“Maybe God doesn’t answer your prayer because you define the answer. God always has something better.”
— Miroslav Kis, Andrews University Seminary Professor. Dr. Kis grew up in communist Yugoslavia. As an eight year old second grader he decided to keep the Sabbath by not attending school. His teacher beat him so severely that he suffered great loss of blood, bruises and high fever. His mother took him to the doctor for treatment. The next Sabbath he struggled with his decision but continued to hold to his convictions to honor the Lord of the Sabbath by not going to school. Ultimately the teacher was fired, sentenced to seven years in prison and his teaching license revoked for life because of the testimony of the doctor who treated young Kis after the beatings.
While in his early 20s Kis was court-martialed from the military for refusing to work on Sabbath. During the trial he was given the opportunity to tell of his experience as a young boy in keeping the Sabbath. The military leaders were so moved by his experience that they gave him special treatment and favors during his remaining time in the military instead of punishing him.
When Kis later told his story at a professional meeting of theological scholars one of the “scholars” said that Kis’ mother was a fanatical legalist for allowing this to happen. Kis responded that only God can tell who is a legalist and who isn’t because many Bible characters listed in the roll call of faith in Hebrews 11 seemed to be legalists for their great trust in God, but were actually just simply obedient children of God. Then he read these verses from the following chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4):
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
After reading about “shedding your blood” Kis sat down. He Knows What He’s Talking About (H.K.W.H.T.A.)