The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

What does God have to say?

Posted by thelamp on April 8, 2007

I was at a local dealership getting my vehicle repaired.  While talking to the Service manager, I noticed a quote on his desk from Joel Osteen.  I was very disheartened by what I read as it is totally unBiblical (I am willing to debate this issue).  The quote on his desk calendar stated, “It’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty.  God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.”  I knew this was wrong…but I only kept it in the back of my mind, until I read something that–made me feel guilty for my many blessings (although I don’t have a lot)–and bothered me with what our buddy Joel said.  The following is quoted under permission of Voice of the Martyrs.  Just when you think you’re hot stuff in God’s eyes, just remember who He is really moving through.  It may be a bit long…but more worthwhile to read than the stuff you may hear tomorrow at your church.

“‘Salavat’, a pastor in the predominantly Muslim nation of Uzbekistan, has been detained and interrogated by police so many times he has lost track of the number.  He has been beaten and threatened with long prison terms.  When our VOM workers met with him, he had just been released from a six-month imprisonment.

‘While I was in prison, the eight other prisoners in my cell were ordered to beat me.  I thought they would kill me, but the Lord protected me.  They didn’t even touch me.’

While Salavat spent those six months in prison, there was no caring for his wife “Inez” and for their five children.  The Christians were too frightened to assit the family for fear they also would be arrested.  They were too frightened to get word to VOM or others in the outside world who would have been willing and able to help.  So, Salavat’s family barely subsisted, often going without.

When Salavat returned home, the situation was not much better.  None of the believers would come to Salavat’s church.  They were too afraid.  Salavat was discouraged, but preached anyway.  For two days Salavat praised the Lord in his empty church.  He says he remembered the verse in Hebrews 10:34, ‘for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.”  Salavat decided if his enemies wanted to take everything from him, he would joyfully accept their plundering. 

The imprisonment, the plundering of his goods, the abandonment by other believers–these he could accept.  However, the hardest to accept was his family’s suffering.  There was very little food and no help in sight.  The day finally came when there was no food left in the house.

“Dad, when will we have something to eat?” asked his oldest daughter, 7-year old ‘Rachel’.  Salavat did not have an answer.  Instead, he replied, “Let’s wait until morning.  We’ll have breakfast then.”

The next morning Salavat woke at his usual 5 a.m. time for his daily meeting with the Lord.  Rachel rose also, asking again, “When will we eat?  I’m hungry.”

Salavat prayed fervently that God would provide for his family, and after prayer told her, “Well have something to eat in a bit.  Let’s go out and work in the garden while we wait.”

They began to work, and heard a car approaching.  Two young men approached them and asked for Salavat by name.
“We were not supposed to be here today, but the Lord has sent us,” one of them said and handed Salavat an envelope.  Salavat looked inside and found the equivalent of $200–more than a month’s wages.  The two men turned to go, leaving Salavat in shock, looking at the envelope.  When he heard the car leaving, he and his daighter ran after the men to thank them.
Salavat reached the street, but there was no car.  There was no cloud of dust nor fading engine sound.  The sandy, narrow road revealed no tracks.  It was as if a car had not driven by for weeks. 

Rachel looked at her father, then at the envelope still in his hands.  “Dad,” she said fervently, “from now on your God will be my God.”


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