DEAD ALREADY – AND HIDDEN IN CHRIST


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

DEAD ALREADY – AND HIDDEN IN CHRIST
===================================
For you died, and your life is
now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

Kefa Sempangi was pastor of
the large Redeemed Church of Uganda. Easter Sunday
1973 was his first serious
brush with death at the hands of Idi Amin’s goons.
After an all-day worship
service he went exhausted to the vestry to change
clothes—too exhausted to
notice the five strangers (government secret police
goons) following him into
the room:

They stood between me and the door, pointing their rifles at my
face. For a
long moment no one said anything. Then the tallest man, obviously
the leader,
spoke. “We are going to kill you,” he said. “If you have
something to say, say
it before you die.” He spoke quietly but his face was
twisted with hatred.

I could only stare at him. For a sickening moment I
felt the full weight of
his rage. We had never met before but his deepest
desire was to tear me to
pieces. My mouth felt heavy and my limbs began to
shake. Everything left my
control. They will not need to kill me, I thought
to myself. I am just going
to fall over dead and I will never see my family
again.

From far away I heard a voice, and I was astonished to realize
that it was my
own. “I do not need to plead my own cause,” I heard myself
saying. “I am a
dead man already. My life is dead and hidden in Christ. It is
your lives that
are in danger; you are dead in your sins. I will pray to God
that after you
have killed me, He will spare you from eternal
destruction.”

The tall one took a step towards me and then stopped. In an
instant, his face
was changed. His hatred had turned to curiosity. He lowered
his gun and
motioned to the others to do the same. They stared at him in
amazement but
they took their guns from my face.

Then the tall one
spoke again. “Will you pray for us now?” he asked. I thought
my ears were
playing a trick. I looked at him and then at the others. My mind
was completely paralyzed. “Father in heaven,” I prayed, “You who have forgiven
men in the past, forgive these men also. Do not let them perish in
their sins
but bring them into yourself.”[1]

RESPONSE: Realizing I am
dead in Christ brings boldness to proclaim truth even
in fearful
situations.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust You in times of fear and
challenge and allow
Your Spirit to take control of every situation.

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