Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Letters From Prison

I love a good worship service! I mean the kind of worship service where the Lord goes beyond our singing and praising to shake us into our destiny. 

Imagine the kind of worship that would shake a prison. Shake it to pieces!

Imagine a jailer, a lost soul getting saved as a result! Not only his soul brought to light but every member of his household saved!

Wouldn't you love for every member of your family to be saved? What about in one day? 

A good beating preceded this worship service. 

Two bloody servants of God worshiped because they know that God is worthy!

They began to sing and praise! Because He is always worthy of our praise! 

They did not know what was about to happen...........a church was about to be born! 

Years pass..........Paul writes a letter to his brothers where the Philippian church was born.  He writes the letter while in a prison in another city. His time was short. He was facing death. His assignment here was nearly finished. 

Imagine the believers in Philippi thinking "Sing, Paul! Just sing! The Lord shook prison doors free for you once before, He can do that again! You don't have to die! He is able to rescue you once again!"

But friends that would not happen again. Paul was executed. Death came. 

You cannot threaten a Christian with heaven.......Paul was homesick for heaven. He was ready.

Yesterday I told you about a pastor who was raised from the dead. Today I will share a different story.

While I was in Sri Lanka a pastor and his wife were shot by a gunman who had been paid twenty dollars to take their lives. The gunman broke into their home while they were in bed and shot both of them many, many times. Their 18 month old child lay between them. He was not hurt only severely traumatized.

Pastor Neil died that night. His wife lay beside him dying in their blood. 

Pastor Neil had just completed a forty day fast the day before he was killed. During the fast the Lord spoke to him that his time on earth was very short. He would be coming home soon. The day after the fast he was killed. He had hinted to his wife over and over that he knew his time was short. The Lord had spoken.

Sherimy, his sweet wife finally got to go back to their home December 23 after being in the hospital since last February. She is going to pastor the church that her husband left behind. She returned on his birthday. She is girded up and ready to take over the work that her husband began. 

Sherimy drags one leg behind her, and her right arm does not work well. She still has a bullet lodged near her spine. It cannot be removed. She has a work to do..........and she is willing. Pain often grips her...........she endures. She believes that she is called.

There are times when the Lord brings a great deliverance.........He resurrects, He heals, He delivers, He restores, etc. and there are times He takes His servants home to be with Him.

I love the story of Enoch. It is one of the most amazing stories in all of scripture. The Lord just took Enoch home! They were such good friends that the Lord said, "Let's just go on to my house!" Can you imagine that kind of relationship with the Lord? I totally love the idea!

But think of the consequences of his going........one day he was just gone! I wonder what his wife thought about it, his children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. Imagine their world with such a paradigm shift! Their loved one was just GONE! That is a lot to deal with. 

The Lord wants us to pray and believe. He loves to see faith put into practice. He is not moved by our need but by our faith............Faith moves God! It does! He rewards faith! But sometimes real faith is proven when we can trust Him in death. Living here is not what it is all about. Living here is temporary for everyone. 

So when death comes into our living experience may we have grace so that others might see faith and be moved to believe!

Because He Lives!

1 comment:

Joyful said...

Cheri, thank you.

"...sometimes real faith is proven when we can trust Him in death."


Love ya,