Who knew that coming up with a title for this blog would be so difficult!! In addition to some ideas of my own, I asked several people what it should be, yet I still couldn't seem to decide on anything!! Alas, how frustrating. After taking a break from the back-breaking, mind-numbing (okay, maybe not that serious!) labor of trying to think up an amazing and catchy title, I began to think about women of faith who I look up to and respect because of their walk with God and testimony before Him. The first one who came to mind was Elisabeth Elliot. An amazing woman, but I wanted to think of someone else. That's when the Lord brought to my remembrance a young woman by the name of Vibia Perpetua.
Vibia Perpetua was a young woman who lived during the years of the early church, thought to be only in her early 20s. She had it all: upper class status, marriage to a high ranking man, a newborn baby, her whole life ahead of her! But this young woman had Someone in her life who made all of these seemingly significant details of none effect; that Someone was Jesus. She met her Savior and Lover of her soul, her King and her Lord, the One who showed her where real life is found. And when she found that new life in Christ, she gave her very life boldly proclaiming it, becoming a martyr who was viciously slain for refusing to deny Jesus Christ.
Whoa!! Let's back up here. So Perpetua was young? check. Married? check. Mother? check. High status? check. And a Christian? big check. One of my initial thoughts when reviewing all these details was that surely it wasn't necessary for her to..you know..die.. I mean, really God? She accepted You into her life; You gave her a husband, a child, she was prospering, and she had soo many years to live (well, apparently not...)! She could have told her persecuters that she'd settle down with all the "Jesus talk," and then continue living the way she was before. But at what cost would it have been?
This young woman, in her mere 20-some years on earth, realized something that what I (even after being saved for nearly ten years) am only now truly learning to do--to count as loss all things we hold dear for the sake of Christ and His cross!
So many times we--well, I'll speak for myself, I--will look at people like Perpetua and think things like, 'Wow, she's one of those rare few that God uses to really show a big, extreme faith!!' (emphasis on rare few and extreme). But isn't that what God desires of all of us who claim Him as Lord and Savior? I think about the passage in Mark 8, when Jesus basically tells His disciples, "Hey, if you're trying to follow Me, then you're going to have to deny yourselves!! 'Cause if you're trying to hold on to this temporal life, you're sure to lose life eternal, but if you proclaim Me and My good news, you'll surely save it!" Jesus goes on to explain the consequences for those who choose to deny Him before man here on earth.
Vibia Perpetua understood this, and was brutally martyred for her bold proclamation of the gospel. But it shouldn't be something we consider rare or extreme; God desires to use each and every one of us. We should be living sacrifices for Him (Rom.12.1)! No, not all of us may be called to literally be tortured and to die for Jesus. But if it came to that, would we be willing? Are we grateful enough for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross that we allow our own flesh to die daily, thus allowing ourselves to become fully consumed with Him in order to be continual testimonies of His redemption and grace? When I look at Perpetua, I realize that I don't desire a mediocre Christian life, one content to get spiritually fat, without exercising any spiritual muscle. I want to have a passion, a zeal for my Savior that's so great that I take Him at His Word, counting all things as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ! This is how I want my faith to be: perpetua (Latin)-unbroken, perpetual, lasting, and continuous in Him.