It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 3 John, verse 7.
I just finished reading “Cross Roads” by William Paul Young, who also wrote “The Shack.” The new book isn’t a sequel to the previous one, but the author’s approach to depicting Jesus, the Spirit and the Father is equally unconventional but completely appealing. The book is the story of a bitter man who finds himself in a coma-induced meeting with the Triune God. This verse could have easily applied to the main character of the book because, in his coma-world, he discovers that most of his life was spent living without faith. Like an unbeliever; like a pagan. He helped nobody but himself, and counted on nothing from God because God wasn’t real…
…that is, until God proved He was.
Until God proved that people all through the man’s life had been reaching out to the man for the sake of the Name of Jesus. To share His love, to share His hope, to serve the bitter man.
It’s the same for us. Why do we cling to faith in a world where faith is considered to be nonsense? It’s for the sake of the Name. The Name is more powerful than unbelief. The Name of Jesus is more powerful than any scorn a sinful world can heap on us. It’s more powerful than any illiberal reason; indeed, the Name of Jesus is the foundation of all reason. The Name of Jesus is more powerful than the most advanced medicine, the fastest computers, or the deadliest weapons. The Name of Jesus is more powerful than anything else you or I could conceive of.
We cling to the Name of Jesus and walk in the world as followers of Him because we want to be on His side. There are easier ways to live, but none with such reward. When I think of walking in the name of Jesus, I think of doing battle, of that scene from the last Lord of the Rings movie (itself an analogy for a walk of faith). The men are surrounded by the forces of evil and the only thing they are assured of is death. In that moment, they can surrender (knowing they will then be murdered), or they can go out fighting. With a winsome look, the king turns to his men, half-smiles, and says “for Frodo,” meaning “for our selfless friends.” And with that, he rushes headlong to meet evil. That’s how it is walking day by day in the Name of Jesus. Every day we rush headlong out to meet our daily evils. And, like the men in the movie, we soon learn that our willingness to fight for Him demonstrates our love…and before long we see how He is fighting so much stronger for us.
Jesus, I cling to You. Teach and fight for me today, that I may cling more and fight for You always.