If we follow God in faith, there will be times in our lives when we face the valley of decision. As the spirit of God in us clashes with the spirit of this world, we face a great tempest of spiritual debris. Competing voices from those around us will add to the fracas, making the decision even more difficult. Those that stay the course God has set for them soon learn that the storm of deciding is far easier to handle than what follows. If we stand in faith, those that have the fear of man will turn on us. In an instant we go from being pets to meat.
In Canada at this hour the government is actively jailing pastors, much like they do in Communist China. They have restricted Christian gatherings just as they do in Communist China. They have locked down and restricted church buildings with unprecedented speed as their patron, the Chinese Communist Party does. The reason they do so doesn’t matter, for the government’s actions speak louder than their words. In this spiritual melee every believer in Canada is being put to the test. Which side will they fall on, faith in God or fear of man?
Unfortunately, believers caught in this valley of decision have been blindsided and confused by the ferocity and direction of this attack. Many of their leaders, their pastors, are actively cheering for the side of satan against those standing in faith. Those rebelling against egregious lockdown restrictions are being targeted from two sides. Pastors and ministry leaders are actively promoting the fear of man and encouraging the actions of the government.
Believers that stand in solidarity are being harassed and cast out by their leaders because they will not bow down to the fear of man.
Roger and Me
In the documentary, Roger and Me, there is a scene set in Flint, Michigan where a woman is raising rabbits. A sign in her yard said Rabbits or Bunnies: Pets or Meat. She said that what you did with the rabbit was dependent on your financial position. If you were financially stable, then the rabbit would be a pet but if you were poor then the rabbit would be meat.
As the financial economy of Flint was devastated by companies that shipped their factories to Communist China the people of Flint also had to make hard choices. Choices that had unfortunate consequences for the rabbit. This visual parable is now a reality for believers in Canada today. Where those who stood in faith were once welcomed in congregations they are now being singled out for rejection and expulsion.
Pets or Meat?
For many years, believers in the west were comfortable and well off. Real faith, faith that costs, was rare for many did not see the wisdom of paying the price for it. Times were good so why face lack by giving up all for Jesus just to gain faith? Faith and fear coexisted in the church without too much conflict. God did call His people to grow up into Him but few believers heeded His words.
Now that a spiritual storm has reached Canada, and as Communist China tightens its death grip over the government and churches here, believers are being forced to make hard decisions. The comfortable times are gone and they must choose between faith or fear. What is most difficult is that when believers try to move from fear of man to faith in God they go from being pets to meat very quickly.
The spiritual tempest
The reason for this is a dynamic old as time itself. It is the battle between faith in God or faith in man. Never have we seen that aspect so stark as we do today. Some believers, pastors and leaders are actively choosing faith over fear opening their churches; standing against all the lies that have been promoted by the government this past year. Prophets, like Barry Wunsch, and intercessors have joined in solidarity with them as God has directed.
There are other pastors, leaders, ministries and organizations that are completely compromised with the fear of man. Dependent on a government that controls their freedom, they cannot allow those that would stand in faith to remain. Therefore, a spiritual war between these two sides has brought many into the valley of decision. Believers standing in faith now find themselves quickly ostracized by those living by fear of man. A breech has formed in the ranks of Canadian Christians.
A stunning divide
Those that pay the price for faith now are being bullied, harassed and crucified by those that want the comfortable old way of life.
This stunning divide only increases as each day passes. Those that are comfortable in their lies and fear of man harden their hearts each time they silence the voice of faith in others. Those that stand in faith against them will find their sustenance in the Lord and the truth of His word. Each time believers stand firm in their faith, God strengthens and hardens them to difficulties (Isaiah 41:10). Over time, once weak believers will become an effective fighting force while those who bow to the fear of man will weaken and die.
When we face down the fear of man in others through faith, the consequences become immediately clear. Friendships will be tested and lost because of decisions made. What we must realize is that faith in God and becoming a disciple of Jesus will always trump friendships. The question is, will we pay that price? In God’s word Jeremiah makes it abundantly clear what is at stake.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 AMPC
Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
The price of faith
God is looking for such a faith in His people so they can withstand the evil days ahead. He knows we need a strong enduring faith that will not bow down when the enemy comes at us with the fear of man. What is coming is far worse than what we are seeing today. There will come a time in the near future when those who hold to the name of Jesus will pay for it with their lives. Will God find in us then the faith that remains when tested by fire?
Unless we learn to embrace the trials of faith today we will not successfully endure the fires of tribulation tomorrow.
Stepping out many years ago, our family went through the trials and training to learn enduring faith when life was still comfortable. After paying a high price we now stand firm. We will not be swayed by the dictates and directives issued by ‘self’ filled ’leaders’ bowing to fear. We actively and confidently stand with those pastors and believers who are taking their first tepid steps down the path of real faith, unafraid of the consequences. Even though we too pay the price of betrayal by those who were once friends because they submit to the fear of man, we will not surrender our faith. Not now, not ever.
Stand in faith
Our encouragement to all believers is to stand with God in faith and not bow down to the fear of man at this pivotal time. This hour of testing is God’s mercy towards us so we learn to push past our fear and enter into intimacy with Jesus through faith. You cannot stand in the fear of man and also please the Lord. It is not possible. Yes, those that are comfortable in their lies will persecute you. You will discover what it is like going from pets to meat, but if you persevere in faith, I guarantee God will stand with you. Stand firm in faith and see the deliverance of the Lord.
Homer and Wanda