According to recent news reports ISIS terrorists have put together a “kill list” of 15,000 Christian leaders they want to eliminate. I don’t have a death wish or anything, but if there is a list like that I’d kind of like to be on it. I’d like to be considered someone who is making a difference for Jesus, proclaiming His Word and pointing people to Christ. I’d like to be somebody who the forces of evil consider to be a threat to their efforts. I’m more interested in impacting lives for the Lord than just staying safe.
Erwin McManus decided to not just pray for his son to be kept safe. His son had been told about demons and it made him scared when it came time for bed. He pleaded, “Daddy, would you pray for me that I would be safe?” His father’s answer wasn’t the expected safety-first reply most parents would have probably given. “Aaron, I will not pray for you to be safe. I will pray that God will make you dangerous, so dangerous that demons will flee when you enter the room.” His son’s reply was, “All right. But pray I would be really, really dangerous, Daddy.”
The Lord is not wanting us to be dangerous in the sense that we commit acts of violence. He wants us to be dangerous to the profits of pornographers by sharing about the real love that is found in Christ and causing their business to go down. He wants us to be dangerous to the cash flow of drug dealers by pointing people to the power of God and helping them to stop buying what the dealers are selling. He wants us to be dangerous to terrorists who try to entrap people in fear. We proclaim the good news that God is able and willing to protect us. “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. … If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent” (Psalm 91:5-6, 9-10).
We confidently let all those who oppose the cause of Christ know, we are not afraid to be put on their list. What is far more important is that, when we have faith in Jesus and His death for our sins and His resurrection from the dead, we are on God’s list of those who are saved. By faith in Christ we “are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4).
Because we know the One who is greater and able to keep us safe, we are not frantically searching for safety. We boldly go to the world with the good news that freedom from fear can be found in Jesus.
Jesus lets His followers know, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). But He doesn’t say, because you might be persecuted, go find a bunker and hide. Instead He says, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). He sends us into a dangerous world with the promise of His protection. To the forces of evil that want to make people slaves to fear, we are dangerous as we tell people of the refuge they have in Jesus. To the forces of evil that want to keep people full of guilt and entrapped in their sin, we proclaim the good news that they can be set free and forgiven because of Jesus. To the forces of evil that try to intimidate we boldly declare that the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ reigns over all creation, now and forever, and because we know Him we are not afraid.
Some of us might hope we’re on the list of those considered dangerous by the forces of evil. Most importantly, by faith in Jesus we can know we’re on the list of those who are loved, saved, protected and cared for by the Almighty God.