Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
There is a prophetic quality about disciples’ lives. They are testimonies to another kingdom, and they reveal the evil of people’s hearts. The fact that they have renounced secret sin, and are honest and sincere, produces resentment and persecution from those who are unwilling to follow the same pattern of life. If we remain without opposition, then we should question how genuinely our lives have changed. The temptation is to ‘go underground’ with our faith and try our best not to be offensive. The most endearing example of a witness is that of Naaman’s maid – 2 Kings 5:2-3. She must have lost relatives through the Syrians’ cruel invasion of Israel, and now she was a captive slave to this enemy General, with no hope of seeing her family and land again. But when she heard that her master was sick with leprosy, she joyfully told him that if only he would go to Israel, he would find a prophet of God who would minister healing to him. There is artless love, with no resentment, in this girl’s heart. She demonstrates boldness in speaking of her God without fear of rejection in the midst of a nation that was full of idolatry. Our lives should speak of a world where there are no lies, no shadows, no demons, no fears and no worries. We are prophets of another kingdom, and we show up this world for what it is – hollow and empty. Being persecuted means that our witness will often meet with rejection, but this is not a mark of failure, but a mark of the genuine quality of our lives. We do not pray for persecution, but we do pray for grace to be a prophetic witness of the Kingdom of God.
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