For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip´s wife, whom he had married. Mark 6:17 (TNIV)
We can call ourselves Christian in the common worldly sense today. But that does not mean that in heaven we are seen in the same light. We love to think of ourselves safe and secure with our entire eternal future solved for us and not to worry more about the details. Then we have more time to enjoy more gratifying pleasures and pursuits.
Like a good car salesman many times those who sell us our religion prefer not to bring up the less pleasing sides. But dealing with such an important issue as our spiritual health and the orienting of ourselves to our God, we should fight off this urge of contentment and take a good hard look at what we are buying into. It may be easy for thousands to come down to the alter and make a tearful statement of loyalty and trust to the Lord. But to step out of the stream and take the steps to turn our nature from its natural way will never be easy. There are many difficult and painful decisions, and times to live through for the one who would go so far as to truly seek and follow Jesus.
Nobody would like to focus on these issues so touchy and tenderly sore as repentance or the falling out of face with our world around us. But let´s face it. We have made a choice to reject the world, the norm, and what the devil has to offer us, and they will not sit back and take that slap on the cheek. Our own fallen nature that lives deep under our skin and thinking, which once lived greedily taking everything for its own, will not take kindly to our treason and our new love for God. Nobody likes to be rejected for another and the love lost to self or the wonderful things around us, will smolder and hurt deeply.
Therefore, regardless of where the resistance pops up it will be very difficult for us to stand up to it. In fact, when the evil world tries to reverse the process of us giving our complete hearts and souls to God, surely it will take providence to overcome. We will be like John the Baptist, who was powerless against resisting arrest and was at the mercy of people who would kill him and keep him locked away in a prison. We need have no illusion of the difficult times we will have to face as real followers of Christ. We will come up against trials, temptations and hatred by the very world which we once loved once loved us. There will be nothing we can do against bringing these undesirable consequences upon ourselves if we would truly step forward in faith.
But there is hope. There is help, and there will be a few who do come forward even though they know the storm they will have to face. And they will do so, not because they are strong enough, but because they know Someone who is.
Dear Jesus, we would have no misconceptions of a comfortable or easy life here. We know that to choose You we have rejected our selves, the Devil and the world where we now live. But in the face of this storm that may be unleashed upon us, we would latch onto You. Please become our Pillar, our Fortress and our Comfort. Be Everything to us and as we look away to You, then we will find strength to press forward for more. Set our course steady to reach our Goal at the Father´s side one day, despite anything that would stand in our way.