June 6 – Cannot Stop

cannot stop

So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?
We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)

Read: 1 Kings 1:1-53, Acts 4:1-37, Psalm 124:1-8, Proverbs 16:24

Relate: I debated back and forth in my mind and heart for quite a while whether I should write what I am about to post. It was not an easy decision. Words like wisdom and discretion argued against others like truth and openness. Ultimately the trump card was obedience. I believe that God is leading me to share what I will, and so even if I am wrong I am acting in what I believe to be obedience.

Let me back up a little bit. Some of you might have noticed that the “name” of the primary author and editor of this blog changed about six months back. Others might have received a message requesting that my full name be removed from quotes or reblogs because they are showing up in google searches. There may have been some of you who have received an email requesting certain code when corresponding by email or on facebook and above all never to ever use the “m” word.

Now I’m going to throw all that caution away. On Monday and again on Wednesday this past week I spent long hours in lines and at legal offices in the attempt to get my ninety day visa to become a one year visa. That paperwork is nearly complete and probably this coming Monday I will be turning it all in, paying my fees, and then having one final interview where an official will determine whether I should be allowed to remain here in Turkey. I know from talking with others that the questions asked might vary from person to person. Sometimes they are political like, “Why doesn’t Obama use your military strength to just come down and wipe out ISIS?” Other times they might be religious, “Did you move here to try and turn Muslims into Christians?”

React: If the latter are asked, and I am one hundred percent open and honest, it is pretty much a guarantee I will find my on the next plane back to the States. Those who know me personally know that I have an uncanny ability to answer a question truthfully yet saying something far different than what it seems. Although my words might be true, their implication is a lie. The closer I get to that fateful interview, however, the more I am convicted that I should not, I cannot do this. If I am here to be a witness, I must be a witness in season and out. No deception. No picking and choosing when and how I share. I “cannot stop telling about everything I have seen and heard.” If God is as big as I claim He is, (no doubt there) His will will be done. All I can do is trust, obey, and continue sharing no matter what the outcome.

Respond: 

God, give us boldness. Make us impetuous. What You have done for us and through us is so far beyond what I could have believed or imagined. Help me to not keep it to myself. Give us the strength to share it with courage and conviction. You have filled us with living water, let it spill out of us with every move we make. No matter what the consequences, let us be a witness of the Risen Savior.

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13 thoughts on “June 6 – Cannot Stop

  1. I admire your bravery, and your conviction to be truthful in spite of the potential consequences. It truly does reflect the forthcoming attitude of Peter and John in the passage you quoted at the top.

  2. Reblogged this on emalineachieng and commented:
    Acts 4:18-20
    New International Version (NIV)

    18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
    19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!

    20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

    IT IS OF MUCH IMPORTANCE TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN AND TO LISTEN TO HIM
    YOU NEED GOD MORE THAN YOU NEED MAN.OBEDIENCE TO GOD HAS SUCH REWARDS THAT ARE INCOMPARABLE.
    CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL HEAR AND SERVE.
    EMEN.

  3. Hi BJ, hard call but if God has laid this on your heart to answer honestly, then that is what you do. Don’t forget that God has the means to also control the questions you are asked so this could be a test that you’ll not have to go through (Abraham & Isaac). I will be praying for you too. Blessings!

  4. I started a reply to one of your posts the other day, but the notes began to become an essay…. I enjoy your presentation of scripture, speaking as one who has never thought of himself as christian (though raised in a church, nor ever been able to find engaging reading in the bible…

  5. Oops… I wasn’t done. Raised as ‘church-going’.. As a syncretist with few consciously christian characteristic I offer this piece of advice which I find useful:
    I began a ?poem series? Today on the line that says ‘watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it’ … Being a reader of the economist, and NPR listener, I don’t imagine I’d feel comfortable sticking around in Turkey under Erdogan’s true colors (leaving off the whole question of …. counterculture studies, shall we say). The Spirit works in mysterious ways they say – persons in need are anywhere. I will also offer a prayer I wrote last year (prayer had not previously been part of my practice) that a fellow patient with some type of theology degree said was ‘theologically sound’
    With the preliminary qualifier knocked off, I think there is a useful nub there for those of any faith§ in the latter part. Best wishes.

  6. I think you have the right attitude about all of this. If it is the Lord’s will for you to remain in Turkey, then you will stay there. If not – as difficult and painful as it will be – recognize that you have completed the assignment that the Lord has given to you *at this time*. He may bring you back at a later time, or have some purpose in having you return to the States, if that’s what ends up happening.

    I will pray, however, that you enjoy divine favor with your interviewer, and that things go smoothly. 🙂

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