Missionaries here and abroad face daily cultural challenges whether they serve on-line or in person. Our world is functioning at light speed to trip us up and cause the testimony of Christ to be blotted out. Is this a new phenomenon or has it always been that way? How do we navigate these waters successfully as we minister to “the least of these?”
Jesus has the answer:
I am the “one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand—the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands.” Jesus knows… or as we might say it today, “been there, done that.” (Revelation 2)
In C. S. Lewis’ book, Screwtape Letters, Uncle Screwtape wrote to his nephew Wormwood how to counter the new believer’s stand. He was to implant ideas of complacency and compromise so he doesn’t take his new walk with Jesus seriously. Jesus knows Screwtape’s methods and his message, and He has walked the road of those who say they are believers but are not. Jesus knows about the culture which seeks to undermine a believer’s faith. Jesus knows the new believer’s life began with a big hurrah, but now may be declining in fervency and steadfastness. It is to Ephesus, Pergamum, and Thyatira as well as Smyrna, and to us that Jesus speaks:
Know this truth. I am holding you in my grasp so may not fail. Remember this; you are engraved upon my palm. Therefore, remain faithful and do not give up but hold on. I am walking this road with you just as I did with those two on the Emmaus road long ago. I told those men and I tell you; be not slow of heart to believe but remain steadfast. My blessing and My magnificent and precious promises are ahead. This life is temporary but one day you will enter eternity to be with Me. I have overcome death’s sting so you could walk victoriously today. Therefore, be ye steadfast, immovable; your labor will not be in vain.
That is how we navigate the cultural waters today and tomorrow and the next day after that.