Sickness and death will judge our faith
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].