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It’s a wonder sometimes how we can even rise and face another day with the busyness and struggles of this not so simple, American life. Every day seems to carry with it a new set of problems and reasons to be concerned for our own wellbeing, as well as that of our families and all of those that we care about and love, we are undoubtedly living in perilous, unpredictable times. While just being a member of the human race makes one susceptible to all kinds of unpleasantries, being a christian in a volatile and somewhat hostile world only increases our need for strength to face the new challenges and trials that lie ahead of us each day and season of life, a strength that is not of this world, nor is it given or received by seeking the things of this world, but it’s a strength that can only come by daily seeking the one true God and laying all of these burdens and concerns in His capable, loving hands. He is good and regardless of the reason why we face these troubled times and seasons in our lives, Jesus will not fail us when we lean to Him for the strength to overcome.
I have personally come through a very difficult 2016, but at the same time, a very personally freeing one for me as well. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have grown in areas that I needed to grow in; trust in God when I completely don’t understand His ways being one of them. I’ve learned that through the tough things, the heartbreaking things, and the confusing things, our God is always present, but like a good Father, He doesn’t always immediately remove us from those tough circumstances and trials, even though we cry out day and night to Him to do so and bring His Word and promises over our lives before Him continually. He does however always, unfailingly answer those cries, but within the timeframe of His wisdom. There is no wasted tear and no wasted sleepless night in prayer, when you truly belong to Jesus.
It’s within those trials and tribulations of our day to day lives where we learn what we’re really made of in the inward man. We find out the level of trust we have in God and His Word and the level of confidence we place in ourselves and others and sadly, we learn that we sometimes believe that satan is greater to destroy than God is to build, but through it all, we also learn that our enemies aren’t greater than our God and that our God is always greater than our hearts. I came to see during the course of this last year, that God was moving more in my life to fulfill His Word, when all I could feel was the enemy moving against me. It was also in this year that I entered the beginning of a prophetic word coming to pass that I’d received from the Lord several years earlier while driving my car (I had to pull over because of His Presence) and a great healing has begun in my physical body, which was the precursor of the Lords preparation for me for something He’s called me to do in my life. All of this was taking place during a very hard season when the Holy Spirit was going in and healing parts of my heart that needed it, as well as releasing me from past assignments and hopes, so that I could embrace and accept the change that is coming. It all has a purpose when we’ve placed our hopes, trust and hearts into the hands of our Father.
Now, I can’t say that I’m never sad about the outcome of some of these trials because some things are lost during these times, but it’s never without the Lords foreknowledge and plan of redemption. His Word encourages us to consider the sufferings of Job and the END INTENDED by the Lord. Sometimes what we lose is not a loss (although it feels like it is) but a way for God to make room in our hearts and minds to receive something greater to come, something that will display His Glory and restoration of hope in our lives, as well as giving us a testimony of His goodness and His mercy. I know it sometimes feels like we’re going to die when our hearts are being torn and tossed by these winds of change and trial, but I can attest to you that God can carry you in His strength and recover your heart from the most broken and devastated places we may experience. The key is letting patience have it’s perfect work in you and allowing the potter to shape the clay according to His will and not our own. Let Him work the deeper work in you, because through all of the pain, He is near to the brokenhearted and heals all of our wounds when we let Him into those areas of our lives.
There was a time when all I could feel was the deep loss of what I loved, loss of what I’d hoped would be and it was devastating to my heart but really what God was doing was preparing me mentally and spiritually, so that I could see that His wisdom is far greater than anything I could ever ask for or imagine. He is doing what He’s promised even though it looks like those promises were dying or I was being asked to let go of my hopes for a season, He was and is still working His will according to His perfect purpose in Christ.
I don’t know exactly what I’m being prepared to embrace or what changes I’m going to be walking into, but I do know that it’s on the horizon and that my personal trials over this last year have been preparing me to step into that place of fulfillment and an amazing testimony of His grace. I still walk in the unknown in so many areas of my life, I still have many reasons to be concerned and even fearful and many opportunities to let worry consume me, but I’ve grown deeper in my trust in God and I’m much, much less into what I can or can’t do in my own strength. He is my sole provider and the strength of my life. It’s so much more pleasant to focus upon what God can do, than on what my enemy can prevent or stop in my life, he’s only a tool used to forge the way at times, but he’s not the author nor the finisher of my faith. I know the Lord has my back until the End, when we walk together into eternity and my race is complete.
Like Joseph, he walked through many trials of his heart (betrayal, rejection and false accusation) and even of his integrity, though he was completely innocent. Many of the things that were day to day struggles in his life, were all just a part of the Fathers divine preparation and plan for Him to walk into a place of victory, redemption, vindication and triumph and this is also the Fathers heart and plan for us as we walk day to day in Christ, learning to trust His work in our lives when we don’t understand it and learning to trust His ability and His strength in us, to bring us to the right place at the right time, to accomplish His purpose for our lives.
May God bless us all in this new year of 2017. My hope and desire for all of us, is to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that in Him, we would find a renewed sense of expectation and hope.
Midnight Oil Ministries
I’ve had something resting on my heart for many days now and have been asking the Lord about it because it was bothering my spirit so much. I see certain things being passed around the internet that have an appearance of wisdom but if you look a little closer at them, it’s not wisdom at all, well not the wisdom that God has called us to walk in as followers of Jesus anyway, it’s a wisdom that comes from the earth and is earthly, but it’s far from the wisdom that comes from above. It’s a delusion that can quickly rob us of the blessings of the Lord. This is just a small example of false wisdom but my hope is that it conveys the message correctly and releases those who are hoping in the Lord for the good things to come, from any and all bondage related to this issue. God loves you and desires you to have His joy, far more than you can comprehend.
The problem with receiving earthy or worldly wisdom is that it carries great bondage with it when accepted as truth in the heart. It promotes internal doubt about the leading of the Spirit in our lives and can even cause us to question biblical wisdom, opening a door for deception in whatever area the lie is connected to. Deception is nothing more than believing something that isn’t true but rather than being seemingly something innocent and non-harmful to us, it becomes destructive and creates an unproductive and unfruitful place in our heart. Believing something that’s directly opposed to biblical truth can also attract severe warfare to us as believers because in essence, we’re believing a lie when we receive this wisdom as the truth, and we all know who the father of all lies is.
I’m only going to use one example in this particular article because it’s the very thing that has been troubling me for days and that is the lie that if your not happy or complete being single, you won’t be happy or complete being married either. This is an un-biblical lie that is nothing more than a worldly concept to promote self reliance and an unhealthy type of independence. For one thing, God Himself has ordained the union of a man and a woman and declared that it’s not good for man to be alone. From the very beginning, the Father gave a mandate to the man and woman to go and multiply on the earth and to take dominion over it. He called them as a couple, as a unit; and without one another they would not be complete or effective in this assignment. God called a man to be the head (leader and guide) of his wife, who was also his gift from the Father, and that the wife’s desire or need would be for her husband. These are both wonderful and good things when the right motive is applied and they’re both servants of God. It’s the order of our creator and His divine plan for man (men and women) to take dominion over the earth together, which also signifies the love and labor relationship between Christ and His church.
Where in the bible does it say that if you’re not happy being single then you won’t be happy being married? Jesus Himself said that when we pray and receive from him it brings us full joy. As a waiting woman, I’m very content and fulfilled with my relationship with Jesus, yet as a woman who’s been praying for years, over a decade actually, for the right man to come into my life to walk with me and be my companion in the flesh, let me just tell you that when this desire is fulfilled and I’ve finally received this blessing, it will be a tree of life for me, not just because I need him or because of all the prayers I’ve prayed, but because of the love that I have reserved and ready to be poured out into the heart of my helpmate that will finally be able to be released without reservation. (John 16:23-24) I will be overjoyed and full of life when what’s been spoken into my ear by the Spirit of God has been brought into my life.
The very idea that we wouldn’t be enriched, blessed and better off by the addition of someone into our lives is nothing more than satan’s lie and desire for us to once again move off of the plan of God and onto his plan; false independence, separation, division and the fear of believing God for good things, even the things the Lord Himself has spoken to us, as well as the things that are based upon His unfailing word. If he can convince someone that what they desire is evil, when in fact the desire is biblical, then he can promote condemnation, shame, doubt and guilt in our hearts for praying and standing in faith, especially over a biblical covenant that is created to be a blessing and not a curse in our lives. While I realize that our love for God and our worship of Him needs to be our number one priority, it certainly isn’t meant to take the place of all of the other beautiful aspects of this life that God has given us in Christ to enjoy, unless of course the Holy Spirit enables and calls us to forsake something, such as a relationship. If that were the case, then desiring a child would be wrong, or desiring a job, or desiring finances to be a blessing to others, or any desire for that matter would be a source of condemnation to us before God. We need to lay aside all of the worlds appearance of wisdom and take into our hearts once again, the wisdom that comes from God. I know that I’m going to be very careful of what I allow to become an inner truth, because I want all that the Father has for me whether it be in my relationship with Him, in the things regarding this life and in my relationship with others.
There is a heavenly wisdom that comes by the Holy Spirit through His servants that isn’t going to be directly word for word found within the pages of scripture, but it will never contradict or replace the wisdom that is found within the pages of the greatest story ever told. God is love and He is a promoter of Godly love, not a condemner of it. I am casting aside the lie that I won’t be enriched, strengthened, blessed and able to grow in grace by the entrance into my life of someone I’ve loved since the first day I began to pray for him, as the Spirit of God has led me to. I do need him, I need him daily and can’t wait to finally say, there you are and be able to continuously Praise God for his arrival. I know that through this man and our mutual love for one another, that my Jesus will shine His light in an even greater way into my life and into his and I’ll finally have real arms to hold me when I’m weak and to pray for me and he will definitely have my heart, my devotion (he already has my prayers) and the very best part of me that I have to give someone, the outflow of Jesus from my heart to his. I’m excited for the day when my joy is made full and my Father is glorified because I’ve received into my life a beautiful expression of His love for me. Take heed to how you hear, not all of what people call wisdom is peaceable and from above…
Go and be free to walk with Jesus in the truth of His word; receiveing the fullness of His joy as you see the desires of your heart fulfilled through prayer, thanksgiving and patience. ❤️
Have you ever loved someone so much that it hurt? The longing in your heart for their wellbeing and happiness is your primary concern and you’d never dream of ever doing anything purposely to hurt them and when they weep, you weep more or when they’re happy, you’re overjoyed. Isn’t love powerful? The first commandment, to love God with all of your heart, soul and strength and to love others as yourself. How do we love God like this and who is this God?
Even in natural relationships, how can we love someone we don’t know? Does a mans autobiography alone teach me about the man or does it allow me to know the man? No, we can’t possibly KNOW, at best we can only understand in part, even so, we can’t (as in impossible) know our Father in heaven by simply reading written text. We can’t love Him in the manner that pleases Him by only reading about Him, we must KNOW Him intimately to love Him effectively, and there is ONLY one way for that to happen; I have to be cleansed and forgiven so that I am suitable to enter this blessed relationship with a Holy God, a relationship that allows me to KNOW Him, not just know of Him. And how is it possible to be so clean and pure, that God the Father (a consuming fire) would find me acceptable or desire my fellowship?
It happened by one man (Jesus) who was born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the law. A law that made me grossly aware of my sinfulness, guilty as charged and standing condemned and ashamed before Him. It happened by this same Jesus walking a perfect and complete walk of fulfillment within the Law (which no man had ever done), and Him choosing to die for me, so that I could live. It happened by this one and the same Jesus offering up to God His own body and the holiest blood that ever flowed from the veins of a man, as an eternal offering for me, yes, for me and for you.. He made this relationship possible for us because of His own sacrifice of love. ❤️
NOW I, like the children of Israel while in Egypt, can apply this same blood by FAITH, (to believe with all of your heart), to my own house (me) and stand protected and free from Gods wrath because of it. Jesus set me free from the curse of the law, the same law that made me guilty, undone and condemned before God. He also set me free from Satan’s hold on my life and from sin, He cleansed me from an evil conscience and set my heart free from the wicked works that once held me prisoner to death, all by this one sacrifice. 😘BUT, guess what? 😋
Now that i’m clean before God, but ONLY because of this precious gift of grace, and now that I stand in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, I can freely and confidently (without condemnation) ask for the Holy Spirit to come and abide in this Temple made without hands (ME), a simple person who’s been cleansed with precious and Holy blood, who can come boldly to the throne of grace to receive all of the help that I need to live my life as one who sincerely LOVES HIM. Woo Hoo!!! \0/ and guess what else happens when that blessing comes? The Spirit of the Lord comes into my heart and fills my spirit, He breathes His life into me and causes me to CRY OUT, ABBA FATHER from the depths of my soul. \0/ I ABSOLUTELY LOVE JESUS, THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND MY FATHER and how do I love this way you asked, Yep, with all of my heart, my soul and with all of my strength, because His love now abides within me; without Him I could do nothing, I even kind of love other people too. 😉I now KNOW Him intimately as a man knows His friend and He KNOWS me. ❤️
I’m now a branch who’s connected to the vine by covenant and I can’t help but to produce fruit according to what’s being supplied to me by the Vine (Love, grace and mercy), I may be just a little branch at first, but I’m growing and latching on to the strength of the Vine and the VINE is holding onto me as well; we who are joined to the vine are now one spirit with Him and He nourishing me with His strength. I grow, I’m pruned, the unfruitful parts of me die, I blossom, I’m watered, my fruit matures, and one day, I’ll produce fruit that looks exactly like the fruit that the original Vine produced (Jesus). Christ in me, the hope of Glory! ❤️He has perfected FOREVER those who are BEING sanctified. \0/
Get connected with HIM, and you will flourish and fully please the Lord. But please do not take His sacrifice lightly, He gave it all for you, to give you all of Himself; the one in whom the fullness of God dwells. ❤️
Copyright: (2016) Pamela Halstead
Midnight Oil Ministries