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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Warning and Promise

June 23, 2013

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13:11, NIV)

Jesus never promised His disciples immunity from trouble or deliverance from trial. But He does give us two anchors that steady us in the turbulence.

First, we are not to be anxious. “Don’t worry beforehand,” Jesus says. How do you do that? How can you not be anxious when facing dreadful circumstances? Because you are there for a higher purpose — to represent the King of kings and Lord of lords. You’re not there just for your own honor or safety. You are on assignment for Him. It’s not what happens to you that is paramount, it’s whether what happens to you honors Him and advances His kingdom!

We need to take seriously Jesus’ words about anxiety. I know for many of us this is not an easy thing to do. But if we have not discovered the means to have peace in our everyday life (Matthew 6:25-34), then we will really have high distress in more horrific moments.

The prophet Jeremiah put it this way: “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5). Jeremiah knew a greater trial was coming than a race on foot.

Second, we are to be confident the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say. Look at what happened to Pastor Mehdi Dibaj, martyr for the gospel in Iran in 1994. See how the Holy Spirit helped him with the words to say.

Dibaj had spent over nine years in prison solely because he was a Christian. For two and a half of those years, he was in solitary: a space no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet.

Near the end of his time of imprisonment, Dibaj was told by his prison commander, “You are an old man. You are 60 years old. You have gray hair. You have been here 10 ears. Once say ‘no’ to Christ, and we will release you. Once. Only once with your words. You may keep your Christian faith in your heart.”

Dibaj answered: “There is a long time until I become 120 years old. And if you keep me another 60 years, I’m not going to deny my Lord.”

This same commander asked him on another occasion: “If you see Jesus in a dream and Jesus tells you that ‘After Me another prophet will come. Follow him.’ What would you say to Jesus?”

Dibaj answered: “I’ll fall on my knees. I’ll cry and I’ll say, ‘Lord Jesus. If You want to send me to hell, please do so. If You want to execute me, please do so. Do whatever You will. But, please don’t send me away from You to another person.’”

How could Dibaj say things like that? Because Jesus’ promise was true for him — the Holy Spirit gave him what to say in the moments he needed it.

It’s the same for you. Are you going through a trial right now? Would you take some moments to shut yourself in with Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a word to speak to your situation at this very moment? He will!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, help me to rely on You today, trusting the Holy Spirit to give me the right words at the right time for every need I face.

DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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