In today’s world it’s becoming increasingly apparent even to unbelievers that true Christians will obey God rather than corrupted governors, in order to influence their nation rightly.
Why, in 1620, did the little congregation of Pastor John Robinson’s English Christ followers, whom we call Pilgrims, risk their lives to leave their native land to become unintended pioneers of an untamed wilderness in North America? In a word, the motivation was tyranny – Religious tyranny.
Why, in 1776, did 30% of the British colonists in America risk their lives to declare what no people on earth had ever done to resist the monarch who dominated their private lives? Again, their motivation was tyranny – tyranny of their conscience.
We’re all facing a lot of censorship and rampant disinformation and propaganda these days. If you’ve been a sincere follower of the Way of our master, Jesus the Messiah-the Christ for very long, you’ve likely been reminded of the answer of Peter and John to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:19-20. Do you remember it? Dr Luke records it this way.
“But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Honest people can’t help when confronted to give a straight-forward testimony of what they have personally witnessed. This applies not only to our testimony of what our Lord has done in our lives. It is a principle that applies to every area of what we know to be true, especially if that knowledge can make a life-saving difference in the choices that someone else will make, even after making a chain of bad choices.
At the start of Jesus’ 3-year project of discipling his 12 chosen men, we learn that “…they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22
In times of relative peace and quiet, the virtue of courage is often unseen and little spoken of. But when the pressure is on; when the conflict of good and evil is raised for all to see; when the dangers and threats of evildoers are brazen and menacing, then courage arises in those who are empowered with personal knowledge and experience.
Jesus communicated confidence with authority, not just because he had personal conviction. He had deep intimate knowledge of the truth that He spoke. He dwelt in the shelter of the Most High. He displayed the epitome of courage because He was in tune with the Father and only did what He saw Him do.