Communicating With Our Saviour: Part 3
The final piece to communicating with our Saviour is based on courage. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “…and they follow me.” “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
We must have the courage to follow Him.
A sheep that wandered alone without a shepherd or a flock would not last very long. There are predators, illnesses and diseases, not to mention rocky cliffs and the difficulty finding food and water.
A shepherd will fight off predators and prevent or care for illness and disease. A shepherd leads his sheep away from rocky cliffs, and toward lush grasses and clean streams. But the sheep needs to trust the shepherd and learns to follow him.
The world we live in has its fair share of dangers and difficulties. Moreover, unlike sheep following a shepherd, life can get even more challenging when we choose to follow Jesus. It not only takes trust to follow our shepherd, it also takes courage.
The Underground Church
Francis Chan, pastor, author and speaker, has recounted a trip he took to China. He had the opportunity to join a secret reunion of sorts, with a group of Christians who were a part of the underground church.
The last times these people had seen each other was a few years earlier, while in prison together for spreading the Gospel. Francis watched as the group cried and embraced each other, then the pastor of the group started to recount their ordeal.
The pastor told Francis about the night they were all arrested and imprisoned. They were taken to a jail facility and placed together in a giant cage. The group began to pray and sing worship songs and recount Scripture they had memorized. The police told them to stop.
After a few hours, the police came into the cage and asked the group, “Who’s the pastor?” The group thought the police were trying to isolate the pastor, so that they would stop praying and singing.
Just as the pastor begin to raise his hand, another group member said “I’m the pastor.” Confused, the pastor called out, “No, I’m the pastor.” Then another group member said, “No, I’m the pastor.”
Soon each and every member of the group were calling out that they were the pastor. Unsure of whom to choose, the police decided to take the first man who cried out. But to the group’s terror, the police took him out of the cage and killed him.
This did not deter them.
To the police officers amazement, the group started praying harder and with weeping, they praised God with even more fervor.
Just then a member of the group interrupted the pastor’s recounting of the events. The group member looked around at the rest of her brothers and sister in Christ and asked, “Don’t you wish you could be back there? Don’t you remember how close you felt to Christ?”
The group began to weep and embrace again, nodding their heads in agreement.
A few days later the group was released. They decided to separate and not associate with each other for a few years, so the church could grow. Some of the began new underground churches and some join churches that had already started.
The pastor explained, that he had experienced other times of persecution of over the years. However, never before and never again, in all his life and ministry has he felt so close to Jesus Christ, as when he was in that cage waiting to die for following Him.
How To Be Courageous
You see, that pastor was communicating with his Saviour on a whole different level. He was connected to Christ, he was communing with Christ, but he also had the courage to follow Him. And that made all the difference. That brought Him closer to Jesus.
I’m not saying we all need to travel to China and join the underground church movement. But maybe Christ is calling you into missions.
A few weeks I learned of a great need for missionaries to start churches in Nunavut, right here in Canada. It’s not China, but it’ll take some courage.
Maybe for you, it’s something smaller.
Whatever it is, just do it; follow Him where He’s leading you. It may be difficult the first few times, but courage comes with practice. If you want to come into close communication with our Saviour, then it’s going to take some courage.