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)
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.
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.