I recently read the story of a 15th-century Christian named Maeyken Wens who was murdered because she faithfully proclaimed the gospel truth instead of caving to the self-serving religion of the day. To silence her message, her persecutors bolted her mouth shut before they burned her at the stake.
As I contemplate the awful, yet inspiring story, I can’t get past this fact: They had to bolt her mouth shut to keep her silent about God’s message — even as she beheld the funeral pyre prepared for her.
How often God must pry my mouth open to share what He wants me to say! And here I am comfortably ensconced on my patio — My view: Puggies and passion flowers. Maeyken’s story burns conviction to the cellular level of my soul. It shows me how little I know about faith and courage and following Jesus.
I know, we live in a different time than Maeyken, not in a time where Christians are hunted down and burned alive, but wait, they are hunted and burned . . .
As 21 century Christians, we no longer have the “luxury” of playing at faith. As 21 century Christians, we no longer have the “luxury” of playing at faith. Click To Tweet
Playing at Faith
For me, this directly impacts my writing. When I write, I’m tempted to stick to “positive” safe posts that won’t cost me any followers, and certainly not my life. After all, there’s plenty of grief, enough “negativity” in the world, right? But I wonder: Is the predominantly “positive” posture we assume, weakening our faith and the faith of others?
Is it producing the deep, cross carrying Christ-life within us? Or do our comfortable, “positive” conversations leave us soft and ill-prepared for the rigors that mark true discipleship? Is this Pollyanna-positive mindset building the spiritual muscle Maeyken flexed even among the flames?
Here’s what I mean; The heavy conviction Maeyken’s faith brought was good because it caused me to evaluate the authenticity, depth, and vibrancy of my faith. While I shouldn’t have felt guilty (I wasn’t responsible for what happened to her), the Spirit’s pressing conviction about my tepid, “Top 20” Christianity challenged me to take a hard look at my faith, recognize its lack, and move to strengthen it.
“Oh, how easy it is to be a Christian, so long as the flesh is not put to the trial, or nothing has to be relinquished; then it is an easy thing to be a Christian.” Maeyken Wens
More Powerful Faith
I am not Maeyken, that’s for sure. And at this point in our lives, God may not have called you or me to her particular path. But sometimes God’s Spirit presses us to move beyond our prefab “positive” perspectives so we can see what’s real, true, and eternal. And today I’m glad. Grateful. Because I want a brand of faith that boldly speaks Jesus’ name instead of carefully protecting mine. I want a brand of faith that boldly speaks Jesus’ name instead of carefully protecting mine. Click To Tweet
I want a faith that’s more powerful than any fear of the fallout or pushback of those who reject God’s message. I want a faith that anchors in the very heart of God and that leaves a story which inspires others to follow Jesus.
Then consider Maeyken’s faith with me.
Her story is both inspiring and challenging. It demands that we consider our lives and our message from the perspective of the cross. It questions whether we follow the tough, seasoned Jesus of the Bible or the soft comfortable Jesus of contemporary Christianity.
Maeyken’s story inspires me to boldly share the whole truth, both in positive hope-producing posts and in the muscle-producing stuff of conviction —
— no matter the cost.
How about you? What impact does Maeyken’s story make on you?
Featured image courtesy of Photo by Luka Cbrt
You pierced my mind and heart yet again my friend. As I prep for Revelation, this is exactly what is penetrating my thinking: move out of complacency and safety into the strength of the cross – with all its costs. Surely our world needs believers who live and speak like believers rather than people who just blend in. May God so convict and move me and other believers out of the shadows and into fight. Thank you for impaling me with His truth, my friend!
“Out of the shadows and into the fight.” I love that. What an apt description of God’s call for us!
No, nothing “Pollyannaish” about this. Very convicting and an amazing reminder of what is to come.
It’s a difficult balance between remaining optimistic yet also allowing God to do a deeper work in us. Thanks for for your thoughts. 🙂