The apostles of the earliest moments in church history are hauled into court and narrowly escape a death sentence (in one of the most unlikely/unforeseeable ways). But they do not escape the court’s contempt or the court’s beatings. And, by the way, the court is made up of the leadership of the people of God.
But the apostles leave rejoicing. They just took a beating and narrowly escaped with their lives. If that happened to a group of West Texans visiting… oh, say… Syria, it would indeed be a narrow escape from death. But if they were beaten and sent home with the idea that they should not speak of the greatness of Texas, I doubt many of us West Texans would be rejoicing.
I expect we West Texans would be loading up our guns and plotting our own form of justice on the court that showed contempt for our kind.
And as a Fat Beggar, I find myself somewhere between those two reactions. I would not load up my gun, but neither would I rejoice. I think, I would feel ashamed and scorned. But that would be a mistake.
At the core of Fat Beggars prophetic ministry, you find a critique of the modern, Western church and a call to be more like the church we find in the Bible – or even better yet a call to actually adhere to the Word of God (after all, even the early church failed at numerous times in numerous ways). And as part of our prophetic ministry is a core acceptance that prophets will suffer for the name. But if there is a place for growth in that scene, at least for me (and I think my readers alike, for after all, I don’t see it elsewhere either), it is in the rejoicing-about-it part.
I, Agent X, hereby repent of that. I want to learn to rejoice in being considered worthy to suffer for the name. I think there is a whole new worldview packed up in that, and I want to know it. I want to participate in that world – that Kingdom Rule.
As of this point in my life, I must explore the concept further. I don’t see it as a flick-of-the-switch kind of matter – though I could be wrong about that. Perhaps it is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and I will explore that too, but I also wonder whether it is always the right response. After all, even Jesus, at his most poignant moment in ministry, cried in anguish rather than joy (Mark 15:34). But I recognize that heretofore I have been closed off in my heart from the joy of being counted worthy to suffer for the name, and that, at least, is something I know right now even without exploration needs to change.
If you ever pray for this ministry, please pray for this repentance.