Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Real Life

More than anything, my friends and I love to watch spy movies.  You know the type.  Mission Impossible, Taken, Red, James Bond...  Any movie involving a secret agent, crazy explosions, shoot'em ups, car chases, and neat gadgets has been watched by my friends and me at some point.  You could say we're a bit obsessed.

There's something about watching a spy movie that causes your heart to pound and adrenaline to race through your body.  For the two or three hours of the film, you literally feel like you're a character in the movie, fighting desperately to save the world from a terrible danger.  You get to feel like a hero.

My friends and I often talk about what life would be like if we were spies: what positions we'd be, who we'd fight against.  It's exciting to think about and even better to plan.  In reality, life as a secret agent probably isn't nearly as glamorous or romanticized as the books and films make it seem, but who cares?  It's fun to dream.  Sometimes when I'm in bed at night, I stare up at the ceiling and wonder, "Would I actually do it?  If I was given the opportunity to be a secret agent, would that even appeal to me in real life?  How would I feel, pushing away those I love for their own safety, facing danger every single day, pulling a trigger and actually killing someone?"  It doesn't sound so fun and exciting when I think about it that way.  Even though I'll plan and pretend with my friends, I don't think I'd have the guts to actually make such a huge commitment.

Being a secret agent sounds totally awesome, but actually going on a dangerous mission would be far different from talking about it with friends.  That's the simple truth.  In real life, I know I could never be any form of a spy.  You might feel the same way.

What about when it comes to standing up for your faith in God?

If you've ever gone to a church camp, youth group, Christian concert, or even a church service, you've been faced with the question: "If someone pointed a gun at your head and asked if you believed in God, would you answer truthfully?"  In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say, "Yes, of course I would!"  But think about it.  Truly put yourself in that situation.

There's a gunman pointing a deadly weapon at your head.  You're literally facing death head on... despite the fact that you know you're going to heaven, death is a dark, frightening unknown.  You're not the first person the gunman has confronted.  You've seen a few of your friends die after answering the same question, crumpling in bloody piles onto the floor.  Lifeless.  You're scared.  You don't know if the bullet will hurt.  You're young.  You don't want to die.

"Do you believe in God?" the gunman demands.  The cold edge of the weapon presses against your temple.  Your hands begin to shake.  A thousand thoughts run through your mind.  If you lie, you can apologize to God later.  You could be alive and have the opportunity to witness to thousands of people.  Your family wouldn't be devastated because of your death... if you just told one little lie.

Makes things a bit different, doesn't it?  Not so romanticized.  People aren't cheering you on, clapping for you as you enter the gates of heaven with a huge smile on your face.  You feel alone, scared.  You might even doubt.

The other day, my sweet little brother told me something that stopped me in my tracks.  He said, "If Jesus walked by and told me to follow Him like He did His disciples, I know I would be supposed to say yes and follow Him right away, but I think I'd probably ask Him if we could have breaks before I agreed."  Oh, the honesty of a child.  But isn't that the truth?

"Jesus, I want to follow You... if I can have some breaks... if I can go home on the weekends... if I can see my family again... if I can keep safe and warm at night... if I can stay in my comfort zone... if I can do what I want to do sometimes... if I can keep my life."

I encourage you to sit and think about what you would actually do if someone pointed a gun at your head and said, "Do you believe in God?" or if Jesus Himself walked by and said, "You, follow Me."  Don't automatically assume you'll do what Christians are "supposed" to do.  Think about what you'll do when you're put into a situation when your faith is drastically tested.

You might be honest with yourself and come to realize, "I don't think I'm going to be able to stand up for my faith if it comes down to it."  If you do, then it's time to re-evaluate your priorities.  Jesus Christ should be the number one thing in your life.  Yes, of course you should be willing and ready to abandon everything for Him, including your own life- be it through death or giving your dreams up for a life that God has planned for you to have.  It's easy to say that you will, but it's a lot harder to do in real life.

To be honest, if that gun was pressed to my head, I think I would be able to admit to being a follower of Christ without a second thought.  I'm not afraid of death.  However, if Jesus walked by and told me to drop everything and follow Him, I would have a lot of doubts and second thoughts.

Giving up your life entirely to Christ is a terrifying, difficult thing.

If you struggle with the idea of giving your life fully to the Lord, I encourage you to pray about it.  Talk to God about your struggle.  He'll give you wisdom and insight.  He'll show you that His plans for you are far bigger than anything your earthly mind could ever imagine.

In real life, I know I could never be an awesome secret agent like James Bond or Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible.  I'm not wired that way.  But I do know that I could be an agent of Christ, because that's who God made me to be.  He wants me to give my life for Him, whether it's by putting my own life on the line to witness to others or by simply giving up my own dreams to follow God's plans.  It's going to be difficult, but I know with prayer and a lot of dedication, I'll be able to do it, because that's who I've been called to be.

God has a purpose for you too, and He's waiting for you to offer up your life to Him.  Are you in?

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship.

Luke 9:23
Then He said to them all: "Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me."


  1. I love this. It's very thought-provoking and VERY well written. Thank you for posting, Emily!

  2. This was awesome. It really made me think! Good job, Emily! :)

  3. very well written! keep going, girlie!

  4. This is so wonderful! It's hard, I might burst into tears while faced with the question.
    Now I'm probably going to ruin the mood: Any good spy movies to recommend to my friend and I, we're like you and your friends!