"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" Eph 2:6
"Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect ..........
The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin .........
Scientists now believe there may really be a parallel universe - in fact, there may be an infinite number of parallel universes, and we just happen to live in one of them. These other universes contain space, time and strange forms of exotic matter. Some of them may even contain you, in a slightly different form. Astonishingly, scientists believe that these parallel universes exist less than one millimetre away from us. In fact, our gravity is just a weak signal leaking out of another universe into ours.
For years parallel universes were a staple of the Twilight Zone. Science fiction writers loved to speculate on the possible other universes which might exist. In one, they said, Elvis Presley might still be alive or in another the British Empire might still be going strong. Serious scientists dismissed all this speculation as absurd. But now it seems the speculation wasn't absurd enough. Parallel universes really do exist and they are much stranger than even the science fiction writers dared to imagine."
(Material above excerpted from
articles by Max Tegmark and
BBC Science and Nature)
*Note: this following material might best be read slowly and even twice to gain the meaning. I have taken the liberty of not overstating that which I see, but instead desiring to allow the Spirit to fill in the blanks. I would hope you might even see deeper than I, with regard to this subject.
In a recent blog, Roy's friend's contemplation of a "what if" that caught my eye. I was at that time, studying the "Elohim" which speaks to the plurality in God. I believe this "plurality" includes you and me. Here is the pondering which I thought quite profound. Although this fellow may not even know of our preexistence in God, his question gives opening to the consideration of the Elohim deciding our fate on earth.
"What would you choose if God spoke to you and gave you the option of either living a relatively pain free life, one of little sorrow, or stress, or upset;
The other choice was to experience more of Him, so that you can have a deeper relationship with Him. That in the end you would agree to let Him drag you through pain and sorrow, and stress and upset, but in the end you would have a much closer relationship with Him, and get to know Him in a greater way!" (Roy's friend)
Before I go on with my thoughts of the Elohim and how they tie into what the scientists are observing in the natural realm, I thought to share part of a forum discussion that I copied not long ago. I believe this message succinctly addresses the friend of Roy's question in a unique way.
Sometimes I question the choices I must have made in the pre-existence, trying to make sense of it all. Why I always feel so alienated from the rest of the world at times.
" I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim (God) has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it." Ecc 1:13
"For, moreover, a man does not know his season; Like fish that are held in a vicious weir, And like birds that are held in a snare, So the sons of humanity themselves are trapped by a season of evil, When it falls on them suddenly." Ecc 9:12
"Although He was a Son, He (Jesus) learned obedience from the things which He suffered." Heb 5:8
" I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." Joh 13:16
Which all leads back to...
"I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim (God) has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it." Ecc 1:13
Please allow me to share one more quote. This is a favorite of mine because of both the humor and the expressed thought that I can identify with, especially in the midst of a trial.
This is Martin Zender's reply when someone questioned his teaching on absolute sovereignty:
Some one said, "You mean God's responsible for all this hardship and trouble and pain? Some God!"
Martin's reply was "Don't complain to me about it! If it were up to me I'd fire Him from being God so fast it would make your head spin!"
I believe if we got to the bottom of the matter we might possibly be, also firing ourselves. (Don't know whether to cry or laugh with that thought, but let's move on)
"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" Jn 10:34
In the scripture above Jesus prods the Pharisees "do you know you are Gods?" Besides serving to fulfill scripture I see this as kind of a "jokes on you, pals" statement.
Later as Jesus hung from the cross He would look upon these same naysayers and persecutors turned murderers and speak to their state of ignorance. Amazingly, while dieing an incredibly horrendous death, Christ would absolve His killers of responsibility. What amazing words these are and how few really understand their implication. I know, I have barely touched even a minimal understanding of such love, such amazing mercy and unfathomable grace demonstrated by One, that could have instead called down legions to save Him and punish His executioners.
Then said Jesus, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
Surely, the veil of ignorance is our flesh made up of the elements of a material world ...... a world fallen from Heaven and thrown into darkness and chaos. For a certainty, we "know not what we do" until our dark and separated souls begin to be illuminated by and united with the Spirit of Christ. The illumination and unification is God's work in the saving of our soul, which is the seat of our flesh.
The word "flesh" is a comprehensive term, that includes all that a person is through his or her natural birth. This includes intellect, emotions, will, body, consciousness, expression and identity. The flesh is Adam! The flesh nature is also dead to God. Our walk begins in darkness and death and is a journey of change where we progressively pass through the veil, evolving from the darkness of the flesh to the light and life of the Spirit.
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" Heb 10:19,20
Precious Jesus! For that veil through which we must pass is His flesh, His rent body that poured out the redeeming blood that washed away our sin along with the ignorance that sin wrought. For us the rent veil is the body of Christ wounded. His sacrifice is the way to Heaven where the Holiest Place, is opened to us. The veil of flesh, of the Holiest of All, was torn open that we might enter in. Oh my, can we even imagine! Will we ever come to the end of our understanding and awe when contemplating such profound a sacrifice.
If we chose to enlarge on this, we could go on and on, showing how, still the the sacrifice and suffering of Christ, is currently manifest in the lives of His saints. Surely most here at SONSHINE have been wounded and often deeply, as they find themselves in His body sharing His Cross. Oh, I'll tell ya, there are circles within circles, or better said "wheels within the wheel", when it comes to God's Kingdom. These concentric "wheels of God's Kingdom", I believe can be likened to the "many worlds" that the probing scientists can but only observe the shadows of. These brilliant cosmologists, astronomers and physicists will forever be struggling to comprehend the many worlds of God. For such supernal knowledge is only given to those that come as simple children to discover that Christ and all that is His, has come to abide within their very hearts.
The Lord held a little child in his arms, when He declared, "of such is the kingdom of Heaven."
Lest I try to bite off too much with is blog I will begin my rest here. I have but shared a portion taken from a large file that was skinnied down from six or seven other files on "our preexistence" and "the Elohim." Lord willing I will share more in the next blog on the Elohim and the creation of the many worlds the scientist long to peer into. Til then, maybe I can wet your appetite by asking you to contemplate who might be the "us" in the Genesis scripture below.
"And God (Elohim) said, Let us make man in our image ......... " Gen. 1:26
If you would like to explore some on your own this good brother has some real insight into the identity and nature of the "Elohim". I found David Field's teaching on Gen 1 & 2 quite rich. Here is the link to the his Genesis series and please note this site can be slow.
In closing and in keeping with our theme, if you would, allow me to give you a beautiful bonus. I will leave you with a recent testimony of a good brother I used to trade thoughts with on the forums. He goes by the name "Claypot" and I get tickled when I think of he and his wife raising eleven children. I'm sure Eliyah and Joian can appreciate the thought of "such a full quiver", as they wipe their brows and whisper, "oh my ........oh my gosh" LOL
"Something has happened within me lately. I really feel as if we have come from God, the Spiritual. I mean I really feel it. I think to myself that this is not my home (the physical), I'm just passing through. I 'see' myself kind of being in that realm and looking at my life here in this physical. What this does for me is it helps me to communicate to my neighbor. To say "Hey, we're close to going home, so close. Let's wipe the dust off of ourselves and start pulling up the tent stakes. This was a nice visit, not always, but it's time to call it a day and vamoose."
I can't really explain it but the spiritual seems more real to me.
Aren't we all beginning to feel as Clay describes.
May it be said of us, "they live more in the next world than in this."
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love"
Note: the definition of the term
"flesh"was taken from an old
writing by an an unknown author
There were the 5,000 who came to see the miracles and have their belly's made full. Out of the 5,000, seventy were sent out to represent Him to the world. And out of that seventy, there were the twelve He explained the parables to, that they might understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. Then, of the twelve were taken the three to bare witness of Himself transfigured in all His glory. Lastly of the three there was the one of whom it is said, "Jesus loved." That beloved one laid his head on Jesus breast.
One of the great hidden scriptures speaking to God's purpose in the Church Age is found at Acts 15:14.
Symeon has related how God first looked graciously on the Gentiles (nations) to take from among them a people to be called by His name. (Weymouth)
and what of this "name" .......
this "Most Glorious Name"
They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. And they will call them, "The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD"; And you will be called, "Sought out, a city not forsaken." Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Rev 22:4 & Isa 62:2,12 & 60:12
Let us reckon, it is always the few and not the many that the Father keeps and deals deeply with. Conversely, do not the scriptures tell us that "the many come to deceive the many"
Lord Jesus, keep us in Truth and make us worthy of Your Precious Name. May we never seek consolation with the multitude, but instead the solace and safety in One.
If you didn't already know, I grew up in Hawaii as a youngster some fifty years ago. There I learned what it is like to never wear shoes, as barefoot was the dress code in school and even church. I also learned a little Ukulele. It was a mandatory subject for all fifth graders. And yes I delighted in learning to dance Hula, which many do not know is also masculine and even a warrior tradition. Lastly, to my father's great delight, I also took up speaking "da pidgin english." He neva like dat (lol). Truly I can think of no where more enchanted, and relaxed a place to grow up than Waikiki during the fifties and early sixties
With my years in the islands I fell in love with the native Hawaiians with their beautiful spirit of Aloha. I believe as a natural race there is not a more happy and hospital people, always engaging anyone that cared to learn of their culture. Sadly, with the influx of tourism and modern means, today the Hawaiian people suffer much as our Native American people do here on the mainland. Epidemic juvenile delinquency, drug use and crime run rampant in many parts of Hawaii. The islands have changed.
With that said, of my background and the trends of Hawaii, I felt led to share the aforementioned song by a revered Hawaiian musician. I hope you might even sense the anointing, as Joian and many others have. This tune is made up of a couple very familiar songs, however I can bet you have never heard anything close to this rendition.
Now you probably won't cry as I did tonight when I listened to it. And knowing that might be the case I found a video of one of Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's last concerts where "estrangements healed" was the order of the evening. With this second song you might get some "chicken skin" as the Hawaiians call it. You may even catch a vision of the next world, where there is going to be alot of forgiveness taking place and estrangement will become a state forgotten.
Lastly allow me share some background, particularly for the second video. Israel actually grew up in the same neighborhood where I lived and played. He later moved to Makaha on the west side of the island where he joined talents with some braddahs (brothers). They formed a band, "The Makaha Sons" and soon, with regards to popularity, they were Hawaii's version of the Beetles. After some years IZ would break apart from the group and as with most band breakups, there were hurt feelings aplenty. In the second video on this blog, the Makaha Sons after many years of estrangement, reunite with Iz and there is not a dry eye in the audience as the spirit of forgiveness rains down, on all in attendance. Preceding his playing and singing, Iz rebukes the youngsters of Hawaii for their wayward ways ....... their drug use, their crimes, their huffing. This lovable troubadour then shares a word about Jesus that is priceless, before the group reunites, coming together to sing in wonderful harmony. As you will see in this clip, Izzy is on oxygen. This is one of his last concerts before he died at the young age of 38, from complications stemming from his obesity. Morbid obesity is a common condition within the Polynesian race.
I pray you hear God in the voice of this Hawaiian angel. Mahalo!
"SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW-WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD "
Hawaiian music at its best! Pure chicken skin performance by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (IZ) at the 1996 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
Listen to this message straight from the heart of Braddah IZ. On the biggest evening for Hawaiian music, the Makaha Sons decides to join Braddah Iz on stage and ho'oponopono (forgive deep) all that had happened in their past. As I watched this broadcast I remember being overwhelmed with emotions. It was basically both sides saying sorry through their actions and voices. On June 26, 1997 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole died.
Your music lives on Braddah IZ. Hawaiian Music lovers I share this one with you all. Malama pono
We share a more basic message, geared toward those still bound by Christian orthodoxy, on our other blog, "JACKSON HOLE & CHRIST". Occasionally we will take a message from "SONSHINE" and copy it over there. Tonight I thought to reverse this process and post two copied messages here, from "JH & Christ". I would hope after reading this message you might also read the following second copied blog. It is one of my favorites and it highlights the thoughts of our friend Roy. I know it will bless you.
LOVE NEVER GIVES UP
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Everything and everybody that came out of Him is going to end up going back into Him. This is the "Real Good News." Aren't you glad our God loses nothing and all is filled with His glory. That is the "true love of God."
With humility and with much prayer I believe I have my finger somewhat on the pulse of God's workings with the world and the organized church. For some time now I have been sharing that we who know the "true triumph of the Cross of Christ" worship a different God than those that espouse a terroristic Deity that assigns most of mankind to "eternal torment in a place called Hell." Surely this difference will eventually bring about great persecution as it did with Jesus and the early church. You can touch a lot of things in Christian orthodoxy but you dare not touch the "Hellfire doctrine" where "justified payback" trumps "mercy and love."
Shamefully, orthodox Christianity, for the most part, has become but another hate religion in a world gone mad. Nominal Christians believe that it is the fear of Hell that causes a man to eschew sin and follow God. Nothing could be further from the truth, as it is the "payback philosophy of God's damnation" that is borne and bred of a demonic "inward payback spirit" ........... a payback spirit that decries the forgiveness of the "seven times seventy" that Jesus taught.
If one holds within their heart a beast of a God, that throws most of his children into the tormenting infernos of a pagan Hell, what does this say about them?
"For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is" Pro 23:7
We are at the end of the age and I believe as the darkness grows we will see the spirits of this false God, with a payback economy, emerge as never before. God help us and more so, Lord shelter our children in the arms of your merciful and abiding Love.
Last night I was led to visit a site of a friend of mine, that I used to trade thoughts with some years ago. I pulled some material out of one of his articles to illustrate the foulness of this "pay back Hellfire doctrine." The first part lays out some quotes by leaders of the organized church, both of centuries past and today. Lastly we'll close with Seth's message where he asks, "Eternal Torment: Godly Love?"
May God bless you my friend, as you partake of and share the immeasurable depths of His love toward all His creation,
Introduction: The following quotes from early philosophers and Church Fathers prove where the modern concept of a "Hell of everlasting punishment" came from. The quotes also expose those who are still perpetuating those concepts. The first group of quotes represents proof regarding the originators of the concept. The second group of quotations are from Christian leaders who have been instrumental in perpetuating these diabolical thoughts.
Polybius, the ancient historian, says: "Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions."
Strabo, the geographer, says: "The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds...For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness and virtue - but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude."
Tertullian (considered by many to be the father of modern church doctrine) "At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness…"
Gerhard "The Blessed will see their friends and relations among the damned as often as they like but without the least of compassion.”
Jonathan Edwards "Reprobate infants are vipers of vengeance, which Jehovah will hold over hell, in the tongs of his wrath, till they turn and spit venom in his face!" "The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven."
Charles Spurgeon (Commonly called the "Prince of Preachers" for being a preacher of great eloquence) "I further believe, although certain persons deny it, that the influence of fear is to be exercised over the minds of men and that it ought to operate upon the mind of the preacher himself."
Thomas Aquinas "That the saints may enjoy their beatitude more thoroughly, and give more abundant thanks for it to God, a perfect sight of the punishment of the damned is granted them."
Jeremy Taylor "Husbands shall see their wives, parents shall see their children tormented before their eyes…the bodies of the damned shall be crowded together in hell like grapes in a wine-press, which press on another till they burst…"
Richard Baxter "It is not a terrible thing to a wretched soul, when it shall lie roaring perpetually in the flames of hell, and the God of mercy himself shall laugh at them; when…God shall mock them instead of relieving them; when none in heaven or earth can help them but God, and he shall rejoice over them in their calamity ." – (The Saint's Everlasting Rest” 1846)
Reverend J. Furniss, C.S.S.R "The fifth dungeon is the red hot oven. The little child is in the red hot oven. Hear how it screams to come out; see how it turns and twists itself about in the fire. It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor." (The Sight of Hell - Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
Reverend E.B. Pusey, D.D. "Gather in one, in your mind, an assembly of all those men and women, from whom, whether in history or in fiction, your memory most shrinks, gather in mind all that is loathsome, most revolting * * * conceive the fierce, fiery eyes of hate, spite, frenzied rage, ever fixed on thee, looking thee through and through with hate * * * hear those yells of blaspheming concentrated hate, as they echo along the lurid vault of hell; everyone hating everyone * * * Yet a fixedness in that state in which the hardened malignant sinner dies, involves, without any further retribution of God, this endless misery." (Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
I believe the words below, of the French philosopher, succinctly echo the Proverbs scripture I used in my introduction; "For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is" Pro 23:7 . It may take a bit, but that which is demonic will always, eventually manifest itself.
Voltaire "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
Eternal Torment: Godly Love?
Let's just face the question head on. How many have wondered? Why would a loving God make people he created burn forever and ever for not knowing Him or believing in Him? How can a loving God subject billions of people he loves to endless torment? It's a fair question.
Some Christians will recoil from answering it, fearing an offense to God by showing doubt. Others may jeer, rolling their eyes, having heard that one before, and open their response with "Who are you to..." Some may have a thoughtful reply on hand (complete with a metaphor), having worked it out in their minds that it somehow makes sense. They may point to God's justice, as if polar opposite to his Love. They may even suggest that their version of God's justice is more supreme than God's love.
Yet, deep inside, most of us have wondered at some time. Must God do such a thing? Can't true justice be fulfilled without such a merciless act?
It is not a new question. Many non-Christians openly ask the same thing before renouncing Christianity altogether: How can a loving, all-powerful God let people burn alive forever if he does have the power to stop it? Is that love? It seems strange in light of how the Bible characterizes it:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
According to this high standard, does Love keep no record of being wronged, or does it keep an infinite, never-ending record? How often we resolve that we cannot truly understand the way God loves, and it is better to not even ask these questions. Have you heard that before? Have you said it? Do you understand the way God loves? And the unbeliever goes his own way, bewildered, having been given no satisfying answer from the Christian ministry.
It seems pretty clear that if God were to send people to unrelenting torment for not saying the right words or believing the right thing, then he would not be patient and certainly not kind. He would be keeping a record of us having wronged him. My friends, He would be disregarding the Bible's very own meaning of Love - in addition, failing to save all men, Christ's very purpose in life.
However, if every person is to be saved, nobody is forever lost, and no suffering is eternal, then his death on the Cross would be completely fruitful, and triumphant in what it was meant to do. God would dwell in a fullness. "Love never gives up." (1 Corinthians 13:7)
The rest of this article can be found at this link (below). I also hope you explore Seth's site as there is a plethora of great material exposing the "pagan doctrine of Hell." What a blessing to know Seth is a little past thirty and is part of an emerging generation that have had their eyes opened to the "enduring mercies of God" in contrast to the "diabolical absurdities taught by the organized church."
Coming to understand that God always through out the Bible, and even today, has a remnant that He deals with differently and gives greater call and attention to is one of the great freeing truths of His Kingdom. How often I have heard the immature equate the "popular and orthodox belief" as being true and that which is unfamiliar and maybe new to them, being heresy. Without prayer and seeking Him, judgement is often flippantly made concerning doctrine and truth and one usually settles for the comfort of their familiar Deity and religious practices. Such is the common pattern of one that looks upon religious things by the soul/carnal mind rather than by the Spirit.
Often over the last few years, I have often quoted this old line of mine to succinctly express the Truth and principle of "God's remnant."
"Jesus fed the 5,000 and He sent 70 disciples out to preach and He chose the 12 to whom He explained the parables, and of the 12 He was closer to the three He was transfigured before, and yet even of the 3 there was one whom Jesus loved, that laid upon His breast at supper."
This short message below was shared by a dear friend of mine that God used mightily to open up new and deeper views of my Christ along with greater vistas of His Kingdom. After you read this beautiful message I pray you might even take a moment to meditate upon the "remnant" in this account and ask your self whether you are following the crowd, or are you following Christ.
For me, to understand the Old Testament picture of God is that He played numerous roles and dealt mostly with the carnal, fallen man though there were always those that were of that group that he spoke of that He reserved that had never bowed the knee to Baal. He has always had this wonderful remnant, I think, even before the actual advent of Christ two thousand years ago. What He allowed those predecessors to see and walk in I am unclear on. It would take me some time to write out what I feel was accomplished by all the Father did through the Old Testament times but a picture went through my heart recently as I read in some portion of Old Testament scripture of Israel's series of slaughters concerning their enemies around them as they marched through the land. I got a picture in my mind's eye of Israel gathered around campfires following a long day's triumphant battle. Small groups and families playing the tumbrel and harp, rejoicing in their might and victory as given by the Lord. Behind the dancing, celebrating folks in the shadows were piles of bodies not yet burned and buried. Piles of old people, children, women, along with the fighting men they had defeated. As most of Israel was oblivious to the truth and danced on a few of Israel walked through the piles of wasted lives, beat their chests and wept crying out to God, "Is this all we are? Is this true relationship with You?" The Father had planted in their hearts a greater vision and understanding of man's fallen state and their need to rise again. (Roy)
We encourage others to seek Christ free of the clamour and chaos of the organized church with it's corrupt clergy. God in the last days of this age is calling many out of the "harlot church systems" to find Christ outside the gate and away from the camp. Christ is restoring many families through the vibrancy of His Love as they find freedom from the "dead works and bondage of the letter of the law" that the false church promotes. Please pray as you come visit us at JH & Christ and if you feel so led, leave a comment. We are not gatherers unto ourselves but desire all to find the healing liberty of a personal relationship with Christ, void of man's carnal institutions and false doctrines.
I'm Yours Lord .....
I remember it was a “big deal” to actually leave your church. As ministers we often discussed those who left the church as being deceived and sometimes in our "pompous ass way" prayed that the eyes of their understanding would be opened. Now, I am counted as one of the deceived…..lol
None who knew me would believe I could really leave CHURCH “forever”! After all, my family and I had been very good for the business…lol Our musical talents a gift from God were meant to be shared with his body, they and we belonged to the church! As a young girl the “church” had been my life, eventually it would even become my livelihood. You can understand how I thought this request from the Lord to leave and be taught by him, a temporary thing. Surely he would not hide me away with all my gifts and talents....on the shelf forever...that would be a WASTE...LOL...I had no idea that I would not leave that place until all was on the cross......and I would understand, all that came before was his plan for my life.
Eventually, I found this time alone with the Lord very much to my liking. Even refreshing; I began to revel in his care and love. It was during this time I found Tentmaker……there he drew me to what Jack Hennessey and many other brothers and sisters wrote. Six years have passed and I'm still outside the camp. During that time the Lord has dismantled much of my twisted carnal view of him. Many of those changes have been shared here on Sonshine.
One of those I met on Tentmaker was a brother who went by the name REB. He and Jack talked via phone during the Tentmaker years and were good friends. Like Jack, Roy’s (Reb’s) words always impacted me. Roy went through an extremely difficult time this last year. In fact a great deal of his walk, like many of us, has been extremely difficult and disappointing in the natural.
Roy told us last year that he was going to be quiet before the Lord and would get back with us when he was up to it. How we missed him. Then last week I once again received an e-mail. I was so touched by what he shared, I asked if we could post what he wrote, as we have been discussing so many of these same questions this month,…….he acquiesced. Roy's letter:
You truly humble me by thinking that anything I would say or do would bring some glory to Him. In the last years, I have seen that I am the most unworthy of any that He might call. I have given up within myself at times. But, only by His magnificent grace, He continuously draws my attention all the more to Him in me. Ultimately, I can't deny that the Seed lives, that the Seed miraculously gains Life! How can this be? I weep at the thought.....
I am so afraid at times and cowardly. But, He lives! He is in me! I fight rivers of so many torrents of emotion right now. We are a raging sea. Again, miraculously, He is calming the sea within me. I am still not where I would hope He would have me.
The last years have been about great loss so as to gain. But, my eyes are still often too much on the loss instead of the gain. This way is impossible for men, but all things are possible to the Father. I am getting healthier in Spirit again.
The first part of this is a letter from a friend, then my response. I hope it makes sense the way I sent it along. Any comments Jack or you would wish to make are certainly welcome. If my responses are ever slow to any communications, please, be gracious toward me and know it has nothing to do with you. There is still much here that goes on each day that, well, too much to go into here....Here is my friend's letter and my response:
See with what large letters I write? That is for two reasons. One is so that I can type this and read it without my glasses, and the other is that it makes it seem like it is more important to read!
I wanted to write this to you rather quickly so that I can head out to do some other more mundane tasks, like buy a decent toaster that will actually toast bread evenly! Two of them yesterday would toast one side, and not the other or burn one side and toast the other. The bagel function seemed to work on just plain bread which it is not supposed to do..... but I digress...
Anyway, I had a discussion with a friend of mine at work on Friday, I said I had 3 parts to basically the same question for him.
The first part was this:
What would you choose if God spoke to you and gave you the option of either living a relatively pain free life, one of little sorrow, or stress, or upset;
The other choice was to experience more of Him, so that you can have a deeper relationship with Him. That in the end you would agree to let Him drag you through pain and sorrow, and stress and upset, but in the end you would have a much closer relationship with Him, and get to know Him in a greater way!
The second part was simply..... What if He did not give you the option at all, but He decided to put you through all these troubles without your permission, or without even telling you, so that in the end it would bring about the same results as the first anyway?
Then after we discussed this for a little bit, and since he started his lunch before I got there, he had to leave....
I did say there was one more part, and that was.....
What if you ALREADY agreed to all of these things before you were even born on this earth??
Well, he was all excited at that point, because he said that it was funny that I brought that up to him, because it was something that he was already thinking about recently. That since we were with Him from before the foundation of the world, that perhaps, we knew then, but our birthing was our forgetting, and that now we are being brought back into remembrance of those things from before??
What do you think?? Either way, I mentioned that sorrow had torment when the sorrow seemed to be without purpose!! That it is much easier to endure things when we have a knowable goal! That if life just seemed random and meaningless, then every sorrow would seem without a purpose, and it would increase the torment that we endure! But perhaps if we know, or at least have confidence that EVERYTHING that we go through.... every splinter, every toe stub, every anguish, every sorrow, every struggle is all measured and brought about in order to accomplish one purpose.... to work into us the nature of Christ, and bring us to such a relationship with the Father that is possible no other way!!
Personally, I think you will agree, that we do know these things, but that perhaps we lose sight of it when we go through it, and that we will sometimes torment ourselves with the suggestion that it is purposeless!!
There is more to this than I have said so far, it is just more involved in typing it. But I will try to take some time a little later today or this week and tell you more. It is about the Lord dealing with me in a way about something and I seemed to just hear Him emphasize "character". When I would ask what to do? He would just answer... character! I knew what to do, but I was reluctant until the end.
Anyway, the search for a toaster that toasts is on!!
And, my(Roy) response:
I hope you didn't buy a Proctor Silex toaster. Tina grabbed one of those somewhere a couple of years ago because they were cheap. I agreed with her reasoning that there couldn't really be too much rocket science to toasting toast.....Well, we end up getting the same results most of the time that you are getting. It burns our toast or does one side well and not the other side.As for your great questions, first, you said-
The first part was this -What would you choose if God spoke to you and gave you the option of either living a relatively pain free life, one of little sorrow, or stress, or upset, or the other choice was to experience more of Him, so that you can have a deeper relationship with Him. That in the end you would agree to let Him drag you through pain and sorrow, and stress and upset, but in the end you would have a much closer relationship with Him, and get to know Him in a greater way!
So many good points there to ponder and I can only answer from what I believe my personal experience is right now. I don't believe I am really given a choice as to my "calling" right now and I don't believe anyone else is either. Here is the ages old argument again blending in here about "will" and the exercise of our will. I don't believe in free will as you know and I know your beliefs well also, my friend.
But, I am more and more humbled over the years in trying to put into words what I believe about will. Is God sovereign? Certainly! Do we make decision after decision each day constantly exercising our own will? Certainly! These would seem to some to contradict to the extreme. But, you and I have discussed how these two really don't contradict, but, as I typed earlier here, hard to put "will" into good wording without rehashing many old points.
But I believe so many are now called to a multitude of diverse levels and missions in this world. As Ray Prinzing once said, and, I believe applies to me, if the Father wants me at the street corner at noon today I will be at the street corner at noon today. I might walk to the street corner in very good shape and with little harm or I may be dragged to the street corner kicking and screaming, bloody and bruised.......By His grace, He does seem to teach us more and more to seek that way to the street corner that is the way of lesser bruising!:-)
And, if you are called to know Him in some significant way now, then, is there a place to be spared the pain? I have tried to resist Him, to busy myself with the mundane things of life, but my thoughts then are always aware of those times when I was so close to Him, when I was blessed to sense His presence so near! So, alas, in each such circumstance, all seems vanity at some point except seeking Him and knowing His presence.
It is as if I were in love but tried to leave the relationship because some hard times came up and to find out in the time of separation that I am still so in love! Deep continues to call unto Deep and the carnal desires within me to cover it over and to no longer respond become more a thing of pain then to submit ever was!
So, if He has called, who escapes those difficult times? But, to learn in the difficult times to better sense His love and understand it.....
You have also said- The second part was simply..... What if He did not give you the option at all, but He decided to put you through all these troubles without your permission, or without even telling you, so that in the end it would bring about the same results as the first anyway?
I think I have already partially answered this question from my humble fragments of knowledge that He has imparted. But, I think of those that go through this life, maybe never naming Christ as Savior and Lord......I often think that there are those that the knowledge of Who He is comes later, though they go through the processing now....
Some have their sins go on before them, others after. Some are those that are first but really last as much as those that are last are truly first. Is He not capable of seeing some through these times of earthly travail, even having them consciously denying much of what He is, even consciously denying His name or what has been represented to them as being of Him, yet, He is anonymously showing them His true self and changing them into His image unbeknownst to them?
Does He not still come to us as a thief in the night many times as we have not known to keep the lamps lit and He comes at an hour we are unaware of. Yet, He does a good work by us and in us! It is just so much better to be conscious of Him and to know more of what is actually going on here!
You said-What if you ALREADY agreed to all of these things before you were even born on this earth??
Like I think you do, I also think that we did! Ha! Ha! Well, he was all excited at that point, because he said that it was funny that I brought that up to him, because it was something that he was already thinking about recently. That since we were with Him from before the foundation of the world, that perhaps, we knew then, but our birthing was our forgetting, and that now we are being brought back into remembrance of those things from before??
As we just shared recently in another letter, yes, I think that when we receive revelation from the Lord we are remembering. The sense and the feeling is the same for me and there are too many scriptures that make an argument for preexistence of the spirit within us and it coming out from the Father. Yet, that spirit within truly receives power when merged again with His Spirit, His Holy Spirit. This is when Jesus said they would be given "power from on high." In the book of Acts they received the baptism of His Spirit. But, this doesn't rule out for me that some receive these things in wondrous and amazing ways as He would will it maybe somewhat different in degrees and circumstances of experience to my own.
But, we know if they be of the same Spirit or if it just be soul power mistaken for such in some as spiritual revelation. But, if He could cleanse the prostitutes and the publicans and sinners first, what other surprises does He have in store for us? And, the way up often appears to be down......
You said- What do you think?? Either way, I mentioned that sorrow had torment when the sorrow seemed to be without purpose!! That it is much easier to endure things when we have a knowable goal! That if life just seemed random and meaningless, then every sorrow would seem without a purpose, and it would increase the torment that we endure! But perhaps if we know, or at least have confidence that EVERYTHING that we go through.... every splinter, every toe stub, every anguish, every sorrow, every struggle is all measured and brought about in order to accomplish one purpose.... to work into us the nature of Christ, and bring us to such a relationship with the Father that is possible no other way!!
Personally, I think you will agree, that we do know these things, but that perhaps we lose sight of it when we go through it, and that we will sometimes torment ourselves with the suggestion that it is purposeless!!
I agree with all this also, as I do with all you said here, dear Brother! Remember the old song that goes "There is one thing greater than faith and that is purpose....."
Yes, it is a great gift from Him when He at least shows us why we are going through certain circumstances and that He is in it.
Sometimes the pain is so great or our vision not what it should be......."Can you not even stay awake with me for one hour?" He says, and at times, I must still answer back, "No, Lord. I grow too weary....." But, all of His purposes in us are of GREAT value. All He does in us is for our good! He brings more life within us, more of Himself, with each movement.
I enjoyed your letter very much, Brother! It is great to discuss these things with kindred of His Spirit!
Jesus is LORD! May He grant you a multitude of hot, evenly toasted toast!
"at the end of a week of doing earthly requirements such as work, wife, mother, etc, duties, I have the sense that I've not been here at all, but rather somewhere else in what can only be SPIRIT, and it's sobering, overwhelming and very exciting all at once!" Jenny
"And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." Act 8:39,40
Jenny wrote that which I quote above in a comment on our last blog and it reminded me of Philip's translation which I also recorded above. I had a writing in the works dealing with just such phenomenon ......... maybe not as dramatic but none the less quite profitable, I believe. Please allow me:
"You have an anointing from the Holy One ..... the anointing, which you have received from Him abides in you." 1 John 2:20,27
I ended my last blog with a promise to share some thoughts on "the miraculous anointing and unction of Christ Jesus." I wrote of wanting to illustrate, how the anointing will control not only our time, but also prioritize our earthly endeavors. I believe I have two wonderful lessons that have certainly helped free me from a gnawing sense of urgency and periodic feelings of anxiety. With the testimony of Jenny recited above, maybe we can take some of the mystery out of the term "translation" and even see how we can share a foretaste of being moved supernaturally in our day to day lives.
Lesson One: "Time Waits"
"So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day" Jos 10:14b
Hopefully with this lesson, we can lay to waste the old quip "time waits on no one" and maybe have a little fun doing it. Forgive me for utilizing personal examples, which may even seem a little trite. I am reminded it often is the little spark that grows into a fire
For a few years, I participated on a number of Christian Internet forums. If you have ever been involved in a lively discussion on one of these discussion boards, you know the problem of others "over posting" you as you type your response. Or you might be familiar with the turns of direction that take place quickly in a lively conversation, where there are a number of participants sharing their thoughts. With this environment, there often comes an urgent desire to get a message posted before your thoughts loose their sequence and relevancy. Sadly, also with this urgency to get your post quickly published, to your dismay, you have a tendency to hit the wrong key or click the wrong button and your message is forever lost in cyberspace. This is such a common problem and it carries with it a good bit of frustration and angst. Ugh !!
So one day I was involved in a lively and heated discussion on a forum that was moving at breakneck speed, with a number of participants posting their responses one right after the other. As far as this particular discussion, I was all over it and my thoughts and messages were flowing beautifully. Then some one over posted me and the flow of conversation was altered. After a bit, everything was straightened out and the lively pace of discussion continued. I was typing quick (a relative term for sure, lol), sacrificing the spell check function and even some grammatical clarity. It was more important that I get my posts up promptly and in the right spot. Then to my angst, I lost two messages, both the original and the retyped version, in my rush. After letting out a deep groan and while still in the midst of my frustration, I heard that familiar small inward voice chide me:
Whoa! and wait they did. Can you say, "little beginnings!" Yes, from that time on I quit rushing around on the Internet and I quit losing messages. Besides this new way of posting responses came with the correct spelling and grammar along with expressions that were clearer, deeper and more concise. It was miraculous and a long held, common frustration was dismissed. The best part however, was that I found when this, "if it is anointed everything will wait" principle was applied to other areas of my life, it produced the same results. Instead of rushing I could rest. Sure, I forget sometimes and get into an occasional tizzy but for the most part this application of the "anointing" is being utilized and even growing in my day to day affairs.
The yoke of time in my life is being broken by the Lord's unction, and I am finding real rest in His anointing. God is good and His works are perfectly appointed. Amen.
Lesson Two: " The Holy Ghost Priority"
1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth
Above, I have extracted a number of verses from the Gospel of John, covering the events surrounding "Jesus' raising of Lazarus." I can think of no better example of "Jesus, the Anointed", moving at a pace and direction totally out of step with an event, that the world would view as a "hurry up type" glaring priority. The healing of Lazarus screams with all sensibility to be done and done immediately. The result of Jesus' neglect of this emergency only seems to confirm His missing of an opportunity to fill a great need. Then as we read further, we see the glorious end of the matter. What a lesson! And we, who have walked with Jesus, have all probably been taught this same lesson, many times over.
Allow me to add one more verse from this same chapter and account, as it profoundly speaks to our focus in regards to "time and it's events." This one, I believe is worth meditating on:
"Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." Jn 11:9
I believe, that after a season, when one walks in surrender to God, there is a subtle notification that comes a whisperin', "My priorities differ from yours."
Have you heard it?
We all, I am sure, are familiar with the old Christian adage that says something like, "if you don't have enough time, give more time to Him." Now, there is great truth in that and I believe we can take that thought much further and possibly even in a different direction. This thought and direction is born of a knowledge, that all our times and all our labors are preordained and perfectly appointed in Christ.
You used to be dead because of your offenses and sins, that you once practiced as you lived according to the ways of this present world and according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now active in those who are disobedient. Eph 2:1,2
As Paul writes above, we used to be ruled by a different power and we moved in accordance with the ways and priorities of this fallen world. We prioritized our labors and our loves according to our own sensibilities. Then God arrived, and Christ took away the heavy rod of the prince of this world. Jesus replaced the devil's rod with a shepherds staff. As we discovered Our Shepherd's verdant pastures of rest we began to notice, that which we once thought important, with regards to priority, were often moved to the far corners of a back shelf. Our lives, with it's labors and it's loves began to change not only in priority, but also in measure of enjoyment. Even our labors became as our loves. With that thought, these oft quoted and favorite poetry lines bear repeating, as they beautifully portray the transition, Jenny alluded to in the opening of this blog and that which I speak of now.
In the inner wine cellar I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
Through all this valley I no longer knew anything,
And lost the herd which I was following.
I no longer tend the herd
Nor have I any other work
Now that my every act is love.
St John of the Cross
The crux of that, which I have wanted to share, is that as we move and have our being in Christ, we often find our daily endeavors thrown into, what would seem in the natural to be disarray. Not so, as we learn to rest in Him, it seems everything gets accomplished in the order of which He sets. How often when I have felt like I needed to be about the business of some perceived urgent task, I would find myself instead ministering unto the Lord and those that are His. Miraculously that once pressing chore was no more, or at least put off until God's appointed time. I am sure you have experienced this yourself.
Going even further, I have likewise found that the use of my available monies have rightfully found it's place. Even as I wrote my last blog the Holy Spirit quickened in the midst of laying out a paragraph that I needed to check the due date of a bill that required cash, of which at the moment, I didn't have. I didn't even have to go upstairs or even walk across the room to check as my satchel with my month's bills lay by my desk, even at my feet. As I looked for the bill aforementioned I first came across another one that was marked "URGENT" on the envelope. You probably know as well a I do that the "red urgent stamp" means something is about to be cut off (lol). Yep, so was the case with this utility bill and as I read the contents I realized according to the "discontinue service date" I should have been cut off days ago. A phone call and a credit card number later I was sitting pretty knowing the reconnect fees that would have been charged had vaporized in His grace. And the other bill requiring the cash I didn't have, had a due date further down the line giving me more time. I know God is good for that that bill too, when it finds it way to "priority."
This is just a small example of how things seems to be finding a new order in my life, as I find my heart stayed on Him. I am experiencing "His rest" as the responsibility has shifted from me to Him. How wonderful to just lay my head on Jesus' bosom and allow Him the take over as the man of the house.
Lesson Three: "The Smoking Casserole"
Yes, there is the another lesson and it is signaled by the casserole that went up in flames because you took a nap, forgetting it was in the oven. Gosh, and it looks like the soot covered wall paper in the kitchen will need to be redone now. "Where were you Lord?"
For the guys, it's the transmission fluid you failed to check and now the work truck's got a tranny that just whines. Oh my, fifteen hundred for a new transmission and the truck is only worth a grand, tops. What will I use for work now? "Where were you Lord?"
I thought I was finished with this blog with the conclusion of "lesson two" however He wouldn't allow me to post it. It seems, I had missed the third lesson, which is the greater lesson. The greater lesson is that God will not be put in a box nor can our walk with Him ever be methodized.
Golly, we have all been there, where all our previous lessons fail us and the there is no method, rhyme nor pattern to rely on save, "Christ crucified." I would be remiss to think most of us haven't suffered much greater than a burnt casserole or a blown transmission. It is with these experiences (and I write with tears now) that we touch the deepest place in Jesus. With these crucifying experiences, we come to know a little of that which tore Jesus' heart as He knelt, and the most holy of all words fell from His trembling lips, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done." Matt. 26:42
For a surety, in this life we will drink of the same bitter cup and we will drink because we likewise know, "it will not pass." It is the inexplicable events and the heart breaking episodes of our lives that mysteriously speak clearest to His love. I can't explain it, but only to say, that when you taste the cup deeply, "the way without reasoning and no escape" proclaims His greatest love. How could we ever really know, "He so loved the world ..... " save we experienced it. This is the wonder of Agape.
"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," says Jesus, "you will never believe." Jn 4:48
"Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Jn 20:29
If you are like me, you once followed Christ for the signs and wonders and because you saw the marks of the cross on Him. Then one day the Father placed you in Christ and you were marked by that same cross and and that same cup ........... the cross you could not pass and the cup that must be drunk. The difference between you and all the others you once ran with, while following the wonders of Christ, is that Jesus has tenderly held you with His nail pierced hands and whispered, "you cannot go any further with Me, unless you drink of the Father's cup filled with, "He so loved the world, that he gave ..........""
Soon, I believe the Father will proclaim to the world once again, "this is my Son in whom I am well pleased." I can only believe, this greatest of all introductions, will introduce to the world those that have fully drank of His cup and bear all the marks of His cross. The Son and sons will finally be seen as one and the world will stand in awe. They will finally know the purpose of God, in making Himself a family of sons by way of the Cross and the Cup.
Jenny also wrote another wonderful comment on the blog a week or so ago that I believe speaks to the fast approaching day when God's sons will carry an empty cup and the five marks of Christ as they heal the nations.
He showed me that this power inside me was the Holy Spirit. Ladies and gentlemen, He was showing me the power that HIS LOVE through us will exact and influence upon the earth. We have NO idea of the POWER OF HIS LOVE – it’s tremendous, strong and cannot be resisted. On this occasion, he seemed to turn up the intensity, unless I cried out to Him to stop because I honestly felt that, if His power and love intensified any further inside me, my physical body would break. I really felt that. The power inside was so strong that He showed me that it had the potential to come out of my mouth and ‘lay low’ the entire landscape of Ireland. That his power would have devastating effect, with an ultimately beautiful ending. No power of darkness or hell will be able to stand against the beautiful strength, power and love of the Holy Spirit of Christ within. Thus, we will need our resurrection bodies. (Jenny)
In summation, with all that we have shared, I believe it would be good to give thought to the premise that our provision, our translation, our resurrection and all that is entailed in the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8) might come about very subtly. It well might come upon us, almost without notice, as we are so focused on uniting our dear Jesus with all those crying out for Him. The hour is surely upon us.
"We are the generation that is to enter into the promised land, which is the full redemption of our bodies. The ark went ahead 2000 cubits (2 days in type) and we must keep our eyes on the ark because we have not passed this way before.
"And having been asked by the Pharisees, When is the kingdom of God coming? he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation" Luke 17:20
Experiencing The Will of God
How do we find and experience the will of God? Is it simply asking for Divine guidance and God’s blessing upon our life? Or, is the will of God something much deeper that is revealed in the process of living?
Many sincere Christians express their desire for the will of God in their life with comments like, “I’ll pray about that” or, “I‘m asking God to know His will in such and such a matter.” Then after prayer and sometimes fasting, the petitioner emerges with a directive to move forward with a particular task, or perhaps a check in his or her spirit to NOT move forward. It is good to prayerfully consider the decisions that are before us, but is this really what it means to find the will of God? Is it possible there is a depth to the will of God that far exceeds following simple directives? For example, what about those times when we are sure we heard the voice of God and yet the results were disastrous? Did we miss it or was the will of God somehow revealed in the unfolding calamity?
The earthly-minded believer thinks of the will of God in terms of the preservation of the natural life. That is why his or her prayers are usually focused on a desire for God to either change a situation, or to give a divine endorsement of something they desire. Whereas, the spiritual man recognizes how all things, whether good or bad, work together to reveal the will and purpose of God for us and in us.
If we spent less time rebuking the devil and more time praying, “Father, not my will, but thy will be done,” we would discover the will of God is most often revealed when we are led like a lamb to the slaughter. In order to embrace the resurrection life of the Spirit we must first be made willing to grapple with the Cross. I have found that the hand of God intervenes in our life with the necessary obstacles needed to make us willing.
Many years ago Diana and I were facing some difficulties with a hair salon we owned. My intentions were to grow the business and step from behind the chair into a management position. We had a great business model and were attracting a clientele of mostly professional types. In my mind’s eye I could see every detail and so I worked diligently toward the fulfillment of our goals, but there were hurdles we could not overcome and so we were unable to achieve our plan. The stress began to have an affect on my health. I prayed for wisdom and for the Lord to bless the work of our hands, but the response I received was not at all what I expected. One afternoon while at work I clearly heard the Holy Spirit speak to me: “Many have known me as their provider but I desire that you would know me as your provision.” The reality of what the Spirit said that day hit me hard. I was a very ambitious and determined young man who wanted to make his mark in the world. In an instant I realized that the will of God for my life was far different from what I had imagined and that His chosen path for me would not include the promotion and recognition that others enjoyed.
I was looking for the will of God through the lens of my hopes and desires, expecting God to give His blessing upon them. I wanted Him to provide for me, and in turn I would offer up the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for my blessed life. Certainly God has written into His will a place for such provision. Many sincere believers live out their lives, never aware there is anything beyond knowing the Creator as their provider. In all honesty, I was content to do the same and had expected to do so. My understanding of the will of God had much more to do with His blessing upon the natural man than it did with the spiritual man. I was looking outward to the needs and desires of the natural man while the Spirit was looking at the heart and the kingdom of God within.
So what does it mean to know God as our provision instead of provider? First off I can testify that it requires a different way of seeing things. As we learn to know Him as our provision we come to recognize that all things come from Him. I did not come to this understanding by revelation – it was more like trial and error, for I did not willingly cooperate with the plan of God. I didn’t know how to cooperate. Besides, can you imagine a drowning person not struggling for air? Instead I turned to the left and I turned to the right, trying to make our business a great success. The result of all my efforts placed me in a bed of hell and turmoil. Much to my surprise I could not escape the purpose or plan of God. Every effort of self-will became like dung, which was the fertilizer, causing the seed of God in me to flourish.
After six years of struggling I felt defeated. God’s purpose for the situation I was in was accomplished and it was time to move on. We were considering closing down the salon when I heard: “When you leave it will not be like a dog with its tail between its legs.” A short time later one of our wealthier clients offered to buy the salon. We sold it for a profit that I didn’t think possible and used the extra money to start a specialty food business. My prayer for the blessings of God upon my efforts to create a booming hair salon went unanswered. Instead, the will of God was revealed in my failure to achieve my goals. You see, though I had prayed, “Lord, I want your will,” I was looking for the will of God within the confines of my own interests and desires.
Years ago a small group of us were praying when one of the brothers broke out in prophesy over a dear friend of mine, Dorothy McCracken. In the prophecy, there was one part in particular that stood out to Dorothy, which she recalls to this day, “I must take everything, I must take everything, because nothing of the old can enter into the new.” Dorothy was well thought of, with many friends in the church, where she and her husband attended and sang regularly. Then after the Spirit of God began to call her to a deeper walk her husband left. It was about the same time the Lord called her out of the church she was attending. People didn’t know what to think of her anymore. One friend asked her, “Dorothy, where do you go when you come out of the organized church?” Dorothy replied, “You go to Him!” So it didn’t take long for her to become the topic of many conversations and in a short time she lost her favorable reputation. Then Dorothy lost her job and did not find regular work for ten years. She was in a place where she had no choice but to live moment by moment. Her reliance on herself to make her own way was taken from her. In the process of her experience, Dorothy was stripped of everything that she had valued in this earthly realm, but in the process she was brought to a place of rest and trust in God.
Dorothy did not have to go looking for the will of God in her life for it unfolded before her according to His design. The will of God was for her to be brought to a place of spiritual maturity. If you were to ask her if it was worth it she would answer with a resounding, yes!
There is a song I liked as a young boy called, “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young. In one of the lines Neil sings, “I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.” I can’t help but think that in each of us there is a desire and hunger for a heart of gold. Where do you think this desire comes from? I believe this deep desire is a glimmer of what God desires. We are made in His image and likeness and so this desire for authenticity comes from Him! I assure you that the Spirit of God is a miner for a heart of gold!
There is golden treasure buried deep within us and the Spirit of God continues to excavate the dirt and chisel away the rock that holds this treasure captive. He must take everything that we have come to rely on that is not founded upon trust in Him. Sometimes that requires a few sticks of dynamite to break away sections of our life that are in the way. We have assurance though that He will finish the work He has started in us. No matter what we may live through it is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.
We may search for the will of God in our many petitions for His blessing upon our lives, but we won’t experience the depth of His will until we have spent time with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. It is easy to say, “Father, not my will, but thy will be done,” when everything is going our way. It is quite another experience when we stand to lose our job, house and retirement savings. Unlike Jesus, who submitted willingly, we often experience the will of the Father while kicking and screaming. Eventually, our protests are quieted and we submit to the inner working of the Spirit.
The Transformation of Peter
One of my favorite characters from the New Testament is Simon Peter. When the disciples saw Jesus out on the water it was Peter who cried out, “Lord if it is you, tell me to come out to you on the water” (Mt 14:28). Peter was a man who was not afraid to get his feet wet, both figuratively and literally. He was also the first disciple who said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus explained to Peter this wasn’t something he figured out on his own, but the heavenly Father had revealed it to him (Mt 16:18). Then Jesus went on to say: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church …” (Mt. 16:18)
Jesus obviously saw great potential in Peter – a disciple who was greatly dedicated to serving his Master. What is fascinating though is the conversation that ensued immediately afterward. Jesus is telling his disciples all that He must suffer and how He will be killed and raised from the dead. Then Peter takes Jesus aside and in a rebuking tone says, “Never, Lord ’ This shall never happen to you!’” Jesus responds, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mt. 16: 22-23)
How is it possible that Peter, who had received Divine revelation that Jesus was the Christ, would stand in opposition to the very thing that would fulfill this reality?
When Jesus said, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” He was not speaking to Peter, the natural man. Jesus was addressing the seed of God that was in Peter and the process of revelation, whereby the Holy Spirit illuminates the truth of God. This is in contrast to Simon Peter, the natural man, who opposed any harm coming to Jesus.
The natural MIND always looks to the interest of the natural man.
“[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.” (Ro 8:7, Amplified)
There was a duality at work in Peter. He zealously desired to serve God and He had received Divine revelation that Jesus was the Christ, but for the most part his perspective was from an earthly vantage point. There is a vast difference between receiving a revelation and comprehending the depth of what the Holy Spirit has said. Peter’s failure to grasp the will and purpose of God continued to the very end when he drew his sword and cut off the servant of the high priests ear when Jesus was arrested.
It must have been quite upsetting to all the disciples to hear Jesus describe the suffering and violent death that awaited Him. It was especially difficult for Peter to grasp the will of God in all that Jesus was saying to him. We can see Peter’s love was misguided, because it caused him to oppose the will of the Father, and that is why Jesus rebuked him. Peter was concerned for the preservation and well being of the natural man, Jesus, and so his eyes were blind to the will and purpose of God. Peter did not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.
Most of Christendom is like the natural man, Simon Peter, worshiping and adoring the natural Jesus. It is the worst possible kind of idolatry. IT IS THE WRONG JESUS! And the Spirit of God continues to say, “GET BEHIND ME ADVERSARY!” Peter was sincere in wanting no harm to come to Jesus, but he was sincerely wrong, for his natural man with all its good intentions was in opposition to the purpose and plan of God. The will of God was hidden from Peter’s natural mind just as it is hidden from our earthly minds, for the Father’s kingdom is not of this earthly realm.
It seemed that Peter was a slow learner and so Jesus told him and the other disciples that they would all fall away the night Jesus was arrested.
“ Peter replied, ‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples said the same” (Mt 26: 33-35).
You would think since Jesus gave Peter a heads up on what was going to happen that a determined Peter would have avoided at least one of the denials. The truth is Jesus wasn’t telling Peter so he could prepare himself to resist the temptation. To the contrary, Jesus was telling this to Peter ahead of time to underscore that Peter was approaching the things of God in his own strength and that Peter had in mind the things of man instead of the things of God.
There is something for all of us to learn about self-determination, failure and the working of the Spirit as we examine Peter’s experience. It is the Spirit of God working in our lives that allows us to fail and make mistakes. As Ray Prinzing said so many years ago, “God uses the interplay of good and evil in our lives to accomplish His purposes.”
Douglas B. Clark
I was quickened of this phrase and felt led to write about an experience that my family had a few years ago hoping it might help someone else with letting go of ‘their Tahoe’.
I smile at the phrase....”you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy”....and I can testify that for all of Father’s sons and daughters this does not hold any truth. For after Father has had His way in one that has been apprehended to BECOME a son.....there will be no residue in the heart of longing for the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt.
The world will be crucified to them and them to the world.
My husband Mordekai and I were married on a Friday night in the Month of May and it was a glorious night....the Lord blessed Houston Texas with the atmosphere of Heaven that night.....for there was no humidity or heat but only the coolness of a spring night with the aroma of fresh gardenia and magnolia wafting through the air.
It was truly a magical night as we danced under the stars.....we even left our outdoor reception like you see in the movies....under a canopy of sparkler’s that our family and friends held as we entered our waiting limo to take us on to our hotel....
I share all of that because that was then and this is now. Oh my! How things have changed......and I wouldn’t want it any other way. That wedding was a symbol of Egypt to me.....for it was beautiful but also vain.......everything in the world is focused on the outward senses......and this is even more heightened when it comes to milestones in a person’s life such as a wedding. Today I have a new dream and that is to renew my vows with my beloved Husband during the Feast of Tabernacles.....the true picture and REALITY of UNION.....of Spirit and Soul married......of BEING ONE in the SON.
Truly, Father has taken the girl out of the country and the country out of the girl for her to have written those words above. It was one thing to leave the country of Egypt but quite another to let the things of Egypt go from me. If I were to list all the ‘things’ of Egypt this blog would be entirely too long but needless to say these things came in all shapes and sizes. During those refining years we let go of everything from my $200 salon appointments, to Kai getting his weekly round of golf in.....of eating out at restaurants ....(mexican usually, smile)......etc. but we were determined to not lose the appearance of the upwardly mobile young family.....and for us this meant keeping our Chevy Tahoe with leather interior and DVD player......lol.
We would go on to lose our new house to foreclosure, Kai’s job, and basically most of our pride.....but BLESS GOD we still had our Tahoe! Thinking back on this Kai and I laugh about how riduculously stubborn we were about keeping that Tahoe. We have talked about it often because it was literally one of the hardest things to let go of even though it was such a weight/burden to us. We were spending $450/month in car payments just for appearance sake......and this was at a time when Kai was remodeling homes and we were living on every penny with absolutely nothing left over. But bless God we still had our Tahoe.
It never occured to us to sell it.....to buy a USED vehicle.....the ghastly horror of doing such a thing never entered our minds.....lol......but praise the Lord He is faithful to allow circumstances to come into our lives that will force us to see our folly and will then give us an ‘ I’ve seen the light moment’ which then gives us the courage to correct our stupid decisions. Praise His name!
The circumstances that He allowed to happen to us so that we would finally give up the Tahoe involved our landlord’s sudden request for us to move because they needed their home to live in again. Kai’s ‘well had run dry’ as far as being self employed because there were literally no remodeling jobs to be had in the small town that we lived in. So with having zero money and needing to move but having no moving expenses we saw the writing on the wall that it was time to finally let the Tahoe go.....smile. The Lord was generous to us and granted us favor at the car dealership so that we made a nice profit off our Tahoe to help with moving expenses and paying for our first month’s rent at our new home. Little by little.....this is how He teaches us......and scripture tells us that ‘we are given the land little by little’. We also had enough money left over to buy a used mini-van to accomodate our family. That was a story in itself.....for it just so happened that Kai saw this mini-van in the back lot of a mechanic’s shop and asked if it was for sale.....and the owner of the shop said that it was and that he just wanted what he had put into it for repairs....($1,100). The car was worth a lot more than that and Kai wondered why it was so cheap and the owner told him that some people needed repairs on their car but never came back to pay him....and after several months the shop owner was legally able to get the title and take possession......and so Kai was able to buy the car. The VERY NEXT DAY those people called the mechanic shop to see if he still had their car.....only to find out that it had been sold the day before!
If we had waited one day longer to sell the Tahoe we would not have been able to buy a nice used minivan to accomodate our large family. We were in awe of how the Lord worked that out for us. Even the shop owner was in awe of the timing.....and I am sure the people that left their vehicle for almost a year learned a big lesson upon hearing the news that just the day before their car was sold.
We then went on to realize the joy of not having to make a huge car payment every month! All the sudden we had an extra $450/month to spend on our needs. The Lord had used so many things/circumstances to empty us of pride, vanity, selfishness, that we no longer cared about appearances. It has been years since Kai has played a round of golf and in fact he gave his clubs away.....and it has been years since I have visited a fancy salon and spent hundreds on my hair.....HalleluYah.....lol.....!!
We knew the death of appearances was complete when after six months of having the mini-van I was in a accident that totaled the vehicle (due to the negligence of another person).....and while waiting for the insurance money to come in we were given the use of a suburban......what I like to refer to as the ‘adam’s family vehicle’....lol......this thing was right out of the adams family television show.....or the munster’s.......for it was the biggest mammoth of a vehicle I have ever seen.....and it was the most hideous color (velvet elvis blue with rust all over).....and velvet blue interior with no air conditioning......and for all those familiar with Texas summer heat that in itself is a tribulation....lol.....!
I can proudly say that we were so dead to appearances that all of us as a family would break out in song to the tune of the adam’s family......da da da dant snap snap.....da da da dant snap snap......(except our words were “ their holy and their righteous, so loving full of kindness, they don’t care what you think of them....the Schulz Family”.....snap snap).......lol. We even took a victory lap around a very ritzy, shi-shi, shopping mall in an affluent area....we got plenty of stares from onlookers because the parking lot was accustomed to only high-end vehicles.....not those made in the 1980's that have the sound of a Harley Davidson.....rofl.....and it felt good to be dead to this world’s system.
I told Kai on one occasion that I was glad to have the adam’s family vehicle b/c I started to understand how everything is opposite in the Kingdom......and so that must mean that we have one BLING BLING of a ride in Heaven......since we are driving around in such a dump on earth......rofl!!!
May all those that are hearing the call to ‘let go’ be given the grace to SURRENDER to say ‘yes Lord’.....
It is worth it.....for He is worth it!
He will not let you down.....He has only surprises for all those that dare to choose to get out of the boat.
Let go of ‘your Tahoe’.....
All my love,