Are You Missing Out?

by Kiplin Batchelor

“But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:4-6).

Judas said a good thing! Feeding the poor is kind, noble and praiseworthy. Who would not be impressed by such thoughtfulness for the less fortunate in society? To an undiscerning person, Judas is—at this time—a champion of social justice and a lover of the poor. However Jesus, Who always sees much deeper than what worshippers advertise, saw the hidden deceit behind Judas’ beautiful facade. Judas spoke with apparent compassion, but the truth is, while Mary bowed before Jesus in vulnerable and selfless worship, Jesus’ treasurer stood tall in self!

We often don’t think of a worship setting for something like this, but how many times do people say beautiful words that are intended to impress others, so they are perceived to be more than they really are? Judas could have kept silent as a mere observer in the room, but he opened his mouth and revealed his hidden deceit in the midst of worship. He not only wanted money, he wanted to appear good to Jesus and the influential crowd of Pharisees at dinner.

Judas is a humbling reminder that the stench of a wrong motive can be present while the fragrance of worship fills a room; Judas is a timely reminder that a worshipper’s heart can shift from Jesus the Divine treasure and be preoccupied with earthly Roman coins while doing ministry. He is a reminder that one’s proximity to Jesus doesn’t guarantee or equate to intimacy—we can be in the same room with Jesus, but our heart can be a thousand miles away. The difference between Mary and Judas is the difference between impressing people or loving Jesus, and all true worshippers must crossover to loving, if worship is truly worship.

Judas cheapens an opportunity to worship! Although his words may have impressed those who were close enough, it must have been disheartening for Jesus to hear his own inner-circle-follower market a great idea and a lovely self image—yet, all the while concealing theft, misappropriation of funds and betrayal. Unfortunately, Judas missed an incredible moment to join Mary in selfless worship at Jesus’ feet! Instead of being a participant who captures and seizes a moment in extravagant worship, he became a subtle, undermining critic! Like Michal who labeled David’s worshipful dance as undignified, Judas labeled Mary’s worshipful gift as a waste. What led him to think Jesus wasn’t worth a year’s salary? I have come to realize that those who struggle with God’s worth always struggle with worship. These are always the first to criticize and attack those who pour out all at the feet of His Majesty.

What is equally powerful in this story and many others in the Bible is that Jesus is not afraid, offended or incensed at His children displaying varying expressions in worship. The God of simple and quiet reflective moments in silence before Him is also the God of the exuberant and passionate worship. When He told the religious group to leave Mary alone, He allowed her to be unconventional, undignified, unrehearsed and unperturbed by her elitist environment, her terrible past and by the propriety that filled the room. Real worship kills self image, and it must do so, or we will see ourselves more than we see Him when He shows up.

Simon the Pharisee entertained Jesus over a meal, and Judas was distracted, but Mary bypassed all the pretentiousness and superficiality at the dinner and made worship her priority. One man invited Jesus to a meal, but one woman worshipped Him at that meal — there is a big difference! We must go beyond entertaining Jesus in our lovely auditoriums and actually worship without thinking our passionate expressions are too much. Mary saw her opportunity to worship Jesus, and she took it. Will you do the same? Don’t miss out on your opportunity to worship Him!

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CFNI And The Lindsay Legacy

by Dennis Lindsay

CFNʼS TWELVE FOUNDATIONAL PILLARS

When Joshua was about to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land, Moses gave him a directive. “When you cross over, take twelve stones and inscribe upon them the rules for blessings and curses. And when the next generation asks the question, ‘What is this memorial all about?’ explain the blessings and the curses” (Deuteronomy 27:2-4).

This is what I believe legacy is all about, and why it is strategically significant to pass on God’s initiative to the next generation. This is why we have established the 12 foundational pillars at CFN as a memorial of remembrance for the staff, the student body and all the visitors who come to CFN. Through my parents, God founded the 12 foundational pillars that have guided us and provided the blessings of the Lord on this ministry.

“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about His power and His mighty wonders” (Psalm 78:4).

SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE

Spiritual inheritance is given freely to those who have withstood the trials and tests of adversity, put in the time, and paid the price. It is freely given by one’s spiritual forefathers. This means it is not to be spent on ourselves; it is given for building God’s Kingdom. We are to take what is here and pass it on to the next generation. Revivals often die and moves of God dwindle to nothing because they become “fatherless” or are not stewarded sufficiently.

WONDER: THE FOOLISH PLAN OF GOD

Consider the Christmas story. Imagine Joseph, the husband of Mary, saying: “Why me, a simple man of trade, and why Mary? She’s just an ordinary girl—and a baby in a stable? I’m not one to second guess what angels have said, but this seems strange.”

It also seems strange that Jesus grows up in obscurity, finally comes out of the “shadows” at age 30, gathers a mixed-bag of followers, who desert Him at the moment of His greatest need. He’s buried by a rich friend after his battered body perishes. A rag-tag group of frightened men and a few weeping women are his closest friends. Bizarre! Later, after rising from the grave, He commissions this crew of misfits to take the message of His life, death and resurrection to the whole world. They are called to live sacrificially and overcome evil with good. Yet, they turned the world upside down. This story seems so unbelievable, like so many of our own.

A WOMAN TO LEAD FOR 4O YEARS

Many were filled with wonder and apprehension when God chose my mom to lead Christ For The Nations. She carried the torch for 40 years after Dad suddenly and unexpectedly graduated to Heaven. With a German, Lutheran background, a Foursquare college degree and a Pentecostal, Texas heart, she learned to bark orders—kind of like when Jesus’ mother gave orders at the wedding in Cana. Yet, Mom had a grandmother’s heart and a heart after God. As a result of her dynamic management and leadership, the ministry took on exponential growth.

WHY ME, LORD?

Today, one might ask, “Why me, Lord? Why do you love me, Lord, and how could you ever use me to touch others?” When I think about myself in my early years of becoming President of Christ For The Nations, I am reminded that I had no formal training for this position. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, saying, “I know you don’t have any experience, but as long as you remember that, I will use you, bless you and provide a team of individuals who can lift and hold your arms up. I am filled with wonder why God selected me—the youngest of three children—to carry on this ministry.

The prophetic words continue to confirm my appointment in light of my doubts. Yes, I am filled with wonder, but I know it is just for a season, a short assignment. I serve while watching affirmations unfold that God is even preparing my three children for appointments, if they choose to accept.

PASSING THE TORCH

I’m blessed. I have an honored and respected family name. I have been handed a well-established ministry. All my life I have been exposed to the power of the supernatural. My parents worked laboriously and sacrificially. My inheritance came at no cost to me. Having served as President and CEO of Christ For The Nations for over 30 years, I realize I have been given the opportunity to bless future students and equip them for the ministry. I have been mentored and trained by a number of elders, and a General in the Lord’s Army—my mom.

Now, I am currently mentoring my children who have the legacy, heritage and call to continue serving in the ministry my parents founded. All three of my children were born and raised on CFN’s campus, graduated from CFNI and worked for the ministry as they were growing up. I believe I’m preparing them for leadership roles when the appointed time arrives, and they follow in their grandparents’ footsteps.

My oldest daughter, Missy, with a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.), has a prophetic gifting and teaches with me. Hawni, my second daughter, has her Master of International Business Administration (MBA) and has the gift of management, much like my mom and my wife’s mom, who established our campus bookstore and managed it for 25 years. Hawni helps us strategize and organize key events as she has time. Our son, Golan, with his Master of Business (MBA), has become CFN’s Chief Operation Officer. After 30+ years and 101 weekly logistical meetings, I have been partially replaced by Golan. His newlywed spouse—Krissia (a CFNI grad)—has her degree in law and hopefully will be assisting with legal issues. They have given Ginger and me our first grandchild. She was named after Mom, Freeda.

It is interesting to see the strengths I believe God has given each of my children. Missy’s is righteousness and holiness, Hawni’s is excellence and professionalism and Golan’s is justice and compassion, and with his wife, Krissia, involved in law, we have a double dose of justice, along with her giftings.

Now, I am blessed to spend more time with God—praying, writing, teaching and reading His Word. My hobby of Creation Science is blossoming unimaginably. That is what I remember my dad doing every time I went into his room—praying, reading, writing another book or preparing a message.

Legacy is passing the baton to the next generation. Building a bridge for these younger warriors will enable them to carry on the ministry, to impact their generation for the cause of Christ. I look forward to what God will continue to do at Christ For The Nations with the next generation of leaders.

“Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren” (Proverbs 13:22).

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Melody of Love

CFNI 42nd Live Worship Recording

by Maria Erokhina

Music is powerful. It accompanies us through joy and pain, victories and loss. Music can reopen old wounds and yet bring healing, it can kindle a flame in one’s heart and cause tears to flow, drive a soul toward hopelessness or fill it with hope—all within moments.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God in your midst … He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Have you ever heard God sing to you? On February 10, Christ For The Nations captured this unique, pure, beautiful sound coming from the Father’s heart in our new worship album, Melody of Love.

CFNI starts every day with worship. During our morning chapels, countless students have had life-changing encounters with God. These encounters revealed their destinies and lit a fire in them that they now spread in the nations by serving as missionaries, church-planters, standing up for justice and being the voice of truth in the marketplace. Phil King, CFNI student and one of the worship leaders featured on Melody of Love, said, “This live recording was an extension of what we experience every day in chapel. The whole reason we hit ‘record’ was to capture it and send it out.”

Melody of Love is a compilation of 13 songs, most of which were written by CFNI students and alumni. Gabriel Allred, Phil King, Maddy Hunt, Jordan Stewart, Hannah Holland, Robert Quintana, Faith Schneider, Kiplin Batchelor, Stephen Azan and others, in cooperation with a featured guest, Leeland Mooring, brought this project to life. The creators of the album said that it took a miracle to prepare for the recording in a short period of time. They recall, “We would often sit down together in faith and pray, ‘Lord, we’re recording in a few weeks. We need songs.’” Time after time, God gave them words and melodies.

The title track, Melody of Love, was birthed as a result of such prayers and collaboration. It started with the line that Leeland played: “I hear you singing over me a melody of love.” Maddy Hunt, David Moore and Phil King contributed their ideas and this beautiful anthem about God’s unstoppable affection for His children was created. It starts with the words, “You have searched and known me, set Your eyes upon me. I am undone …”

Another song, Burn Spirit of God, that quickly became a favorite among CFNI students, was literally born in the shower. Phil King was getting ready to go to bed after a long day, when God dropped into his heart, “Burn Spirit of God, come fill my lungs with praise. Burn Fire of God, come seal my heart with a flame.” This song talks about offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to God and placing our lives on the altar where His fire sets us ablaze.

Incredible Love was written by two friends, Kiplin Batchelor and Stephen Azan, former CFNI students who now serve on staff at Christ For The Nations. They prayed and asked the Lord to give them a revelation of His love. Kiplin recalls, “As we were exploring the theme of love in the Bible, we were astonished to realize that love had existed before Adam and Eve met in the garden. We exist because the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Who are love, said, ‘Let’s create …’ That’s where these lyrics came from—‘Before the universe was formed, the Trinity sat enthroned in Love … Love has always been, and love will always be …’

This song carries the message of God’s incredible, selfless, timeless love that is not defined by gender, skin color, the level of your education or social status. This love gave His life for you, and it still pursues you, even when you’re at your worst.”

Some of the songs in this album came from deep places of overcoming and finding healing. Jordan Stewart was raised in a Christian home and was faithfully serving God, while keeping a terrible secret that impacted every part of her life. At five years old she was molested in the school bathroom. She confesses, “I was broken and depressed. I even contemplated suicide a few times.”

One night Jordan decided to get honest with the Lord about the things that caused her so much pain. Right then she felt an urge to go to the piano, and Take Us In came forth. God used this song to speak healing and restoration over her life. Over the years, Jordan has seen it minister to many people, helping them experience salvation and deliverance.

Nine years ago, I was singing Take Us In from brokenness. Now I’m singing it from freedom. This song reminds me of what God has done for me. It says, “You have broken the divide and You silence every lie, You trade our shame for robes of white.”

The two themes in this album are God’s passionate pursuit of our hearts and our response to His call. Both are tied closely together—when we taste God’s goodness, “Fill me, send me, I’ll go” becomes our willful choice and a joyful response.

Phil King says, “When I was a little kid, I used to hold the globe and weep over it, saying, ‘God, use me to touch the nations of the Earth.’ I felt such a strong, supernatural, fiery love for them. On the night of the recording, when we sang all these songs about going out and touching the nations, laying down our lives for the Great Commission, it was amazing to see CFNI students coming from over 60 countries to worship together. It was a dream come true.”

Christ For The Nations has been recording live worship albums for 42 years. Our songs have been translated and sung all around the world, touching thousands of lives and bringing God’s presence into countless homes, churches, cities and countries.

As you listen to Melody of Love, we pray that your heart will be open to hear the love song that’s coming from the Father’s heart.

To purchase Melody of Love, go to cfnmusic.com/42.

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CFNI – My Spiritual “Boot Camp”

By Peter Tsukahira

In the summer of 1974, I hitchhiked from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the campus of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, to attend a session that was taught by the well-known Bible teacher, Derek Prince. I had heard that his teachings were powerful, but arrived there not knowing what to expect. The meeting hall was packed with hundreds of people, and Brother Derek, as he was called, was speaking with passion about “deliverance”—identifying demonic forces and casting them out.

Spring 1975 – Peter celebrating Passover with a seder (festive meal) with his fellow students

Clearly an Englishman, Derek Prince spoke with unusual conviction and authority. As a new believer, I had never heard anything like this before.  Soon I realized that I needed deliverance.  Some young people from the staff began to pray for me. Then I was taken into a carpeted room that was already full of people who were praying out loud. There was a sense of urgency and authority, as well as love and acceptance in the room.  The staff members put their hands on my head and prayed in bold voices, rebuking evil spirits and bondages that had formed in the years when I was immersed in the world of drugs and darkness. Soon, a deep sense of peace came over me.

After that experience, I knew I was supposed to attend CFNI. My wife and I said goodbye to our friends in Santa Fe and drove an old 1956 Volkswagen “Beetle” as far as Wichita Falls, Texas, where it died by the side of the road. We continued in a rented car that took the last of our cash. Friends had blessed us with a going away gift—a money order worth $250. However, soon after arriving to the school, it was accidentally put in the washing machine and destroyed. My two years at CFNI were not off to a good start!

The classes at the school were stimulating; I devoured the Bible-related studies and read chapters of the Bible every day. I knew that I was growing in faith, but it was a surprisingly difficult path. The main problem was inside of me. I felt like I was on a spiritual and emotional rollercoaster. Some of the time, I felt strong and capable of obeying the Lord. The rest of the time, I was failing. Although I was free of demonic control, my thoughts, will and emotions were still not yielded completely to God.

In addition to dealing with impure thoughts and ungodly cravings, I realized that the deeper, underlying motives of my heart were corrupt. I tried fasting to gain control over my inner life, but soon I found that even if I forced myself to stop eating, later I would sneak into the snack area and gorge myself on junk food. Things were going from bad to worse, and I wondered how long it would be before I gave up. I knew that leaving the school meant leaving the life God had for me. I was trapped and sinking.

Spring 1976 – CFNI graduation

At this very low point, two things helped me to persevere and survive spiritually. One was having believing friends and mentors, and the other was finding useful work. Dennis Lindsay, the son of CFNI’s founders, was one such friend. In spite of our hugely different backgrounds, he and his wife Ginger reached out to me. Their lives of faith, though not easy, seemed natural and unforced. They enjoyed doing fun activities in addition to their ministry work. Just being with them was an encouragement and a much needed “reality check.” I couldn’t understand how in my rough, unpolished state someone like Dennis could see anything valuable in me. One day, he told me that he let God choose his friends for him. I didn’t fully realize it then, but through our friendship, Dennis was passing on to me valuable truths about God’s Kingdom.

Another friend, a fellow student also named Dennis, helped me in quite another way. Since I had so little money, I was always looking for work. I tried selling Amway products from door to door, but quickly realized that I couldn’t succeed as a salesman. At that time Dennis came to me and said, “God told me to give you my job.” He was a commercial teller at the Guarantee Bank across from CFNI, and I was hired on the strength of his recommendation. I went to my classes in the morning and worked every afternoon. That work raised my self-esteem and helped me become more disciplined in my daily life.

John Garlock, who was CFNI’s Director at that time, heard that I had taught Japanese classes for beginners at my university and gave me an opportunity to teach Japanese to anyone interested at CFNI. A handful of students showed up, but one of them, a nineteen-year-old student named Bill Wood, showed unusual zeal. Later, he moved to Japan, married a Japanese woman, and today he is a respected teacher who has written numerous books in Japanese.

Peter with some of the African refugees that the ministry shelters

While teaching Japanese at CFNI, I began to experience a special kind of joy from the Lord. My spiritual gift of teaching was beginning to unfold; that gift continued to emerge in the years that followed. I realized that this is what I am called to do in Israel and many other nations around the world.

My two years at CFNI began the process of shaping me into the person I was created to be. It was like a spiritual “boot camp,” where I was not only learning the Bible, but also discipline and other difficult but valuable lessons in life. By the end of my time there, I felt that I was strong enough to walk out a lifestyle of faith on my own and help others in their journeys with the Lord.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Responding to God’s call, Peter moved to Israel with his family in 1987. There he co-founded Kehilat HaCarmel, an Israeli Messianic congregation, and became the director of the Or HaCarmel Ministry Center, located on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel. The vision of this ministry is to build the local, indigenous believing community by reaching out to Jews and Arabs, serving the poor, giving refuge to women and children and helping to transform the lives of those with addictions.

Peter’s international teaching ministry has impacted many around the world with an understanding of God’s heart and purposes for Israel. He is the author of God’s Tsunami: Understanding Israel and End-time Prophecy, My Father’s Business: Guidelines for Ministry in the Marketplace and Culture of the Kingdom.

Peter overlooking the Jezreel Valley where Megiddo (Armageddon) is located

He says, “Be ready to do whatever the Lord says to you. Launch out when you are young and trust Him. If you are married, pray together about every major decision, and do not make your move until you both are in agreement with God. Your gift from God will make a way for you, and He will cause all things to work together for good when you love Him and respond in faith to His call and purpose.”

To learn more about Peter and his ministry, visit

carmelcongregation.org.il,

mountcarmelsom.com,

godstsunami.com

cultureofthekingdom.com.

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CFN Foundational Pillars: Integrity

By Dennis Lindsay and Missy Lindsay

WHAT IS YOUR RULER FOR MEASURING A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

MOM—HOW CRAZY CAN YOU BE?

I remember one weekend before Christmas, when I was about 12, I went shopping with Mom at a large department store, where she purchased a number of presents. The following week, Mom read in the Dallas newspaper that a robbery had taken place where we had been shopping. The manager made an appeal to customers, who had made purchases on the day of the robbery, to write another check to cover their purchases.

Mom looked at her checkbook and the receipts, realizing that her purchases were made on the day of the robbery. She wrote another check and mailed it to the department store. I thought, “Why would Mom do such a foolish thing because there was no way she would ever be accused.” However, I eventually learned that integrity is the same in the dark as it is in the light.

Much later in life, the IRS personally audited Mom, questioning her annual tax return because she had virtually given away her entire year ’s salary to charitable causes, living only on her Social Security. After several months of government scrutiny, Mom was exonerated from all suspicion of misrepresentation.

MY DAUGHTER MISSY’S MEMORY

“One of the great memories I have of Grandmother was when she called me over to her apartment to pray a blessing of impartation over me—she spoke of integrity. She said, ‘We pray, Lord, that you will set an example through her of her keeping her word. Let her word be her bond, so when she makes appointments, Lord, help her to steadfastly keep them.’ Since then I have always sought to keep my word, sometimes to a fault. I love what King David says about integrity. ’He who swears to his own hurt and does not change it.’ Integrity never changes. Grandmother wrote, on a yellow piece of lined paper, the very last words my father would ever hear from her, “Son, leave a legacy that no man can contest.” In other words, live your life above reproach. ‘For a good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold’” (Proverbs 22:1).

HOW DO YOU MEASURE A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

Is greatness based on a miracle ministry, with signs and wonders following, or is it dependent on those who lead large, prosperous Christian organizations, or those who have worldwide TV networks?

When we witness one who is anointed with power, authority and the gifts of the supernatural in operation, we tend to think that is all it takes. Jesus reminds us, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). The bottom line is greatness in God’s eyes is not just based on being one who performs miracles.

JESUS PROVIDES THE RULER FOR GREATNESS

In Matthew 7:20, Christ winds up His Sermon on the Mount by warning individuals about being caught up in the “glory” of the miracle workers, calling them false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He then gives us the “RULER” for discerning who is great and who is phony — “. . . by their fruits you shall know them.” He didn’t say, “Look for great signs, wonders, miracles or the spectacular.” He simply said that men are to be judged by who they are, not what they do. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign . . . ” (Matthew 12:39).

This does not diminish the miracles of God or the gifts of the Spirit. However, the Bible never says we are to gauge a man’s spirituality, his greatness or sincerity by these power gifts. Miracles can be mimicked; gifts can be imitated. History is filled with these cases. Integrity and the fruit of the Spirit can never be imitated. The fruit crowds out all selfish ambition. Gifts are external, but fruit is internal. The basic test for any ministry is not the gifts that are in operation, but the character of the individual and the fruit in their life.

BE FRUITFUL

Five times God tells us to be fruitful in John l5:2, 4, 5, 8 and 16, with the last verse saying, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” Fruitfulness here means character; furthermore, the seed comes from the fruit—not the breadth of the ministry, but the depth of the ministry.

HOW TO BE FRUITFUL

There are two basic principles for growing fruit in one’s life that are outlined in John 15. First, abiding in the vine — staying in the Word. There has to be a reciprocal relationship. The vine is dependent on the fruit, and the fruit is dependent upon the vine. Second, there must be pruning. This develops good fruit and is accomplished by obeying the Word of God. Discipline is better known as pruning. If we do not prune or discipline ourselves, then God will help us (Psalm 119:67, 71).

WHAT KIND OF A LEADER IS GOD SEEKING?

God seeks leaders with godly character. There must not be compromise. I’ve learned that there are three essential elements for becoming a great spiritual leader: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. If you don’t have integrity, the other two will strangle you. Success is based solely on God’s assignment for you.

Gifts of the supernatural are not given because of one’s character, maturity or experience. Gifts are given because of one’s faith. There must be a balance between integrity and the gifts — without integrity it’s just a matter of time before you sink. “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall” (Proverbs 10:9).

A CFNI PILLAR:  INTEGRITY

Dad and Mom taught us many lessons about integrity from the Word of God. My dad founded the ministry of Christ For The Nations on the principles of integrity. Dad’s integrity was that of promoting other ministries, rather than his own. He gave the platform to others, becoming the megaphone of their messages and miracles in the monthly magazine he published, The Voice of Healing, now The Voice.

As one secular author, David Edwin Harrell, Jr., in his book All Things Are Possible, describes,

“Lindsay was particularly wary of those evangelists who seemed to have an inordinate ambition to magnify themselves and those who seemed to hope to amass money for personal comfort. Lindsay clearly saw and certainly expressed more openly than any other man the destructive and divisive excesses in the movement.”

Integrity was the key factor in Dad’s influence on my life — not wealth, fame or power, but the Word of God and obedience to His will. He treated others with dignity and respect, no matter their gender, color or culture. His life was a life of integrity and fruit of the Spirit. This is the legacy he left to his family, to the Christ For The Nations ministry and to the world.

 

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God Still Changes Lives

By Stephen Samuel

Is there a place on Earth that fosters the presence of God? Is there a place where Jesus still appears? Is there a summer camp that can change the heart of a troubled youth? At Christ For The Nations, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “YES!” In this article, Stephen Samuel shares his testimony of an encounter with Jesus at Youth For The Nations summer camp (YFN), showing the impact of providing a place for God to move and transform lives.

A Family Crisis

My family moved to the USA from South India in the 1980s. My brother and I learned English quickly, but it took us years to adapt to a drastically different culture. That reality hit me sharply while attending public school. I was the poorest, shortest and shyest kid in my class, so I quickly became an object of ridicule, and most of my classmates avoided me as if I had a communicable disease.

At that time, my little sister Peace was born. She suffered from many health problems and fought hard for her life. We enjoyed her laughs, her cute smile and celebrated her victories in many medical battles. However, the doctors’ predictions were not promising, and our only hope was God healing her.

One day, when I was eight years old, my mother ’s piercing scream woke me up early in the morning. I jolted out of my bunk bed, and my brother and I rushed into her room. We found her wailing with grief as Dad hung up the phone. Trembling, we heard the devastating news that our 3-year-old little sister had died a few moments earlier. The four of us knelt around my parents’ bed and did the only thing we knew to do. We prayed. We pleaded. We cried. Then we hurriedly dressed and rushed to the hospital.

When I walked into the hospital room, I saw Peace. I tried to convince myself that she was only asleep. I placed my little fingers on her cold forehead and was struck with the realization that she was gone. I cried all the tears that I had on the two-hour drive back home; the wells of sorrow erupted deep within me. I prayed to the only One Who could save my sister ’s life, but He did not answer.

A week later, I was back in school. I walked up the long stairway toward my class. I didn’t dare lift up my head; it seemed like everybody was staring at me. The teacher met me at the door. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry, Stephen.” That simple act of kindness was too much for me. I turned and rushed down the hallway into the boy’s bathroom. Crouched in the corner, I cried bitterly, asking the questions that come with every tragedy: “What kind of God would allow this to happen to me? Wasn’t He supposed to keep us from evil?”

Slowly, time muted the anguish, but my wound grew deeper and evolved from grief to anger. There was a deep rage seething inside of me toward one person — God. I was broken and feared relationships. I was afraid to be hurt again and resolved never to open my heart. My solitude consumed me for years. I dressed in dark colors and spoke very little. I struggled at school; I felt like I didn’t measure up to my classmates.

The harshness of racism in our community only affirmed the pain in my heart. We would often find our front yard littered with trash — beer bottles, fast food remnants, dirty diapers and other filthy things. I had no idea why people would do that to us. Then a neighbor told me, “It’s because ya’ll ain’t white.” I also saw church people do malicious things to my parents, who were pastors. Church splits, betrayals, blatant manipulation . . . time after time these incidents were killing the little hope I had of happiness.

My dad was a hard worker, and from an early age my brother and I were buried in work. From studying to cutting grass, to menial chores around the house or church, I worked hard to keep my mind busy. In my free time, I would find a dark corner in my room and simply sit there pondering the great sorrow within me. Suicide became a common thought. My parents, themselves burdened with the loss of a child and feeling the weight of poverty and the responsibility of running a church, noticed that something was wrong and tried to help me as much as they could. But it wasn’t enough. None of us knew what to do.

The Week That Changed Everything

In 1994, I turned 16. That summer, a small youth group invited me to a camp called Youth For The Nations. There were cute girls in that youth group, and that was the only reason I agreed to join them, never realizing that this one week would transform my life.

After arriving on the campus of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, the first activity was the evening worship service. The speaker that night was Greg Johnson, a man I had never heard of before, but I was pretty sure he was going to preach one of a thousand sermons that I had already heard. So I proceeded to do what I normally did during church — daydream, count the squares on the tiled ceiling, and ask myself, “Why am I here?”

Then Greg said something that captured my attention: “Listen to me, some of you have been fighting suicide, you have fought God, and you are angry with Him.” He went on to fully describe the depression and anger in my soul. I gazed at him critically, resisting his words. I thought, “He doesn’t know what I have gone through!”

“But God sees you,” Greg replied as if reading my mind. Then he called everyone who wanted to “surrender to Jesus” to come forward. I had heard that call a hundred times before. I didn’t move. Greg extended the call again. Not really understanding what I was doing or why, I slowly made my way to the front. When I reached the platform, I called out for the first time in years, “Jesus, if You really want me, I have nothing to give to You.”

With that confession, I knelt down under a heavy weight of dark oppression. That moment, I felt my heart’s pain intensifying. The loss, the betrayal, the wounds . . . all those negative feelings were overpowering. Then, suddenly, a powerful sensation of heat, like a blanket, fell on my back. The weight of the darkness dissipated under an unfamiliar healing touch, and I slowly lifted my head to find that I was bowing at the feet of Jesus.

“Stephen,” He said, “Before you were formed in your mother ’s womb, I called you and ordained you a prophet to the nation. Follow Me.” In that moment, He dispelled every shadow of fear. My body began to tremble, and tears poured down my face for what seemed like hours. I realized that the Jesus standing in front of me was not the distant, indifferent god that I had so bitterly accused in my thoughts. When I saw Him, I knew that He was everything I’d ever needed. When I rose up from that place of prayer, I felt alive again, as if I had awakened from years of hopelessness. The horrible season of pain and fear ended, and a new journey began as I stepped out of the darkness and into His light.

Where Is He Now?

Stephen has a heart for missions that was planted in him at YFN. In addition to leading numerous mission trips overseas, he serves as a Campus Pastor with Chi Alpha Ministries at Lamar University and is the Missions Director at Cathedral Church in Beaumont, Texas. Over the years, he has brought many teens to YFN to experience the same life-changing presence of God that transformed him.

To  learn more  about CFNI’s summer youth camps, go to youthforthenations.com.

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Celebración del XV aniversario de Spanish YFN

Por Hugo Martínez

Cómo se  inició Spanish YFN

Un verano caluroso de la ciudad de Dallas, Texas, conducía mi auto dentro del campus del Instituto, cuando me detuvo una gran cantidad de jóvenes, que salían del auditorio principal, después de una de las actividades de YFN en inglés. Mi esposa y yo, junto a mis dos hijos, habíamos llegado a CFNI en 1998. En ese momento, daba clases en el programa en español que ofrece el Instituto. Conmovido al ver a tantos jóvenes de todas partes de los Estados Unidos; maravillados de vivir esa experiencia con Dios durante aquella semana en el campamento de YFN, inmediatamente, el Espíritu Santo me dirigió a orar: “¡Señor, un campamento de YFN para los hispanos! No hay nada igual en Latinoamérica.” Nunca me imaginé que el Señor contestaría mi oración a las dos semanas, cuando recibí una invitación del Director Ejecutivo del Instituto, Dr. Larry Hill, quien me habló del deseo de nuestra Fundadora y del Consejo Directivo de iniciar un YFN en español. Así fue que aceptamos el reto de ser los directores del primer campamento de YFN en Español (SYFN) en 2001. El resto es historia.

Qué es  Spanish YFN

Es un campamento compuesto por diferentes actividades, con el objetivo principal de que los jóvenes y los líderes experimenten un encuentro personal con Jesús en los tiempos de alabanza, adoración, oración, conferencias y ministración personal, donde el Espíritu Santo los sane física y espiritualmente y los haga libres de las ataduras con la que muchos de ellos vienen. Durante el campamento de SYFN se entrena y capacita a los líderes y pastores de jóvenes por separado en lo que llamamos IGNITE. De igual forma, reciben conferencias y ministración sobre liderazgo juvenil, problemática actual de los jóvenes, matrimonios y perseverancia en el ministerio.

SYFN & CFNI

Cuando los jóvenes que asisten al campamento, ven cómo los estudiantes del Instituto hacen su credito de verano y sirven durante toda la semana en sus diferentes áreas ministeriales, sus vidas son tocadas y transformadas. Dios provoca en ellos el deseo de asistir al Instituto para entrenarse y capacitarse para ir a las naciones o, en todo caso; regresar a servir en sus iglesias locales. Muchos de ellos tienen su primer contacto con CFNI cuando asisten a SYFN.

Miguel Santos, 22 años, Austin, Texas

Mi primera experiencia en Spanish YFN fue en 2008 cuando tenía 13 años. Nunca había asistido a un campamento cristiano   tan   grande   en   mi   vida,   sinceramente,   me intimidó ver cuántos jóvenes de diferentes edades había allí.  La  primera  noche,  durante  la  alabanza,  recuerdo que Dios comenzó a moverse en mi corazón de manera tremenda. Con el apoyo de los consejeros, los estudiantes y los directores Hugo y Tati Martínez, ¡Dios continuó trabajando en mí y hablando a mi vida durante toda la semana! Eso me motivó a regresar los años siguientes y finalmente fue lo que me llevó a estudiar al Instituto de Cristo Para las Naciones. En este momento, estoy cursando el segundo año en CFNI.

Te invitamos a traer a tus jóvenes al próximo campamento en el 2017. No te pierdas la oportunidad de disfrutar de todo lo que cada año prepara para ti YFN en Español. Para obtener más información acerca de SYFN, visita spanishyfn.com.

 

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BIBLE SMUGGLER + RADICAL FOLLOWER OF JESUS

By Michelle Ofori-Ansah

When we think of a “minister of the Gospel,” we typically think of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. It’s unlikely we would think of the word smuggler, let alone a Bible smuggler. However, for CFNI alumnus Patrick Klein that is a large part of his calling, and he is anointed for it. For over 20 years, Patrick Klein has helped deliver over 1 million Bibles around the world through some of the tightest security on earth.

But why would a young man, full of vitality and promise, choose such a dangerous career path? Why would he reject his comfortable American life and even risk his life to bring Bibles into closed and dangerous countries? Patrick Klein describes his motivation this way: “When you see pain and suffering up close and personal, how can you walk away from it? How can I live a supposedly normal life, the American dream, knowing girls are being sold into sex trafficking, pastors need Bibles desperately, and there are children living in the sewers? If I really had the Spirit of God in me, things that break God’s heart are going to break my heart.”

By following his heart, Patrick Klein’s clandestine ministry activities have led him to rescue sex trafficking victims over the years in countries most people are afraid to even visit (the names of the specific countries are withheld because of the danger to Patrick and his contacts). For Patrick, darkness is a quest for light, and need is a call to action. He does not shy away from danger when the souls of people are at stake.

Patrick’s passion for the lost and hurting was sparked while on a CFNI summer mission trip. He was a CFNI student, and it was his first time intentionally breaking international law. Patrick had heard about the need in one Asian country for Bibles (there was only one Bible for every 300 Christians in this unfriendly-to-the-Gospel nation), and he and his team were going to do something to help meet that need. Patrick had Bibles hidden in his checked and carry-on luggage, plus the ones he had hidden on his body under his clothes. He didn’t realize it, but his career as a Bible smuggler was about to begin.

81-year-old man receiving a Bible for the first time after decades of praying for one.

Walking through customs, trying not to appear nervous, Patrick experienced almost immediate failure. Customs officials found the Bibles in his carry-on and checked bags, but they didn’t find the ones hidden on his body. They confiscated the discovered Bibles, but cleared Patrick to enter the country. Officially a Bible smuggler, Patrick now had to repack and hide these precious Bibles again. In a rough bathroom with a “squatty potty” (just a hole in the floor), Patrick struggled to keep his bag off the wet floor and his passport from falling into the hole as he transferred the Bibles from his body to the bag. It was an extremely humid 90 degrees, and sweat dripped off his body. His only thought was, “Lord, this is what I am created to do! I love this!”

Years later, Patrick regularly smuggles Bibles into that same country and others, trusting God to bring more and more Bibles through hostile borders. On one occasion, he and his team successfully stayed below the radar of customs inspection while carrying 2 duffel bags, each with 70 pounds of Bibles, through the airport. Ten people with 140 pounds of Bibles each somehow walked right past the customs inspectors.

They weren’t even stopped and questioned. Patrick’s team was invisible! He has seen God’s protection and intervention in similar ways for over two decades. “You know, I hear some people say, ‘I just want to win one person to Jesus in my life.’  Not me, I want to win millions, tens of millions. I want to do all I can to bring Him much glory in this earth.

Tribal believer holding a Bible in her own language.

Patrick doesn’t think this is all that spectacular. He just hears a call for help and moves to answer it. “We do some dangerous stuff in our ministry, but people put their lives on the line for the Gospel all the time. Why are we, as American Christians, exempt from that?”

Patrick tells a story of one of his regular visits to an orphanage in an Asian country that houses children of sex trafficking victims. One little boy contracted HIV from his mother, who has died of AIDS. “When he came up to me, my first thought was, ‘Oh, be careful, he’s got HIV.’ And I thought, ‘Wait a minute, Jesus wasn’t afraid of the lepers, so I don’t need to be afraid of HIV.’  So I scooped him up and spent time with him. I visit as often as I can; I’m like a father figure to him. My faith has got to be bigger than any disease.

Whether he is smuggling Bibles or rescuing women from sex trafficking, Patrick isn’t afraid to wrestle with the moral implications of this radical Christianity. One American pastor refused to have Patrick in his church because Bible smuggling breaks the law. This pastor said, “If God wants the people in closed countries to have a Bible, He will change their governments.” Patrick shares, “I thought, that’s easy for you to say when your office is full of Bibles and study materials. What about the Hebrew midwives who kept the Hebrew baby boys alive when Pharaoh decreed they be killed in Egypt? Or Corrie ten Boom who hid Jews in her house against the laws enacted by the Nazi government during World War II? We’re called to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, the weak and defenseless. I believe if Jesus were walking the Earth today, He’d be rescuing girls out of sex trafficking. If He had to turn over a few tables and brothels, then He might just do it.”

For Patrick Klein, Bible smuggling is an act of worship, obedience to his calling. Patrick lives by a simple creed: “My life is not mine; I was bought with a price, the cross. I can’t just do whatever I want to do. I belong to Jesus now, and my question is, ‘What do You want me to do Jesus?’” Not everyone can or should smuggle Bibles or rescue sex trafficking victims, and Patrick is not advocating breaking international law. But everyone has a role to play in the Kingdom. It may be traditional, unconventional or perhaps even radical, but whatever it is, it’s time to answer that call.

Patrick Klein ministering to children in Southeast Asia.

See Patrick Klein’s video here

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When Christ is Your Life

(the story of Randy Weiss)

By Maria Erokhina

Randy Weiss, Ph.D., is a Jewish believer in Christ who has over 40 years of experience in ministry, missions and media outreach. A Bible smuggler, a songwriter and Gospel artist, a college professor and a TV show host, his life has been nothing short of wonderful.

An Encounter on the Honeymoon

Randy playing in a local rock band

Before he became known for his academic achievements and television ministry, Randy was a rock and roll musician who dealt drugs and dreamed of fame. In January 1973, he eloped with an Italian girl, leaving on a combination of honeymoon and record promotion tour. On their way to Phoenix, Arizona, Randy saw a tent out in the desert. “Christ Is The Answer” was written on a big sign next to it. Randy thought to himself, “How odd! What is the question?”

In Phoenix, Randy read a book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey that he had previously bought at a bookstore without realizing it was a Christian book. As he was reading that “all have sinned” and “the wages of sin is death,” he felt convicted. The weight of sin lay so heavily on him that he started desperately looking for something that could ease that burden. The book reveled to him the truth about the Messiah, and a miracle happened. He accepted Jesus into His life and was “set free, cleansed and made His.”

Then Randy remembered the tent he’d seen on the way. He went back there with his new wife and a friend. In the tent, there were many hippies who called themselves “Jesus People.” They were playing contemporary music, and a preacher brought the message of Salvation, followed by an altar call. At that service, Randy was given his first Bible.

 Jesus is Lord

Randy and Adrienne on their wedding day

Since that day, Randy has been preaching about the Messiah. The news of his conversion devastated his traditional Jewish family, and it took year before they started communicating with him. But he knew that the price he had to pay to follow Christ could not compare with the joy he had found.

He also started writing Christian music and got connected with a ministry that produced Christian materials for distribution to underground churches behind the Iron Curtain. Randy and his family personally smuggled these materials. He says, “Often, we didn’t have a plan when we went there. There were many situations where it was impossible to move without the Lord’s protection and intervention.”

Randy had the opportunity to share his songs with the Body of Christ in those places. One of them, “Jesus Is Lord,” was translated into many languages as it soon became a favorite among the Christian brothers and sisters in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Greece and other countries. It was even sung at the very first Christian gathering in Communist Bulgaria that gathered about 5,000 people.

Loving The Lord

Having been a bi-vocational minister for many years, Randy thought it was time for him to leave public ministry. “I just wanted to minister to the Lord,” he says. “I couldn’t explain it to people, but I just wanted to spend time with God, telling Him that I loved Him and getting to know Him better.” At that time, God told him to go to Christ For The Nations Institute. Obeying Him, Randy moved his family from Indiana to Texas in 1992. What he thought would be one year in Dallas ended up being 25 fruitful years. Five of his children attended CFNI, and Randy became a proud grandfather of 13 “Texan” grandchildren.

Adrienne on top of their VW bug, 1973

In Dallas, Randy not only graduated from CFNI, but he stepped on the path of education that led to him earning three undergraduate degrees, two master’s degrees and two doctorate degrees. He says, “I wasn’t interested in degrees, but I wanted to learn some disciplines and find answers to my questions.” These academic pursuits were beneficial for Randy, opening many doors for sharing the truth of the Gospel.

Break Into My Life!

When Randy graduated from CFNI, he woke up to the reality of being in a “Christian bubble.” “Everybody I knew was either a pastor or a missionary. That had never been my life before – I had always been around unsaved people. I was convicted. I realized that it was not enough to minister to the Lord only; I knew I had to tell people about God. I was desperate and started looking for opportunities to do that.”

One morning he prayed: “Break into my life. Do anything You want.” That prayer was answered in an unexpected way. The same day, he received a fax message from an old friend who ran the international ministries of Dr. Lester Sumrall. He told Randy that the ministry wanted to buy some of his video equipment and offered to have him host a TV show.

“The news left me crying like a baby,” he says. That was not something he had on his radar, but he accepted the offer. Since 1994, his shows Cross Talk, Today With God and Wize Flix (children’s program) are broadcast in many different languages around the world and reach people who wouldn’t have access to the Gospel otherwise. Randy and his son also built Christian TV stations all over the USA, airing different kinds of Christian TV programs to people from all walks of life.

The Bottom Line

“God wants you to trust Him. God will equip and use every individual who is willing to say YES to Him,” Randy says, adding, “Christianity isn’t a profession. Don’t have a limited view that the only way you can serve God is in the role of a pastor, teacher or evangelist. There are many incredible opportunities to say yes to God. When Christ is your life, it’s glorious.”

To learn more about the ministry of Dr. Randy Weiss, visit www.ibntelevision.com and www.crosstalk.org.

To connect with Dr. Weiss, email him at randy@crosstalk.org.

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The Promises of Psalm 91

By Gordon Lindsay

“He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

There is a glorious land of which few Christians are aware. Job spoke of it when he said, “No bird of prey knows that hidden path; no falcon’s eye has seen it. Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there” (Job 28:7-8). Job goes on to say that the natural man does not know where this path is, but God reveals it to those that fear Him (verses 13-28).

The 91st Psalm is the wonder chapter of the Bible and is a favorite of Bible lovers. But although millions have read its words and are aware of its glorious promises, most have not seen those promises fulfilled in their lives. What is the reason? The promises are only available to those that dwell in the secret place. The door to the secret place of the Most High, that glorious land, is found in only one approach – the pathway of faith and absolute surrender to the will of God. Not many choose to walk in this pathway, for it appears to be a lonely one. But great are the privileges of those who boldly press into the secret place of the Most High.

A Refuge and a Fortress

First of all, this secret place is one of security. “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’” People today are seeking security in the world in which there seems to be none. But he who takes refuge in the fortress of God will find that no enemy can penetrate its defenses. It is a true refuge, a shelter in the time of storm. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

Deliverance From Snares

Some years ago, while conducting a series of meetings in a desert town of Arizona, we were invited by a trapper to accompany him while he set his traps. During the time we were with him, we didn’t see a single wild animal except for the omnipresent jackrabbit, even though many animals had their lairs in the desert. These keen-scented beasts of the wilds would catch our scent and be gone long before we were near enough to see them. But the trapper was not troubled. He knew the ways of the desert. With his gun he brought down a scampering jackrabbit. Its fur was worthless, of course, but our guide had another purpose in mind.

Laying his gun aside, he put on his gloves, disemboweled the rabbit, tied a string around it and began a trek down the arroyo, dragging the rabbit behind him. This naturally left a strong scent along the creek bed. At intervals, he would pause and lay down a trap, covering it lightly with leaves. He repeated his performance several times as we continued down the arroyo. Next morning, some of the traps held prey that had been ensnared during the night. The wary animals could not be captured by direct means, but were easily ensnared when the proper methods were used.

Satan also knows just what traps to set for the wary as well as the unwary. But he who lives in the promises of the 91st Psalm has no reason to be afraid. “Surely,” says the psalmist, “He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler.”

He Shall Cover You With His Feathers

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.” One of the most touching illustrations that the Lord used when revealing His love for a people who had rejected Him is found in Luke 13:34: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” That tender love, which was thoughtlessly spurned by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, is for all those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High.

The love of such a simple creature as a mother hen is a compelling witness to the fact that the Creator of the universe possesses strong attributes of love. Some years ago, on the great prairies of the West, a fire got out of control, and fanned by the wind, it rolled across the plains with menacing speed. There was only one thing the homesteaders could do and that was to flee before the path of the flames. There was no time to take anything with them. Later, one of the ranchers came back to view the ruins and happened to kick aside a charred hulk. To his utter amazement, several little chicks ran out unharmed, having been protected from the passing fire by the mother hen who herself had perished in the flames. The little creature had seen the fire and fully realized the danger. But a stronger instinct than fear caused the hen to throw her wings over her charges in a desperate effort to save them. The lives of her brood were worth more to her than her own.

Once, a fire passed through the Earth – the fire of sin – the flames of which were so intense that they could easily take the lives of all who dwelt there. However, God, in His great love, took the full force of the holocaust and spread His wings to save all who would take refuge in Him. Having saved them, He now watches over His own day and night, for they are the apple of His eye.

His Truth Shall Be Your Shield and Buckler

The secret of the 91st Psalm lies in the believer’s loving obedience to the laws given by the Lord, for His commandments are not too heavy to bear. But how many Christians are committed to obey the entire Word of God? The truth is that too many obey the commands of the Master only when it appears not to cost them too much, and so, they stop short of entering into that place of safety and security.

However, as one prayerfully commits his way to the Word and will of God, he begins to see things change. The law of the kingdom begins to operate in his favor. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Gradually, the terrible complications of life begin to work themselves out. And as one sees God’s power working in his favor, his soul finds rest and peace.

You Shall Not Be Afraid

The world is full of fears. Even many Christians are afflicted with fears of all sorts. There are many church members who have a deadly fear of the devil. Some are afraid that they can succumb to a terminal disease when they have nothing of the kind.

These people live marginal Christian lives. It is only when trouble comes that they frantically look to the Lord to rescue them. And often He does, on an emergency basis, but there is a better way.

No Plague Shall Come Near Your Dwelling

“No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.”

Is it necessary for men to be plagued by accident, misfortune, disaster and pestilence? Not if he dwells within the secret place of the Most High, as implied in the words of this amazing psalm. The enemy who challenged Christ will surely challenge His followers. But these things shall not overcome the believer; rather he shall overcome them. “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.” Glorious promise! The Lord will not only send help, but will come Himself and stay until the enemy flees in ignominious rout. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

The psalm tells us another great secret – the fact that angels guard those who dwell in the secret place. Most people who fall into sin do so when they think no one is observing them. They forget that angels are watching. It is quite probable that some Christians go to places where angels are unable to accompany them. When one gets on the devil’s territory, the enemy can take advantage of his vulnerability. Indeed, such people have deliberately exposed themselves to attack.

You Shall Tread Upon the Lion and the Cobra

“You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.”

So far, we have considered the protection offered by God to His children. Now we learn of something even greater. We are granted power to triumph over our foe. Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).

Many people have a fear of what the devil may do to them. They are haunted by complexes and feel defeated. How different is God’s plan for His people! Humanity was not created to be weak, cringing creatures, subject to sickness, disease, oppression, depression, evil habits and the deception of the devil. When God created people, He made them in His own image and destined them to have dominion over the Earth. Humanity has lost that dominion through sin, and the image of God has been marred.

All that humanity has lost through the fall, however, is regained in Christ. God’s purpose for His people is that they should regain their lost dominion, to become victorious and triumphant in Christ forever. For those who dwell in the secret place, this great promise is realized. Instead of fearing the devil, they can resist him – and he will run away, not just walk away (James 4:7).

The Psalm concludes with a final note. “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” It is a long life, a godly life, for it is nothing else but life eternal. When his body, this old tenement of clay, finally crumbles to dust, his spirit, youthful, undimmed with age, will receive the glorified body which the Lord will give at His Coming. Happy is the person that has chosen to dwell in the secret place of the Most High. He shall taste of the joys of life eternal to the fullest and shall share in its everlasting delights.

This article is taken from the August 1972 issue of Christ For The Nations magazine.

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