In the name of Jesus I will rise.

 

 

 

“Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man's house, do not raid his dwelling place; for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity” (Proverbs 24:15-16).

 

 

 

                In this week's news, I saw an American medical missionary, Kent Brantley, 33, arriving in an ambulance at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, USA.  I didn't know at first, but I found out later that one of the two who got off the ambulance was Doctor Brantley.  I was a little surprised to see him walking on his own feet to the hospital.  And I was proud and happy.  On July 31, last month, he was infected with the Ebola virus and was wandering around.  He even called his wife in the United States goodbye.  And now I am grateful to see him walking into the hospital on his own feet.  Three months before he left for a medical mission to Liberia in 2013, he said, ‘When a difficult day comes, I will remember God's calling in my heart.’  And what he said to the congregation at Christ's Church in Southeastern, Indiana, USA in July last year, was recently released on Facebook as an audio file.  He said, 'I will go on a mission,' and 'I will live there for two years and serve those who have suffered violence and destruction for 20 years.'  As for the reason he decided to serve in a place he had never been to, Brantley said that he had affirmed that ‘because there was a call from God.’  Emphasizing the need to live boldly like the apostle Paul, he quoted 2 Timothy 1:7 and said, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (Internet).  As I saw Dr. Brentley, who had been on a medical mission to Liberia under God's call and was infected with the Ebola virus, called the death virus, was walking into the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, USA, I just hoped and prayed that he would get up again so that he could continue doing God's work as he is called.

 

            We Christians are those who are called by God.  Therefore, we must continue to do God's work faithfully with a sense of calling.  However, there are those who continue to watch us and try to overthrow us and destroy our houses if he sees a gap (Prov. 24:15).  He is Satan.  Satan is the one who causes Jesus to fall (Mt. 16:23) and the one who makes us Christians, the church of Jesus Christ, to fall.  How is Satan trying to make us to fall?  Satan tries to make us to be like the apostle Peter, not having in mind the things of God but the things of men (v. 23).  The apostle Peter fell into the Satan's temptation.  When Jesus said to his disciples that “hat he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (v. 21), Peter “began to rebuke him.  ‘Never, Lord!’ he said.  ‘This shall never happen to you!’” (v. 22).  The apostle Peter, who thought about the things of men, didn’t want Jesus to suffer and be crucified.  That was why he turned to Jesus and said, “Never, Lord!  …  This shall never happen to you!” (v. 22)  However, God's will was that Jesus suffered, took all our sins for us, and died on the cross.  Although it was Jesus who came to this earth to accomplish this God's work, the apostle Peter didn’t think of this God's work, but rather thought of men's work.

 

Satan is well aware of our weaknesses.  And he keeps trying to attack and infect our vulnerabilities with deadly spiritual viruses like the Ebola virus.  Satan continues to tempt us, not only to make us think of men's work rather than God's work.  But he is also striving to go further and make us do men's work.  Satan is trying to get us to walk the wide path of the world, turning away from walking the narrow path of the cross of Jesus.  He keeps tempting us to make us think about our will, not the will of the Lord, so that we can abandon the Lord’s will and live according to our will.  Satan is trying to infect our weak point, our loved ones, with a deadly spiritual virus, making us prioritize human affairs over God's.  When we and our family are infected by the deadly spiritual virus, we are drawn to the flesh by falling into self-pity rather than being drawn by His call.  In that case, we not only think of our family members before God, but also think and pursue human work even at the expense of God's work.  As a result, we ruin the God's work.  In this way, Satan is trying to make us fall somehow.  He is trying to get us all to fall somehow by watching at not only us, but also our homes and churches.  What should we do?  We can think of many lessons in the Bible, but I’m going to think about two things based only on the words of Proverbs 24:16: (1) We need to know that we can fall.  In other words, we stumble because of the work of Satan that causes us to stumble.  And we can fall not only once, but seven times, even countless times.  At that time, we may be disappointed because of our own fall, and we may suffer from guilty feeling.  (2) However, the second thing to keep in mind is that even though the righteous fall seven times, he will rise again.

 

            I think that our Christians' life of faith is like a roly-poly.  Just as if we hit the roly-poly and then it rises again, we must believe that even if Satan and the wicked strike us and cause us to fall, we will rise again.  How can the roly-poly rise again even it falls down?  The reason is because the lower part of the roly-poly is the heaviest, so even if the upper part is accidentally tilted downward, the heaviest part is going to go down again due to the effect of gravity, so in the end it always stands upright.  The lesson we can learn from here is that the center of gravity must be located below to be safe.  So even if it stumbles momentarily by external influences, it will be able to stand back (Internet).  I believe that the “center of gravity” that makes us to stand up again and hold the center again is the Lord who is the Rock.  Even if we fall countless times, the Lord is the God who raises us up again countless times.  The Lord who raised up Elijah who fell down again is the God who raises us up so that we can fulfill His mission.  The Lord is the God who raises us up by rekindling our discouraged souls with the perfect word of God.  May the Lord reach out to us with the right hand of His power and hold our hand and raise us up again.

 

            Among the gospel songs that I can't forget, there is a song titled “I Stand”.  I learned this song through sister in Christ Jong-mi Lee of Seohyun Church in Korea.  Although her physical body was "like a mummy" because her body was burned and was bandaged and lying on her bed in the hospital room, the Lord raised her up again.  When I heard the testimony of Jong-mi, who fought at the crossroads of life and death, I was compelled to praise the Lord who gave her victory in that fight: “I will stand, I will stand, I will stand in Jesus name/ For the things that God has given, I will stand in Jesus name/ Satan's host may come against me, I will not surrender ground/ For the things that God has given (2x)/ For the things that God has given, I will stand.”  I hope and pray that all of us to be raised up again in the name of Jesus.