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Shielded, Pt. 2

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Shielded, Part 2

2 The Flaming Darts Come With God’s Permission
3 The Shield of God’s Promise
Last week, in our study in the armour of God, we came to the piece of equipment Paul describes as ‘The Shield of Faith’. Obviously, we can’t get into as much detail on any of these items, as I would like to. But after last week, I just felt that there was so much I didn’t have time to talk about - that we really needed another week on the same subject. I NEED ANOTHER WEEK ON THIS SUBJECT. So here we are, dealing for a second time with verse 16 of :
“In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one ...”.
SHIELD OF FAITH -
As we talked about, last week - this is not “Captain America’s Shield”. This is not the light, easy to handle, Vibranium shield that my favorite Superhero would carry - - - the kind of shield that you carry everywhere you go - you use in hand to hand combat - when you’re face to face, mano et mano with an enemy that you have to take care of.
The shield of a Roman Soldier was like a door. It was pretty much as big as the soldier himself and it wasn’t like the breastplate or the belt/girdle or the shoes that you put on and keep on whenever you are on duty. The shield was only used for the time in battle when the Roman legion was storming the enemy’s city.
1 WHEN YOU NEED THE SHIELD
Here’s the picture: The army is on offense - the legion advances against an enemy. The shield isn’t used in the hand to hand combat on the battlefield. But the enemy, when it starts sensing defeat, runs back to its city and through the doors of the wall that surrounds. The citizens of that city lock the doors tight and hide behind the protection of the walls that surround them. They are safe inside. The problem is that, NOW, the people inside those walls are under siege. They can’t get supplies in. They can’t get out. They’re trapped.
After they are weakened - running out of food and maybe even water … the army on the outside judges the city to be sufficiently weakened … then they storm the gates and try to climb the walls. And this is where the army on the outside is at its most vulnerable point. This is where the battle hangs in the balance.
This is where you pick up your shield. This is when you need that extra protection. Why? Because this is when the enemy on the inside has the advantage. First of all - they are fighting for their homes and families - so they will fight like they have never fought before. And second - because they have the advantage - they have the high ground. So, as you are charging the wall - the enemy is up above, shooting flaming arrows at you. Sometimes, they are just taking whole cauldrons of molten lead and pouring them over the wall down on top of you.
No matter how valiant a warrior you are … no matter how powerful you are or well trained in battlefield tactics - no matter how important all of those things are to soldiers - - none of them matter, when you have flaming darts raining down on your head. You need the SHIELD.
One of the reasons an enemy under siege shoots the flaming darts and arrows is for psychological effect - to try and create fear and chaos in you … to TERRORIZE you … to get you so confused and in pain and agony of this firefight - that you forget your training. you forget your superior force … and you turn and run.
Here is where the shield of faith becomes relevant to you, Christian. You have your daily struggles with life in this world. Every day brings spiritual battle.
PIPER QUOTE: “I feel like I have to get saved every morning. I wake up and the devil is sitting on my face.”
But there are those times - when the battle is coming more fiercely than ever. You are under attack from the devil’s flaming darts. What does that mean? What is a flaming dart?
Well, the word, ‘FIRE’ in the New Testament - is usually used to point to trials, suffering ...
What is a flaming dart? It’s when you’re going along fine in your life … never perfect, but it’s pretty okay - you are making progress towards your goals … you’re making plans and achieving
… and suddenly, the boss calls you in - your job is gone.
… the one you think you couldn’t live without, tells you, out of the blue, that they can and, actually want to live without you. Or mom and dad split up - rock your world … or your child whom you loved - imperfectly sure, but you’ve loved and taught and poured yourself into - turns their back and walks away.
...you get the news, ‘It’s malignant’,
FIERY DARTS. Slamming into you. so much more than the regular cuts and bruises of daily battle. You’re confused, you’re terrified, you don’t even know what to believe anymore and you are ready to retreat.
THAT’S WHEN YOU NEED THE SHIELD
When you think about your own life - there’s not a Christian here who doesn’t know the fiery darts. We’ve all experienced them. And when you think about your own experience - don’t your spiritual life matches with the Roman military life that Paul is using as an illustration? Don’t you find that the fiery darts usually come - not when you’re just on a march through the countryside, not when you’re just out on patrol … the flaming darts don’t come flying at your face when you’re doing the mundane ...
THAT’S WHEN YOU NEED THE SHIELD
… they usually come when you are at the enemy’s wall and about ready to smash through it. You don’t get fire poured on you until you decide - “I’m going to make sure I getting the family to church is priority #1. We’re going to get them up early, we’re going to get them fed, washed and dressed - we’re not going to fight on the way there - no matter how goofy they may be. And we’re going to get to church on time with a smile on our faces - this Christian family that we are!” Have you tried that? How’d it go?
, “… I find it to be a LAW that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”
When you decide, “I’m not going to settle for being a ‘casual Christian’. I’m not going to live a ‘lukewarm life’. I’m going to get serious about pursuing Jesus Christ with all of my strength and all of my heart - - I’m going to get involved in ministry, I’m going to be the salt and light in my circle of relationships … stand out from the crowd and be counted as Christ’s. That’s when the darts come flying.
Makes sense - as long as you’re just camped out in the field, eating your army rations - and writing letters to home from inside your tent … the Enemy doesn’t need to worry about you too much. It’s when you’re standing at the foot of his city wall, with your leg raised to kick down the gate - that’s when he needs to bring out the bows … light the arrows.
Jesus life - tells us about when Jesus began his earthly ministry. READ
He came out of the shadows, he was baptized in public - before the eyes of everyone - At that very moment, the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove and the voice of God the Father speaks from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” He’s enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit - the affirmation of the pleasure of the Father … this is a mountaintop experience - - it doesn’t get any better than this.
He came out of the shadows, he was baptized in public - before the eyes of everyone - At that very moment, the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove and the voice of God the Father speaks from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” He’s enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit - the affirmation of the pleasure of the Father … this is a mountaintop experience - - it doesn’t get any better than this.
So what’s next? , “AT ONCE the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert 40 days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals and angels attended him.” There it is - The flaming darts start raining down. You know what’s interesting? Matthew, Mark and Luke all report on Jesus’ testing in the wilderness. But Mark is the only one who mentions that He was ‘with the wild animals’. Matthew doesn’t mention it. Neither does Luke. So why does Mark point that out?
I think it’s because Mark’s first readers were Roman Christians who were being persecuted - sent to the lions. And Mark is telling them - - “You’re with the wild beasts - because you decided to get serious about following Jesus Christ. You are suffering, you are seeing your loved ones facing the lions … There is NOT a single fiery trial you face but Jesus Christ has gone there first.”
Hear this - new Christians … “I don’t understand! When I came to saving faith in Christ, I felt so close to God. But, honestly - in the last little while - I feel like He’s drifted or I’ve drifted … something’s happened. It’s harder to pray, I’m facing temptations that I’ve never faced before. Am I doing this right? Is there something wrong with me? ”
PILGRIM’S PROGRESS:
Hear this, you who are mature in Christ - but weary … It’s the Christian on the front lines that gets the attack. Most of you are here at Maranatha because you DON’T want to coast in your Christian life. You are hungry. You want to dig into God’s truth because you mean business. You know that you have one, short life to live - and you want your life to count for the Lord. “I’m getting serious”, you’ve said. And the Lord bless you for it. But watch out. The attacks are coming.
PILGRIM’S PROGRESS:
_________
PILGRIM’S PROGRESS:
Christian and his travelling companion, Hopeful, get caught in a storm - there is thunder; there’s lightning - they find shelter and finally fall asleep. What they don’t realize is that they’ve strayed onto the grounds of ‘Doubting Castle’. This is the home of ‘Giant Despair’. He finds the two asleep in the shelter. Grabs them, and locks them in the dungeon of the castle - no food and no water and no light.
Bunyan describing days of darkness; days of depression. In prison when his beloved, blind daughter dies. Bunyan knew all about days like that - when the light of God’s face seems to be gone. All you can see is darkness … - “Darkness is my only friend”. Can you identify?
In the dungeon, beneath the home of Giant Despair. Wednesday morning until Saturday night … dark.
Giant Despair has a wife, named ‘Diffidence’ - in the 17th century that would mean, ‘suspicion’ or ‘distrust’. This wife urges Giant Despair to beat Christian and Hopeful - to torture them. To show no mercy.
Giant Despair urges Christian and Hopeful to end their lives … to commit suicide. He told them that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be, forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison: "For why," said he, "should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?"
You know friends who have been in such deep, unrelenting darkness … that they have taken their own lives.
Christian and Hopeful are genuinely tempted to take their own lives. This is Bunyan, a pastor, saying that there are times when Christians end up in a place THIS DARK. In the story - Christian falls further into the temptation than Hopeful does and Hopeful ends up giving him 10 reasons why he shouldn’t give in. Why he should cling to life - when there seems to be no point.
So close to the Celestial City - but so low in the depths of despair. That’s the flaming darts.
2 WHY THE FLAMING DARTS?
2 WHY THE FLAMING DARTS?
The question that naturally comes - is ‘why’? “Why does God allow these flaming darts? The Enemy is the one shooting at you - that’s why God has given you the armour. I get that. But why does God allow the darts in the first place?”
We looked at this when we studied the book of Job. The answer is the same - because God wants your heart. All of it. He wants your trust. All of it. He wants you to learn to trust and delight in Him - when it seems there’s nothing to delight in.
You see it’s easy to trust in the promises of God, when everything is going well - smooth sailing on the sea of life. But can you really say then that you TRUST in God’s Promises? Or do you just rest in the good gifts He is giving you right now?
The Devil is trying to destroy you with his flaming arrows .... but God has a different purpose. He is refining you. You remember from the book of Job that even as Satan pulls back the bowstring to launch his flaming dart - he’s doing it with shackles on his wrist. God has him on a chain.
Satan wants you to melt in the heat; God intends for the fire to refine you and make you shine. He’s teaching you to walk by faith and not by sight.
Teaching you to walk by faith and not by sight.
So trust, Christian. When the arrows are coming at your face .... trust.
Sometimes the fire comes by physical sufferings … sometimes it comes through an all-out assault of temptation. Maybe you’re walking with the Lord … trying to be disciplined in His Word … you’re in the middle of prayer, or on the way to church, or preparing a Sunday School lesson, even .... and all of a sudden! … you’re bombarded by all sorts of thought - evil thoughts … bitterness, sexual thoughts, doubts about God .... they’re like flaming arrows bursting in your face .
You start to panic. “What’s going on?! How can I even be a Christian - - - I shouldn’t be wrestling with thoughts and temptations like THIS!” But that’s exactly what happened to Jesus in the wilderness.
Think about it - Jesus was tempted, tested in the wilderness - but He didn’t HAVE any sin in his heart. There was nothing but purity on the inside. So the temptation HAD to come from the OUTSIDE - - - Flaming Darts hurled at him.
Some people think that the closer you get to God, the longer you’re a Christian and the more serious you are - - the less temptation you’ll face.
Don’t buy it! If the perfectly pure and sinless Jesus was bombarded by tests in the wilderness - then there’s no way you should ever expect to get beyond temptation, on this side of Glory.
One Puritan put it this way. He said one of Satan’s tricks is to leave his brats at your door and try to get you to believe you fathered them.
So what do you do? You DON’T run and hide. That’s what you DON’T DO. Instead - you go straight to God and say, “Lord, you know these thoughts I’m battling. I don’t want them. Please protect me - and remind me that I’m not saved by my own purity but by the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ. Remind me that I belong to Him.”
FIRE:
FIRE:
ELISHA’S SERVANT
2 Kings chapter 6 tells about an incident in the life of Elisha, the prophet. It was a dark time in Israel’s history - the people of God were living in rebellion and increasingly suffering the consequences of their turning against God - - - as the nation became more and more vulnerable to outside attack.
In this particular situation - Elisha has been helping the king of Israel to avoid falling into a trap that the king of Syria -
Elisha and his servant are in the city of Dothan and one night, when everyone in the city was sleeping - the king of Syria sent horses and chariots and a massive army and, with great stealth, they surrounded the city.
When Elisha’s servant got up, early in the morning and stepped outside to enjoy his morning coffee - he looked - and there, right in front of his eyes, was an army with horses and chariots, in every direction - north, south, east and west. You can imagine, he spewed out his coffee in terror and ran inside, “Master! What are we going to do?!” “We have no hope!”
Elisha comforts him with these well-known and loved words of assurance: , “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then he prays that God would open the eyes of his servant - and God did just that. The servant suddenly sees, around the Assyrians - millions and millions of horses and chariots of fire - - angels of the Lord of Hosts, standing guard and ready to annihilate the Syrians.
“YOU NEED TO SEE THE POWER OF GOD” - that’s what Elisha is concerned that his servant experiences.
Did you know that centuries before this incident, in this very same spot - Dothan … before there was a city - and this was in the middle of nowhere - this is the place where Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers, who were going to kill him, but then decided to sell him into slavery, instead?
While he was down, at the bottom of that pit - what do you think that young Joseph was doing? He was a young man dedicated to the Lord - committed to following him. I’m SURE that while Joseph’s brothers were above, plotting his fate … Joseph was down below, in that dirt prison cell, PRAYING.
“Lord, PLEASE - rescue me! Please, you have authority over my brothers - You gave me the dreams of them bowing down to me … Please fulfill YOUR promise and get me out of here!”
And what happened? He wasn’t set free - not yet. He was sold into slavery.
So, where’s the rescue there - - At first glance, there seems to be no rescue there at all, does there? God was sleeping - a life of faithfulness to God so far - seemed to be payed back with absolutely nothing … but injustice. Oh, but you know how the story turns out .... Joseph was sold into slavery, to be then unjustly thrown into an Egyptian prison, so that he could interpret a couple of dreams and be summoned to Pharaoh’s palace, so that he could be made the prime minister of Egypt, so that he could save the lives of his parents and all of Egypt.
The point is that God was just as present then as He was in Elisha’s day - - the chariots of fire were at Dothan in Joseph’s day, every bit as much .... they just didn’t operate as quickly. But they were every bit as effective.
Do you see the point here? Faith is being able to see the God of power, the God of wisdom. Faith is seeing what you canNOT see with human eyes alone - - - It is seeing the reality of God’s promises
.......... even when your world seems to be falling apart.
Do you know that feeling?
and , “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will NOT abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (11) You make known to me the path of life, in your presence .... (even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death) … in your presence … (even though I’m trapped in the Dungeon beneath doubting castle) … in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
PILGRIM’S PROGRESS Part 2
Back to Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful have been in the dungeon, under Doubting Castle, since Wednesday. It’s now Friday,
“Towards evening, the Giant goes down into the dungeon, to see if his prisoners have taken his counsel - to take their own lives. But when he came there - he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly; and I think that CHRISTIAN fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the Giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best to take it or not. Now CHRISTIAN again seemed to be for doing it; but HOPEFUL made his second reply …”
He reminded him of how he fought Apollyon face to face, how he had made it through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair … and played the man at every turn. He pleads for Christian to have patience … to trust.
On Friday night, Diffidence talks her husband into taking the prisoners out into the castle yard, the next day.
On Saturday evening, Diffidence talks her husband into taking the prisoners out into the castle yard.
Giant Despair does and shows them skulls and bones of other prisoners he has held who have died in this place.
Giant Despair does and shows them skulls and bones of other prisoners he has held who have died in this place. It’s the height of the temptation - the depth of the darkness.
At this they trembled greatly; and I think that CHRISTIAN fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the Giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best to take it or not. Now CHRISTIAN again seemed to be for doing it; but HOPEFUL made his second reply …”
He reminded him of how he fought Apollyon face to face, how he had made it through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair … and played the man at every turn.
Giant Despair does and shows them skulls and bones of other prisoners he has held who have died in this place. It’s the height of the temptation - the depth of the darkness.
“These were pilgrims just like you are - they trespassed in my grounds, just like you did - and I tore them to pieces. And that’s what I’m going to do to you, inside of 10 days.”
It’s the height of the temptation - the depth of the darkness.
Giant Despair beats the two one more time, he threatens to kill them, but he doesn’t actually carry out his threat - because he too is under the sovereign control and direction of Almighty God.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight the pilgrims began to pray; and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Saturday, at midnight - the 2 prisoners start to pray.
“Towards evening, the Giant goes down into the dungeon, to see if his prisoners have taken his counsel - to take their own lives. But when he came there - he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly; and I think that CHRISTIAN fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the Giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best to take it or not. Now CHRISTIAN again seemed to be for doing it; but HOPEFUL made his second reply …”
He reminded him of how he fought Apollyon face to face, how he had made it through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair … and played the man at every turn.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight the pilgrims began to pray; and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now just before dawn:
“…Good CHRISTIAN, as one half amazed, break out in this passionate speech: "What a fool … am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom called Promise; that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle." Then said HOPEFUL, "That's good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try."
Then CHRISTIAN pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon door; whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door flew open with ease: and CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL both came out. Then he went to the outward door that led into the castle yard; and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went exceedingly hard: yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant DESPAIR:
who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the king's highway again; and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
Dark, dark section of the journey in Pilgrim’s Progress - and do you see how it ends? It ends with a key, called ‘Promise’ that was lying, the whole time, in Christian’s chest pocket.
It’s the promise of God - in His Word that He will always hear the cries of His hurting children and that Jesus Christ will never leave nor forsake His own … but in everything, will be working out their good. That’s the promise of God.
And taking up the promises of God is exactly how you pick up the SHIELD OF FAITH.
3 WIELDING THE SHIELD
ELISHA’S SERVANT
2 Kings chapter 6 tells about an incident in the life of Elisha, the prophet. It was a dark time in Israel’s history - the people of God were living in rebellion and increasingly suffering the consequences of their turning against God - - - as the nation became more and more vulnerable to outside attack.
In this particular situation - Elisha has been helping the king of Israel to avoid falling into a trap that the king of Syria -
Elisha and his servant are in the city of Dothan and one night, when everyone in the city was sleeping - the king of Syria sent horses and chariots and a massive army and, with great stealth, they surrounded the city.
When Elisha’s servant got up, early in the morning and stepped outside to enjoy his morning coffee - he looked - and there, right in front of his eyes, was an army with horses and chariots, in every direction - north, south, east and west. You can imagine, he spewed out his coffee in terror and ran inside, “Master! What are we going to do?!” “We have no hope!”
Elisha comforts him with these well-known and loved words of assurance: , “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then he prays that God would open the eyes of his servant - and God did just that. The servant suddenly sees, around the Assyrians - millions and millions of horses and chariots of fire - - angels of the Lord of Hosts, standing guard and ready to annihilate the Syrians.
“YOU NEED TO SEE THE POWER OF GOD” - that’s what Elisha is concerned that his servant experiences.
Did you know that centuries before this incident, in this very same spot - Dothan … before there was a city - and this was in the middle of nowhere - this is the place where Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers, who were going to kill him, but then decided to sell him into slavery, instead?
While he was down, at the bottom of that pit - what do you think that young Joseph was doing? He was a young man dedicated to the Lord - committed to following him. I’m SURE that while Joseph’s brothers were above, plotting his fate … Joseph was down below, in that dirt prison cell, PRAYING.
“Lord, PLEASE - rescue me! Please, you have authority over my brothers - You gave me the dreams of them bowing down to me … Please fulfill YOUR promise and get me out of here!”
And what happened? He wasn’t set free - not yet. He was sold into slavery.
So, where’s the rescue there - - At first glance, there seems to be no rescue there at all, does there? God was sleeping - a life of faithfulness to God so far - seemed to be payed back with absolutely nothing … but injustice. Oh, but you know how the story turns out .... Joseph was sold into slavery, to be then unjustly thrown into an Egyptian prison, so that he could interpret a couple of dreams and be summoned to Pharaoh’s palace, so that he could be made the prime minister of Egypt, so that he could save the lives of his parents and all of Egypt.
The point is that God was just as present then as He was in Elisha’s day - - the chariots of fire were at Dothan in Joseph’s day, every bit as much .... they just didn’t operate as quickly. But they were every bit as effective.
Do you see the point here? Faith is being able to see the God of power, the God of wisdom. Faith is seeing what you canNOT see with human eyes alone - - - It is seeing the reality of
.......... even when your world seems to be falling apart.
WIELDING THE SHIELD
I want to wind this morning up in the same place that we ended up, last week. I want to end by asking the question, “SO HOW DO I PICK UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH?” How do I wield the shield? The answer is: You learn to trust the promises of God, by hiding them in your heart. You need to learn God’s Word, Christian. Learn it by heart.
As a kid in Sunday School - remember learning memory verses. Our motivation then wasn’t always purely spiritual … often rewards given if we learned our verses - like we do here, sometimes. Remember a contest in S.S one year, different rewards available, depending on how many verses you memorized .... from a chocolate bar … all the way up to a week long trip to Camp Qwanoes on the island. The carrot was a big enough motivation that I worked day after day, memorized and memorized … and won the trip to camp. I thought that TRIP was the Reward.
But what I’ve found out, as the years have passed - that was 40 plus years ago .... The years have taught me that the real reward was having those verses stuck in here. I can’t even count the different times, the different storms that have been pounding - flaming darts flying… and one of those verse have come back to mind. God has used them to hold me - to help me hold the shield of faith over my head.
CHINESE BIBLE MEMORY
Wayne Cordeiro, pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii, went to China to help train church leaders. He quickly learned that the Chinese Christians has a lot to teach him.
Cordeiro shared the touching story in a recent sermon at his church.
Cordeiro met with 22 Christian leaders, 18 who had been previously imprisoned for their faith. This group of leaders oversaw southern China with a total of 22 million people.
Some of the leaders took a 13-hour train ride to attend the leadership meeting, which was held in a 700-square-foot hotel room that had no air conditioning. They didn’t mind.
To understand the severity that the Chinese government is putting on Christians, Cordeiro asked one of the leaders what would happen if they got caught.
“Well, you will get deported in 24 hours, and we will go to prison for three years,” they responded.
At the start of their meeting, the pastor asked the group to turn to 2 Peter but realized they did not have enough Bibles for everyone. One women handed her Bible off to another, because she had already memorized the entire passage.
“When it was done, I went over to her at a break and said, ‘You recited the whole chapter,’” he said. She replied, “In prison, you have much time in prison.”
“Don’t they confiscate the Bible?” he asked.
The would smuggle Bible passages on small pieces of paper, and pass them off to one another so everyone could memorize.
“That’s why we memorize it as fast as we can because even though they can take the paper away, they can’t take what’s hidden in your heart,” she explained.
“WE MEMORIZE GOD’S WORD AS FAST AS WE CAN - Because even though they can take the paper away, THEY CAN’T TAKE WHAT’S HIDDEN IN YOUR HEART!”
How are you doing at hiding God’s Word in your heart?
At the end of the training workshop, Cordeiro asked how he could pray for the leaders. One asked: “Could you pray that one day we could just be like you?”
At the end of the training workshop, Cordeiro asked how he could pray for the leaders. One asked: “Could you pray that one day we could just be like you?”
“I will not pray that you become like us, but I will pray that we become just like you,” Cordeiro responded.
Cordeiro shared how different Christianity is in America verses China. The group of Chinese Christian leaders had come from far away to sit on wooden floors for three days, while in America if it’s not air-conditioned, padded pews and under an hour drive no one is coming.
How do you wield the shield of faith - so the flaming darts don’t explode in your face? You memorize God’s Promises - which He’s given to you in His Word. Promises like:
, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I SHALL NOT BE SHAKEN.”
Read more at https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/christnewstoday/2019/06/chinese-christians-memorize-entire-bible-jail-cant-take-whats-hidden-heart.html#m8WjOtbWvrxWhlKd.99
and , “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will NOT abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (11) You make known to me the path of life, in your presence .... (even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death) … in your presence … (even though I’m trapped in the Dungeon beneath doubting castle) … in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
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