May the Lord Jesus bless you as you read and may He deepen in you the desire to intercede for and share His love with others.
Chapter 1: Urbanus and Nicanor.
Urbanus (Rom 16:9) loved his city but he longed for the heavenly city. Spiritually, his city was as far from home as the earth is from the end of the universe - and since the earth is in the middle of the universe, spiritually (if not also physically), that was a fair hike. True he loved the people but their ways were so far from the ways of his beloved King. At dinner parties “friends” proudly confessed to helping themselves to airline cutlery and towels, cash under the table bypassed tax payments, rush-hour traffic-jam noise camouflaged impatient mutterings and bitter thoughts.
Contrary to these human weaknesses, Urbanus longed for the heart of God written on his heart and mind, absolutely and completely. The moments of joy that filled his very being from soaking himself in God’s thoughts, led him more and more to want this more than anything else. The desire for God’s presence saturated him like a tree sucking up rivers of living water. Many considered Urbanus an obstruction to human progress and creativity, thinking and speaking gossip of him to others. This would’ve disturbed Urbanus if he’d let it but he was too busy enjoying the Lord’s company to be distracted by the evil conniving of corrupt acquaintances around him.
Not everyone was so disrespectful towards him, however. One man in particular, old Nicanor (Acts 6:5), saw in Urbanus an unquenchable fire that could not be put out by mere human means. A fire that both attracted him by its brightness and purity, and consumed him by its repulsion of evil. Nicanor desired what Urbanus had, more than gold and, whenever possible, would talk with him, also observing him from a distance. He saw the fruits of Urbanus’ life. When others were impatient, he was patient and long suffering. When other criticised the government for stifling business, he commended the government for helping the poor. When others gossiped, he spoke well of those named. When others blasphemed God’s name, he thanked God for life and breath. In more than what he said, Nicanor observed his happy countenance and peaceful manner. The sort of person you felt you could trust in difficult circumstances. His smile and care for others never seemed to fade. Nicanor often wondered how Urbanus got by from week to week. Yet whatever his means, he certainly prospered.
In contrast, those who abused, jeered and ridiculed Urbanus had a hagged, wretched look. Always searching for the elusive something that would bring status, health and wealth. Never satisfies, always wanting more. Even some Sabbath-keepers, Nicanor observed, lived this treadmill. The wind blowing their hopes and dreams away the more they hoped and dreamed.
Nicanor sat with Urbanus one afternoon on the river bank. “I enjoy your company, Urbanus,” he began after gazing into the river for some time. “But even more I want to know what makes you tick! Obviously (to me) you walk with God who strengthens you in all that you do. I’ve been a Sabbath-keeper all my life yet I don’t know God as you do.”
Urbanus didn’t reply at first. He too gazed into the river as if expecting the reply to come from its depths. “Unless you are born of water and the Spirit, Nicanor, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Seeing Nicanor’s puzzled expression, he continued. “Born of water as an infant from his mother; born of the spirit of God as a child from His womb.”
“But how can I be born of the Spirit?” questioned Nicanor.
“Do you love truth, Nicanor?” “I do,” he replied.
“Do you hate evil? (Yes, every much.) Do you believe in God? (Yes, of course.) Have you disobeyed God’s laws? (Yes, many times, sadly.) Do you accept that God’s punishment for sin is death? (Yes, though it grieves me greatly.) Do you believe Jesus, God’s Messiah, is alive in heaven and loves you Nicanor? (I think so. But perhaps more in my mind than in my heart.)
“You are honest, my friend. You are so close to knowing God in your heart too. This requires: 1) a desire to know Him (and I believe you do); 2) the recognition that everything you do on your own is contrary to Him; 3) the courage to admit this, turn from your own hopes and goals, and put your life completely at the mercy of God; 4) the courage to tell God your sins and plead His mercy and forgiveness; 5) the faith that Jesus loves you and gave His life unto death to take your place in death and so redeem you to God; 6) the courage to let Jesus live His love and life in you; 7) the fortitude and willingness to let His Spirit live and work through you to bless others.”
Old Nicanor took mental note of these 7 things, thanked Urbanus and wandered off to ponder these further on his own. Urbanus watched at a distance and it was with joy that by and by he saw Nicanor fall to his knees, weep profusely, his head bowed low on the grass as though before a King. Then after a time, his head slowly rose, his eyes gazing upwards to meet (Urbanus knew) the eyes of his glorious Lord Jesus.
With eyes of the spirit, Urbanus watched as heaven opened and a beautiful white dove descended upon old Nicanor. In that split second the old man changed and his exclamations of praise to God joined the myriads of angels in heaven who danced and rejoiced too.
Urbanus withdrew and went his way, his heart full of love for his Lord, the Lord Jesus and he skipping together along the path.
Psalm 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His Law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodlly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Chapter 2: The nations counsel together.
In the boardroom, the presidents of 10 nations initiated several new laws to combat the rising waves of people converting to the Christian faith. This they saw to be undermining their ability to control the affairs of the nations of the world under computer internet systems.
These laws included: 1) Churches of more than 10 people are now forbidden; 2) Pastors are forbidden unless they are prepared to work in part-time business and receive no salary as pastor; 3) Advertisements on Internet will be given good discounts if they praise our wonderful presidents and ridicule God; 4) Goods in shops can only be bought and sold if they have the Internet seal of approval on each item. The Presidents were pleased with their plans and dispatched their command forthwith by e-mail into every computerised home and office upon earth - in one swift second.
In a private prayer room in an old apartment devoid of computers and television, Urbanus knelt, having received a prompt from the Spirit to intercede. He prayed on behalf of the saints and for all whose deep desire was to know the Lord Jesus and truth. Jesus received the prayer of the faithful saint and the court of heaven rejoiced and laughed, for the plans of men are futile when God speaks.
A few days later Urbanus read of the new laws on a huge billboard near his local supermarket. It saddened him and he grieved for the plight of his country folk. Everyone seemed oblivious to the vain direction down which the world was heading - on a wide road to destruction.
On his way home he met Nicanor who, on the one hand, was rejoicing in his new found faith yet on the other was mystified at the sudden turn of world events. Urbanus could see that the old man was having his faith tested by the evil one so he invited Nicanor to his home for prayer. Once home, having provided refreshments for his guest, Urbanus brought Nicanor into the prayer room usually reserved for his private use. Urbanus had faced this sort of prayer battle many times before and he knew there were certain precautions to take, more so because Nicanor was young in the faith. He outlined these to his friend.
“Nicanor, my friend, in these matters we face a formidable foe. Yet on our side we have an even mightier warrior - the King of Zion. As we rest in Jesus, King of kings, we only have to ask and he will give what we ask. The evil one wants to breaks us through the power he exerts over the presidents. This power must be broken before the nations will become the Lord’s. So let’s pray in this way: 1st for ourselves for the Lord’s protection to ward off the flaming arrows of the enemy against our souls; 2nd praising our Father in heaven for His promises; 3rd agreeing together in faith for His purpose in the matter before us today; 4th waiting for His prophetic word to instruct us.”
Nicanor nodded in silent assent as the two, led by the Spirit, knelt together in the Lord’s presence. The court of heaven thus called, spiritual warfare began over principalities and powers in high places.
It was with joy that the two men met day after day in prayer. By and by they observed some curious turns of events. Yes, churches were reduced in size. Yet this became a blessing as the saints became more aware of each other’s needs. Far deeper worship and fellowship ensued, such that it enriched all their lives and overflowed tenfold upon the lives of others they touched.
Yes, pastors were sent into business and their incomes dropped dramatically. Yet this became a blessing too. The pastors found as they trusted Jesus that sufficient finances miraculously turned up when specific needs arose. The pastors also found a harvest field of unbelievers in their workplaces amongst whom to minister. Every small church discovered that there were one if not two others within their group of 10 with pastoral ministries, up til now untapped. This was joy indeed.
Yes, advertisements did blaspheme God’s name. Yet, at the same time, a mystifying computer virus appeared during every hourly news broadcast, flashing the words “Jesus is King” over the air, onto every screen and into every home around the world. Sometimes other brief messages appeared like “Serve God with fear” or “Rejoice in God with trembling” or “Judgement is coming” - and try as the TV editors did, no explanation or trace could be found for the source of these messages.
Yes, it was true that the Internet seal monopolised trade world-wide. Yet amongst the saints this encouraged far greater sharing of possessions and produce. This meant that those who refused to use the seal were neither disadvantaged nor starved.
In the boardroom, the 10 presidents sat looking at the dismal graphic statistics which, to their frustration, were continuing to show Christians posing a serious threat to their lofty position.
Psalm 2 Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed. They say, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath and distress them in deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son. Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for your inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Now therefore, be wise, O kings. Be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son lest He be angry with you and you perish in the way when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all who put their trust in Him. **************************************************
If you would like the next 6 chapters, please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email them to you. Murray Peat 2013
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