We have mistaken the safety of abiding in the Lord for the safety of abiding in the world (i.e., U.S.A.). As the seed which fell on rocky soil or among the thorns; "these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
However, there are a few seeds which fell on good soil: And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
Now what is the soil where this seed fell? Is it a heart of stone or a heart of flesh? And yes, when this seed is sown in the heart it still cannot bear fruit unless the old man dies, yes dies daily. So, we are to die daily to selfishness/self-will and to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
Paul exclaimed that he would much rather BOAST in his weakness, because when he is weak then Christ is strong. And here is one of the errors in my life and many of us in the U.S.A.: we are not weak, but strong in will, might, knowledge, military, power and prosperity. We have no weakness to BOAST in or maybe we do? For the flesh is weak and it cannot submit to the things of God, it is an enemy of God. "For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Yet, the brothers and sisters in N. Korea are not only weak in the flesh, but in the body too. Maybe this helps them to TRULY live as Paul said: "to live is Christ and to die is gain" and "Christ is our life."
We have forgotten the preaching of the cross; "for the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
What are we being saved from in the U.S.A.? The persecuted Christians in the 10/40 exclaim and cry out for the return of the Lord. We in the prosperous West might shrink back at His return and lack the faith that He desires at His return.
So saints what shall we do? Have mercy OH God, have mercy on us!!! For our sins are ever before us and we have sinned against YOU and done this evil in your sight.
"God is Love." "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." "And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." Notice the Apostle makes this statement personal: it profits "ME" nothing. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Jesus Christ the Lord).