If a Christian Falls in the Woods – or in North Korea or Somalia or Iraq – Does it Make a Sound?

seeds sownHere’s my question: Why do the agents of God’s enemy understand the power of His word more than many of His children do?

I think about that whenever I read reports from countries where persecution is rampant. Here in the US, shelves laden with Bibles collecting dust, we forget the power of God’s word but in North Korea or Somalia, possession of even a portion of scripture can cost a believer her life.

One report I read said that Somalia is second only to North Korea as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. Somalis who are discovered to be Christians face almost certain death, not only in their own country but also in the neighboring countries where many Somalis flee as refugees. “In Somalia, they kill you if they just find a piece of literature.”

God’s enemies know there is power in those pages. Power that cannot be contained. Power that threatens kings and thrones. Power that turns humans into friends of God. Power to transform, to incite revolution, to free a captive soul.

Another story I read said this: “When another church leader, Pastor Wang, asked his neighbor to go to a gospel meeting with him, the neighbor declined, saying if he spent his time in church, he would not have time to do other things. Two months later, the neighbor became very ill and asked the pastor to pray for him. After the prayer, he asked for a Bible. The neighbor started reading in Genesis, and after finishing the Bible, his illness was completely healed. The man had not wanted to believe in Jesus, but after finishing the Bible, he told the pastor, “The God you believe in is a living God, and I will believe just like you.”

Recently, I went out to dinner with my husband, just the two of us. We sat across from one another, wrinkled and weary, but as we chatted about our days, we looked straight into each others’ eyes. In the quiet of the restaurant, I remembered the power of our love. I re-believed in us. Something I need to do at least once a week.

Likewise, I need to sit across the table from God every day, look straight into His word, and remember the power of His love.

I need to not only believe IN God, I need to believe God. Believe what He says. Trust His character revealed through His Word just enough to act on what I read.

I cannot let it be said on the day I am face to face with Jesus, that those in Somalia or North Korea who hunted and killed my brothers and sisters showed more understanding of the power of God’s word than I.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

We will one day give account. I want my account to say, “Fearlessly, she lived the love she found written in His word and it not only set her free, it empowered her to incite others to read His love, too.”

What about you? Are you ready to join the revolution? Does it bother you more that there are countries where reading God’s word is a punishable offense or that in free countries, God’s word languishes unread, unstudied, and unlived? This is the word that spoke LIGHT and LIFE into being. On your shelf. Untouched. While your life gasps, panting for a single drop of living water reclaimed from the dusty shelves.

Read His word today. Not tomorrow. Not when your new devotional arrives from Amazon. Not on January 1st when you’re going to start all over.  Your body can’t go longer than three days without water. How long has your soul thirsted for His word? What will you say when we are united with our brothers and sisters who survived persecution when they ask what it was like to have free access to God’s word every day?

I’ll probably admit that sometimes, I took it for granted, but knowing there are those who long to read just one verse spurred me on to open it and relish every word.

There are barriers to opening God’s word – even for those of us who live free. I’ll write about some of those in the next post. But don’t wait for that. Open God’s word now. Right now. Thousands flocked to a foolish movie this week-end in the name of political freedom, we can certainly flock to God’s Word for the freedom of our souls!

What did one domino say to the other?  We don’t have to fall.


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6 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Tammy Smith says:

    Love,love ,love this post! I have a little story…..My daughter has dyslexia.As a homeschool mother,I didn’t recognize this until about 3rd grade.I panicked and worried and then the LORD spoke right to me and said,”Read her My Word”.So,every morning we opened our Bibles and all our children took turns reading out of the Bible,including my daughter with dyslexia.She struggled with words and we helped her out and after a little while,she began reading fluently without error.That was 7 years ago and she goes to bed a half hour early just so she can spend time in her Bible.She asked for a John MacArthur study Bible for her 14th birthday recently.She said,”Mommy,there are some things I don’t understand,can you get me a study Bible?” The highlight of our day is reading the Bible together.As my husband says,”Reading the Bible together is the MOST IMPORTANT subject of ALL homeschool curriculum!” God’s Word is truly my Light and my Lamp….in such a dark world.Thank you for such a precious reminder!

  2. Great post, Lori. American Christians need to be reminded of the luxury of being able to read our Bibles unfettered when our brothers and sisters around the world are persecuted for their faith.

  3. Maxine D says:

    I finish my day in the Word – it is a privilege that I love. I have several copies of the Bible in various translations – I treasure the fact it is so available.
    Blessings
    Maxine

  4. Wendy says:

    Love Tammy’s story.

  5. Megan Vance says:

    Hi Lori,
    I enjoyed your post. About a year ago, I found out about a different method of reading through my Bible and have really gotten to like it. I thought maybe you and your readers might want to take a peek at it also:

    http://www.challies.com/sites/all/files/attachments/professor-grant-horners-bible-reading-system.pdf

    Blessings,
    Megan