Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, God’s voice came to my friend. Though it wasn’t an audible voice, it was nonetheless a clear one. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,” the Lord said to him. Confused and concerned by what he had heard, Francis, that’s my friend, boarded the train and headed to his seat. His destination was Shillong, India; the far northeastern part of the country. Little did he know that in a very short time the train that he had boarded would turn into a bloodbath complete with masked men, gunshots, and screaming people.
Though he was a relatively new Christian, Francis had enough sense to take the words which he had heard, and to turn them into a prayer. Even though nothing had happened yet, that prayer saved his life. “I don’t know why you’re telling me this God, but I agree with You; no weapon formed against me shall prosper,” he said as he sat down and slid his bag under the tattered seat.
Interestingly, once the train started moving, and the bandits decided to launch their attack, my friend responded just like everyone else. He was terrified. With gunshots exploding at the back of the train, and people screaming in sheer terror, Francis stood frozen while one of the bandits made his way straight toward him. His heart was about to come out of his chest. Then, right in the middle of it all, the word’s that God had spoken to him earlier came back to his mind, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” Instantly something changed.
Though still surrounded by fear, something else had surrounded him as well. God’s word had become a shield for him. As the masked man approached him waving his gun and shouting commands, suddenly he stopped, stared at him for a moment, and then turned and went the other way. The sparing of his life was nothing short of a miracle.
By the time everything was done, the news of the attack spread throughout the entire region; four people dead, several wounded, and all the passengers robbed; except for Francis that is. Though I can’t explain all the reasons that things happen to some people and not to others, I do know that God’s word is a shield to those who hear it and embrace it. Here are just a couple verses of scripture that speak to that end.
Psalm 119:114 – “You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in your word.”
Proverbs 30:5 – “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” And;
Genesis 15:1 – “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.”
Looking back, it’s been about nearly two decades since my wife and I first met Francis. In that time, God has done some amazing things in his life. He’s now married, has two beautiful children, and continues to serve on the pastoral staff of a church in Mumbai India that has upwards of ninety-five thousand members in that city alone.
No doubt, the lessons he learned that day about hearing God’s voice and applying His words have served him well over the years, and hopefully are an encouragement to you who read this. I leave you with the verse that God used to save His life.
“No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)