Spiritual Affliction (Numbers 29)

Spiritual Affliction

            “…and deny yourselves”

There are far too many religions, cults, and sects in our world today.  Most of these religious organizations demand great sacrifices from their followers or disciples.  These false disciples are seen almost everywhere, either riding their bicycles or selling their literature door to door.  They work tirelessly for their salvation by submitting to compulsory attendance, “evangelism” and giving.

In many of these religions we can observe how they use physical suffering or sacrifice, to obtain merits.  Some whip themselves; others cut their own bodies.  In Cuba, for example, people walk for miles on their knees to visit the shrine of “Saint” Lazarus; and we are not counting the hundreds of monasteries and convents around the world!

The true Christian does not need to punish his body in this manner, for Christ already carried our sins, sickness and pains on the cross.  This is not to say, that the children of God shall not suffer persecution, or that our bodies may not be sacrificed for the Lord.

We will experience persecution, because this world rejects God and his children.  We must be willing to sacrifice even our life in Jesus name, but not to attain “merits” or eternal life.  We serve God sacrificially, because we are thankful for his great salvation.

There will be days when we need to afflict our souls and deny ourselves before God.  This is not the same procedure used by pagans.  They afflict their bodies with pain, hunger and endless sufferings, and for what end? We afflict our souls in true repentance, to receive God’s restoration to the joy of our salvation.

A. G.

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