IF YOUR FAITH IS UNDER ATTACK
On the 4th of January, 1990, my mum was certified dead on a surgical table just before the procedure started (I have shared this story before but I desire someone’s faith to be strengthened today. Mum has also written a personal memoir about that day but I want to share a bit from lessons on faith that I picked from Dad).
Dad said he just kept hearing heavy thuds where he was outside like the doctors were trying to resuscitate someone. In the middle of the crisis, she was rushed to another hospital where she was certified dead by the Medical Director.
Before the final information came, the devil already said to him twice, “Your wife is dead”. He said just one statement came out of his mouth, “I did not come here with a dead wife and I am not going back with a dead wife”. He said that twice. He repeated it again when a doctor walked into the surgery room with white wrapping cloths. He began to praise God and continued to praise God. That was the only thing he knew to do. He refused to cave under pressure.
In the middle of the crisis, there was a young boy who was really scared of receiving treatment. He went to pacify the young boy till the boy got the injection.
After seven hours of waiting, mum gave a first sign of life (movement of her hand) by 4 pm and she regained full consciousness two hours later.
First, invest in building your faith. Remember, the just shall live by faith. Faith is for living. Build your faith. One day, even if you do not need it for yourself, you will need it to stand in the gap for someone (your spouse, your siblings, your parents or a dear friend). Build your faith.
Some believers are like King Saul: King Saul made his first mistake by bowing to internal and external pressure. Hear his words:
Samuel said, “What on earth are you doing?” Saul answered, “When I saw I was losing my army from under me, and that you hadn’t come when you said you would, and that the Philistines were poised at Micmash, I said, ‘The Philistines are about to come down on me in Gilgal, and I haven’t yet come before God asking for his help.’ So I took things into my own hands, and sacrificed the burnt offering.”
1 Samuel 13:11-12 MSG
Pressure will build when things are not happening at your envisaged time. There is a difference between being unmarried at 25 and being unmarried at 35 or 40. There is a difference.
When you have not gotten a job six months after graduation, we can tell you to be patient but six years after graduation, the pressure becomes real. You will begin to doubt yourself.
King Saul said, “I took things into my own hands”. As much as God wants us to build a sense of personal responsibility, it must not be outside the confines of what His Word permits.
Do you know what Prophet Samuel told King Saul? “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.
1 Samuel 13:13 NIV
Please, no matter how long you have waited, do not do any foolish thing. The pain of regrets is far heavier than the pain of waiting for God’s appointed time.
Let me show you where Saul’s weakness came from: Then Saul built an altar to the Lord. This was the first altar that he built to the Lord.
I Samuel 14:35 NKJV
King Saul had no altar. His fellowship with God was poor. His daily devotion was literally non-existing. His first altar was built after he had made many mistakes.
Second, do not forget- when the devil drops thoughts (seeds) of doubt or discouragement in your heart, do not nurse the devil’s babies for him. Do not water his seed. Give him no space. Judge such strange thoughts immediately. Do not let it stay. Respond with faith. Faith is the shield that stops the fiery darts of the enemy from poisoning our hearts.
Finally, find opportunities to be a blessing to others in your waiting season. Abraham was waiting for a baby yet he found the right heart and attitude to be hospitable to total strangers. In his waiting, he got his miracle.
A bad attitude is the devil’s prison warden that keeps men in open prisons. Naaman’s bad attitude to Elisha’s instruction would have kept him a leper forever but things turned when he listened to the counsel of his servant.
When your faith is stretched, do not forget these four things:
1. Speak from fellowship and not frustration
2. Shut the devil down by not nursing his babies. Rather, give thanks to God.
3. Find opportunities to be a blessing to others.
4. Do not fall into the trap of bad attitude.
You will testify!