Month 9:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5941:258 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 10 December 2017
Training For Life & Eternity
The George Müller Memorial Sermons Part 6
Continued from Part 5
The George Müller Memorial Sermons (GMMS) are a series of sermons honouring the Prussian evangelist Georg Müller who founded orphanages by complete faith and dependency on Elohim (God). These sermons highlight the principles that George Müller so successfully and inspirationally lived by.
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and mishpachah - may the "Elohim (God), who knows the human heart" and all its inner doings who, withour distinction of race or social status or anything else by which humans divide themselves one from one another - who gives the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) freely, just as He did to the Judahites and Gentiles of old (Ac.15:8-10, NRSV) - may this Elohim (God), whose Name if Yahweh, who has appointed His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to be His instrument of salvation - may He continue to save you through grace - His undeserved loving-kindness - by emunah (faith), by which alone the heart is purified.
Sickness, Sin and Guilt
Those of you who have been seriously ill or been approached by death in some way will perhaps be able to relate when I say that such persons experience a growing sense of sin and guilt which may at times seem overwhelming, and were it not for the promise of the Davar (Word), they might lose all hope. For it is written:
When Sorrow Turns to Joy
"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Prov.28:13, NKJV).
If, when we experience this sense of guilt and its torment, we will but turn our eyes to the cross, we will understand that this guilt has already been atoned for, and that by applying at the mercy-seat, we shall receive immediate forgiveness, to there have sorrow turned into simcha (joy).
Wanting to Depart, and Yet...
Death is stripped of its terrors when with confidence we accept what the Beloved Son has done for us. It is natural, when we are very ill, to want to depart and to be with Messiah. It is a common yearning when the flesh becomes heavy to bear. Yet as Paul said:
From One Degree of Submission to Another
"For to me, to live is Messiah, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labour; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Messiah, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and simcha (joy) of emunah (faith), that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) by my coming to you again" (Phil.1:21-26, NKJV).
But to do this requires absolute submission to Elohim (God). If our body is exhausted from the vicissitudes of life and we need a miracle to continue going, then even more submission to the Most High must be our goal. It may not even be illness. Only the other day, in America no less, a Salvation Army street preacher was shot dead by one of the people he was witnessing to. We none of us know when the time to return home is. If it is Yahweh's will that we tarry longer in this veil of tears, to in some way be a blessing to others, then we must submit to it and, because of the Ruach (Spirit), will rejoice in it. There is a greater simcha (joy) in living for Elohim (God), I would suggest, than in dying for Him, for the former is in so many ways much harder than the latter. Yet equally "greater ahavah (love) has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, NIV). So how and when we depart, and for what reasons, is up to Yahweh to decide.
Used and Useful
As the world descends into more anarchy and violence, as it shall, so shall we face death the more often. That's not something we have been accustomed to out here in the West but things are changing rapidly. London has become one of the acid attack capitals of the world. Cities throughout Europe could be attacked by terrorists at any time and the Deep State is staging false flag attacks in the same way. At any one moment in time some crazy person - a religious fanatic or some MK Ultra-programmed operative - could jump into a lorry and mow down large numbers of pedestrians, or start knifing people in a shop or a market, or start gunning people down assembled for concerts, or set off a bomb in a church. This is becoming more and more common. So this challenge of facing death should also develop within us a greater tendency to not only increase our prayer life but to bring to Yahweh ever more minute matters until, like Yah'shua (Jesus), we are fully used by the Father, and in so being used, we become all the more useful, and therefore the more satisfied and filled with an ever greater abundance of simcha (joy).
Learning to Persist in Prayer in Times of Great Difficulty
Some of our friends are having a terrible time in countries like Pakistan where Christians face daily persecution and even death. Many of them sink into despondency and depression and in time all enjoyment becomes lost and prayer appears fruitless. At such times it can feel like you are struggling in deep mud or quicksand. In such circumstances there is only one realistic solution and that is to persist in prayer until the soul is once again melted before Elohim (God). When Yahweh's presence seems strangely absent or withdrawn, this is the only constructive things you can do. To led it slide just compounds the problem.
Of Prayer and Kingdom Activity
You may take this as a maxim worth inscribing in your mind: the less simcha (joy), the greater the need. If your simcha (joy) has gone, then your need is not only real but desperately real. And there is only one way to meet that need, and that is more communion with our Heavenly Father. Cessation of communion with Yahweh, for whatever cause, only makes resuming that communion, and the recovery of the prayer habit and prayer spirit, harder still. Whereas - and this is so important to learn early - the persistent outpouring of supplication, coupled to continued activity in serving Yahweh, soon brings back the lost simcha (joy): PERSISTENT PRAYER AND CONTINUED SERVICE. Whenever you yield to depression (and most of us do sometimes), and that causes you to abandon, or suspend, closet communion or Gospel service, the devil triumphs.
I have been asked many time in the past how I have persisted in ministry when there has been persecution or calamity. It is so often a matter of will and it is not unlike an old person who forces himself to keep moving because he knows if he does not that he will become wheelchair- and finally bed-bound. I learned that lesson from my mother who, though not physically very strong, drummed into me the importance of keeping going. And she did until she was 97 even though at times it was a terrible struggle. She was overwhelmed in her last or 98th year but I take my hat off to her for managing so long. I admire her for that.
Inspired by Parents
So the will to go one is important, whether it is when our body screaming in pain or whether it is at a time of relentless persecution and having to live with death from day to day. Keep going on. But human will alone cannot produce simcha or joy in such a struggle, and I would be untruthful if I said my mother's last years were happy ones, for she did not know Yah'shua (Jesus), though there was some sort of belief there. Different things can drive us on to keep going - a mother surviving for the sake of her children, a father for his family. I remember my mother telling me that while my father was waiting for the abulance to take him to hospital on what would be his last journey his main concern was that bills would be paid so that my mother would not have to be burdened by them after the trauma of his death. I have been inspired by both of them that way.
The Things That Keep Me Going
There have been times when I have been in John Bunyan-type Sloughs of Despond but two things have kept me going always:
Having a Purpose
- 1. My responsibilities toward my family; and
- 2. My calling in the Kingdom of our Elohim (God).
We must all have purpose - a family gives you that automatically, of course - it's simply 'there', implanted by the Creator, and you rise up to meet its needs the best you can, providing an income and taking care of domestic needs. But a wider purpose is important a drive for a full and satisfying life too, and for me it has always been the Five Commissions which I received from Yahweh on 25 June 1990 while I was visiting the USA. This was a defining moment because up until then things had not been brought together clearly for me. It was only being abroad that I got the revelatory clarity I needed.
The Five Commissions
They encompass the total vision of this work so it is worth sharing them especially for those unacquainted with them:
The Commissions in Action Over 30 Years
- 1. To make talmidim (disciples) for Yah'shua (Jesus) - to win souls;
- 2. To gather the elect into a community or spiritual family of congregations (NCAY/MLT);
- 3. To plant the keys of emet (truth) everywhere;
- 4. To lift a warning prophetic voice; and
- 5. To Gather the Ten Tribes of Israel.
Winning souls (#1), planting keys of truth (#3) and lifting a prophetic voice (#4) have been going on more or less continually in my life since Day #1, and the main website is one of the main fruits of that labour. Building congregations (#2) was something we did more of in the early days which will resume, hopefully, before my time is up. Gathering the 10 Tribes (#5) is not, it seems, to be my task at all, but will fall to the last generation. But I share these with you again so that you understand that I always have had a default purpose that undergirds all I do. We must all of us know our calling, even if it is just supporting your husband as his help-meet in his, and we must be prepared to stick with it until Yahweh either changes it or calls us home. Those who come to this work will have one or more of these commissions as their own by default.
Defining Your Life Mission
The life of every person has its milestones where Yahweh reveals His purpose, and causes major events to happen which define the next stage of the journey. At some point, if we have been true and obedient, we will usually arrive at a destination which may be said to be our life's work. Whatever it is, making talmidim (disciples) will always be a part of it for that is every man and woman's foundational commission who names the Name of Messiah. In time, Yahweh will refine that mission and perhaps even remove you to different parts of the world, as He has done me, and certainly every adult in this assembly today.
Learning How to Have a Holy, Happy and Useful Life
It is truly a blessed thing to know your path but you cannot know it until you have learned the discipline of regular, persistent Bible study, prayer and service to the Kingdom. First we must find the narrow way which we often think is wider than it actually is, and then we must persistently walk in it, not turning to the right or the left (Dt.28:14), but pointing resolutely at Yah'shua (Jesus). In so doing, you will come to learn the secret of a qadosh (holy, set-apart), happy and useful life, which then becomes the structure of, and for, everything you do thereafter.
The Paving Stones Towards Your Ultimate Calling
Everything you do faithfully in preparing for your life's calling will become a forecast, prediction or prophecy of future things to come, though you will not necessarily see it clearly until you have arrived at that destination. Therefore it is important that you are faithful in what you do now, and do things well. They are the paving stones for each next step of your life's journey. You will probably meet - or have already met - all kinds of believers and perhaps visited or even served in all kinds of churches or assemblies which you could never comfortably or happily return to today.
The Path of Self-Denial
We learn along the way and everything we choose counts, for good or for ill. Along this path will be many sacrifices, many renunciations, more so if you have lived in sin, and the more there is to surrender the more you have fallen into iniquity. Many are the Enemy's temptations, both unlawful and lawful...indeed it is the lawful ones that can often be the most challening - like a man or woman you love and want to marry in exchange for the one Yahweh has chosen for you but who does not seem so appealing or attractive in the days of your carnal blindness; or you may be called to yield a promising career, with the promuse of a life of ease, wealth and power for something far simpler. One thing is guaranteed - the divine call to self-denial will factor into the equation of your life which may seen mad or outrageous at the time but which, in the overall scheme of things, would not bring you either the simcha (joy) or shalom (peace) that comes with walking in the will of Elohim (God).
Life's Examination Papers
One thing for sure is that the metaphorical 'examination papers' that you will have to sit for Yahweh in this life will unique to you. No two Abrahamic sacrifices are alike. Some questions in that examination paper will be the same or similar to those that all believers must answer, but most will vary to some extent or even radically. Not everyone is called to be a Joseph, or a David, a Hezekiah, a Peter or a Paul. Some callings are wildly different, some so extraordinary that you might even wonder if they have anything to do with Yahweh or the Kingdom at all at first. Some plant, some water, and some harvest, and there can be a great difference between planting, watering and harvesting. Yahweh defines your calling, not others.
Common Habits of Discipleship
Some things, though, are a common part of all our lives and callings. We are all called to cultivate the habit of reading the Scriptures and praying in secret. We are all called to throw ourselves on Yahweh for our needs, and for assistance in bearing burdens, great and small. These are common to our shared lot. And the earlier you offer yourself to His service, the sooner you will learn to do these things until, compared to the days when you were young in the emunah (faith), they will seem effortless. Impatience will give way to patience as your character develops and you mature.
Not to be forgotten - ever - is the quest for Yahweh's impartation of His sovereign ahavah (love) which brings that child-like spirit I spoke of in an earlier sermon. This child-like heart and mind will teach you not to trust in your own variable moods of feeling but to rely, instead, on the changeless Davar (Word) of His Promises. Then you will wait patiently for orders and not look to human authority for direction. Then you will be released from those worldly obligations that the Enemy sometimes tries to throw at us to impede us, like state-controlled and -inspired education with all its destructive philosophies, compulsory military service and the like. Sometimes He will show you the goal but keep you from it, to your initial consternation and frustration, in order to train you with the virtues and spiritual habits that you will need before you can fulfil that goal. And, of course, the most important thing of all, He will train you for the ages to come - the Millennium and Eternity.
May Yahweh bless you as you learn the steps needed to know your life's calling or its maintenance once you already know. There are, in either case, always new things to learn and new things to do. Scripture study, prayer and Kingdom service ensure that you are tuned into the Ruach (Spirit) and develop the character needed for a successful life in Yah'shua (Jesus), able to meet any challenge or obstacle, and come off triumphant. Amen.
Continued in Part 7