Am I with Jesus?
Yesterday I nearly wept in my car hearing Louie Giglio tell a story about a conversation he had with a pastor from Romania. This was a pastor who had been under the Romanian dictatorship and who had experienced freedom from tyranny after the revolution. During their conversation Louie came to a point where he simply asked the pastor, “Was it better for the Church during persecution, or has it been better for the church since persecution?” I listened intently, as I drove through Pen Argyl, and my heart jumped as I heard the answer:
“Before the revolution you only had to make one decision. Every morning one choice: Am I with Jesus or am I with them? That’s the only choice you had to make. And if you made the choice that morning, ‘I’m with Jesus’ everything else was easy after that. Not easy in the sense of pain free. After that choice would be arrest, beating, death, and persecution. Under persecution every time I left my home my family gathered and we prayed, every single time I walked out the door, because it was likely it would be the last time I’d ever see my family. And every time I walked out the door I said to my wife, ‘I love you’ and then I left.
But all you had to do was make one choice: ‘I’m with Jesus, period’ and then every thing else for the rest of the day was already done. All the other decisions were simple after that: You want to arrest me? That’s fine; you want me to renounce my faith? No way; You want me to turn my back on Jesus? Not happening; I’m going to have to suffer this because of that? Fine, because I’ve already made my decision today. The Church flourished in those days, and it has struggled since because now nobody has to walk out the door in the morning making the decision, ‘I’m with Jesus.’ Now the days are filled with all the other decisions we make. I pray with my family sometimes when I leave, and I catch myself sometimes saying to my wife, ‘I’ll see you later honey,’ but that never happened before. You know what’s weird about it Louie? You can’t manufacture that kind of desperation.”
I could not help repeating this to myself: “Am I with Jesus or am I with them?”
It is such a powerful and neglected question, and as I thought deeper on it the words of Joshua came rushing into my mind,
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
Each day is a turning point. Each moment is a determination of our allegiance. Each second is a choice we must take: “Am I with Jesus or am I with the world?”
This day, this moment, this second, I choose Jesus, and my prayer is that I’ll choose him every day, every moment, and every second that follows.
*To watch Louie Giglio’s message click here.*