We are all called to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). We were all loved enough to be created to bring Him glory (Isaiah 43:7). His hearts desire is that we become representatives of the Son in our backyards, our communities, our counties, our countries (2 Cor 5:20). Yet, how we do that looks different for each of us. We have different gifts, hold different jobs, connect with people at different levels. I am to be a witness... But, the next question is: Lord, what exactly do you want from me? In other words, what does that really mean?
I began to look more deeply. When Jesus spoke the word witness, his disciples heard the word martys (Greek-English transliteration). What they heard was Jesus saying to them, "...you will be my martyrs." Something is seriously lost in our translation of Acts 1:8. This was an invitation to death. In order to speak the truth about Jesus, His followers always knew they were being given an opportunity to die.
A few days ago, I read an article from Voice of the Martyrs following an interview with many of the family members of the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded on video by ISIS. One young widow commented, "if they want all three of our kids, it isn't too much to give for Christ." The mother of another martyred believer proudly declared, "His dying for the faith is a blessing we don't deserve." These know what it means to truly count the cost.
These understand the call to be a witness.
Obviously, we can't do this without the first ten words of Acts 1:8, "When the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you..." That is the very same power that resides in us from the moment of our re-birth. We can live out our witness, because the Spirit lives in us. He is greater than any fear.
So, this wake up alarm was a reminder to me, maybe a reminder to you, that what the Lord expects of His disciples is this: God wants more Isaacs. Isaacs who are:
Energetic enough to climb the mountain.
Strong enough to build our own altar and carry our own wood.
Smart enough to know that we are the sacrifice.
Willing enough to climb up on the altar by ourselves.
Trusting enough to say, "The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:8)."
Surrendered enough to say, "Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15)." Or, "My God is able to deliver me, but if not, I will serve no other god (Daniel 3:17-18)..."