Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. The offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!

2 Timothy 2: 8, 9

In our world today there seems to be a great amount of effort being put into locking away God’s word. We hear and see stories about people who desire to publicly express the words of their faith within the context of their personally important activities and settings only to be stopped, shut down, and thwarted by others with more power. Even more prevalent is the sort of pressure that is applied by our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family and by the culture where we all live. This is an environment where small symbols of faith can become points of contention and where open expression of God’s truth is frequently met with opposition. We are asked, and then ordered to put it away and to stop causing so much discomfort among those who we are around.

For most of us, there are no literal chains involved in these situations. The enclosure that we are placed in doesn’t have bars on the windows and locks on the outside of the doors. Yet, the sort of pressure that our culture is placing on many Christians to be quiet about our faith and to fit in with the reason of this age is fully intended to lock us away. It separates us and it places strong barriers between us and our community of faith so that we are isolated. The voice of our culture also attempts to eliminate our contact with other people in our world whose lives might be impacted by Christ’s presence and word of truth. Still, God’s Word will be heard, for God, Himself, will not be silenced. This sort of attempt at crushing out God’s presence has been happening in our world throughout its history, and it has never succeeded.

It is my belief that Christ is calling on His people to join with Paul in continuing on despite the opposition. We are to do this from the perspective of humble submission to our Lord. The truth that we speak should be the genuine and sincere outpouring of Christ within us. God’s Word is the essential platform from which we frame our ethics, morality, and perspective. Although we do need to bow to the constraint of law, we do not have to allow those boundaries the power to stop the truth from being expressed by us through words and deeds. Openly living as one who is fully submitted to Christ will not make life in this world easier, for the very air of our culture is saturated with the spirit of opposition. But living in this manner will bring the fresh wind of true freedom to the corner of the world where we live, and that result is blessedly worthwhile.