How many of you enjoy a good spy movie? “We’ve been waiting on you, Mr. Bond.” That is a line from the latest James Bond 007 movie. I have been a fan of James Bond since I was a little boy. One year for Christmas, I got a brief case like the one Bond used in, From Russia with Love, one of his earliest movies. I loved it. I liked all the gadgets.
For those of you who may not know much about Mr. Bond, he is a secret agent for the British government. Those who serve the government undercover in the world of covert operations must keep their true identity under wraps. They do not want the bad guy to know who they really are. That makes for entertaining movies, and I suppose it is a way of life for real secret agents, but that does not work in the real life of God’s agents, his followers.
But it is interesting how many people in the church today take that approach. They prefer to keep their faith undercover. They prefer to blend in and not stand out. They do not want to be recognized for who they are. Like James Bond, they prefer to be an undercover agent. They work hard to keep their true identity hidden. They look like, talk like and act very much like those who do not follow Jesus Christ. That way they do not draw attention to themselves. That way they do not have to explain their identity. The strategy, I guess, is to operate like James Bond, aka., as an undercover agent.
But unlike James Bond, we are supposed to stick out like a sore thumb. We are supposed to draw attention to ourselves. Jesus said, “we are the salt of the earth” and we are “the light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.” You really cannot do both. You cannot serve the Lord on the low-down and be the light of the world at the same time. Too many of us are trying way too hard to fit in. We may be in the world, but we are not supposed to be a part of the world. Christ brought us out not so we can run back in and fit in and blend in. Our mission, and we have no choice but to accept it, to use a line from Mission Impossible, is to go back in so that we can be a light into a world of darkness to bring others out. He brought us out so that we can stand out and lead the way out to those who are still bound in spiritual chains of darkness. Jesus said that if we are ashamed of him before men, he will be ashamed of us before the Father. Not good.
How can we effectively complete our mission of being a loving influence in a hostile world, if we purposefully try to conceal our identity? How can we let out light shine if we would rather keep our identity as a devoted and dedicated servant of Christ from coming out?
But our Savior, the prince of peace, did not come to make peace with darkness. He said out of his own mouth, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” (Matt.10:34). We do not want any trouble and Christ did not save us and leave us here to make trouble, but we must not run from it either. The world needs us, whether they know it or not. We must boldly identify who we are, not only by living the life, but by sharing Jesus with them. We must not just walk the walk; we must talk the talk. And we absolutely must let the world know, including friends, family, co-workers, and anybody else the Holy Ghost leads us to witness to.
No, we should not force our way on anyone, and we need to learn how to be wise fishers of men. Our life is supposed to cause them to seek and desire what we have. We need to learn how to be bold for Christ, while doing so in a humble, loving, and intelligent way. We are right. We got it right. By the grace of God our eyes were opened, and we saw the error of our ways and God brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light! We must not be intimidated by people who are as wrong as we once were. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Our sins are under the blood. We have been washed, forgiven, and redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Now, let’s be about our Father’s business. Time is of the essence. We do not have a minute to spare. Take off the symbolic garments of the secret agents, i.e., the sunglasses, the overcoat and the black hat and let us put on the garments of light and be bold about who we are and whose we are!