This week saw a story about 3 men who have been arrested for plotting to assassinate Gordon Brown. which got us thinking about what we would give our lives for, i mean would anyone be bothered about knocking off old Gordon if he had a regular job?
As men i believe that we all should give some time to think about our own mortality. When are we going to die, how we are going to die and what our response is going to be when we face that moment. For me i would love to be assassinated, mainly because i am so vain that it would be my one last ego trip to leave on !!!! But seriously i am so inspired by reading the lives of Christian Saints and martyrs and the legacy that they leave. By dying well they really inspire others to live well.
I do think that men need something not only that they live for but also that they would die for, I often think that i was born 60 years to late. I have an awesome respect for those who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms during the last two world wars. I realise that i say this from a very sanatised, far removed point of view, and also from the fact that we know the out come of the events. Which i am sure that if i had lived in, and though my opinion would have been very different. But i do think that the principal is the same, to give your life for something you are so strongly convicted about allows you to live with a focus and purpose that nothing else can bring.
Jesus was a man who lived his life with his death never being far away. As you read his story you can see that he talks to his friends about his immanent death, about what they should do when he has gone. They of course do not believe him and tell him at times that it will not happen, even that they will make sure it will not happen. but it did and he did die, but what for? A question that many people will give many different answers for. For me his death was my gift, a chance to grasp that God loves me so much he is willing to die to tell me.
My response to that is to give my life back to him and to ask what do you want me to do? God once asked me if i was willing to die for him. The context was that i was on a mission team, traveling around the UK for a week performing in the streets and then speaking to the gathered crowd about my faith and how much God loves them. The week had been hard for me, as i never find that sort of thing easy, and so as the week turned into the weekend i thought that the end was in sight so my mood became some what lighter. But on the saturday night we had planned to go out into the heart of Watford town center, I began feeling very unsettled about the whole affair and stated as much to the others. “I have got a really bad feeling about this, like something really bad is going to happen if we go out tonight.” I said over and over hoping to convince everyone that we should just get a take away and DVD instead. Not much luck there then!
We set out about 9:00 pm, and by this time i was convinced that the night would end up badly, i stated to pray, i didn’t really know what to say just that i needed to hear from God. What i heard was not what i needed to hear at that point. I felt God asking me if i was ready to die that night, and that the choice was mine. He said i didn’t have to, but asked “Was i willing to die for my faith?” and be obedient, to what he was asking of me? My answer did not come straight away, mainly because i felt that if i answered yes, with the way i had been feeling all day, the reality, i thought, could well have been that i would not have survived the night.
So as i prayed i really felt that if my faith counted for anything i had to answer yes. When i did i felt that the decision was totally right and it actually gave me a real sense of freedom. My biggest worry was for those that i would leave behind, my wife Becky and my 2 year old son. But i knew that if this was going to be the climax of my story then i was ready to face it.
Watford on a saturday night was as you might expect, loud and full. There were lots of people out who i am sure wondered what on earth these religious nutters were doing. I still felt very nervous and watched everyone very closely who came over either to mock or talk to us.
The night did pass, fairly uneventfully, but something had changed in me. I now know that if asked the question again “Would you die for your faith?” i would be more assured that my answer would be yes.
So what about you? What would you die for?