Gathering Together

The Fire

Sunday came with no interruption, fellow believers and locals from the nearby communities all arrived on time. In an old building that was once a school but now gave sanctuary to a small group of Christians whose mission was to spread the gospel to the victims of oppressive world. Hiding from a government where one’s ideas or beliefs were enough to get them thrown into prison or worse, they had little room for error. It rains here every day, with looming darkness outside and the local officials, I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Songs sang lightly so as not to be heard ever had a more beautiful medley. With an old beat up guitar and a few tambourines they worshiped and heavens eyes were upon them. The spirit of God filled the hollows of every soul, mending that which had been broken. They gather in with love for the Father and begin to pray. Words of a man that had seen defeat and felt hopeless but through faith and forgiveness had been made new. The prayer was ended in Jesus name as the congregation took their seats. A young man approached the front of the old shambling classroom and opened an old book of scraps or so it seemed being as rare as it was, this was the only bible they had. With several pages missing he began to read.

He read from the book of Romans chapter 12 and verse 12; Base your happiness on your hope in Christ. When trials come endure them patiently; steadfastly maintain. Church this means we should make it a habit to seek His face, to search Him out, to be consistent with our prayer. With no communication there can be no relationship. When the flames get hot we must put our faith in the fire so that every impurity will be removed and that which remains will shine, glory be to God!

With the loud burst of an automatic machine gun the service comes to a breathless halt. Fear shreds through every heart as the congregation leaps to the front of the room. Men barge in holding assault rifles and rusty blades. Dressed like local militia, these men show no respect for the group of believers. One in particular holds out his hand, pointing toward the door in the rear of the class room. He says “those of you who do not wish to die may leave.” Most everyone left all but a handful that stayed. The gunman stood looking at the remnants and laughed in a cynical under tone. “You were given an opportunity to leave with your lives and you did not, why? You know that I will kill you, for the laws clearly states. Cutting off the gunman midway through his speech the young man began to speak.

He spoke from the book of James chapter 1and verse 25; the man who looks into perfect law, the perfect law of liberty, and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who hears and forgets. He puts the law into practice and he wins true happiness. You see Jesus gave his life so that we may be free of sin and we have no fear of death because Romans 8:15 says; For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father, my Father and he will hear us.” If you kill us we will be in heaven and he will send someone else to teach you. The gunman stood speechless and looked at the other believers which stood with their heads bowed and spoke so softly that he had to take a step forward to clearly hear what they said. They were asking God to forgive the gunman and to fill them with the Holy Spirit so that the gunman could be free to live and not be bound to death. The gunman turned and locked the door that lead out. He looked the young man in the eyes as he laid his weapons on the floor. The gunman spoke and said; I have never encountered a faith like this. Ok man of God, let us have church. Show me how to live without fear.

As a body of believers we sometimes are driven out by the unthinkable or the unexpected. An event will unfold and as humans we tend to disagree with one another. We all have our own opinions. God can always turn a bad time into a good time. What the enemy creates for bad God uses for good. He’s just funny like that. You know if you were the devil you would be so pissed but you’re not because there have been bad things happen and God has used it for good. It’s funny when you think about someone getting hurt and not being able to go to work or to hang out as much as they would like because of an injury. You could easily say poor guy he didn’t deserve to have that happen to him. Or maybe the guy just spent all his time at work and when he was home he spent too much time with his friends, letting his family suffer for his own selfish desires. Now the injury looks better because the guy has time to spend with his family and in doing so he has realized that there’s no God in his life. So he can now rearrange his house to have room for God.

The point is this; when the fire gets hot don’t jump out I know what I am talking about because that guy with the injury was me. Just keep walking if you stop you could get burned or even consumed but if you press on and remember that you are never there alone, then the spirit that raised Jesus from the grave will also raise you from the fire. God said he’ll always be with you he never leaves you or forsakes you. Psalm 91:14-16 says; 14 God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD.15 when they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them.16 I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”

I hope reading this has blessed you. Love Joshua.