This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free, compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Mehdi Dibaj (an Iranian imprisoned for over 9 years for his faith in Jesus Christ, and murdered 6 months after his release from prison), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way. (Psalm 46:1-2)
In the story of Daniel’s friends in the fiery oven, God teaches us an important spiritual truth:
if we want to walk close to our Lord, we must be willing to go into the fire because it is the safest place for us.
Not only will our socks not burn, but our clothes will not even smell of fire.
I praise God that during these seven years that I have been in prison for my faith, the Lord Jesus Christ has been my strength in a wonderful way. I not only may walk close to Him in the midst of the fire, but I go forward as well.
He leads me through water and fire;
He leads us in the way of the Cross.
Yes, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
A moment of introspection: It is easy, is it not, for one in prison for one's faith in Jesus Christ, to speak of walking through the fire. "That certainly does not apply to us." We in this country, it has been said, are privileged to NOT suffer for Christ, while our brothers and sisters within the persecuted church around the world, are granted the privilege to suffer for His Name's sake. Which is the greater privilege? Is ours a privilege after all--or is it a burden which we must bear in sustaining the oft-times empty lifestyle we cling so tenaciously to? Let it not be said of us that we lived authentic Christian lives of boldness and zeal for the Gospel of Christ--but only vicariously so (through the lives of those who are persecuted for the sake of His holy Name). Zeal for God's Kingdom is a gift from the throne of heaven. It is available to all who earnestly seek God and burn with desire to serve Him and only Him in all we do. As Mehdi Dibaj said, "He leads me through water and fire; He leads us in the way of the Cross." If we seek God earnestly, we will follow where He leads. We claim to be followers of Christ, do we not? "If we want to walk close to our Lord, we must be willing to go into the fire, because it is the safest place for us."