The cutting edge of Christian affairs

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Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Diop

It was the last day that I was to spend in the guest bedroom of my friend’s house. In that springtime of 1988, I was about to have an antecedent, awesome visitation. It was an all-out, no-holds-barred, physical confrontation with Satan the devil himself. Mono a mono – me against him. We met in the middle of a ring, just like the wrestlers at a WWF event. We squared off against one another. For a moment, circling each other in the middle of the ring, just like the professional wrestlers do. Then, we clasped arms – face to face, shoulder to shoulder, ready for the smack-down, throw-down, main event. And, as if by some fateful script, we each said on queue and simultaneously to one another, “Woe to you!” It was on!! My faith against the devil’s power unleashed. Who would win the day???

Before I proceed with the visitation, let me digress for a moment. I have to share a childhood prayer with you. I was about eight years old at the time. My father had established a practice of reading to me from a family Bible that contained lots of pictures. These depicted some the Bible’s greatest stories with the most epic showdowns of men of faith, like David facing Goliath, and Daniel in the lions’ den, and Moses with the children of Israel at the Red Sea. There were lots and lots of pictures, even Jesus with his disciples during a couple of his most notable healings and miracles. These stories and pictures totally captured my imagination. As a result, at that early age, these men of God had become my personal heroes. So, what was I to do but pray a prayer to request admission to Jesus’ faith academy. I desperately wanted to be like all those men I had heard about. So, in my innocence, I submitted a prayer to be accepted as a disciple, so that I could become just like them. That childhood prayer went something like the following.

Mr. Jesus, what a joy and an honor it would be, if you would accept me into your school of disciples. They always proved to be the greatest, the wisest, and the most courageous and awesome people in the whole-wide world. I’d be willing to do anything to get into that number, including being subjected to the rigorous tests of your servant, Job. Please, sir, would you accept me into your next class? I can’t imagine the kind of man I would turn out to be, if you accepted me. Amen.

(At this point in my life, no one had thought to warn me, “Be careful what you ask God for, because you just might get it.” (Fast forward to 1988 and my wrestling match with the devil. So now, here I was; just about to be thrust into the trial of my life, FOR my life.)

So, after having said our criss-crossing “Woe to you!” the devil then by his power rolled me up in his hands like a big ball, about the size of a basketball. And, as if on a cartoon, the only physical features you could still make out were my eyes. I then let out a loud “Help!” Then, the sweet Christian lady who was my hostess, in the visitation, glided into the room with the grace of an angel. But, the only thing she could do was look on. Now, the Lord himself was present in this visitation, looking on from the side of the ring, the only present spectator. Watching the whole time, He had been completely silent – an almost unnoticeable presence. When I saw that my hostess could not help me, then I became resigned to my fate. So, to God I uttered these words, “Well Lord, I’m glad this is happening to me, rather than to my sister here, because if it was happening to her, I don’t think that I could take it.”

Apparently, those were magic words. Because, as soon as I had uttered them, the Lord rebuked the devil. Satan immediately released me, and fled the scene. Then, my body started unfurling like an accordion back to normal configuration. Starting from the head downward, I rolled gradually back to my normal, healthy human form, until I was completely restored. Then, the visitation ended, and I began trying to process what had just happened. After meditating on this for a while, I thought that had been a divine recap of my first couple months in Dallas, Texas, since I had encountered quite a bit of tribulation trying to get transplanted. I had even spent some time being homeless, resorting to the Salvation Army lodge for shelter. I had been ostracized by some of the citizens who could not identify with the level of faith I was sojourning with. Even some so-called Christian brothers had given me a hard time. And this particular day, I was scheduled to move into an apartment of my own – my first private residence in Dallas. Surely, my big troubles were all behind me. Wistful thinking! Little did I know that in a few short years, I was going to have that fateful showdown with the devil play out in real life, on the plain of actual flesh-and-blood events, with the whole world looking on. And, that meeting would comprise my Job-like trial. Then, I would draw the dreaded card which reads, “Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200.00.”

To Be Continued

Are you ready to meet God? Or, how about this question instead. Are you ready to have a personal showdown with Satan? That day is coming soon, my friend. It’s coming to everyone. As the scripture says, “10The hour of trial [is coming], which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11“Behold, I am coming quickly!” (Rev 3:10,11 NKJV). There’s not any time to spare to get prepared. If you know you’re in that “whole world” crowd, who have that divine woeful appointment, then don’t delay to pray the following prayer.

Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open my heart and life now and receive you as Savior and Lord. Come in and take control of my life. Give me your Holy Spirit. Come and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.

Did you pray that prayer? Then, on the solid-rock foundation of simple child-like faith, I now pronounce you a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Mark this date on your calendar. It’s the first day of your eternal life. Congratulations! And welcome to the family.

For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000

If you are already a Christian, but are in need of repentance and rededication, then pray this prayer,

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not serving you the way that I should. I open up my heart now, and give you full access and control. Have your way, Lord. Cleanse me from all my sin and idolatry. Fill me with your Holy Spirit again. Renew me, Lord. Make me the kind of person and servant I ought to be. Amen.

For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000

3-4-3-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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