Open Doors from Quarantine (2) ( by Fenny West)

Open Doors from Quarantine (2) Paul Acts 16

 

 

The Philippian Jailer Saved

25   But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

26   Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

27   And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.

28   But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

29   Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

30   And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31   So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

32   Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

33   And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

34      Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

Paul knew his purpose and embraced it. He was committed to preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles at all cost, willing to spend and be spent for it. And he constantly sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit (as we should all do) and had tremendous success.
However in his attempts to go to Phrygia, to preach the Gospel, the Holy Spirit said, “No!” Acts16:8
He then tried going to Bithynia but the Holy Spirit again refused. Now, while he was at Traos, he had a vision in which he saw someone saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us. V9
This gave him the confidence that he had heard from God and he proceeded there to the major city, Philippi with Silas.

The Macedonian Call

6      Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.

7      After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

8      So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

9      And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10   Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

There he preached the Gospel and Lydia and her household believed and were baptised. V14-15
This was the first open door.

14   Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

15   And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Later they saw a woman possessed with the spirit of divination being used to make money for masters.
She said many good things about Paul and Silas but with the wrong spirit. Paul discerned and  confronted her and cast the devil out of her. V17-18
This rattled the cages of her handlers and they were enraged and falsely accused Paul and Silas, bringing them before magistrates.
They were condemned and brutalised, badly beaten, broken and bleeding and then thrown into a dungeon of a prison with their  feet in strait jackets.v17-24

However at midnight, Paul encouraged Silas for Church Service in jail. They prayed and sang loud such that the other prisoners heard them.
God enjoyed the aroma of their praise so much that He tapped His feet in heaven. This resulted in an earthquake which rocked the foundation of the prison, so much that all the doors and windows were flung open. And their chains fell off.v25-26

The prison warden heard the tumult, commotion and cacophony and leapt out of his bed hurriedly and came out with a lantern. As he saw the doors opened, his heart sank, thinking all the prisoners had escaped. He wanted to kill himself. But Paul and Silas quickly stopped him, saying, “Don’t do yourself any harm. We are all here.”
The warden was flabbergasted, wowed and so overwhelmed with awe that he said, “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household shall be saved.”
He led him and his household to salvation and there was a great joy and feasting to the glory of God.
God led him, allowed what he suffered but rewarded him with a great open door for the salvation the prison warden of household.
Open door came from quarantine and there was a great addition to the Kingdom of God.
Paul and Silas did not complain or moan for their quarantine but prayed and praised  God and God gave them a great exploit and made their joy full. They could not have asked for more. God exceeded their expectations.
Therefore, in your quarantine arising from COVID19, it may look like a midnight hour. Do not complain but find a song of praise in the night. God gives songs in the night. Sing, dance, praise and pray a prayer of worship, adoration and thanksgiving to God. And God will give you  unprecedented breakthroughs. He will cause others around you to marvel and be convicted to surrender to Him and you will be an instrument of reconciliation. Seize the moment when it comes. Be ambitious. Go for broke. Maximise the moment.
Your open doors could be great innovative ideas for business, teaching online, setting up a charity that will help others or reaching out to people in unique ways or writing best-seller or acquiring new skills that make you head-hunted. Go for it. Make all things, including this quarantine work for you. Because you love God and you are the called according to purpose.
Determine that at the end of the lock down, you will come out better than you went in. Make up your mind that weeping may endure for the night but joy is coming in the morning. Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph. Praise God who enables His children who go through the valley of Baca (the valley of weeping) and make it a place of spring, going from strength to strength and from glory to glory. They may be hard pressed but they are never crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but assured that they are not abandoned. They are trees of righteousness, His treasured possession and destined to be forests. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit not only in old age but in all seasons, locked down or unlocked down. They will not know when heat comes. When others are saying, “There is depression, hypertension, post-lock down depressive, traumatic syndrome.”, you will be saying, “There is refreshments, revelation, harvest, lifting up, elevation, promotion, innovation and creativity.” Glory to God!
Open doors from Quarantine is mine! in Jesus’ Name.
Open doors from Quarantine is yours! ,in Jesus’ Name.

Take it by faith and run with it and it shall be yours.

Persecution Propels Promotion ( Fenny West)

♡♥Fenny’sSayings♥♡

Persecution propels and promotes,

As long as you’re looking at the Prince of Peace- the Author of Salvation.

Acts16:23-32,Acts2:41,-4:40-41;Act8:4;Act6,Act12:8-10 2Cor4:7-9,16-18, Acts14:19-20

Fenny’s saying

©Fenny West2019

WWW.inspiration4generations.com

It May Be Your Friday Today … ( by Fenny West)

  • It May be  Your Friday But Your Sunday is Coming

  • peace h faith faces the future with fortitude faith can move mts faith fears no foe power in the name smth beautiful Leaveing everything in god's hands jesus loves you in Christ what have and are easter 5 he rose again easter blood cg29cq4[1]

    Despite your sore trials you can still see the light. Put your trust-not in man, yourself, your job, your intellect, your achievements or accolades but in God. His the way-Maker, the Supreme Prime Mover, the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, the Resurrection and the Life.

    https://youtu.be/HtO8ZCrRtn8

Persevering in Persecution

Persevering in Persecution

We Will Win the War on Our Knees

I got this text message yesterday:

“Please pray4 the 22 Christian Missionaries families that will be executed by Islamists in Afghanistan Please Pass as fast as u can so that many will pray! PLEASE.”

 Then in my research I found out the following:

“The Islamist agenda to bring Nigeria under the ‘House of Islam’ versus the election of a southern Christian as President has caused much unrest. The Islamist group, Boko Haram, has claimed the lives of at least 800 Christians. The decisions of local government, especially in the twelve northern Sharia states, mean that Christians experience restrictions in schooling, threats of abduction, forced marriage, as well as denial of employment, clean water and healthcare. It is
dangerous to convert and for churches to integrate new converts.

The future does not look bright with emerging links between al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and Boko Haram making more violent persecution likely.”

Please Pray:

        Give thanks that believers are responding to recent pressure with increased prayer, evangelism and care for MBBs

        That Christian youths will resist the temptation to respond with violence to Muslim attacks

        For Open Doors workers providing emergency support and trauma counseling to victims of attacks.

http://www.opendoorsuk.org/resources/worldwatch/nigeria_north.php

“ Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group persecuting Christians in Nigeria, has been linked to terrorist cells in Mali. Since Boko Haran began its armed insurgency against the government in Nigerian, over3000 people have been murdered. Many of Boko Haram’s victims are Christians. Boko Haram believes that Northern Nigeria should be a separate Islamist state where the strict form of Sharia Law should be implemented. As Boko continues to fight for an Islamist state, Christian continue to be convenient targets.”

http://www.persecution.org/2013/01/18/security-forces-link-christian-persecution-in-nigeria-to-terrorist-cells-in-mali/

Persecution of Christians is real and rife in Nigeria and in many Islamist countries and we in the west need to wake up from slumber. We need to treasure our freedom to worship and read the Bible and not take it for granted.

We should uphold our brethren who under the line of fire in prayer like the early Christians did.

Peter Freed from Prison

5     Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.Acts12:

Let us pray that those persecuted will remain courageous and radiate the glory of the Lord such that their persecutors will be convicted and converted as it happened with Paul and Silas.

 

23   And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.

24   Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The Philippian Jailer Saved

paul & silas hands and fet in stock

25   But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

26   Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

27   And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.

28   But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

29   Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

30   And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31   So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

32   Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

33   And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

34   Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. Acts16

paul & silas what must I do 2

  paulpersecuting christians 1 

Pray that those persecuted will be so bold that their persecutors will acknowledge that they have been with Jesus.

The Name of Jesus Forbidden

13   Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

14   And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

15   But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

16   saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

17   But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”

18   So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

19   But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.

20   For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

21   So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

22   For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

 

Pray that, like the early Christians were jolted and fired up to pray ‘dangerous’ prayers, we too will rise up and intercede and fight on our knees, realising the Church is the only army that wins wars on its knees.

 

Prayer for Boldness

23   And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

24   So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,

25   who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘ Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?

26   The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

27   “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

28   to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

29   Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,

30   by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

31   And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts4:23-31

 

Persecution of Christianity

Is Prevalent, rising, real and rife

So intercede with importunity

For the Lord to use it for His will.

 

May Christians be jolted from slumber

And begin do battle on their knees

And see an increase in their number

That the name of the Lord will be exalted.

 

May persecution spread the gospel

Causing the Church to expand her land

As the saints are not afraid to tell

The Good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer for Boldness

23   And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

24   So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,

25   who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘ Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?

26   The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

27   “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

28   to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

29   Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,

30   by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

31   And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

 

We can see how persecution worked for the early Church

Acts 8: Saul Persecutes the Church

stoning of stephen

1     Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

2     And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

3     As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Christ Is Preached in Samaria

4     Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

5     Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

6     And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

7     For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

8     And there was great joy in that city.

It can happen again as we pray trust the Lord to use us in a special way in these times.

paul converted

Paul was breathing murder and causing havoc but God arrested him as he was on his way to arrest torture and imprison Christians. And what more? He who was the greatest enemy of the Gospel became its greatest champion, propagator and trophy and wrote 13 best-sellers of all-time.

©Fenny West2013

https://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/in-this-brand-new-year-2/

 

 

 

 

Persecution of Christianity

CG5C

Persecution of Christianity

Is Prevalent, rising, real and rife

So intercede with importunity

For the Lord to use it for His will.

 fiery furnace Hebrew three

May Christians be jolted from slumber

And begin do battle on their knees

And see an increase in their number

That the name of the Lord will be exalted.

 205[1]  He Daily Interecedes for Us

May persecution spread the gospel

Causing the Church to expand her land

As the saints are not afraid to tell

The Good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 209[1]

Acts 9: The Damascus Road: Saul Converted

1     Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

2     and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3     As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

4     Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5     And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

6     So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts9:1-6

Two Processions, One God

God’s Two Processions,

Two Processions, One God

come comforter

Two Processions, One God

Often I get confused about the workings of God when I see the righteous prospering or those who know him but have abandoned him, doing better. It baffles me. What’s going on?”

This was the confession of a sweet saint.

I don’t think she is alone in this confusion, bafflement and disturbance. There are many saints in that boat of the crises of faith.

32   And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

33   who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34   quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35   Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

36   Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.

37   They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented —

38   of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39   And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

40   God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Heb11:32-40

The palmist was there.

2     But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.

3     For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4     For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm.

5     They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men.

6     Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment.

7     Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.

8     They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.

9     They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth.

10   Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them.

11   And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?”

12   Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches.

13   Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence.

 

Ps73:2-13

The prosperity of the wicked is set to destroy them; it’s a snare, a trap, a deception, delusion, leading them gradually into a bottomless pit. They are goaded, blindfolded and taken to the slaughter.  If they knew it they will run for their dear life. The god of this age has blinded their eyes so they cannot see.  What they consider freedom is actually imprisonment. What is presented as enjoyment is gradual, stealthy dismemberment by their enemy.

When prosperity makes you put on the coat and character of Satan- pride- as a necklace, and violence as a garment, you know you are prepared for the chop. When you are so puffed up that you point the finger at your Maker and scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; …( and ) speak loftily.

9     ..set (your) mouth against the heavens, … you know you are on a slippery slope to destruction.

Thank God the Psalmist saw reality, understood the workings of God.

However it did not happen until he went into the sanctuary of God. It is in the secret place that we see differently, clearly from a vantage point, just as watchmen see the enemy from afar and warn those below. At the holy hill of the Lord, we see through God’s eyes and are in no doubt that ‘there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.’

 

37   Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.

38   But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

Ps37:37-38

…He shall destroy many in their prosperity.Dan8:25

  1. Proverbs      1:32

         For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency      of fools will destroy them;

Carelessness kills; complacency is murder. Message

Proverbs 1:32

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

32 “Childish people go down the wrong path. They will die.
Foolish people are satisfied with the way they live. They will be destroyed.

NIV

Proverbs 1:32

Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

32 For the turning of the simple slayeth them, And the security of the foolish destroyeth them.

Young’s literal

Proverbs 1:32

New English Translation (NET)

32 For the waywardness of the
simpletons will kill them,
and the careless ease of fools will destroy them.

Proverbs 1:32

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

32 “Fools die because they refuse to follow wisdom. They are content to follow their foolish ways, and that will destroy them.

Proverbs 1:32

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

32 “Gullible people kill themselves because of their turning away.
Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference.

Psalm 14:1

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Psalm 14

For the choir director; by David.

1 Godless fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt.
They do disgusting things.
There is no one who does good things.

 

In my conversation with the sweet saint who was confused we looked at John the Baptist- the forerunner of Jesus. He recognised his purpose, embraced it, prepared for it and introduced Jesus to the world.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “ John 1:29

“A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.

28   You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’

29   He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.

30   He must increase, but I must decrease.

31   He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

John3

 

6     But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod.

7     Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

8     So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”

9     And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.

10   So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.

11   And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

12   Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

Matt14:6-12

The question arose:

‘Why was he cut off in his prime, and so gruesomely? Why did God not stop it?’

Was God powerless or careless?

There are two processions of God- those He ‘takes out’ and those He ‘takes through.’

Therefore there are certain pits, calamities, atrocities, sufferings that He will take us out from and there are others that He will take us through. He determines what the situation will be.

James, a disciple, was martyred, but Peter was sent an angel who led him out as the saints prayed for him, even though they did not believe in their prayer. Acts 12 God took Peter out of martyrdom at that time because his work was not done.  However when the time came for Him to depart, he was crucified, albeit upside down as he requested, He did not want to die like Jesus, his Master.

Two processions, One God!

Acts 12: Herod’s Violence to the Church

1     Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.

2     Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

3     And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

4     So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Peter Freed from Prison

5     Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

6     And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.

7     Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.

8     Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”

9     So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

10   When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11   And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

Acts12:1-11

God was very much in control of His two processions.

CG5C

Many years ago as a foreign student in London, I did some part-time cleaning work without a work permit. Many other foreign students (friends of mine, even fellow-Christains), did it to make ends meet. We were in the black economy. I was caught and put in custody overnight where I almost sang my heart out past midnight, thinking there will be a jail-quake as it happened to Paul and Silas.

To my great disappointment it did not happen. 

Later on another occasion, I was caught again and that led to my being exiled. I was threatened with deportation which drove me to Ireland where I continued my studies. God was still in control. My friends who lived in the same house with me were never caught. They went on to get married and had jobs and a permanent stay while I was caught in another country.

God however used the mishap to bring me closer to Him. He gave me financial testimonies as someone in England volunteered to pay my fees and maintenance if i was allowed to study in Ireland.

Many songs were composed while I was in this valley and I sang them in Churches in Ireland. It was there also that I preached my first message in a Church which recognised the hand of God upon my life despite the vicissitude of life that brought me to Ireland.

What am I trying to say here? My friends were spared- taken out, but I was taken through. Was God fair and good on but accounts? Definitely so!

In the fullness of time, I completed my Irish Times and returned to England.

 

Looking at Paul’s sufferings, he would have been killed many times but God preserved his life.  In fact on one occasion he died and the believers gather round him and he rose up when he had completed his work, he knew the time was up and he bowed out gracefully. He was beheaded and went in a blaze of glory.

 

Suffering for Christ

22   Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

23   Are they ministers of Christ? — I speak as a fool — I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

24   From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.

25   Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26   in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27   in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness —

28   besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

29   Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

30   If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

31   The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

32   In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me;

2Cor11:

The Thorn in the Flesh

7     And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

8     Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

9     And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10   Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2Cor12:

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Arrested in the Temple

26   Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.

27   Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him,

28   crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”

29   (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

30   And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.

31   Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

32   He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33   Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done.

34   And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks.

35   When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob.

36   For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”

Acts21

Paul himself persecuted, tortured, maimed and murdered Christians before he was arrested by God on the road to Damascus. Those he could not kill were ‘taken out’ and those he killed were ‘taken through’.

Paul’s Valedictory

6     For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7     I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8     Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

2Tim4:6-8

Stephen

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This was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit and use to do many miracles, signs and wonders, yet he was siezed, tortured and murdered.

3     Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;

4     but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

5     And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,

6     whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

7     Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Stephen Accused of Blasphemy

8     And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

9     Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.

10   And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

Acts6

Israel Resists the Holy Spirit

51   You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

52   Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,

53   who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.

Stephen the Martyr

54   When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.

55   But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

56   and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

57   Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;

Acts7

Polycarp

In the Martyrdom, Polycarp is recorded as saying on the day of his death, “Eighty and six years I have served him,”, “How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour? Bring forth what thou wilt.” Polycarp was burned at the stake for refusing to burn incense to the Roman Emperor., stabbed when the fire failed to touch him ‘

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp

In your life you will experience these two occasions being taken out of a situation or being taken through it, His grace being sufficient for you. The same applies to me.  We will continue to be required walk by faith. Ours is to pray and God’s is to answer as He deems fit in line with our purpose.

Jesus came to redeem fallen man. He had to go through the way of the cross. It was gruesome, painful, costly, but He had to do it, yield to the Father to take Him through. Before the cross, they tried to kill Him but they could not.

So in what procession are you in what you are facing? You need divine insight to be able to press on until you finish your assignment. God is good all the time.  All things work together for good to those who love God and who are the called according to His purpose.

Shadrack Meshach and Abednego were three Hebrew children who were righteous, loyal, devoted and dedicated wholeheartedly to the Lord.  They had made up their minds not to defile themselves even though God had allowed them to be taken into captivity, exile and  treated as slaves in a foreign land. Then they were favoured to be chosen as one of the King’s special aides. This was a privileged position but required being fattened up to look presentable before the king. They chose to forfeit the delicacies of the King and make do with vegetables.  That was their first test which they passed. God honoured their stance and made them ten times better than their compatriots when the time of reckoning came.(Dan1:16-20)

Later,  a bigger test came when the King built the image of gold and wanted everyone to bow to it when they heard the music play. The three Hebrew men refused to bow. They faced a penalty of being thrown into a fiery burning furnace that had been heated seven times hotter than usual.

Their resolve and faith were unequivocal:

O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

17   If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.

 

However they went from faith to trust:

18   But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

If their stand meant going up in flames as living sacrifices or burnt offering to their God, they were prepared for it. If God deemed it fit not to deliver them- take them out-they were ready for it. If He opted to take them through the fire, so be it. They went from faith to trust. They trusted His good judgement. They knew God is good all the time and knows best.

The result of that trust was that they were bound and thrown into the furnace. The furnace was so hot that the flames sucked up those strong, macho men who threw them in.

However, the three Hebrew children who were thrown in bound were set free by the fire and walked in freedom in the flames. So that which designed to undo them set them free. Glory be to God.

In the same way your fire which God has allowed will set you free for freedom. It will set you free to fulfil vision, glorify your God.

The King came later on to see their corpses but was greeted with a glorious movie.  Instead of seeing three, he saw four and became confused and enquired:

“Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

25   “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

fiery furnace Hebrew three 4

Nebuchadnezzar overwhelmed!

Praises God

26   Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.

27   And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

28   Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!

29   Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

30   Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

Their persecution brought God’s exaltationand their promotion!

Two processions, one God!

Faithful God

Powerful God

Purposeful God

Exceedingly abundantly able God.

Yield to Him this year.

Let His will be done

and His Kingdom come.

dream

Uncommon Courage Comes

Uncommon Courage Comes

 

Uncommon courage comes

To those who trust the Lord

Regardless of the storm

Their faith hinged on the Word.

 

The world around will see

They have been with Jesus

He is their energy

He is their driving force.

 

They do not compromise

What He has said – His word

They stand on it and rise

In the face of the world.

 

Like the three Hebrew men

They ride raging fires

Till they reach God’s haven

His pleasure their desire.

 

7  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.Acts4:13

 

35        Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

Heb10:35

18   that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Heb6:18

 

 

 

 

8     But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

9     Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.

10   And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11   So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12   “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.

13   Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

14   So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15   And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.

16   Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17   As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18   Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

19   Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.

20   And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

21   Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.Dan1: 8-21

 

©Fenny West2012

https://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/olympic-series-the-race-of-grace-1-preparation/