.

If you know Christ as your Savior, your hope is tied to the gospel message, and the core of your life is its truth. I sometimes feel in this ever-changing world, we have lost the distinctiveness of faith in Christ as the only hope for eternity. To know and love Christ will not always be popular, but it will always honor Him.

One of my all-time favorite readings gives a real picture of the way I view the apostle Paul. As you read the words below, let them penetrate and challenge your heart to have a never flinching faith.  They are the words that an African pastor wrote on the night before he was murdered for an unwillingness to renounce his faith. He wrote the following on a scrap of paper …

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I’ve stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals!

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by His presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or burn up till I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops. And when He comes to get His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear.

Source: “Daily in Christ” daily devotional, Neil Anderson, August 21st entry

Your faith and mine can model that of  the African pastor. When we determine to live with a never flinching faith, those around us will see a clear portrait of what it means to follow Christ. Oh, I know we’ll fail sometimes, but with a heart like Paul’s and a submitted self like the African pastor’s, we’ll finish well!


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