Who Told You Following Jesus Would Be Safe?

I am part of a unique band called No Longer Music, and last summer marked my tenth straight year of touring with them. In NLM, we use music and theater to present a clear Gospel message outside the church.

Over the years, I have been in many intense situations, and it hasn’t always been safe. I’ve had rocks thrown at me, fled from a riot in Lebanon, been followed by the secret police, and had our power cut just as we started to play. One time, a guy threw a cell phone at my head while I was preaching!

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.

Website: www.steiger.org/benpierce
When I got married, my wife joined No Longer Music, and we faced some dangerous situations together. After one show, I had to lock her in our van. We had just finished preaching in a conservative Muslim town in Albania. Our stage was set up facing a mosque, and the local Imam (the person who leads prayers in a mosque) confronted us while we were talking to people after the show. He was angry that we were sharing our faith. He got in the face of one of our teammates and shouted, “Why have you come here? We are Albanians. We are Muslims. Why are you spreading these lies?”  
 
We tried to calm him down, but he continued to shout. He gathered a large group of young men around him, and they began chanting “Allahu akbar!” (Allah is greater!). Two policemen nervously stood between the mob and us, urging us to leave. They warned us that if the crowd became violent, there would be nothing they could do. We packed down as quickly as we could, and prayed for God’s protection. Fortunately, they did not attack us, and we were able to drive away.
 
This incident shook me, and I remember feeling the weight of having brought my wife into such a dangerous situation. Trusting God with my life was one thing, but trusting Him with my wife’s required a new level of faith entirely.
 
I often hear it said, “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” This idea sounds nice, but is it true? Experiences like the one I had in Albania seem incongruent with this version of God’s plan for me. It’s a cliche that, although most likely well-intended, can have the dangerous consequence of convincing us that if something is hard, or risky, or unsafe, then it must not be God’s will.
 
I don’t seek out dangerous situations, nor risky opportunities. I sincerely believe I have been obedient to the calling God has placed on my life, and this calling has not always been safe; in fact, it’s often been very dangerous.
 
If we examine scripture honestly, following Jesus is many things, but safe is not one of them. Jesus laid out the costs of serving Him in fairly plain terms. He said to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow him (Matthew 16:24). He didn’t promise that all of our physical needs would be met. He never promised financial security, and certainly never guaranteed a safe life. In fact, he tells us that we will have trouble in this life (John 16:33).
 
The world desperately needs to experience the love and power of God. Sadly, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Luke 10:2). I think this is in part because of the perception that our safety is more important to God than our obedience.
 
As a Christian artist, I feel a tremendous responsibility to use the platform God has given me to share the Gospel. But our world is becoming increasingly hostile to absolute truth and especially to Christianity. I believe in the days to come, being an artist that is bold for Jesus will not be safe. Even now, if I choose to proclaim Christ through my art, I will risk my reputation, my commercial success, and in some cases, possibly even my life.
 
So why should I risk my safety?  
 
Jesus said in Luke 17:33: “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Jesus never made safety a virtue because there is so much more to life than being safe! You and I were meant to make a difference; we were not made for self-preservation. Following God may cost us everything, but what greater reward than being used to rescue people from destruction?  
 
After a decade of serving God in some dangerous places, I am convinced that being in the center of God’s will is not the safest place to be, but it is the best. If we trust God, He will use us, and we will experience so much more than safety - we will change the world!

Related items

  • The Way to Avoid Burnout Is to Burn Out
    You often hear people say we need to live in moderation or that what’s most important is to have a balanced lifestyle. They’ll tell you the goal is to get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat good, organic food.

    If you’re in ministry, you are always told to have boundaries so you won’t get burned out.
  • Episode 81: Can Moral Failure Disqualify Us From Ministry? Is it Possible to Lose God’s Anointing?

    Can sin disqualify us from ministry? How do we deal with people in leadership when they have a big moral failure?

    With all four regulars back, they dive into this intense subject and tackle these difficult questions. They also get really specific and share exactly the kind of words you should use when presenting the Gospel outside of the church.

    Oh and...David shares some beauty tips that will change your life!

    Relevant links to this episode:

    Andy Savage accusations: bit.ly/2mM590e

  • Artist Interview: No Longer Music

    No Longer Music (NLM) is an evangelistic music and theater production led by David Pierce, the founder of Steiger International. For over thirty years, NLM has used the stage to communicate the Gospel of Jesus all over the world.

    This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Ben Pierce, the lead vocalist of No Longer Music. Ben is also the director of Come&Live! and host of the Provoke & Inspire podcast. He shared about NLM’s vision and what makes them different from other bands.

  • A Vision of Biblical Proportions
    And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. - Exodus 36:2-7
  • Episode 80: Should Sports Be Able to Make a Grown Man Weep?

    What is it about men in tights throwing a ball that can cause people to weep, climb poles, or burn down a city? Is devotion to sports an unchallenged idol in Christian culture?

    While David, Chad and Ben discuss these questions Luke is apparently still being dragged around Poland by a pony.

    Related links to this episode:

    Revolutionary book: steiger.org/news/books

Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait