THE CHRISTIAN WALK
|Thursday, December 19, 2019|
Cameron, Texas, USA
his is strictly for the truly-regenerated and genuinely-converted believers and followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I repeat; this piece is not for the pretenders, who bear Christian names, go to church and play religion and those our Lord Jesus Christ referred to as the Laodicean believers (Rev. 3:14-18: "These are the words of the Amen, the faithfulness and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either one or the other. So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth…"). If you are playing games with your soul and using Christianity as a façade, this piece is an anathema. I do not care your fanciful title in Christendom, but if you have the real Holy Spirit of the Living God, if your name has been written in the Book of Life and you know with inexactitude that you are walking in the will of the King of kings and Lord of lords, you will experientially fathom what we are talking about here. The Christian Walk is hard, narrow and only few are our co-passengers. We are hard-pressed every day, buffeted by the rigors of life and actually suffer. Inside in our inmost we ask every day, Lord, aren't You concerned about what I am going through? Why is life so complicated and hard on us? Why am I going through this? I have had my own share of life's monotonous reverses and adversities. They aren't let up even as at now.
I grew up as an orphan, having lost both parents as a teenager. It was hellish growing up way back in Africa without parents. The Good Lord Who set me apart from my mother's womb ensured I weathered through prenatal and post-natal storms of life. Graduating at the top of my class and admitted to the most prestigious university in my native Nigeria, I played students union politics, engaged in the noblest profession of all; journalism and relocated to the United States. Today, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has shot me up to the highest level of life in every sense of earthly success and His Promise became a truism in my odyssey: "The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you-referring to me-will only move upward and never downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of the Lord your God which I am giving you today" (Deuteronomy 28:13). Called to His Service and enlisted into the Army of the Living God, the spiritual warfare we fight against the denizens of darkness and Satan manifest daily in the life of the believer.
SIX SOURCES OF PAINS AND TRIALS FROM SATAN AGAINST THE BELIEVER
There are six sources of fears and pains that Satan and his demons hurl at the believer in the Christian Walk namely: fear of death, fear of aging and old age, fear of criticism, fear of poverty and fear of sickness or deprivation of good health. In the predominantly-populated Hindu area of Kandhamal District of India, Swami Sarawati, a popular Hindu priest was murdered by a Maorist leader, Sabyasachi Panda in 2008. Instead of prosecuting the confessed killer, the Hindu worshippers invaded the homes of the minority Christians and set 6,000 homes on fire and murdered 160 born-again Christians. There were five Christian leaders arrested and detained for 11 years until recently the apex court in India, the Supreme Court ruled the believers were innocent and ordered set free. Where is justice in the land? In Iran, you are most likely to be killed for openly professing faith and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ. In gilded and atheistic North Korea where the communists hold sway, it is summary execution by decapitation and firing squad to be suspected of being a Christian. In Mohammedan Saudi Arabia, there is a state policy against preaching the Good News. The list is endless. This is the first fear and pain believers are subjected by Satan and his demons, in concert with their human hirelings.
It is the aspiration of all believers to live up to old age, but this eerie awe gnaws at each believer's heart that they may not be able to make it far. Because of the rigors of daily living in a demon-infested and satanic world, we yearn daily for our permanent heavenly dwelling; yet there is so much to do for His Utmost now in the battle for the souls of billions on earth. Apostle Paul reached that stage in his earthly ministry and was confused: "But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed. But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body" (Philippians 1:22-24).
A dear sister called us here few months ago and disclosed the fear of premature death that Satan and his minions had played in her mind for long. We had to rebuke that demon and our sister regained her full confidence. Many matured Christians called into His Service still battle with fear of criticism while that pain is acute more in young believers or those Paul identified as those that could not be fed with solid spiritual food (I Corinthians 3:4). Satan lobs this demon constantly at us. When fear of criticism writs large, it handicaps even the most zealous believer to work for the King. A brother once excused his reluctance to preach because of what his friends would say of him. I told him these so-called friends you may never see again after death, unless you're going to the same place. Death is the eternal divide unless you know from here which side of the divide you will spend eternity. You will be of much help to those your friends now, if you can preach the Saving Grace of our Lord and Savior to them and perhaps snatch some of them from the pit of hell. If I have to tell readers of this column the number of email that inundates me from anti-Christ fellows and charlatans, I would have stopped writing this column and that is exactly the artifice of Satan. No one criticizes you when you suck up to things of the flesh. How easy to serve Satan and his demons. They demand no higher standards, there is no orderliness and in the kingdom of darkness, anything goes. That was the reason the Lord God Almighty flushed Satan and his rebellious hordes out of heaven. The reason the Lord God Almighty insists that any human coming back to heavenly home must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb is that, the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ purifies and cleanses every believer from the dirt that we accumulate on this earth. Without that Washed Blood, heaven will be exactly like the earth. As Apostle John disclosed: "For there are three that bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word -referring to Jesus Christ-and the Holy Spirit and these Three are One. And there are three that bear witness on earth; the Holy Spirit, and the Water and the Blood and the three are one" (I John 5:7-8).
The human body is so fragile, we protect it with all we have and no wonder a lady told me she cares more about her physical body than investing in her brain and intelligence. We all fear sickness and Satan has been studying the human race for eons and he and his fallen idiots know; "Skin for skin" Satan replied. " A man (and woman too) will give up all he (or she) owns in exchange for his (or her) life" (Job 2:4). After Satan destroyed all the material comfort of Brother Job and took out his children and the man still maintained his integrity, he upped the ante and went for Job's physical body. I cannot emphasize how evil forces work round the clock to attack the believer's health to render us ineffective in preaching the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The last fear Satan sends to believers constantly is the fear of material loses. What and How do I eat? Where do I live? And what do I wear? How do I pay the bills? How do we take care of the kids? I pray we do not run out of money? These are subliminal fears Satan and his fiendish fools befuddle and assail our minds with unceasingly. But our Lord Jesus Christ gave an undertaking and a promise which He cannot back out as the Alpha and Omega, the Lord of lords and Kings of kings and here is the promise: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes" (Matthew 6:25). The One Who Created everything now listed His other creations which have life as us: the birds, the animals etc an contrasted them with the beauty of the lilies and flowers which He also takes care of in addition to us and zinger it thus: "…But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own" (Matthew 6:33-34).
Most believers read those promises, but don't really internalize and understand its import. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave those promises twice; Matthew 6: 25-34 and Luke 12:22-31). The same Jesus Christ that gave the promise in John 3:15 about salvation also gave these promises. The last person I want to spend eternity with is anyone who lies, but; "God is not man that he should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent -(which simply means He doesn't and cannot change His Mind like you and me)-has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). He repeated His immutability in four other instances in Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 7:21; 2 Timothy 2:13). Brethren, if the Almighty God rained manna from heaven to feed His Children in the wilderness, we have a better and most endurable covenant now than the Jews in the wilderness in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Hallelujah! I don't know what you're currently going through, but if you will hang in there, remain unfazed and unshaken in your faith and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this shall pass. Don't take my words for it, take Jesus Promise again thus; "I will not leave you as orphans" (John 14:18).
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW HIS OWN TO SUFFER PAIN AND TRIALS?
There are plenty of things; in fact, gazillions of life's mysteries we cannot fathom right here on earth and many more mysteries that will confront us in heaven. Even the angels who were created before us millions of years and Lucifer as an angel before he fell cannot understand the Almighty God (Deuteronomy 29:29). I am currently consoling and counseling a couple who lost their child in Europe. I just lost my second son early this year and I know what it means to be afflicted. I know what pains and trials are meant to do in our lives. The trials and pains I am talking about here are those directly allowed by the Almighty God and not those foolishly, ignorantly and sinfully brought onto ourselves as believers. There are three sources of man-made trials and pains we inflict on ourselves as believers namely: Ignorance (Hosea 4:6); Foolishness (Galatians 3:1-5; I Corinthians 1:23) and Sin (Proverbs 1: 20-33; James 1:13, Romans 6:23).
Another reason is the therapeutic nature of trials and pains from the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not immune to life's reverses and uncertainties and our Lord and Savior didn't promise us bed of roses. Brethren, the truth is; this planetary abode is not our permanent abode; we are strangers in this world. Most believers sing that hymn with relish: "I'm a stranger in this world and I'm just a passing through," but perfunctorily. Apostle Paul disclosed in his epistolary to the Hebrews that, the Hall of Faith Fellows; "…were content to be pilgrims journeying to a strange land in order to secure a better life…" (Hebrews 11:8-10). Believers who know the mansions awaiting us on the Other Side, if we do not give up and make it to the end know that it is worth all troubles and efforts to stand our grounds on what this temporary life throws at us, because they are what they are: slight afflictions and temporary. The greatest tragedy that will befall any soul that has passed through this abode or will ever pass through dimesion is to end up on the negative side of the Eternal Divide. The more you yearn for heaven and more loath you develop for the world is the barometer to gauge your Christian Walk. Pains and trials are the mirrors the Lord Jesus Christ uses to weigh us which we should in turn weigh ourselves with on His Spiritual Scale.
A young African-American believer asked me to pray for him so that he would not be falling into the revolving door of imprisonment while I was still in Chicago. He wasn't into neighborhood gangs, he was smart and a true believer; but somehow he was always at the wrong place at the wrong time. He would be picked up in the neighborhood by the police and hauled to jail and then be released. He couldn't understand what was happening to his spiritual life. As I was about to pray for him to be spared of such ordeal, the Holy Spirit said, the young man didn't need prayer; "I'm calling him into Prison Ministry." Now his trials and pains had meanings; that was his training ground for who is better to preach the Good News to prisoners than an alumnus? Praise the Lord! That was the reason our Lord Jesus Christ came down to the earth in physical form (Hebrews 10:5). How can the Creator of the heavens and the universe save the world and earth stolen by Satan, if He didn't come to experience what we human beings are feeling and going through? That is why those called into healing ministry for instance would suffer in their physical bodies while being prepared for healing so that they would know what it means to be sick. How can the Lord Jesus Christ use me for instance, to minister to grieving parents who have lost loved ones, if I myself have not been bereaved? Brethren, I don't know what trials and pains the Almighty God has allowed to come your way right now in your Christian Walk, but do not be mad at the Savior. Look at the trial and pains and ask other matured brethren in the faith what message the Lord is trying to pass and communicate to you in the midst of your trials and pains.
Each time we receive letters, email and or voicemail messages here at The Jesus Christ Solution Center from precious souls that have given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, those we prayed for jobs and are employed; looking for the fruits of the womb, marriages and relationships restored, promotions at work, financial breakthrough and other blessings of the Almighty God, our spirits are lifted that they are indeed worth it. Each week we come to your home on the screens in this column and the number of letters we receive from changed lives; the trials and pains allowed Satan to inflict on us by the Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ now have meanings. Satan and his demons do not bother about Laodicean Christians, because they don't threaten Satan's fallen kingdom. For those of us that are turning the battles away at the battle gate, we are targets for Satan. But we know we were meant for this and it is all about winning souls.
Finally, who overcomes without facings odds? How will the Almighty God be able to display His Awesomeness and Might without obstacles, trials and pains in the lives of His Own?