This month marks 500 years since Martin Luther began what became known as the reformation. Like someone said, the outstanding characteristic about the man was how he maintained a sober mind amidst a world lost to superstition. “The just shall live by faith” he proclaimed, shaking the Catholic system to its foundation. In memory of Luther, it is refreshing to reflect on some inspiring words he said.
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say“, Luther said. How true! Imagine if Luther had seen all the wrongs of the unjust and ungodly religious system but decided to keep quiet. The Dark Ages would have continued to-date! It takes one man to take a stand, and only the heavens know how many souls rely on his words.
What made Luther outstanding was his sincerity. He was on the outside what he was inside. He never sat on what his conscience believed in, in trying to be ‘open minded’, ‘friendly’, or ‘understanding’ – modern terms for compromise, hypocrisy and cowardice. Standing before the political-religious men who wanted to force him to recant his doctrines and faith, he declared: “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.“
The sincerity of Luther ofcourse attracted many people to become his followers. But Luther was a spiritual man who knew that not every follower is a saint. Whenever there is a revival, it stires both the spiritual and the carnal man. Out of a genuine move of God, there will also follow a false and counterfeit one. Luther admonished: “For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.” However, if we are prayerful we will discern Truth from Falsehood.
Speaking about prayer, Luther said: “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” But what really is prayer? Its not just about what sound is coming from your vocal cords but what your heart utters to God. Prayer should be seasoned with sincerity and revelation.“The fewer the words, the better the prayer”, the reformer admonished.