For this update, I suggest that the reader take time and read through the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. What we read there is just the beginning. In these last moments of time before the Great Day of the Lord, we are being gifted with some of the most tremendous stories of all time.
In the history of the early church 2000 years ago, we find that people were clambering just to get into the shadow of the Apostle Peter so that they might be healed. In Acts 19:12 we find this account:
So also napkins and rags which were placed upon his robe or body were brought and placed on the sick, and the diseases were departing from them; even demons were going out. (Aramaic Bible in plain English)
The believers of the early Church were like ammunition shot out of a shotgun! They taught, preached, and walked in the power of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God! Amazing miracles were done through people who were relatively unlearned yet they walked in faith in their God. GOD met them at the point of their faith, honored that faith, and every kind of miracle imaginable was the result. Demon possessed were set free and even the dead were raised!
This update reads very much like the paragraphs above. I received a call from the killing fields of the Middle East again last week and once more I heard of the fantastic events that follow those that have the faith to believe God for the very best! Multitudes of souls were again, not only touched, but reached with the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which provides complete forgiveness and an eternity in the Presence of the very One who paid the price for this forgiveness of sins and eternal freedom.
The miraculous story I want to share this week has to do with the widows, which we have affectionately named “The Widow Sisterhood”. These brave and committed women have taken on a task in the Name of the LORD that very few others would even consider. They have been combing through the streets that are the battlefields, looking for anyone that they can still pray for. In the process of doing this, they see some of the most gruesome things, yet they persist in their God-given task. As they turn body after body over to see if there is any life, they find those that are still alive. The first thing they do is ask for permission to pray for the wounded and dying. They then ask if they want to know that they are prepared for the eternity that they are about to enter. They have yet to be turned down for such a prayer! Because these widows are pretty well known now, most people know that they are not Muslim. They are now Christian evangelists doing their best to intervene in any situation that God brings them across. The prayers of these brave women have had incredible results!
As readers might already know, this group of widows is now numbering at least 116, including Mofidah their leader. These women have also gone from house to house, tent to tent, depending on their locations, and sharing the message of the Messiah Jesus with anyone that will listen. Between all of these widows, they have also had thousands of opportunities to pray for the injured or sick. They have now seen hundreds upon hundreds of people healed of all sorts of injuries and sicknesses.
Some of you might remember the account of the four Sheikhs whose legs had been badly damaged with multiple fractures and infected wounds from gunshots. These men had requested for the widow Mafidah to come and pray for them because the doctors had given them no hope other than amputating both legs of all four men. The gangrene was taking over and there was no other choice. As the story played out, God spoke quite clearly to Mofidah to go ahead and pray for these men, but He had some odd instructions for her to follow. First of all, this healing would take a full three days. She was also instructed to ask for a bowl of water, a jar of cooking oil, some flour, the means to start a fire, and four small sturdy sticks. As per God’s specific instructions, she then mixed the elements together in the bowl, adding some dust from the floor as God also instructed her to do. Then, in front of the four injured men, another 12 sheikhs, as well as a number of onlookers, she proceeded with what God had told her to do. The entire account can be found in the blog archives, August 7, 2014, HOB category.
A unique thing has been happening through the ministry of these widows. God has been instructing them to use the same prayer tactic that they used with the four sheikhs in August when they find dead and dying victims of the battles in the region. Because it is by instruction of the Lord Himself and not just a formula, the results have been beyond imagining! Not only have there been an enormous number of people healed of horrible war injuries, but a growing number have now also been raised from the dead!
For some of us from the West, this may sound like a well-crafted “story”, or it may sound more like a fairy tale, but not so! In one of the most desperate and brutal areas of the world, God is moving in great power to save and heal. People living in these desperate circumstances have to trust and believe God. It is all or nothing, because there is not a Plan B available! When we as people really get desperate for God, we shift into another gear, and God begins to move on our behalf. This is exactly what is happening with the persecuted Church in the Mideast today!
The question for us today is this: Will we allow ourselves to become desperate for God without our whole world having to fall apart around us first? Will Christians in America seek God with the earnestness necessary today, before our “safe”, materialistic, world falls apart? My prayer is that more and more of God’s people wake up and recognize the time we arare all in. God will respond to anyone who will approach Him with humility and repentance. Nothing less will suffice. Psalms 34:15-19 reads:
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil. To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. (NKJV)
All of us have difficulties in life–some more than others, but God never loses track of those who belong to Him. The Scripture passage above emphasizes the need for a “contrite” heart. The word contrite is defined: remorseful, repentant, regretful, sorry, conscience-stricken, ashamed, etc. And one cannot be contrite without a healthy dose of humility.
God gives us another key to God’s heart. I find it in Jeremiah 6:16:
Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls…”
We live in a time when we must search out the ancient paths, those that Almighty God laid out for us to follow. Nothing less will bring us to the relationship we must have in our God in these last fleeting moments of time before the end of this age.
Shalom, and God Bless!