Fighting Fire by Becoming the Fire

I don’t want to write this post
because I can’t write it without acting on it.
Great advocate for persecuted Christians, right?
I’m afraid of social awkwardness and rejection never mind prison cells and guns.
But, still, while praying over the news that more than 100 Nigerian Christians were killed as local herdsman burned them out of their homes,
I wrestled with what we in the West can do in response.
A phrase familiar to me twisted in my mind and became this:
We fight fire by becoming fire.
Growing up in a firefighter family, I’m familiar with the technique called backfiring.
This is where first responders intentionally set a fire in front of the oncoming primary fire in order to create a type of firewall. When the primary fire reaches the wall, it finds no fuel and burns itself out.
And as I meditated on this thought, I wondered:
If for every believer whose life is taken from him or her, one of us lays down our own life, won’t that turn Satan’s attack back on itself?
I don’t mean that believers should start committing suicide, I mean that as we hear of Christians murdered in other countries for their faith,
we in the West could choke back our own fears about opening our mouths
and tell someone in our lives the story of the deaths, using it as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus.
If my life went up in smoke in Jesus’ name, I would want the news of it to spread like a burst milkweed pod
and overtake the surrounding fields with new believers,
thus, turning the tactic of my destroyers into a tool for achieving my life’s goal even as they snatch it from my hand.
For we know that those who have fallen in Jesus’ name are now inhabiting their eternal life, waiting for us to come home.
The baton they held in their hands as the flames burned is fireproof
and is now ours to pick up and pass on.
Heaven waits to see what we will do.
What will we do?
So, today, I’m going to prayerfully turn to someone in my life and tell them that more than 100 Nigerian Christians died as their homes were burned by neighbors hostile to their faith
and then I’ll inhale and tell them the reason they died is because they loved Jesus Christ and knew the truth that He is the only way to have eternal life.
How about you? Can we reach 100 people today in Jesus’ name? Can 100 of us find one person to tell?
Can you tell someone in an email? A video? A blogpost, a status, a tweet – over dinner, over a cubicle wall, in a car, at the table, from a pulpit, from a hospital bed?
Are we willing to fight fire by becoming the fire?
Jesus led in this manner: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29b
We don’t need to stand on the street corners and scream fire and brimstone (unless this is what you’re called to do),
we just have to represent the God who is a consuming fire and watch as His truth spreads in the face of the enemy.
If you’re willing to reach someone today with the truth of Jesus in honor of our Nigerian brothers and sisters – to be their voices and speak for them from the flames – leave a comment here – so we can encourage one another.
What did one domino say to the other?
 
WE DON’T HAVE TO FALL.
 

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14 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. I’m in. I like the visual you’ve given us.

  2. I’m in. Thanks for being the spark to light the fires in we who read your words!

    • Thanks. I did it. I’m so bold in writing but a cowardly lion in person. At the very end of my workday, I spoke with a woman from my office for whom I have great affection. As Providence would have it, she has been considering a return to faith after leaving the church long ago. We’ll see.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the past two years, I had the opportunity to become friends at my church with two wonderful Christians from Nigeria. Godfrey attended my weekly bible study and was a great asset. His wife, Irene, took his body back to Nigeria when he died. She stayed a month because she has two sons and a daughter still in Nigeria. One son is in South Africa, one in Australia, and a daughter living here in Rhode Island. All her family members are Christians. To hear of the death of Nigerian Christians hits very close to my heart. Yes, I can tell others. I’ll also put the information on my church prayer list because Godfrey and Irene Oguoma were loved and were real Christians! MOMMA

  4. Dorothy says:

    I will share this with everyone I know. I posted the story on my FB page. Guess I’ll find out how long they will leave it up. I will share this with my Bible Study class and we will pray. I will find a way to steer conversations in this direction. May God have mercy. Thank you for your blog and for sharing. I deeply appreciate it.

  5. Dorothy says:

    I will share this with everyone I know. I posted the story on my FB page. Guess I’ll find out how long they will leave it up. I will share this with my Bible Study class and we will pray. I will find a way to steer conversations in this direction. May God have mercy. Thank you for your blog and for sharing. I deeply appreciate it.

  6. kemrex says:

    Add me to the list! Bruce R.

  7. Judith Robl says:

    I’m late reading this, but it’s never too late to share the Word. Count me in, beginning with a link on my FB.

  8. I read John 12:24 a few minutes ago. How fitting to read here about “a burst milkweed pod”.
    And so your strategy becomes a tool for me to use. I’m on my way.

  9. Aaron says:

    Sometimes, we can see only the smallness in such an act – sharing a story seems inconsequential next to Peter converting thousands in a day. But when the Spirit is in it, using it, growing it, speaking into that heart the bigger Truth,then the fire starts, the seeds blow. We are all weakness, and stumbling, but we need not look at that, for we know that God is the strength. So we can put those few words in our mouths – a story of Nigeria – and couple it with a testimony, and leave the fire up to God. Thank you Lori for the words.