Read these devotionals from Extreme Devotion.
September 04: Extreme Allegiance ROMANIA: PASTOR RICHARD WURMBRAND
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:21
The twelve students stood with their pastor along the fence. On the other side was a large ditch, beyond which was an opening to a manmade cave. A large lion paced back and forth in front of the cave’s opening.
Their pastor said, “Your forefathers were thrown before such wild beasts for their faith. Know that you also will have to suffer. You will not be thrown before lions, but you will have to suffer at the hands of men who would be much worse than these animals. Decide here and now whether you wish to pledge allegiance to Christ.” The students looked at each other. Before them stood their pastor, Richard Wurmbrand, a man who had spent fourteen years in prison for his work in the underground church. This was the pastor’s last week in Romania, for he and his family had been ransomed from their homeland and would be leaving within a few days. Richard didn’t know if his Sunday school students would suffer under the brutal hand of atheistic Communists, but he wanted to implant a faith that would survive the harshest trials. So he had brought the students to the local zoo to see the lions. Although young, the students fully understood what their pastor meant. With tears, they answered resolutely, “We pledge our allegiance to Christ.”
Richard’s lesson to the young people was timely. Though they may not have fully understood the implications of martyrdom until later and may never have had to face it themselves, that illustration helped them make an important decision. They secured their allegiance to Christ ahead of time. Advance decision-making is the key to success during opposition. We must have already established who has our allegiance long before it is tested. The moment of greatest pressure is not the time to weigh our options and decide our convictions. It is the time to put our predetermined convictions into action. Have you established your convictions in advance of temptation so that no boss, spouse, family, government, or other authority can change your mind?
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