Episode 6: THE GREAT RELEASE
My doggedness in resolving to never go back to Islam angered my dad and he never ceased to show it. He felt powerless that all his threats had no effect on me. A few times, I even developed the courage to preach to him; and this always fueled his anger and hatred towards me.
He withdrew several privileges from me, like the monthly allowances for my regular upkeep. He also refused to support my education. Being in my final year in the National Teacher’s College, I needed some funds to finance my project. But he vowed never to support me if I continued with my faith in Jesus.
However, all these threats and withdrawal of privileges didn’t deter me from growing in the faith. I became more vibrant spiritually and fierce towards sin. I categorised yielding to temptation as a great sin before God. Thus, I kept myself sensitive to anything that could make me succumb to persecutions and trials.
As days rolled into weeks and weeks into months, I become a regular member of the church. I no longer looked over my shoulder to check whether the Chief Imam or his Islamic scholars in training (Alfas) in the nearby mosque were watching me when entering the church. I confidently entered the church with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.
God Cares For His Own
The pastor’s ministration during a certain the mid-week service blessed me greatly. I felt that God used him to speak directly to my predicament.
At the service, Pastor Kenneth shared the experience of his victorious position in the face of persecution. As I listened, I realised for the first time that God had provided an inheritance for His children that included deliverance out of persecution!
What he shared spoke to my heart and I recognised that Jesus by His Spirit was offering what for me was a new key of the kingdom of heaven – a key that would open up a realm through which, although laced with persecution, deliverance would come even more strongly.
Jesus wanted me living in a realm where persecution was not a fearful, life-threatening event but an opportunity for God to show His care and protection for me as His child.
As I saw the wonderful liberty this would provide me with, to serve God fervently and victoriously even in the face of the opposition I had so often faced in the past, I got excited. It stirred in me a desire to hold the key to my deliverance out of persecution.
I found the central element of that key in the book of Isaiah chapter 54 where God’s prophet Isaiah wrote,
“Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:15,17).
The Key of ‘Deliverance Out of Persecution’
As I meditated on this, I started to see God’s power and plan in this promise. The Holy Spirit also began to establish my hold on the key it offered by showing me other scriptures that supported and enhanced it. I took Deuteronomy 28:7, Galatians 3:13,14 and Deuteronomy 33:27. to heart.
I also heard the voice of the Spirit of God declare His Word to me:
“Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought” (Isaiah 41:11,12).
I knew I was ready to turn that key as soon as I held it in my heart. And I turned it the very next time a sign of persecution arose.
How did I do this? In prayers.
I presented the key I got from these Scripture promises to the Lord for fulfilment. Boldly declaring God’s Word on my deliverance out of persecution, I spoke to cast down as barren tongues rose against me in judgement. By doing this, with the confidence from knowing that I was a servant of God and I had His righteousness, I was turning the key marked “Deliverance out of persecution”!
Since that time on, I have watched every weapon formed against me come to nothing, every tongue risen against me put to silence and every enemy assault against me retreat.
The key Jesus gave me has given me entrance into the realm of heaven we can call “deliverance out of persecution”!
I hope you will get a hold of this key as I have. I also hope you will see in this testimony how you can receive other keys of the kingdom of heaven for all realms of our inheritance in Christ.
May you come to know the Christian lifestyle that enables you to turn the keys and open the doors to all of His protection and provision.
Saved From Fraud, Restored Privileges
God is a God of wonders. And He never leaves His children alone, especially in trying times.
There is a certain day in my pilgrimage to heaven which I would never forget in a hurry. It was on a Sunday evening while studying the Bible. My dad came to my room and tapped lightly on the door, not willing to startle me. I invited him in and he sat at the edge of my bed, while I sat at my study table beside the bed, facing him. Though he still had that fierce look on him, he seemed calm and composed.
He said, “I have watched you for several months now, and though I refused to acknowledge it, the joy I see in your face is one I have never seen on anyone’s face before.”
“Really? Dad, it is God ooo”, I said, smiling. Obviously, God was performing another wonder, right there in front of me.
“Yes. Right from that day when I heard you went to church, and that worried thought made me lose that contract, I have come to realize that Allah has a purpose for doing everything He does.
“You see, I was saved from a big embarrassment by not securing that contract”, he said.
“How dad? I don’t understand”, I asked quizzically.
“The whole contract was a fraud”, he said. “I learnt that the officer in charge of awarding the contract was a fraudster. He had duped the government of a huge sum of money and had diverted it into a personal project, using the government’s name as a cover-up for the project. His dubious activities were recently discovered. Now he and the owner of company that later won the contract are in jail.
“I could have been the one there, if not for my disorganised mood that day which made me lost the contract”, he said.
“Truly, God works wonders”, I offered.
“Yes, Allah really works wonders. And that is why I don’t understand how I felt since hearing this revelation about the arrest and imprisonment of the fraudsters. It seems I am greatly indebted to you. If not for your courage in going to church that day, I wouldn’t have heard the news which would make me lose the contract”, he confessed.
“And that is the more reason I felt I have greatly wronged you in persecuting you; laying pressure on you to give up your faith in Jesus”, he said apologetically.
“Hmm…”, was the only thing I could say at that moment.
“I therefore plead with you to forgive me for all my wrong doings. I am also declaring my support for you in your Christian faith. You are now free to serve your God the way you like and choose”, he declared.
I was so surprised with this sudden declaration. “Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus…”, I kept praising God. It seems a mountain load of burden had just been lifted off my heart. I was so glad that my dad, a hard-hearted, devout Muslim could willingly allow his daughter, whom he had so vehemently punished for following a different religion, to now practice the religion she chose freely. This was a great testimony.
He hasn’t stopped yet, “I shall reinstate all your revoked privileges. And I will now support you fully in your education”, he said.
My joy knew no bounds that day. My mother was also very happy for me. It was a day of feasting in our family. All my siblings were very happy too.
That night, another feeling of peace dominated my heart. This was the second time I felt such a peaceful experience, the first being the day of my conversion.
Are you there trying to give up your faith because of the persecutions and trials you face daily? I counsel you to endure and pesevere, for you don’t know if through you, even your persecutors would be converted.
Don’t lose hope; and don’t loose your faith.