Reuel Leach - Faith - South Africa

Dear Friends and Fellow Workers,


It has been a busy time in South Africa. Getting topped up with the important things and only limited luggage to be carried on the flight back to Harare Zimbabwe called for some careful planning. Now back in Zimbabwe, I can rest again. The last few nights before I left South Africa, I never saw sleep before am. But I don't mind losing sleep for the sake of the kingdom. Its worth every minute.


The people are really down and out here in Zimbabwe; the death rate very high, also. One friend says that he thinks that becoming so poor was a real test of faith. Back in South Africa, the people are bulging with possessions and buying all the security to keep their goods safe. People are filled with the things of time so that they are too tired for quiet time. I see a greater danger in South Africa than in Zimbabwe.


Our faith gets tested in all situations...both prosperity and poverty, too. It's a poverty of thinking the thoughts that keep our hearts aflame. Matthew 5, Jesus says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they SHALL be filled." Blessed are they who are kingdom minded, spend every spare moment to be in touch with the friends and Workers, who see small needs like printing notes that are a help to them and giving or reading them to someone who don't have these blessings. I remember once that I used to visit some old ladies often, but I realized that I was still missing something. So I asked them when I called for a visit, if there was something I could get them on the way or if I could take them somewhere to get what they needed.


Are we hungry? It's only when we are filled with SPIRITUAL FOOD that we will be filled with FAITH. The disciples said to Jesus, "Increase our faith." Most times, we might think our faith is okay. We go to the meeting and speak about faith with confidence, but we are mistaken because the test is there. People think that faith is something that you believe in and will see soon. Like believing that a child would yield to God. So many died without seeing things fulfilled. Look at Abram. Even he had to wait 100 years to see his promised son and then was told one day to go and sacrifice him. David must have been on the run for around 14 years. Joseph had to wait many years to see the promise he saw in his dreams. Jesus had to wait until the age of 30 for His ministry to begin. It must have been a trying time. He could have chosen so much that the young people of today choose. He could have been the best in anything He would have wanted to become, but instead, He refused it as Moses did.


In Hebrews 11, I pointed out to my companion once that all the people mentioned in those chapters lived in fellowship meeting times. They had no temple to glory in. Most of them were few in small fellowship meetings like we are in today. It takes faith when we are only a few who gather together when maybe across the road there is a church with a few hundred people. Most people are willing to give a donation but very few are willing to give their all and lay their lives on the altar.


The disciples who benefited the most from their time with Jesus are the ones who stayed the closest to Him. Their faith was tested over and over, but it did not matter because they were close enough to see His face and behold His glory. It takes a whole lifetime to build faith in these vessels of clay and 5 minutes to break it all down. Some have made shipwreck of their faith because they go and read books which sow doubt, books written by people who have never had a walk with Christ, who have never met Him.


How do we increase our faith?


It says Faith comes by hearing....hearing the Word and voice of God... that's why we need the meetings. We cannot sit at home and listen to that negative voice all the time. Jesus said that by the words He spoke to His disciples, they are now clean. So hearing increases our faith and cleans us. Are we feeding others in the meeting and talking fear and doubt when we are out of the meeting? I catch the friends often with this, talking about the drama in the country, how the political and social systems are failing and even sending and receiving so-called patriotic emails, making people want to stand up for their rights and fight. These are not of God, He does not put us up against the principalities that He has set up. I think of Daniel and the honour that he showed to the worldly king, even saying, "Oh king, live forever."

 

Our place is in the kingdom of heaven and be lead by the same spirit that led Jesus. The worldly religions always talk politics, money, and theology, mixing God and mammon. This world is not our own. Jesus prophesied the degeneration of man and we are not to fight it but accept it. The more we focus on the troubles of time, the more we will fear, the less we believe in good. We will then even treat the very elect with suspicion because that's the way we are programming ourselves. Jesus kept trying to focus His disciples on heavenly bread, not earthly. He was willing to become the poorest to show us the true will of His father in heaven. When two people really love one another, there is no fear, therefore they trust one another. It's when one person begins to love someone else that the trust diminishes. Its because our love for the world is growing that our faith in God and maybe His faith in us diminishes.


John the Baptist found his own desires diminishing and been filled more with Christ, he found no lack in anything. I too have experienced that in the Work. Many people have a lot to say, and yes its true, that if we have not yet learnt to be good at anything, the world has taught us to be good critics, to condemn something or someone due to their shortfall in pleasing our desires. Everything is measured by the flesh and the lust thereof. Everyone is competing with the other, trying to have a better car, bigger house, more possessions, constantly looking for better jobs with better conditions and then putting on a humble face when they come to the meeting. God has entrusted many of our friends with money, but most people that look good today are diseased with debt, having sleepless nights and so stressed that they treat their own family and loved ones like castaways.


Faith without works is dead faith. In fact, you cannot then call it faith, but fear, which is dead faith. Fear paralyses people and makes them unproductive today because they are fearing the future because of past failure. Jesus had to constantly comfort His disciples and reassure them that He was powerful and almighty. Not just this but in all things that were happening to them. It was in fact for a good purpose, it was in fact strengthening their faith. When someone calls you in distress, you try and comfort them and strengthen their faith.


I ask myself the question in return....Does Christ have faith in me... and the answer is often very negative, but He knows what we can achieve with His help and that us more than we think. Don’t give up on yourself, don't give up on what your Father in heaven would like to do in you before He works in those around about you.


Keep the faith!

Yours in Christ,

Reuel