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Keeping your faith

Keeping your faith
By Fergus Davar

Hi people, I write again and again from this Sunday’s word in Church. You may make out the theme of this article from the subject but I won’t mention it till I get to the end.

I won’t be quoting much scripture to keep this article short and readable; this is a first from me. I’ll be talking from 1 Kings 18 & 19. Here is a little background. The tribe of Judah with their land has split from Israel. Israel has drifted from God & worships false gods & idols like Baal. The King of Israel then was Ahab and his wife was Jezebel. The famous prophet of God then was Elijah.

Elijah challenged all the prophets of Baal together, he tells them Jehovah is the only true God and there is no other god. He tells all the 850 prophets of Baal to present an offering and ask their god to bring fire down from the sky to consume the sacrifice. All the 850 prophets prayed to their god Baal and chanted, raved until the middle of the afternoon, they even cut them selves with daggers for blood flow in order to please their god but there was no sound heard, no response & no fire. As for Elijah, he just asked God to show the people of Israel that he alone was their God & that Baal like the other gods would only match up to him if they existed. The people who witnessed this then rejected Baal and declared the Lord alone as their God. However Elijah has little time to savor his victory over the 850 false prophets because King Ahab tell his queen Jezebel that all her prophets of Baal have been killed. The Queen quickly sends a message to Prophet Elijah that he would be dead by tomorrow. Elijah is afraid & fled for his life to Beersheba in Judah, as Judah & its King was still loyal to God. He leaves his servant there and roams the whole day in the wilderness. He then comes to a tree where he sits and wished he would die. You don’t believe it, yeah neither do I. Let me quote it to you.

1 Kings 19:4

4 Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”

Just imagine the great prophet Elijah wants to end his life. He challenged 850 prophets of Baal and put them to shame and this same man is afraid of one woman just because of her authority as Queen. Elijah was such a great prophet that he was the taken to heaven alive. He did not die. There are only 2 people in the history of the world, according to the Bible, who have been taken to heaven without dieing. One was Elijah and the other Enoch.

I would like to quote some more up and downs of Biblical heroes.

Abraham who was blessed as the father of all nations through Isaac (Genesis 21:12), at one time he lied (Genesis 20) and referred to his wife Sarah as his sister when he entered a foreign land because he was scared as his wife was very pretty & that people would kill him to get him out of their way.

Noah after taking that great step of faith and building the arc, due to which man and beast survived the flood (Genesis 6). Sometime after accomplishing his mission, he got drunk and took off his clothes and lay naked in his tent (Genesis 9:21).

Peter after walking on water with Jesus (Matthew 14), he denied God (Jesus) 3 times (Matthew 26) during His trial, even after he declared on his own steam that he would go to the death with Jesus.

David after killing the well armed giant Goliath, with just a sling shot (1 Samuel 17), committed adultery with Bathsheba and plotted to kill her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 11).

The above are examples of how great heroes have been shaken in times of hard testing. These people were no different from you and me. My Bible says in James 5:17 that Elijah was no different from us. In my life’s experience, I have come across many teaching institutions that only accept students with high marks, so that these student would maintain the name of the reputed institution when they brilliant as they are, pass out with flying colors. This is not the case with how God selects his people for service. He does not call the intelligent & qualified. He calls his people and then qualifies them and gives them wisdom. Consider Moses, he stammered & he had not management degree, yet God made him capable of leading thousands of Israelites on foot from Egypt to the promise land (Israel). Four of the disciples (Andrew Peter James and John) were fishermen & Apostle Matthew was a tax collector, hated by the people. But yet Jesus chose them and the Spirit worked within them to spread the Gospel all over the world. So the point is that the people of God are simple but extraordinary because that they have been chosen.

Also consider John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest of all who ever lived (Matthew 11:11). These are his words for Jesus during his hey day. Let me quote them to you.

John 1:26-34

26 John answered, “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. 27 He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.”

28 All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the River Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.’ 31 I did not know who he would be, but I came baptizing with water in order to make him known to the people of Israel.”

32 And John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33 I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen it,” said John, “and I tell you that he is the Son of God.”

Matthew 3:13-14

13 At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to make him change his mind. “I ought to be baptized by you,” John said, “and yet you have come to me!”

15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.” So John agreed.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him. 17 Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”

But when John the Baptist is imprisoned for his preaching, elements of fear and doubt started to creep into his mind about his God.

Matthew 11:2-6

2 When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him. 3 “Tell us,” they asked Jesus, “are you the one John said was going to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: 5 the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. 6 How happy are those who have no doubts about me!”

Jesus’ reply in Matthew 11:4-5, reassures John the Baptist that He (Jesus) is the Lord and Savior of all people, the awaited deliverer who was promised to the Jews. Verses 4 & 5 have greater scriptural meaning that the eyes can see. Let me quote Old Testament scripture of what was written of the awaited one.

Isaiah 35:5-6

5 The blind will be able to see,

and the deaf will hear.

6 The lame will leap and dance,

and those who cannot speak will shout for joy.

.

Isaiah 61:1

To bring good news to the poor,

To heal the broken-hearted,

To announce release to captives

And freedom to those in prison.

Jesus fulfilled & met all the Old Testament prophesies written by the many prophets all over the time before Jesus’ coming. Just imagine all these great writers of the Bible write about this SAME great awaited person even though these writers are separated by many many years. They have no way to talk to each other & they did not have sticky notes at that time. Just imagine thousand of prophets talking about this one awaited person; it was as though this awaited person would be God Himself. Would it make any sense if thousands of prophets spoke of the awaited one to be also a prophet? It would be like those thousands of prophets waiting for thousands of years to do something anyone of them could have done by themselves. Well, you may say that I am driving to recognize my Jesus as your God. What if I showed you by example from the same Old Testament scripture of who the awaited one would be? The Old Testament prophets wrote not by themselves, nor did they write God’s word via angels. No, it was the Spirit of God Himself who came and rested upon the prophets & the prophets wrote all the scripture under the power of God Himself. He used no in-betweens (angel or whatever) where writing His word (The Bible) was concerned. It was because of this; many times the prophets could not make much sense of what was written under the power of the Spirit. In the same book Isaiah of the Old Testament that talks of the awaited one, this is what God says of His unique identity.

Isaiah 41:4

4 Who was it that made this happen?

Who has determined the course of history?

I, the Lord, was there at the beginning,

and I, the Lord, will be there at the end.

So here is God Himself saying that He alone existed in the beginning and He will continue to exist in the end. Now let me quote Jesus’ Words in Revelation 21:6 & Revelation 22:13.

Revelation 21:6

And he said, “It is done! I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it.

Revelation 22:13

I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Having made my point that is the awaited one is Jesus, God Himself. Coming back to the earlier part of this article about doubting and keeping the faith, I would like to say faith is of 2 types

1. Saving faith: that is when you start to trust in Jesus and accept Him as your Lord & Savior.

2. Living faith: that is the faith with which you live your life trusting in God (Father Jesus & Spirit) through ups and downs.

All faith comes from God, just as we have come from Him so does our trust in Him comes from Him. Saving faith is something you will never loose. Once saved always saved, you can trust that your salvation is in better hands than your own (John10:28). Living faith is something everyone struggles with, the greatest of prophets struggled with it. This happens because when time of hard testing comes by it becomes very difficult to stop thinking of our selves and continue to work towards God’s purpose. I say this at a relatively easy time for me so I able to ask God to help me reason. I would like to close this post with a message to give you reason to trust God more when things are going down than when things are on a high. Sorry I appear to have stretched this post too.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Do not be afraid I am with you!

I am your God let nothing terrify you!

I will make you strong and help you;

I will protect you and save you.

By Fergus Davar (Saved by HIS grace), just a pen in His Hand.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

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