Uit de biografie van James Fraser, de pionier zendeling onder de Lisu


Hieronder staat een verslag van de wijze waarop Fraser geestelijk werd aangevallen door de boze machten toen hij zich fulltime ging richten op het werk onder de Lisu stam. Het verslag vertelt ook hoe hij door de genade van de Heer overwon! 


Fraser was in China als zendeling van de China Inland Mission. Tijdens zijn werk als zendeling ontmoette hij leden van de Lisu stam. God gaf hem speciaal een gebedslast en bewogenheid voor deze mensen. Uiteindelijk kreeg hij toestemming van de leiding van het zendingsgenootschap om fulltime onder hen te gaan werken. Daarvoor had hij al af en toe contact met Lisu’s gehad. Hij was enkele keren voor een evangelisatie tocht in hun gebied geweest. Er was wat belangstelling, een enkeling had de Heer aangenomen.


Het citaat uit het boek:


It was along another line that he (Fraser) was tested this time, and that more and more seriously.


In the ardor of his faith he had taken it for granted that Gods time had come for the blessing he longed to see among the Lisu. Now that he was giving himself wholly to them, they would surely respond and gather round him in larger numbers. They would appreciate his learning their language and be eager to hear more of the Word of God. But, in reality, the very opposite was the case.


The people at 'Little River' were hospitable and friendly as before, but showed no added interest in spiritual things. At 'Six Family Hollow' he was always welcome, Ah-do's old mother being especially real in her love for the Savior. A few others scattered in three villages gave evidence of a change of heart, but beyond that the work seemed to have come to a standstill.


Where was the great and growing interest? He had been so happy in the expectation that the walls of his Jericho would soon fall down. 'We thought it was the seventh day of our compassing,' he recalled long after, ', but it was only the first.'


The children of the hamlet loved him and were full of fun and curiosity. Indoors or out they hung about him, watching his every movement and trying to help him in his studies. To tackle a language not reduced tot writing was proving a tough job. It was pioneering in a new realm; and without books or teacher, Fraser welcomed the interest of the children. They never tired of repeating words and phrases till he had them written down, tones and all, for his musical ear insisted on correctness.


It was not lack of interest in his surroundings that led to the depression of spirit that now began to assail him. He did not know at first what to make of it. Was he lonely in that isolated hamlet, remote from contact with the outside world? Was it the poor food that left him under-nourished? Was it the struggle with the language, or the deadlock in the work? Rain and mist in the mountains might be depressing; but as the days and weeks wore on, he realized that there were other influences to be reckoned with.


For a strange uncertainty began to shadow his inward life. All he had believed and rejoiced in became unreal, and even his prayers seemed tot mock him as the answers faded into nothingness. "Does God answer prayer?" loomed larger and larger as a tormenting question. 'Does He know and care?'  'Your faith, your expectation -what is the outcome?'


In his solitude, depression such as he had never known before closed down upon him. Was he really right in the course he had taken? Five years in China, and so little to show for it! Was there anything after all in his burden of prayer for the Lisu? How he dreaded the coming of some letter in a tone of sympathy- 'Perhaps you have been mistaken,' or 'Are you sure you are in the will of God?.'


Deeply were the foundations shaken in those days and nights of conflict, until Fraser realized that behind it all were 'powers of darkness', seeking to overwhelm him.


He had dared to invade Satan's kingdom, undisputed for ages. At first, vengeance had fallen on the Lisu inquirers, an easy prey. Now, he was himself atttacked- and it was war to death, spiritually. No one knew about it or imagined what the lonely pioneer was facing; that in his extremity he was even tempted, and that persistently, to make an end of it all.


No one, did we say? Then how was it that succor reached him just at that time and in the very way to help him most.


For it was then, when the rainy season was at its dreariest, that a messenger came from Tengyueh with letters and papers, one of which brought him light. Someone, strange to say, had sent him a copy of The Overcomer, a magazine with which Fraser was unfamiliar. Its appearance in the poor little shack in those Lisu mountains was surely timed by Omnipotent Love! For it set forth the very truth needed in that strange conflict, and 'the truth shall make you free'.


The fact came home to Fraser, as he pored over the welcome pages, reading and re-reading every word, was that Satan is indeed a conquered foe. Christ, our risen Lord, has in very truth 'bruised his head' upon the Cross of shame. 'Having put off from Himself (through His death) the principalities and the powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.'

(Col. 2:15)


This he had held before, as a matter of doctrine. Now, it shone out for him in letters of light that victory is ours. Satan had desired to have him- determined, as he realized, upon wrecking him as a missionary, then and there. No words could tell what the long struggle in the dark had been. But now the Mighty Victor took him by the hand. What other voice could have said as He said it- '"Triumph thou because of Me?" Overcome, overcome, "Even as I also overcame."'


Long years before, in the life that seemed far away, Fraser had responded in obedience to the claims of that Glorious One Who, for him, had died upon the Cross. Now, in the Lisu mountains, he responded again and yet more deeply to the liberating power of the same Cross. 'they overcame him (the great enemy) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.' There, in that poor shack, the victory was won that was to mean life tot thousands.


The rest Fraser told long after, as far as words could tell it, in conversation with the writer:


I read it over and over- that number of The Overcomer. What it showed me was that deliverance from the power of the evil one comes through definite resistance on the ground of The Cross.


I am an engineer and believe in things working. I want to see them work. I had found that much of the spiritual teaching one hears does not seem to work. My apprehension at any rate of other aspects of truth had broken down. The passive side of leaving everything to the Lord Jesus as our life, while blessedly true, was not all that was needed just then.


Definite resistance on the ground of The Cross was what brought me light. For I found that it worked. I felt like a man perishing of thirst, to whom some beautiful, clear, cold water had begun to flow.


People will tell you, after a helpful meeting perhaps, that such and such a truth is the secret of victory. No: we need different truth at different times. 'Look to the Lord,' some will say. 'Resist the devil,' is also scripture (James iv.7).


And I found that it worked!. That cloud of depression dispersed. I found that I could have victory in the spiritual realm whenever I wanted it. The Lord Himself resisted the devil vocally: "Get behind me, satan!" I, in humble dependence on Him, did the same. I talked to Satan at that time, using the promises of Scripture as weapons. And they worked. Right then, the terrible oppression began to pass away.


One had to learn, gradually, how to use the new-found weapon of resistance. I had so much to learn! It seemed as if God was saying: 'You are crying to me to do a big work among the Lisu; I am wanting to do a big work in you yourself'


(Tot zover dit eerste citaat van Fraser zelf)


And this aspect of truth opened up more and more. The enemy does not retire at the first set-back. Sometime later, Fraser was much tried by the persistent recurrence of evil thoughts. It almost came to be an obsession.


These thoughts were present with me (he said himself) even when I was preaching. I went out of the city (Tengyueh) to a hidden gully on the hill-side, one of my prayer-haunts, and there voiced my determined resistance on the ground of my Redeemer’s victory on the Cross. I even shouted my resistance to Satan and all his thoughts. The obsession collapsed then and there, like a pack of cards, to return no more.


James iv. 7 is still in the Bible. Our Lord cried, we are told, 'with a loud voice' at the grave of Lazarus. He cried 'with a loud' voice from the Cross. In times of conflict I still find deliverance through repeating Scripture out loud, appropriate Scripture, brought to my mind through the Holy Spirit. It is like crashing through opposition. 'Resist the devil and he will flee from you'.


(Tot zover dit tweede citaat van Fraser)


Bron: 'Behind the Ranges' door mrs. Howard Taylor.


Dit is een heftig verhaal. James Fraser was de pionier van het werk onder Lisu stammen. Hij drong het gebied binnen dat reeds duizenden jaren onder volledige controle van de boze machten was geweest. Als je zo iets doet dan kun je tegenaanvallen verwachten. Het feit dat hij alleen was maakte hem extra kwetsbaar. In de strijd leerde hij om weerstand te bieden tegen de boze machten. Onze omstandigheden zijn wellicht anders, maar als wij de Heer dienen, kunnen we tegenaanvallen verwachten. En ook wij moeten tegenstand bieden.


Ter bemoediging van ons allen. De Heer zorgde er voor dat James Fraser precies op het goede moment de goed boodschap uit de Schrift onder ogen kwam. Dat had de Heer al voorbereid voordat James deze aanval te verduren kreeg. Want vele maanden daarvoor had God een christen in Engeland op het hart gelegd om precies de boodschap die James nodig zou hebben op te sturen. Het duurde vele maanden voordat post vanuit Engeland een zendeling in de binnenlanden van China bereikte. En precies op het moment dat hij het nodig had arriveerde het blad. Dat is Gods timing. Hij is dezelfde nu, Hij is dezelfde voor ons. Hij geeft geen verzoeking en beproeving boven vermogen en als Hij verzoeking toelaat dan zorg Hij ook voor de uitkomst zodat we er tegen bestand zijn.


Dit wordt behandeld in enkele studies van de bijbelstudie serie over de engelen:

+ "Hoe de boze machten ons aan kunnen vallen"

+ "Hoe weerstand te bieden"

+ “De geestelijke wapenrusting”


Zie de onderwijssite:  www.internetbijbelschool.nl