This morning I closed the little blue book that I have held in my hands so very often over the last two weeks. I had just finished reading The Heavenly Man ("THM"), a book on the true life accounts of Chinese Christian, Liu Zhenying, more popularly known as Brother Yun.
THM took me on a roller coaster ride through Brother Yun's life. If there is a book that you must read (besides the Bible that is), this is it! Read it and be prepared to be challenged!!
It began with how he as a young lad witnessed his father's miraculous healing by Christ, and how he then decided to follow Christ in faith.
It spoke of his passion for the Lord, and how he fervently sought the Lord and hungered for His Word.
It told of the remarkable growth of the Chinese Christian church and the incredible opposition that followed, physical and spiritual, from within and without.
It relayed details on the persecution, pain and suffering that Brother Yun and many other Chinese Christians went through, and how during those times they still glorified the Lord with their testimonies.
It put me to shame as I read about how Brother Yun faithfully obeyed the Great Commission by witnessing for Christ everywhere he went, even in the prisons when he was undergoing great persecution.
It humbled me as I was reminded how our churches have much silver and gold, but had lost much of its zeal for the Lord.
It showed me despite all the wrong and suffering in the world, we have a God who is still in control today! His ways may not be our ways, but God's timing is always perfect!
An excerpt from The Heavenly Man:-
"We have also come to understand that the past thirty years of suffering, persecution and torture for the house churches in China were all part of God's training for us...
Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, "I've been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom." This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, "The government will be on his shoulders." - Isaiah 9:6
God has used China's government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.
Don't pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn't pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.
This is true freedom!"
Great stuff eh? Certainly helps us see things in a different light.