Sick­ness and death will judge our faith

Sunday Observer - - FEATURES - Evang. Wil­ton Mamba

Daniel Yoder is the co-au­thor of ‘Unbroken Curses’, to­gether with his wife Re­becca Brown-Yoder. In this very book, he in­serts a mas­ter-piece ‘how-to’ guide on how be­liev­ers can put Satan in his place and re­cover ev­ery­thing he has stolen from them. I have been mean­ing to share this ma­te­rial for many months, but the spirit never al­lowed it to hap­pen un­til God’s time, which is now. Daniel writes, “In the last two years, the Lord has taught us about some ex­tra-or­di­nar­ily pow­er­ful weapons we have.

This week I was thrown into the deep end where my faith was tested to the limit.

I was awak­ened in the still of the night and had to at­tend to a case of a rel­a­tive who was at the throes of death some 25 kilo­me­tres from where I live.

It was a mat­ter of life and death, and not one of those cases where you pray and be­cause the vic­tim wants to be nice to the pas­tor claims to be healed. This per­son was dying, and per­haps the wis­est thing to do would have been to take her to hospi­tal; and I had a good mind to do that had the per­son who called me not spec­i­fied that they needed me to trans­port her to a spir­i­tu­al­ist.

This ex­pe­ri­ence re­ally got me won­der­ing just how strong my be­lief in Je­sus was. I won­dered if my be­lief would stand if death stared me in the face the way it did this lady. I won­dered if I would be able to rely on God’s prom­ises even as the pain rid­dled my body the man­ner that wo­man suf­fered. Would I main­tain my trust in Je­sus even if the only sure-fire so­lu­tion lay with a witch­doc­tor? I re­alised that we all had no idea just how deep our faith was un­til we were tested with death or other such dire chal­lenge.

I have had dif­fi­culty get­ting this ex­pe­ri­ence out of my mind. You see, talk is cheap. It is eas­ier for preach­ers of the word to tell peo­ple who are in pain to trust in Je­sus, and the story changes when they face sim­i­lar chal­lenges. I pray that my faith may not fail. Je­sus, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of these sit­u­a­tions, taught us to pray and say; “And do not lead us into temp­ta­tion, but de­liver us from evil.” [Mat.6:13]. I re­alised as I pon­dered about this sit­u­a­tion, just how much I needed Je­sus. On my own, I just can­not stand against Satan’s ad­ver­sity, death threats and many such schemes cal­cu­lated at bring­ing be­liev­ers down. When Je­sus warned Peter that Satan had asked for his pound of flesh, the fish­er­man did not un­der­stand.

And per­haps he was made not to un­der­stand for my sake and yours, so that we would re­alise just how much we need Je­sus. “Si­mon, Si­mon (Peter), lis­ten! Satan has de­manded per­mis­sion to sift (all of you) like grain; [Job 1:6-12; Amos 9:9] but I have prayed [es­pe­cially] for you [Peter] that your faith [and con­fi­dence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back [to Me], strengthen and sup­port your broth­ers [in the faith].” Luke 22:31-32). But be­cause Peter did not un­der­stand that no one could even say ‘Je­sus is Lord’, ex­cept he does so by the Spirit, he de­clared; “Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death!” (Luke 22:33).

And sure as night fol­lows day, when prison and pos­si­bly death stared Peter in the face, he could not stand. Si­mon Peter did not un­der­stand the full im­port of Je­sus state­ment when He said, “I say to you Peter, be­fore, the rooster crows to­day, you will [ut­terly] deny three times that you know Me.” Je­sus pro­ceeded to in­form His dis­ci­ples that the pro­tec­tion that they had al­ways en­joyed would soon be re­moved, but still this was spir­i­tu­ally too deep for them to com­pre­hend; well, be­cause it was meant that way: ‘And He said to them, “When I sent you out with­out a money belt and [pro­vi­sion] bag and [ex­tra] san­dals, did you lack any­thing?” They an­swered, “Noth­ing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money belt is to take it along, and also his pro­vi­sional bag, and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you that this (scrip­ture) which is writ­ten must be com­pleted and ful­filled in Me: ‘And He was counted with the crim­i­nals’; for that which refers to Me has its ful­fil­ment [and is set­tled]. ”[Is 53:12].Je­sus could not have told them more clearly that they were on their own; the glory and pro­tec­tion was gone and this was the will of God, which Je­sus had to obey.

This was a warn­ing of the per­se­cu­tion of the saints that Je­sus had lamented about in Mark 13:13-20: “You will be hated by ev­ery­one be­cause of [your as­so­ci­a­tion with] My name, but the one who [pa­tiently per­se­veres em­pow­ered by the Holy Spirit and] en­dures to the end, he will be saved. But when you see the abom­i­na­tion of des­o­la­tion stand­ing [in the temple sanc­tu­ary] where it ought not to be (let the reader un­der­stand) then those who are in Judea must flee to the moun­tains. [Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11].

Who­ever is on the house­top must not go down [to en­ter the house], or go in­side to take any­thing out of his house; who­ever is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. And woe to those women who are preg­nant and those who are nurs­ing ba­bies in those days! Pray that it will not hap­pen in win­ter, for at that time there will be such tribu­la­tion as has not oc­curred, from the be­gin­ning of the cre­ation which God made, un­til now – and never will [be again]. And if the Lord had not short­ened the days, no hu­man life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose [for Him­self], He short­ened the days. [Dan12:1).” The per­se­cu­tion Je­sus fore­told started right away, and when Peter re­alised that he had be­trayed the Mes­siah when he de­nied Him as the Lord had said he would, he wept bit­terly. Je­sus’ pre­dic­tion went full scale 40 years af­ter he spoke about it. Famine raged in Jerusalem, and rebels took all the food they could find in ev­ery house, while the thou­sands of poor peo­ple starved to death. Des­per­a­tion ruled supreme so that wives would snatch the food from their hus­bands, chil­dren from fathers, and moth­ers from the very mouths of in­fants, ac­cord­ing to the best seller, Killing Je­sus. Out of rage and ha­tred, the Ro­man sol­diers nailed their pris­on­ers in dif­fer­ent pos­tures, and so great was their num­ber that space could not be found for their crosses. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple were killed. As Je­sus pre­dicted, the temple was des­e­crated be­fore it was set on fire. Back to my ad­ven­ture with the pa­tient; I stuck to my guns, re­mem­ber­ing what Je­sus said about hav­ing faith as small as a mas­tered seed, and prayed un­til the spirit bowed and obeyed the com­mand of Je­sus. Sat­is­fied with how the Lord had used me, I fi­nally drove back home at around 4am. The dis­tance no longer mat­tered; I had done the right thing and felt good about it. The next day, as I stag­gered into my of­fice, lit­er­ally doz­ing off, the call came.

They thanked me… very much for my ef­forts be­fore they told me that they had agreed with her hus­band that she be taken to a witch­doc­tor. Her con­di­tion was worse. I was dev­as­tated, but who am I to judge. I just know one thing, that ‘…noth­ing can ever sep­a­rate us from God’s love.

Nei­ther death nor life, nei­ther an­gels nor demons, nei­ther our fears for to­day nor our wor­ries about to­mor­row– not even the pow­ers of hell can sep­a­rate us from God’s love.’ [Ro­mans 6:38].

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