By Michael Armijo
Many years ago, while sitting in the audience at EV Free Church in Diamond Bar at the start of a new year, pastor Mark Hopper asked a very thought provoking question: “What are you going to do to minister God’s word to others this year?”
At first, I felt that showing up to church was enough; I’ve given up time and energy to be here ‘missing out’ on the rest of life so that I can pray to God and be a good person. This was a lot for me, so why should I do more than that for God?
And then I remembered all the things I did before I found Jesus: I lied to my fellow man; I became drunk with wine and spirits; I invited others to join me at the bar to get drunk; I had lust in my eye; I was envious, dishonest; and the list goes on. I was telling people, by my actions, that I was proud to be a sinner. And I subconsciously asked them to follow me.
It was at that time I realized something. Practicing all those sins really meant that I was serving Satan. I was promoting his sinning ways, and when I did it in front of others, I was encouraging them to practice sin, too. I was looking for victims who were lost to come join me in my debauchery, depression, and lust. I didn’t mean to do it intentionally, but it was intentional because I was practicing sin, over and over again.
So what’s the difference between serving Satan and serving God? Why shouldn’t I serve God? Why not be proud to be a Christian by practicing his word, praying openly in public, and answering the phone, “Praise the Lord.” Why not invite friends to church instead of to a bar? Why not spread the word about life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus? Why not?
Today I serve God’s word. Today I practice God’s love. In 1 John 4:18 I read, “Love is Fearless.” Today I love my children without fear. Today I love my wife without fear. Today I love my past without fear. Today I love my God without fear. Today I am no longer a prisoner, because today I no longer serve Satan.