Monday, June 28, 2010

...And he fled, naked...

For weeks now, Mark 14:51 has been dancing around in my head.

A young man was following along. All he had on was a bedsheet. Some of the men grabbed him but he got away, running off naked, leaving them holding the sheet.
Mark 14:51 (The Message Translation)

The story speaks of a young man (let's call him Malcom) who followed Christ until Christ's arrest. When faced with the angry crowd, he fled. The Bible records that he fled naked!

A part of me goes out to this unamed man.
A part of me wonders where he fled to and how he felt after he got to where he found refuge!
I bet that like Peter, he wept! Remorseful about what he had done.
A part of me sees a part of me in him!

Many times i am like Malcom!
Where it matters most, i remain silent.
Were the world is speaking in one voice. I do not dare to oppose even with the words of Christ!
Where people sit on the fence on issues like abortion, euthenasia and sexual immorality, i sometimes speak political correctness over solid truth!

At these points when i betray God, i am like Malcom. I flee naked! I am exposed! I am open to ridicule! In a bid to try not to be ridiculed by the world, i open myself to ridicule by these same people that i seek to please!

Remember, "if anyone rejects me before men, i will reject him before my father that is in heaven..." These are the words of Christ!

We flee naked when we do not love the unlovable!
We flee naked when we slander the called servants of God!
We flee naked when we do not use our God given talents for the reasons they were given to us!
We flee naked when we join the world to murmur and complain!
We flee naked when we choose night clubs over night vigils!
We flee naked when we slander one another in church!
We flee naked when make concessions here and there and bend the truth!
We flee naked when we are not living in line with God's will for our lives!

I do not know what became of Malcom. The Bible has no records. But if Malcom got to his secret hide out, lay down and wept for shame at his betrayal, i am convinced that the God of Genesis 3:21 would have met him right there, dried his tears, clothed him and re-assured him!

For Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21 (The Amplified Version)

Somehow i feel that a deeper message will come out of Malcom's story but for now, the thoughts are still dancing around my head.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord,

We come to you in the name of your precious son.
Many times we are like Malcom o Lord
Many times we flee from you when it matters most!
Forgive us Lord.
Give us the renewed boldness you gave Peter (after the resurrection)
Give us the Spirit of Boldness
Let your love so abide in our hearts that we may continually stand for you irrespective of the political, religious or eceonomic weather around us.
You are a God of a second chance!
We thank you and take advantage of the 2nd chance (for the 123456733245th time)
and we pray Lord that this time, we will get it right!
We love you Lord!


She kept at it day after day, nagging and tormenting him. Finally, he was fed up—he couldn't take another minute of it. He spilled it.
Judges 16:16 (The Message Translation)

As I studied my Bible this morning, God laid this in my heart and i thought to share. The extract is from one of the most widely known and told Bible Stories. The story of Samson. How he fell into sin with Delila and eventually told her the secret of his great strength. Reading the chapters before the one quoted above, you find that Delila had pressured Samson into telling her the source of his strength thrice and had all three times, used the information he gave her against him. Funny that he would fall for it again after he must have noticed that she did not have good intentions. This is not however where i am going this morning.

The Bible records that Delilah:

1. kept at it day after day
2. nagged Samson
3. Tormented Samson
until he could not take another minute of her nagging!

This portion of scripture jumped at me and God ministered to me. I have come to learn that the Bible does not use words in vain. This scripture shows a progression. Delilah first troubled softly. Then she progressed to nagging and then she tormented him.
Her aim? To get out the source of his great strength.
Her strategy? Persistence!

Scripture is replete with examples of evil people who were focused and persistent in their plot to destroy God's people.

...for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.”

Acts 23:21 (New King James Version)

The above scripture shows the resolve of evil men who swore by themselves that they will fast and remain fasting until Saul (Paul) was killed. They did not succeed. But their failure was not as a result of a wrong strategy!

And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not. Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall; and there was great indignation against Israel. So they departed from him and returned to their own land.

2 Kings 3:26-27 (New King James Version)

In the Scripture above (please read the entire chapter), the Israelites had gone to war with the Moabites and the word of GOD had come though the prophet that Moab would be defeated by Israel. Things went as God had said until the King of Moab, seeing that he had almost been defeated, offered a sacrifice of his heir on the altar of his God. The Bible records that Israel withdrew immidiately and returned home! My question is - Had God not spoken that Israel will defeat the Moabites? Had he not spoken that Israel will totally plunder the towns of Moab? What went wrong?

My finding / answer: The persistence of the pagan king of the Moabites! The King was desperate and unwilling to give in! He offered a sacrifice of blood of his son (his heir)! He was resolute!

Today, Christians pray in the morning and claim they are too busy or too tired to pray at any other time! How many Christians will give a seed or an offering to provoke God to action when the battle is fierce?

The enemy is plundering christians and taking them captive because they are asleep! Luke 18 opens up with the story of the unjust judge who gave the helpless widow her desires becuase of her persistence. Hear the words of Christ:

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.

Luke 18:6-8 (New King James Version)

This scripture records that God will avenge his own who cry out to him day and night! Like i mentioned earlier, i believe that the Bible does not use words in vain. If God said day and night, he meant day and night!

There is a raging battle. Whether you believe it or not, it is on going! The enemy is persistent. Very persistent. Believers can no longer afford to sleep! Believers must be alert. We must be in constant prayers!

Many prayers have not been answered because they have not wielded the kind of power required. The Bible records that the effectual fervernt prayer of a righteous man avails much! For prayers to avail, they should not only be effectual but continous and persistent.

If satan was persistent with the master Himself (where he tempted Jesus over and over again), leaving him only for a short while, you can be sure that he will continoulsy attack you. His aim. Mission. Vision. and Purpose is to steal from you, kill you and ultimately destroy you. He is going to try to steal your joy, kill your peace. Destroy your marriage and relationships. Steal your finances. Kill your resolve and Destroy all you hold dear. In this battle, mediocres lose!

Let this be a wake up call!
Let us as christians begin to pray in season and out of season!
Let us give up sleep for prayers. The battles of life are won or lost in the night season (topic for another day.)
Let us be persistent.
Let us nag God according to his word and in due season we shall see the answers to our prayers.

Say a prayer with me.

Father we come to you in the name of Jesus.
We thank you for all that you have done in our lives. For sustanance. For joy. For life! For everything! Thank you Father.
Today, we pray as a family of believers for a fresh coal of fire on our prayer altars.
That we mayreceive the same Spirit that was in Christ to pray at all times!
Teach us to pray accurately.
Every spirit of lethargy and spiritual laziness, we hold captive in the name of Jesus!
Let the fire fall and let our prayer lives never remain the same again!
We pray for our country. That as believers begin to pray again, that there would be change in our great nation.
Thank you Almighty God, in the name of Jesus!

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (Amplified Version)