296. FACE LIKE FLINT – SONGS OF DELIVERANCE
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)
FOREWORD: Ironically, the Article below, although listed here as the last of the Articles under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ Page was one of the very first that I wrote, since 27th October, 2015 and years before the idea of setting up a Website had even come to the fore of my mind. Nevertheless, I thought it fitting to place it right here, so here goes:
My radio was on one day (27th October, 2015) and I heard a Pastor with a thick Nigerian accent say, “There are some ah you in situations that defy human solutions,” and I laughed and laughed and laughed because that was exactly my situation.
I said to myself, “That is so true. Only God could get me out of this one.” See, my situation required supernatural intervention. I’d been in fixes before but this one was so messed up on every hand and side, that I knew it and everyone around me knew it. I was truly stuck and only the true and living God could make the difference. I needed him to come, reach down his hands from heaven and lift me up, like he did for me on countless occasions in the past.
Yet, perhaps for the first time in my life, there was this uncomfortable, excruciating, almost unbearable and prolonged silence. God would find ways to whisper to me on some occasions, “I am with you,” but yet each day, my problems seemed to remain the same. I’d been asking him to come for a very long time now, yet things only grew from bad to worse.
And every time I thought I had hit rock bottom, I sank a bit lower.
What can I say?
I resolved in my darkest of moments, that no matter what I was going through, I would praise him and so I spent the days, the weeks, the months and the years in SUFFERING and in SONG. I saturated the atmosphere with my praise, not because I needed help but because I grew to truly appreciate my Lord, even when I was down to nothing and the enemy kept attacking.
Many nights when people were sleeping and at the midnight hour, I was up and singing songs of praise to Almighty God. With the storms all around me and torrents of tears flowing down my cheeks, I resolved to send the praises up and he literally surrounded me with SONGS of DELIVERANCE.
The more I praised, the fire seemed to grow hotter and hotter and hotter. I was tired, brow-beaten, overwhelmed even but I resolved not to stop!
Who says that we cannot fight this warfare that rages with songs of praise? Who says?
I have learned through the fire, that it is one of the Christian’s most powerful weapons (in addition to prayer and the sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word), when facing an onslaught from the enemy. It is also through the fire that we become more refined and fruitful, for God’s Kingdom business.
As someone once said, “To worship in the light is a joy-filled act of faith but to worship in the dark is a faith-fuelled act of WAR.”
No matter what you’re going through therefore, fight on! Failing health or threat of sickness? Fight on! Someone or some situation broke your heart? Fight on! Dashed dreams and aspirations? Fight on! Disappointment and betrayal? Fight on! Sudden news that shakes you to the core? Fight on! Problems on the job? Fight on! Having financial issues? Fight on! Have no idea where to turn and what to do? Fight on! Nobody seems to get it? Fight on!
Dealing with rejection? Fight on! Feeling weary? Fight on! Feeling lonely? Fight on! Feeling misunderstood? Fight on! Feeling insignificant? Fight on! Want to throw in the towel? Fight on! Battling feelings of despair and depression? Fight on! Wrongfully accused and relentlessly attacked? Fight on!
Took a stand and then suffering for it? Fight on! The subject of ridicule and unjust condemnation? Fight on! The devil and all of hell seems to be after you? Fight on!
Stuck in a rut and have no idea how or when you will ever come out? Fight on! Issues from your childhood propping up? Fight on! Issues from your past affecting you? Fight on! Feeling the weakest you have ever felt? Fight on! Everything coming to you at the same time or without intermission? Fight on! Feel like soon and very soon, if the pressure doesn’t stop, you just may lose your mind? FIGHT ON!
When life throws its worst at you and the blows just keep on coming, fight on my sister, fight on!
It matters not how long you’ve been in it. You may well be in a well-orchestrated battle of your life. You may have never ever experienced one like it before and you may never ever experience one like it again. Thank God! Make the most of your dark moments and fight on!
God can be glorified in EVERY situation, even when the sun refuses to shine. Give God the praise. Its either you are going to die in it or come out more fortified in your faith. Know that God has allowed it and fight on! Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing, will ever separate God’s children from his everlasting love.
The Christian can never escape adversity. The Bible says that they are called to afflictions. Jesus himself told his disciples quite frankly, that in this world ye shall have tribulations. However, he wanted them to have the right attitude and to follow his example because that was key. He told them to be of good cheer because he too went through suffering and overcame the world.
This doesn’t mean that the Christian ought not to cry. God knows I shed some good tears through mine. But through it all, the Christian must remain focused on the firm foundation of JESUS CHRIST. The Christian must never give up, never stop hoping, never complain and trust that God will put everything right in His perfect timing.
For the Christian, painful moments are a must because God moves through pain to (1) make the Christian more Christ-like, (2) demonstrate his power to sustain during the adversity and then to deliver the Christian from it and (3) strengthen the Christian’s relationship and friendship with him.
Trials and tribulations, whether they come in part or in whole as a result of chastening or not are designed and/or allowed by God to promote our greater spiritual development. Nothing else matters as much to God than our spiritual development because he loves us and he knows that the things of this earth are transient, whereas spiritual development will benefit us for all of eternity.
It is my belief, that every true Christian, if he lives long enough, has an orchestrated appointment in this life with at least one MAJOR battle in his life. Yes problems come and go but the battle of which I speak, will not be like any other battle you have ever fought in the past and overcome. It is going to be major and sometimes prolonged. God may seem silent and there are days that you may feel so pressured, that you fear you may lose your mind.
See, your faith must be tested of what sort it is. Come what may, hold on to Jesus and STAND!
When God allows that fire to be lit below you, it will not be to destroy you but as the pressure mounts (much like a pressure cooker), you will start to sing. Not just that but all the impurities within you will rise to the surface because God wants to cleanse you. He will use the situation, excruciatingly painful as it may be, to take you through a process of sanctification. Anything that is not of him, will have to go.
I never sang as much as I did in the bad times, when things were good and life was comfortable. Who knew I had it in me? God did. He has filled my heart with thanksgiving (I’ve got no room for complaint) and it is my desire to praise him all of my days.
In an unbelievably dark valley and for a prolonged period, I learned praise. I learned patience. I learned complete surrender and dependence. I learned forgiveness. I learned submission. I learned obedience. I learned (and to some extent am still learning) self-control and discretion. I learned discernment. I learned wisdom. I learned strength and most of all, I learned how to fight back that old devil effectively. I put away my natural weapons and I pulled out my spiritual ones. For, it is in those spiritual weapons that God guarantees his children the victory.
I sang probably five hundred (500) or more songs from 2010 when the storm started raging, until Jesus came and calmed the waves. I’ve had many storms rage before and all my life but this time, the storm was of a different brew. I knew early on it was going to try to take all that I had in me and early on, I vowed to myself, “I am coming out of this singing and dancing.”
When the devil saw it fit to send people from miles and miles away by plane, to come and deliver the message to me, that I would never get out and that my God would never come through for me, I knew I had to continue fighting. Tired as I was, I had to fight! Wishing it were all over but I had to fight! Hoping this was all just one big nightmare but I had to fight!
When I saw the bullets I dodged and the ugliness of the attacks the devil was waging against me, I knew that it was my appointed time to fight, more aggressively than I have ever fought before.
People can talk but they don’t know the cost of the ointment in my alabaster box.
My God is the one that has been with me from the first day I came out of my mother’s womb and he knows. He knows all my ups and all my downs, all my successes and all my failures, all the devil has tried to do in my life, even from childhood and all the times my God delivered me.
While going through what I was going through, my mind went back to specific statements that were made to me over the years and even as a small child, by different people. Then it hit me: Those statements had been engineered from since then by the devil, to undermine me in the challenge I was going to face, many, many years later. The things that were told to me even as a child, eerily bore direct reference, to the challenge I was now facing and I wondered, “How could that wicked devil have known from way back then, that I would be dealing with this some twenty years later?”
I recognized, that the people that he had used as instruments back then to make those statements to me were not aware of it at the time but he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew I would be in a battle of all battles and of what sort it would be and he tried from since then, to sow seeds of doubt in my mind.
So, I found myself now dealing with two voices, one from the devil with the lies he tried to plant in my mind since childhood and the voice of Almighty God, as revealed in his Word, telling me that he was going to bring me out of this and I would be victorious and that all that he promised me, HE WAS SURELY GOING TO BRING TO PASS.
I chose to listen to the voice of God because He cannot lie. The devil may be strategic but my God is STRONG. The gates of hell will never prevail against God’s purposes for me and I was determined that I would come out of it all with my faith in Jesus and in the power of his might, still intact.
It was clear to me, that the enemy was after my faith in the true and living God and his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have put my trust. The battle was sore and there were times that I was so wounded, God had to pick me up, dust me off, nurse me back to health and put me back in the ring.
I would be like, “Lord, thank you for renewing my strength but why do you keep putting me back in there? You are very well able to heal me and take me to a good place, a restful place, far away from the blows.” But I learned to submit to the will of the Father. I had to stay in that ring and fight because that is what God wanted me to do. He wasn’t so much interested in my comfort as he was in my being victorious and the only way for me to be victorious was to keep fighting!
I don’t intend to stop praising him ever. I have resolved that no matter what, I will be singing his praises. The battle only intensified my song!
When you’re being attacked, don’t you dare just take it. Fight back but this time, not in the natural but in the spiritual. See, the people the devil uses are merely that: The instruments he uses. They are not your enemy. The devil is. Forget them and fight the source of the problem, the instigator of your woes. Forget people and circumstances and fight him! To fight him, you cannot use natural weapons. You’ve got to fight him with your spiritual artillery.
Unleash your weapons of mass destruction therefore. Unleash your PRAISE and WORSHIP. Unleash your PRAYER and FASTING. Unleash your FORGIVENESS. Bless and pray for your earthly enemies. Unleash your FAITH and stand on God’s WORD. Believe God. Declare HIS Word no matter how things appear and watch him give you the victory.
I know that once I live long enough, there will be more of ‘life’ to come but I thank Almighty God that this phase, this particular book in my series of life books is over! Yes, I declare in Jesus’ name that this story is over.
Here’s to hoping that the next story takes on more of a positive note. Whoppee! I am trusting God that it will. He is a God that knows how to give rest to his children and he makes all things beautiful in HIS time. Indeed he is a faithful God and all that he has promised you WILL come to pass.
God may take his time but he does come and I maintain that God is good all the time and all the time, my God is good.
As the Psalmist said and as I truly experienced of you Lord in the furnace of affliction: “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with SONGS OF DELIVERANCE.” (Psalm 32:7)
(Written on 27th October, 2015, added to on 19th January, 2016)
Isaiah 50:7-10 states:
- “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my FACE LIKE A FLINT, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and STAY upon his God.”
Commenting on these verses which prophesied of Jesus’ steadfast determination to do the will of the Father, despite the difficulty, opposition, pain and self-sacrifice and to finish the work that He gave him to do and of how we as Christians should follow after his perfect example, Charles Spurgeon stated:
- “O you redeemed ones, on whose behalf this strong resolve was made—you who have been bought by the precious blood of this steadfast, resolute Redeemer—come and think awhile of Him, that your hearts may burn within you and that your faces may be set like flints to live and die for Him who lived and died for you!…
- If anything could have broken our Saviour’s resolution, it would have been the agony and bloody sweat of Gethsemane; yet all that could not turn him from his purpose. Did you ever feel such exceeding sorrow, were you ever so terribly depressed in spirit that you wished, a thousand times over, that you had never been born, or that you could die? Have you ever been subject to dire despair? Some of us have felt as though a sword had been thrust into our bones, slaying all the life of our joy. At such a time, resolves that have been wisely made are often unwisely broken. The strongest man can scarcely stand up against depression of spirit. Solomon truly said, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Yet Christ was so resolved to achieve the redemption of his people that, even when reproach had broken his heart, and he was full of heaviness, he still set his face like a flint, and determined that he would accomplish the work that he had undertaken…
- Brothers and sisters in Christ, I speak especially to you. We serve a Master who steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, in order that he might accomplish the one great purpose for which he came to earth, and from which he could not be turned. Therefore, it behoves us to be faithful to him, and to partake as far as we can of his spirit…
- If we truly follow such a Lord as Christ is, we also ought to be flinty-faced for all holy purposes, and I ask you, dear friends, to pray to God the Holy Spirit to make you so. To attain this end, if there is anything right in this world, be on the side of it. No matter what it costs you, no matter whether you lose friends or not, if it is right, stand up for it, for Jesus would have done so…”
(Addendum written on 11th August, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the Article above to be useful, interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, then I invite you to read more of my Articles as listed below. I particularly recommend those that I have placed in block letters.
- Note 26 – ‘Musings From The Pit – Praise Your Way Out’
- Note 26 – ‘Please…Allow Him To Blow Your Mind’
- Note 28 – ‘The Fivefold Purpose Of Suffering’
- Note 29 – ‘Facing Adversity? Go Through It…’
- Note 31 – ‘God Loves Persistence. Fight On!
- Note 34 – ‘My Scribblings In The Dark’
- Note 36 – ‘Stressful Attacks – How David, Hannah And Jehoshaphat Handled It’
- Note 39 – ‘Why The Enemy’s Attack Is My Cue To Sing’
- NOTE 40 – ‘PLEASE…ALLOW HIM TO BLOW YOUR MIND’
- Note 41 – ‘Silencing The Naysayers’
- Note 42 – ‘When That Door Wouldn’t Budge’
- Note 50 – ‘Making Sense Of The Awful Stillness – The Process Of Metamorphosis’
- Note 84 – ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’
- Note 101 – ‘Attitude Is Everything – I’ll Bless Him Anyway’
- Note 103 – ‘I Will Trust God With My Enemies’
- Note 104 – ‘Divine Deposits – He Kept Me’
- Note 107 – ‘After They Have Done Their Worst, Yet Still I Rise’
- Note 108 – ‘Pain – God’s Tool For Our Spiritual Development’
- Note 109 – ‘And These Stones Shall Be For A Memorial Of What He Brought Me Through’
- NOTE 112 – ‘LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM THE LAZARUS STORY’
- Note 114 – ‘…But God’
- Note 117 – ‘Whose Report Will You Believe?’
- Note 123 – ‘We Serve A ‘Let There Be’ God’
- Note 124 – ‘Are You One That Has To See Before You Can Believe?’
- NOTE 125 – ‘UNBELIEF CANNOT COME’
- Note 154 – ‘They Say I Can’t But By God’s Grace I Will’
- NOTE 157 – ‘THE PRICE TAG OF SUCCESS’
- Note 159 – ‘Next Stop – Victory!’
- NOTE 171 – ‘IF THAT TREE COULD TALK’
- Note 174 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases’
- Note 186 – ‘The Pain I Felt In My Series Of Pit Experiences’
- Note 189 – ‘Arm Yourself – Suffering Is Part Of The Christian’s Story’
- NOTE 191 – ‘WHEN GOD BLOWS YOUR MIND AND LEAVES YOU FLABBERGASTED’
- NOTE 193 – ‘GOD CALLS ME HEPHZIBAH’
- NOTE 194 – ‘IT IS WELL’
- NOTE 195 – ‘WHEN GOD PROMISES TO WRITE-ON A WRITE-OFF’
- NOTE 196 – ‘A HOPELESS END OR AN ENDLESS HOPE?
- NOTE 197 – ‘LEFT FOR DEAD…THEN RESURRECTED’
- Note 200 – ‘The Paradoxical Principles To Successful Living – God’s Manual’
- Note 210 – ‘Praise Him All The Day Long’
- Note 213 – ‘God – Sometimes Silent But Ever Present’
- Note 214 – ‘Your Story Is For His Glory’
- NOTE 215 – ‘OUR DIFFICULTY IS GOD’S OPPORTUNITY’
- NOTE 216 – ‘DEATH MUST COME BEFORE THE RESURRECTION’
- NOTE 217 – ‘FROM BAD…TO WORSE…TO DELIVERANCE’
- Note 279 – ‘Do You Feel Disappointed By God?’
- NOTE 289 – ‘MY JABEZ PRAYER’
- Note 281 – ‘The Sufferings of Christ – He Did It For You!’