By Faith They Overcome
We are sitting in the lounge at Cape Town International Airport, waiting to catch our flight back home. Aldo is lying stretched out on a couch, because once again we had to get up very early to be in time for our flight.
Everything went well with Aldo’s operation, and while we were in hospital this time we had the opportunity to pray with another family whose 8 year old son was in a coma. When I walked out of that young boy’s room, I couldn’t hold back the tears – they just kept on streaming over my face. No one can prepare you for a walk such as this… I am sure many of you know what I’m talking about - because life has lots of different kinds of “stops”; and no one is ever fully prepared when you come to a standstill.
I got a phone call from my brother the other day asking, “How do you cope, Retha?” You see, there is only one source of power – Abba, Jesus and Holy Spirit together with His Word. ONE WAY of overcoming: By looking into Jesus’ eyes, and not fixing your eyes on the problem.
We build ourselves up in faith by confessing the Word of God. As Aldo is lying here next to me, the i-pod is on his ears and he is listening to the Word of God. This is the only way to experience greater confidence and maturity in our Christian walk; when we eat the Word, understand the Word, and walk in the revelation of the Word of God.
The way to stay plugged into the power source is by praying. Prayer connects us to God and allows His power to flow to us in any situation. Prayer keeps us connected to God. At night I can feel the warfare that rages in the spirit realm, and then I find myself praying constantly in my spirit language. Yes, I war for Aldo – because when he is weak he can’t fight effectively for himself, and we pray and fight for him. That is what we as parents ought to do. We are told to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might (Eph. 6:10). To walk in His strength requires HUMILITY and TOTAL DEPANDENCE ON GOD.
This road of faith teaches us that I all we can do is trust and depend on God - not on our own strength.
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: That he understands and knows Me. That I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).
The Lord will fight for us – the battle ultimately belongs to Him – but He still calls us to be soldiers in His army, ready to follow Him wherever He leads. He walks in front of us. We can only depend on His Word and His Holy Spirit to know where to go. I cannot overemphasize the need for humility in this journey through life - because God gives grace to the humble! Pride is the crown of sin – and pride keeps people out of the presence of God.
Because the Lord is the strength of our life, we can overcome all fear. We have only JESUS to put our trust in. As I read the Psalms, I can see that this was the key to David’s victories. He knew how to depend on God and God alone. If you and I don’t learn how to depend on GOD ALONE, we will not be able to keep standing in trying times. Confess today that the Lord is your strength and your strong tower. Start enjoying God’s presence more than anything else. In His presence you will find joy and peace in the midst of trouble.
I see that God is training us to be warriors, and we are we are being prepared for battle in the school of God’s Holy Spirit. Step by step through the experiences and circumstances we face in our lives. Your life is just a training school for what is to come.
I have come to a new revelation of God’s heart for us, His children. We sometimes try so hard to have faith, to somehow produce it out of ourselves - but to have faith is to love God. And you will love God because you know Him, and because you know Him, you will feel save to trust Him… not matter what you face!
Abraham exercised faith – and he did that by reminding himself that he was a stranger on this earth, a pilgrim on a journey to his true home. Once you and I also have heart-knowledge about this truth, that earth is just where we pass through to eternity, we will look at lots of things differently.
Let’s take a look at all the faith warriors – do you believe with me that they really lived by faith? Yes, they did, and their faith pleased God so much that it was recorded eternally for us to learn from in Hebrews 11. But even though they had great faith, not all of them lived to see the answers to their prayers. They were not all spared pain, suffering, torture, or even death.
Hebrews 11:30-40; By Faith They Overcame:
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
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: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 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. Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 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— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us…
Some of them only saw the promise fulfilled from the distance. Then again, some received the full measure of the promise – and they used their faith to work righteousness on the earth, to gain strength in their weak moments, and to put the enemy to flight.
Maybe you are thinking: So why have faith, then? Because it is not about us, but about God! Too many people try to have faith just to get what they want from God. GOD IS GOD; and He can answer the way He wants, He can do what He wants, and He can answer when He wants. The important question is not, When God, When? It is more important for us to learn to commit every prayer to Jesus and walk this walk of faith with confidence in His love for us. He will answer you in His time and in His way! I found that God is teaching me to submit to Him completely through radical obedience, and that He teaches us by the things we suffer.
“Retha, are you willing to learn by suffering a little longer through what appears to be unanswered prayers? Can you rest in My love while patiently being trained to be My spirit bride, My warrior bride, My servant bride? Can you hold on to My promise patiently, while in your time of waiting still loving Me completely? Can you love Me more than you love My promises?”
What about you my friend – can you love God more than you love His promises?
Why do you love God? Or do you just need God?
We are back home, and I can just rejoice because Aldo is having his 18th birthday party this Friday afternoon, and I trust God that he will be fine and in good health by then. Ma’am Patrys organized the party in faith while I was in Australia. Every now and then I felt like canceling the party, then Aldo would write to me –“No Mom, don’t even think about that! Wisdom says I will be fine.”
It is just going to be some of his and our friends who are coming to bless him and enjoy the afternoon with us. I suppose it is not a normal 18thbirthday – but hey, what is normal in our lives? Only Jesus’ presence is what I call normal now a days. The rest? The rest has become abnormal to me. I am going to make a little video to put on next week to show you all how healthy he is! (Now that is faith speaking!)
Josh enjoyed his weekend away with Ma’am Patrys. Ma’am Patrys has two granddaughters the same age as Josh, and they love to play together! “How was your weekend, Zozzi?” I asked him when we got back home. “So nice Mom, but did you know that girls are much louder than boys? It is so quiet without them - I actually miss them Mom.” It was so good for me hear that he enjoyed his weekend.
Aldo is still recovering after the operation, and in the afternoon when he gets tired you can see that his body is still weak, but we can already see the great improvement in his health. He is so awake, with clear thoughts, and he even has his good sense of humor back!
I think about Aldo’s birthday, and all I want to do is celebrate life! Because life is beautiful. Let’s celebrate this great gift!
God bless your spirit.