Our God is not safe, but we like to pretend that He is. The Western version of Christianity has become fat, lazy, and oblivious to what most of our brothers and sisters in Christ face on a day-to-day basis. Not only has our version of God become perhaps irreparably skewed, but we export that version to other countries, leaving them ill-prepared when persecution comes to their door.
I’m not sure who first came up with the idea that following Jesus would dissolve all your problems and leave you happy, healthy, and wealthy. But they obviously did not read God’s Word. Jesus was clear that the world will hate, persecute, and kill us (Matthew 10:17-22). When we read Jesus saying He came to bring a sword and not peace (Matthew 10:34), isn’t it clear that God is not safe?
When Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23), we must understand He is saying to follow Him means we will never be out of danger in this world. No, our God is not safe. He is Holy and demands we live lives that look like His. To live like Jesus requires we live in a countercultural way. It means we must stand in opposition to much of what the world is doing. We won’t win any popularity contests. While some might secretly admire our courage, the world at large will vilify, cancel, and despise us. So much for happiness and seeing all our problems disappear!
I recently learned of a dear brother in India who after He gave His life to Jesus faced hardships most of us could not even imagine. He was beaten, fired from his job, rejected by his parents, and survived two attempts on his life. Hired thugs threw acid over his wife. All this because He chose to follow Christ. And yet, he is undeterred. He continues to tell others about Jesus and help them escape lives of slavery and poverty. He understands God is not safe, but He is worthy of our praise and our lives.
We cannot pursue God and seek safety in our lives at the same time. Decades of wrong teaching in our churches have given people a mistaken idea of what it means to follow Jesus. A commitment to Christ is not a one-time decision that gets us out of Hell. It’s a lifelong commitment to a God who is not safe, a God who rails against injustice, immorality, hypocrisy, and idolatry.
An unsafe God demands an unsafe response. If we choose Christ, our lives will never be the same. We will never be safe on earth. Don’t be fooled into thinking such persecution could never come to where you live. I assure you it is coming, and in many places, it has already begun. We are woefully unprepared. A lifetime of living in safety has made us soft, weak, and lazy in our commitment to Jesus. Memorize Scripture. Spend extended time crying out to God. Study His Word. Get ready. God is not safe. And neither are you.