Reflections: Day Twenty-one
D] ETERNAL PROMISE: MY PROMISED REST
Embracing God’s Promised Rest IV
My beloved child…why are you bewildered by the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though some strange thing has happened to you? Don’t you yet understand that I Myself have Personally allowed it to touch your life…and for My Own good purpose? Knowing that I have Personally allowed these adversities to touch your life…why, then, are you frightened? Why are you downcast; why so vexed? Do you still have no faith? Are you still unwilling to trust with an unwavering child-like trust in My unfailing Love for you, and in My absolute Sovereignty over all Creation?
Consider the heart of My servant David when surrounded by his enemies: But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and You answer me from Your holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because my Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
**your name**, I work all things together for the good of those who love Me! Have you not considered Joseph, who said to his brothers, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here. You intended to harm me, but God, Who allowed it, intended it for His Own good purpose, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Has not My servant Paul instructed you: Rejoice as you confidently look forward to sharing in the glory of God’s Divine splendor that is your inheritance! Not only so, but even now take joy in your sufferings, because you know that suffering produces endurance; and endurance develops strength of character; and character produces confident assurance! My child, embrace the same mind that was in My servant Paul. When I told him I would not remove the thorn in his flesh that was buffeting him…that My strength would be sufficient for his weakness, he responded, “I will then all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the Power of Christ may overshadow me! So for the sake of Christ, I will take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak in terms of human strength, then am I truly strong in Christ’s Divine strength!”
Are you so slow to understand? See…as silver is refined in the furnace, I am testing you in the furnace of affliction. For My sake, My Own sake, I do this. I will refine you like silver and test you like gold. Then you will call on My name and I will answer you. I will say, “This is My child;” and you will respond, “The Lord is my Father and my God!”
Have you considered My servant Job? In his afflictions, his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we indeed welcome and accept only blessings from the hand of God and not also accept the misfortune and adversity He allows? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked and without possessions when I depart this world. The Lord gave me everything I have, and they were His to take away. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. May the Name of the Lord be praised!”
Have you considered the unwavering child-like trust of My three faithful Hebrew youths? When threatened with being cast into a blazing furnace, they replied, “Our God is able to deliver us from your fiery furnace, O king. But even if He chooses not to…even so, we will not bow down before your golden statue.”
My beloved child…although you greatly rejoice in your promised inheritance, it may be necessary for a season that you suffer various trials. I have allowed these to come so that your faith…far more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire… may be proved genuine, and thereby result in praise, glory and honor when My Divine Son Jesus is revealed. Consider the occasion with an unclouded joy, My beloved, whenever you encounter various tests and trials! Be assured that this testing and proving of your faith is from My loving hand, and My purpose is to develop and perfect patient endurance in you.
**your name**, trust yourself completely to Me. Whenever you suffer adversity because it is My will for you, keep on doing what is right, and entrust your life to the God Who created you, for I will never fail you. I always keep My promises! I consider you favorably when you endure unjust suffering because you are conscious of My will. When you patiently endure suffering which results from doing what is right, it is well-pleasing to Me. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ My Son also suffered for you, leaving you His Personal example for you to follow in His footsteps.
So don’t be disheartened…I will not allow tests and trials to touch your life other than what is common to all mankind. And I am faithful; I will not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to endure. Whenever you are tested, I will also provide a way to overcome, so that you can stand up under it as more than a conqueror and with overwhelming victory! No matter how deep your sadness and sorrow, no matter how intense your crying and pain, no matter how overwhelming your grief, your loneliness, your broken heartedness…be still, and know that I AM GOD. I assure you, nothing can touch your life without My permission!
Fear not, My child, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you! When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you! When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze! You are precious and honored in My sight! I shall cover you with My pinions, and under My wings shall you trust and find refuge. You will be safe in My care; My truth and My faithfulness will protect and defend you. Do not be afraid of any terror of the night, nor the dangers and sudden attacks during the day, nor of any dreaded diseases that stalk in darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Abba Father, thank You; in Your Presence, there is fullness of joy…joy unspeakable, and full of glory! I am like a sheltered olive tree flourishing in the house of my God; I will surely trust in, and rely upon, Your unfailing love, Father…for ever and ever! I shall praise You forever for all You have done; You continually deliver me and keep me safe! I wait upon You with a sure hope, trusting in the goodness of Your Name! I will praise You in the presence of the congregation! Henceforth, in the midst of the storms touching my life, I shall know that my Redeemer lives, and on that final Day He will reveal Himself on this Earth. And though my skin will be destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see my God; I myself will behold You with my own eyes…and not as a stranger! My heart pines away and is consumed with longing within me! One thing I ask of You, Father; this is what I seek: that I may abide in the Holy of Holies…in the inaccessible Light of the Glory of Your unclouded Presence…all the days of my life, to behold Your delightfulness and to inquire in Your Temple. For in the day of trouble You keep me safe in the shelter of the Most High; You hide me in the secret place of Your Tabernacle, and make me secure upon a high rock! Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Twenty-two
D] ETERNAL PROMISE: MY PROMISED REST
Four Levels of Faith
My beloved child…without faith, it is impossible to please Me. Genuine Faith is the only means of entry into My Promised Rest. Even so, it is so simple a child can understand it. It is so simple, though, that only a child can embrace it and enter in. Faith is the living out of your life in a manner that bears witness to the truth of what you say you believe; it is an action that bears witness to your…
- Unwavering child-like trust in Me;
- Unreserved child-like dependence upon Me;
- Unquestioning child-like obedience to do My will, and to accept My will.
No matter how fierce the storms raging in your life may be, the confirmation in your spirit that you have genuine faith will always be…
- Resting in Me with an unruffled child-like rest;
- Abiding in Me with an unclouded child-like carefree joy.
Genuine faith is triumphant in its power to overcome all obstacles, all adversities. There is an active power of faith that victoriously overcomes and conquerors by securing deliverance from the evil, when deliverance is in accordance with My will. And there is a passive power of faith that overcomes by persevering and enduring evil, even unto death, when deliverance is not My will.
My beloved child…there are four stages of faith you need to understand in order to finally attain to the perfected faith exhibited by My Divine Son Jesus which characterized His life on Earth. The lowest level of faith…phase 1…is the faith that seeks your human nature’s preference. This is the “my will be done” phase. When you are in the furnace of affliction, all you can think of is crying and moaning for Me to get you out of the fire. There is nothing wrong with asking Me to remove a cup of suffering from you; My Divine Son Jesus did so, for several hours, in the Garden that night. What is wrong is that you are consumed with being “healed, restored, delivered;” you never get to the place as He did, “Not My will, but Thy will be done.” As a result, you never cooperate with My will for you [it wasn’t healing]; you never embrace My plans and purposes for allowing you to be in the fire. You never become what I wanted you to become, nor do what I wanted you to do, nor learn what I intended for you to learn. You are simply stuck in Phase 1…whining, moaning, and complaining.
The second level of faith…Phase 2…is a determined resignation to do My will. This is the “grin and bear it” phase; with a determined resignation, you acknowledge that if this is My will, you will bear it. Although you are immersed in intense suffering, you smile whenever in the presence of other Christians so as to appear “more spiritual”…but you are not smiling at all when alone; there is no joy.
The third level of faith…Phase 3…is a joyful acceptance of My will “in spite of” the suffering. There is no connection between the suffering and the joy; the two simply exist side by side. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Saviour…in spite of the adverse circumstances, events, and things touching my life.
The fourth level of faith…the highest and well-pleasing to Me, is Phase 4: a joyful acceptance of My will “because of” the suffering. Here is the highest level of response…a godly response to trials and suffering. There is joy because of the suffering. The joy is in knowing that I am working and accomplishing a special blessing through You, with you, and in you…through the suffering I have willed for you. You understand, and fully embrace, that there is a direct connection between the suffering and the joy…a connection of cause and effect: because of this suffering that I have willed for you to experience [cause], you are filled with joy [effect]…a joyful expectation, an excited anticipation of the blessing I am working through you, with you, in you. Your present suffering is the means through which you will receive a great blessing; in other words… no suffering, no blessing. You have fully embraced the truth that the particular blessing I have for you can only be appropriated through the particular suffering I have ordained for you. For the joy set before Him…the joy of seeing sinners saved; the joy of reconciling sinners back to God; the joy of restoring your relationship with God that had been severed by sin; the joy of repairing that mirror of the Almighty that God intended for you to be, that had been shattered by sin…He willingly endured the cross with a joyful acceptance because of the Father’s will [not just a determined resignation to do the Father’s will], heedless of its shame.
In the Garden that night, Christ My Son entreated Me, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. If it is possible, within the framework of Your plans, Your purposes, Your will, may this cup of suffering be taken from Me.” He was being tempted by Satan to desire His Own will rather than the will of God: Since He Himself was tempted to desire His Own will rather than the will of God in that which He has suffered, He is thereby able to come to the aid of those who are likewise tempted. He wins the victory in Gethsemane over the self-will that characterizes human nature, and then, for the joy set before Him, He can endure the cross, despising its shame: Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, then not My will, but Thy will be done. When My Son Jesus said, “Not My will, but Thy will be done,” these words were much more than a determined resignation [as in grit your teeth and bear it] or a joyful acceptance “in spite of” to do the will of God. It is a joyful acceptance ‘because of” the will of God, as the very best, very kindest, most loving thing that can possibly be… knowing that My Father purposes to make all things work together for My good.
My beloved child, these words “not my will, but Thy will be done” involve a change of preference…no longer a preference for your natural human desire, but a preference now for the will of God…whatever it is. This change of preference is not something merely verbal, or just in your thoughts. It is a real change, in the heart, that can truly say before Me, and know that you actually mean it, “It no longer matters to me whether You take this cup of suffering from me or not…what matters to me is that You keep my heart lovingly and joyfully joined with Your will…whatever it is.” Whatever the prospect of hardship or suffering, My Divine Son Jesus entrusted Himself to Me, His Father. My will was what He lived by and died by; it was all My Son Jesus ever considered.
Abba Father, I understand…but this level of faith is too wonderful for me; it is high above me, I cannot attain to it. I need the Power of Your Holy Spirit to enable me to fully embrace this truth and to live out my everyday life in a manner that bears witness to this truth! For the joy of the great and special blessings You have set aside for me and are to be mine…that can only be appropriated by my patiently enduring the particular adversities You have allowed to touch my life…I willingly and gladly bear the suffering of my cross, heedless of its vexation.
Reflections: Day Twenty-three
B] ETERNAL PURPOSE: RELATIONSHIP
Abiding In My Father’s House
My beloved child…Wait before Me with an unwavering child-like trust and an unreserved child-like dependence…for Me to reveal to you My plans, My purposes, My will, and a deeper revelation of Who I am…SO YOU MAY THEN RESPOND, with an unquestioning child-like obedience, to every leading and prompting of My Holy Spirit…cooperating with the Power of His enabling grace Who works in you both to will and to do. This is the essence of a deep and intimate personal relationship with Me in Spirit and in Truth. It is itself the highest privilege of the creature and the highest blessedness of My redeemed child. As you wait upon Me, and cooperate with My grace, and respond to My Holy Spirit, I Personally work in you both to will and to do by the Power of My Holy Spirit.
**(your name)**…Don’t you know? Have you never fully understood? I brought you into existence for Myself; I made you for Myself…to abide with Me in the Holy of Holies all the days of your life on Earth and then together with Me in Heaven for all eternity. I designed all the delicate, inner parts of your body and knit them together in your mother’s womb! I was there while you were being formed in utter seclusion! I carefully watched over you all the days before you were born, and scheduled each day of your life before you ever began to breathe! Every day of your life was already recorded in My book, before you were born!
So set your heart to watch for Me and wait before Me; look off unto Me, and listen for My voice. That is the purpose for which you are joined together with Me in a Sacred Covenant relationship. I made you for My Own purposes…that you would be continually available to Me as My messenger, My ministering spirit, My watchman..to do My work and My will. The purpose for your existence is so simple…a child can understand it. It is so simple, though, that only a child can embrace it. Listen for My voice behind you saying, “This is the way, My child; walk ye in it.” Your only responsibility is to obey My voice, and embrace My will for you, with an unquestioning child-like obedience. I am your Father and your God; you are My beloved child. You need only be a compliant, obedient child, faithfully and wholeheartedly doing what I give you to do. My Holy Spirit is your Master, you are His servant. Your only responsibility is to be an obedient and faithful servant. My Divine Son Jesus is your husband, you are His bride. Your only responsibility is to be an obedient and faithful wife in living out your everyday life, honoring your solemn marriage vows as the bride of Christ [https://preservechristianfamily.org/2019/01/21/bride-of-christ/].
Is that so difficult to understand, precious child? Why do you make your life so complicated, trying to live in the power of your flesh, your human nature…living your everyday life in reliance upon your human capabilities and capacities, by your own efforts and in your own strength, according to your own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? Your new life is hidden now with My Divine Son Jesus in Me. So continually set your heart upon the rich eternal treasures that are above, in the Heavenly realms, where Christ Jesus My Son is seated at My right hand. Beloved child… continually set your mind and your thoughts on the things of Heaven and the spiritual realm, not on the things of Earth and the physical realm. For you died in union with Christ My Son, and have been raised up together with Him into newness of life. Your new life is hidden now with Christ Jesus in Me, **(your name)**. When Christ, Who is your life, appears, then you also shall appear with Him in glory. Have you never embraced His Divine Power that has given you everything you need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the One Who called you by His Own glory and goodness? Through these He has given you His Own very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the Divine nature now dwelling within you, and thereby escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
**(your name)**, have this same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus My Son; wholeheartedly embrace the example He set for you, and follow in His footsteps. You prepared a body for Me; here I am…it is written about Me in the scroll…I have come to do Your will, O God. I only do what My Father shows Me to do; I only speak the words My Father gives Me to speak. I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father and that I do only what the Father has instructed Me to do. My food is to do the will of My Father Who sent Me, and to carry His work to completion.
My beloved child…this is what the Lord says, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” I, the Lord, will guide you always; I will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land, and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail!
Abba Father…I praise You, the One Who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me! My soul waits for You, Father…more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning! Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I trust in You with an unwavering child-like trust! I know, Father, that my life is not my own; it is not for me to direct my steps. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Show me the way I should go, Father, for to You I lift up my soul. For You have brought me into existence not to do my own will and purpose, but to do the will and purpose of my God Who created me. Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Twenty-four
B] ETERNAL PURPOSE: RELATIONSHIP
My beloved child…give Me your heart, and let your eyes keep to My ways. Listen, My son/daughter, and be wise; keep your heart on the right path. If your heart is wise, then My heart will be glad! **(your name)**, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to My words and do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to your whole body. Above all else, My child, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life; it influences everything you do!
Do not store up for yourself treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourself treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. So set your heart on the rich eternal treasures that are above, in the Heavenly realms, where Christ My Son is seated at My right hand. Set your mind and your thoughts on things of Heaven and the spiritual realm, and not on things of Earth and the physical realm. Do not love the world or the things it has to offer. In so doing, you show no real love for Me. For the things this world appeals to…your sinful desires, your desire to have everything you see, your foolish pride…do not come from Me but come from the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but the one who does My will shall live forever! So fix your eyes not on what is seen in the physical realm, but on what is unseen in the spiritual realm. What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Precious child…I will dwell in you and walk with you, and I will be your God, and you will be My child. Walk away from the corruption and compromise of this world; separate yourself from these things. Don’t link up with those who will lead you into pollution, and I Myself will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My son/daughter.
**(your name)**, only My Holy Spirit can work in you a pure heart. And so I urge you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will place you where you are to be, lead you where you are to go, show you what you are to do to participate in My work. He will give you the thoughts you are to think and to present, the words you are to speak or write. If only you would just give Him free reign, beloved child…then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your sin-enslaved human nature wants you to do.
Abba Father…Because of Your steadfast love for me, I know there is nothing You would ask of me…to be for You or to do for You, to learn of You or just, perhaps, to suffer because it is part of Your plans, Your purposes, Your will for me…that would be unreasonable, or too much to ask. And so, I need no longer be anxious… about anything… as I realize this: You know the plans You have for me…plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future. I am Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus Your Son to do good works, which You Yourself have planned in advance for me to do.
And so, Father, in the Power of Your enabling grace, manifested and exercised in me through the Eternal Power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit…it no longer matters to me where You place me, or how…whether in serious perplexity, or in positions of great difficulty, or in circumstances of great pressure and trial. It no longer matters whether You place me at all, or when. It no longer matters where You lead me to go, or what You show me to do; what thoughts You give me to think and present, what words to speak or write. These things are rather for You to consider than for me. For in the easiest position, still, You must give me Your grace; and in the most difficult, Your grace is more than sufficient. It is enough for me knowing that You know why You place me where I am… whether to do, or to learn, or just, perhaps, to suffer. It no longer matters to me what I do or what I suffer. All that matters is that You keep my heart lovingly and joyfully joined with Your will.
Should You place me in serious perplexity, I know You will give me much guidance. Should You place me in positions of great difficulty, You will give me much grace; should You place me in circumstances of great pressure and trial, You will give me much strength. I have no fear that Your resources may prove to be unequal to the emergency…and Your resources are mine, for You are mine, and are with me, and dwell in me! Have You not promised, “I will never, never to leave you; I will never, ever forsake you…assuredly not!” I trust in You with an unwavering child-like trust, and depend upon You with an unreserved child-like dependence, that Your Holy Spirit will indeed lead me and guide me, showing me what to do and when, continually and unceasingly day and night! By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on the way they were to take, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Abba Father…in the Power of Your enabling grace, I have set my heart to watch for You and wait before You, to look off unto You and listen for Your voice, with an unwavering child-like trust and an unreserved child-like dependence, with a joyful expectation and an excited anticipation, for You to reveal to me Your plans, Your purposes, Your will, and a deeper revelation of Who You are…so I may then respond, with an unquestioning child-like obedience, to every leading and prompting of Your Holy Spirit, cooperating with the Power of His enabling grace Who works in me both to will and to do.
Reflections: Day Twenty-seven
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
Obedience to the Leading of the Spirit Brings the Blessings of God
Abba Father…You have taken me by my hand, and Personally brought me into the Heavenly Sanctuary, through the veil that had been rent in two from top to bottom upon the sacrificial death of Your Divine Son Jesus, and into the Holy of Holies… resplendent with the rich eternal treasures of the Heavenly realms! I am overwhelmed with awe that I, once a child of the street, once homeless and a beggar, should be ushered into Your inner circle to be amongst Your children who are closest to You, who are far, far more deserving, far more worthy, to be here than I. Although I know this is the privilege and birth-right of all of the children in Your Royal Family, the inner circle within the Holy of Holies is reserved for those who have once and for all laid their own free will on the altar of sacrifice, and are inflamed with yearning for a pure heart. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; blessed are you who have denied your own self-life and self-interests for My sake, for you will find a rich, abundant, eternally satisfying life in Me. Father, You Personally seated me at Your banqueting table; and although I am seated in the last seat, my heart is very content, as I realize there is nothing in me that warrants or merits my being here. With my hand I cover my mouth in hushed silence on account of my shame, as the incomprehensible truth fully dawns upon me that You have forgiven me of ALL I have ever done, and have blotted out the ENTIRE record of transgressions proven against me! There is no longer anything recorded in Your Book against my name…just as if I had never sinned! I stand before You dressed in the white robes of the Righteousness of Your Divine Son Jesus, pure and holy now in Your sight, without spot or wrinkle or blemish. I have been granted the judicial status of eternal righteousness before You as an accomplished and finished fact! My soul shall forever be satisfied…as with the richest of foods…here at Your banqueting table, as I feast on the abundance of Your House, and You give me drink from Your River of Delights! Hallelujah!
Abba Father…I know that the Eternal Power and Eternal Worth of the Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus has guaranteed and secured that the Holy Spirit was indeed given as Your eternal gift to dwell in me…never to leave me, never to forsake me, and that I am to live my everyday life out of the Power of the Holy Spirit and not out of the power of my sin-enslaved human nature. I acknowledge I am to give Him free reign to place me where I am to be, lead me where I am to go, show me what I am to do to participate with Him in His work, give me the thoughts I am to think and present, the words I am to speak or write.
But Father, how do I know whether the service I am being prompted to engage in for You is the leading of Your Holy Spirit and not the leading of my human spirit? This is one of the greatest dangers that I am asking You to protect me from…the danger of embracing a thought to engage in service for You where the origin of the thought is my human spirit and not the prompting of Your Holy Spirit. The danger is that I would be inclined to make a decision according to the leading of my flesh to proceed with this work, asking You to stop me if it is not Your will for me. In other words…I haven’t heard from You, Father, but I have decided to proceed anyway…so, stop me if You don’t want me to do this. Forbid it, Father, that I should ever have this attitude! Keep it ever clear before me: I am not to proceed…with anything…unless You lead me specifically to do so. No matter how good the ministration I am thinking of doing is…I know I am NOT to proceed with doing it without Your Spirit showing me plainly, clearly, beyond the shadow of any doubt to do so. Enable me by the Power of Your enabling grace to watch for You and wait before You, look off unto You and listen for Your voice…
- confirming to me that the origin of my thought is the prompting of Your Holy Spirit and not the prompting of my human spirit. Where did this thought come from? Is it a desire of my flesh, a longing of my flesh, to satisfy a selfish motive, a self-serving agenda, a desire to gain something for myself? Is the thought from Satan…a distraction, a deception, an attempt to draw my heart away from the work and Your will You have planned in advance for me? Your Divine Son Jesus said, “I only do what My Father shows Me to do; I only speak the words My Father gives Me to speak.”
- confirming to me that the purpose for my doing this is obedience to Your clearly revealed will in this matter. Am I doing it to fulfill a responsibility of a ministry You have given me, Father, in accordance with Your plans, purposes, and will as revealed to me by the Spirit? Or is it a responsibility resulting from my own self-life, self-interests, self-will…according to the plans, purposes, and will of my flesh? Then Jesus said, “Here I am, I have come…it is written about Me in the scroll. I desire to do Your will, O My God; Your Law is within My heart. Not My will, but Thy will be done.”
- confirming to me that the authority for my proceeding to do this is the leading of Your Holy Spirit to do so. Who gave me the go-ahead to proceed, to put this thought into action? Under whose authority am I going to proceed? Is the leading of Your Holy Spirit the authority behind my proceeding to do this, or is it the leading of my flesh? Your Divine Son Jesus said, “I only do what My Father shows Me to do; I only speak the words My Father gives Me to speak.”
- confirming to me that the power for this ministration is the Power of Your Holy Spirit, given to me for the purpose of fulfilling this responsibility. As I proceed in doing this, in carrying out this thought into action, in accomplishing what I have set out to do… whose power am I relying upon to do it…the Power of the Spirit, or the power of the flesh? Is what I am doing the ministration of the Spirit, in the Power of the Spirit? Or is it the ministration of the flesh, in the power of the flesh…relying upon my human capabilities and capacities, my own efforts and strength, my own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
- working in me a godly motive for doing this…to bring glory, honor, and praise to Your Holy Name. What is my motive…the motivation behind my service? Is it my desire to bring glory, honor, and praise to Your Name, Father? Or is it to call attention to myself…to obtain glory and honor for myself…fishing for the praise of men? He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory. But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him…He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him.”
- working in me a manner of going about fulfilling this responsibility that is well pleasing to You. Am I doing it with a good, cheerful attitude and a sweet disposition?…a bad, begrudging attitude and a sour disposition? May the God of peace…Who through the Blood of the Eternal Covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in you what is well-pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be Glory for ever and ever.
Abba Father…I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that if my proceeding with a ministration is the result of an unwavering child-like trust in Your will for me, an unreserved child-like dependence upon the Power of Your Holy Spirit, and an unquestioning child-like obedience to the leading of the Spirit…the confirmation of the truth that it is indeed Your work and not mine will be an unruffled child-like rest and an unclouded child-like carefree joy. My soul will be peaceful and calm, tranquil and unruffled.
My beloved child…you will know in your spirit, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that I have indeed called you to a particular ministration as My messenger, My ministering spirit, My watchman by the confirmation of My Holy Spirit within you.
My Holy Spirit will open doors for you that no man can shut, and the waters will be parted before you to open the way through.
You will have the anointing of My Holy Spirit upon you, giving you capabilities and capacities beyond what you physically have. It will be so evident that you will exclaim in wonder, “Whoa, Lord; this is not me, this is You!”
You will hear the voice of the Lord, or sense My leading, “This is the way; walk ye in it.”
You will experience that what I call you to do, I will also enable you to do. The Holy Spirit will give you Divine wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
You will become the target of Satan’s fury, as he endeavors to fill your mind and your thoughts with distractions so as to lead you away from focusing on the work I have given you to do; fill your mind and your thoughts with deceptions, so as to mislead you with lies and counterfeit leadings of the Spirit; draw your heart away from the Holy of Holies with attractions and affections that compete with your attraction to Me, and your affection for Me.
You will be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience an exuberant joy in the Lord, testifying to My Name and speaking the Word of God boldly. You will experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in your life…singing songs, hymns, spiritual songs, and making melody in your heart to God. You will experience prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moving the hand of God, and you will experience the blessings that come from obedience to the leading of the Spirit in your life. I will show you My Glory; you will see it with your own eyes, and you will have occasion to testify to My great Name and mighty Power.
My soul glorifies You, Father; my spirit rejoices in my Father and my God! I am Your child, now and forever; may it be unto me according to all You have planned for me!
Reflections: Day Twenty-eight
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT:
You Are My Master; I Am Your Bond-Servant
My beloved child…why are you disappointed? Why are you discouraged? Why are you disheartened and disillusioned? You become overwhelmed by these feelings whenever you have purposed in your heart what the results, outcomes, and conclusions of the work you are doing for Me should be, or you presumed what the results will be, or you embraced a preference for what you hoped the results would be…and the results were not what you anticipated or expected.
**(your name)**, you have purposed what the results should be, as if you know in your own human wisdom, knowledge, and understanding what is the best, kindest, most loving outcome that could possibly be. And so, you are disappointed when the results are not what you purposed. You presumed to know what the results will be, when I have not told you what will take place. And so, you are disappointed when the results are not what you presumed. You have a preference for what you would like the results to be… and so, you are disappointed when the results are not what you preferred…when they are not what you had wanted. My child, if you hold on to a preference, you will NEVER hear My voice leading and guiding you. You will only hear your own heart giving you your preference, and deceiving you into believing it has come from Me!
Don’t you understand, **(your name)**? In whatever I give you to do to participate in the work of My Holy Spirit, you are not responsible for the results; it is His work, not yours. Your only responsibility is obedience and faithfulness. Obedience and faithfulness to the leading of My Holy Spirit brings the blessings of God; not results. So why are you concerned with results? When your focus is on results, you have subconsciously set up a goal, which then causes you to live a purpose-driven life rather than a Spirit-led life, which then makes what you are doing results-oriented rather than obedience-oriented. Without even realizing it, you have slipped into a life in the power of the flesh! Beloved… a life in the power of the flesh guarantees your failure; it secures your failure because by doing so you have blocked My Holy Spirit and His Power from working through you, with you, in you. My child, you can only live your life either in the Power of the Spirit or in the power of the flesh. You cannot live in both at the same time; it is either one or the other. You cannot serve 2 masters. You can live either a purpose-driven life in the power of your flesh, or a Spirit-led life in the Power of My Holy Spirit.
**(your name)**, when you live a purpose-driven life…a life in the power of your flesh… you are like a 2 year old before Me, attempting to make your own decisions and determine your own courses of action! Instead of depending upon Me with an unreserved child-like dependence, you are guilty of self-sufficiency. You have forgotten that apart from Me you can do nothing that is good, or pleasing, or acceptable to Me. Are you so slow to understand? You have no idea of My plans, My purposes, My will! My thoughts are far beyond your thoughts, and My ways far beyond anything you could ever conceive! Just as the heavens soar high above Earth, so My plans are beyond anything you could ever think or imagine!
Beloved, when you live a results-oriented life, you continually evaluate your progress in reaching your goals by looking at the results; results have become both the measure of your progress in attaining your goals and the determining factor as to what you are to do next. If results show you are not coming closer to realizing your goals, then you change or adjust what you are doing accordingly. My child..you are living your life in the power of the flesh rather than in the Power of the Spirit…living your life in reliance upon your human capabilities and capacities, by your own efforts and strength, according to your own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding! And by doing so, you have guaranteed your failure! You say, “But I have called on the Holy Spirit to come help me…to lead me and guide me!” My child…don’t you understand what you have done? You are attempting to make My Holy Spirit your servant, and you have made yourself the master! You have usurped My work and made it your own; you have taken on the responsibility for the results when the reality is that results belong to Me…not to you! Don’t you understand? It is My work, not yours. The results belong to Me, not to you. If My prophets of old had lived their lives in that manner, they would have changed the message I had given them instead of faithfully preaching the words I gave them to speak! If they had evaluated the success of what they were doing by the results, they would have considered themselves utter failures!
For the same reason, **(your name)**, also do not look to results as a confirmation as to whether you are being led by My Spirit and are doing My work and My will. Why would you judge, or evaluate, what you are doing by the results? Are results the lord of your life, or is My Holy Spirit? The work I have given you to do is My work, and I am responsible for the results…not you. Would you be the one who purposes and determines what the results should be? Would you be so presumptuous as to presume to know what the results will be…when I Myself have not told you what they will be? Do you presume to know My mind and My thoughts? Would you embrace a preference as to what you would like the results to be? The preferences of your feeble mind are like that of a two year old before Me; you don’t know what you are choosing!
My child, I have provided My Holy Spirit to abide in you so that you will live a Spirit-led life, not a purpose-driven life. Because you are My child, I have given you the Spirit of My Son to dwell in your heart, and He continually cries out, “Abba, Father!” All who are indeed My children are continually led by My indwelling Holy Spirit! So I counsel you, walk in My Spirit. Watch for Him and wait before Him; look off unto Him and listen for His voice. He will place you where you are to be; He will lead you where you are to go. He will show you what you are to do to participate in My work, give you the thoughts you are to think and to present, the words you are to speak or write. **(your name)**…let your joyful expectation, your excited anticipation, be in witnessing what My plans, purposes, and will is as it unfolds before you…knowing that My plans, purposes, and will are the very best, very kindest, most loving result that could possibly be…even when you don’t understand how that could possibly be. You can trust Me with an unwavering child-like trust in this!
Abba Father, I understand. Help me by the Power of Your enabling grace to fully embrace this. Please keep me from setting up any goal in my life, because if I do so, I am going to try to attain it in the power of my flesh…by my own efforts and in my own strength. I am going to end up living a purpose-driven life…and I will thereby guarantee my failure; I will have secured my failure. I can’t do Your will in the power of my flesh…it is not only impossible, but my sin-enslaved human nature wouldn’t even want to. Desiring to do Your will, as well as being able to do Your will, is Your work, not mine. You alone work in me by Your Holy Spirit both to will and to do. My place is to wait before You, for You to reveal Your plans, purposes, and will for me…so I may then respond with an unquestioning child-like obedience to every leading and prompting of Your Holy Spirit, cooperating with the Power of His enabling grace Who is the One that works in me both to will and to do. I am never to initiate; I am only to respond. It is not in trying but in trusting; not in running but in resting; not in wandering but in waiting; not in pondering but in praying, that I find the strength of my Lord. That is my life, Father; that is what I live for…wholly surrendered unto You, wholly given for the blessing and salvation of souls.
Reflections: Day Twenty-nine
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
Two Operating Systems
My beloved child…there are two operating principles out of which you can live your life… the power of the flesh, or the Power of the Spirit. Those whose lives are under the guidance of the flesh…their sin-enslaved human nature…set their mind on and pursue what that nature desires; but those who live guided by the Holy Spirit set their mind on and seek after what My Spirit desires.
**(your name)**, when you choose to live controlled by the power of the flesh, you live your everyday life in reliance upon your human capabilities and capacities, by your own efforts and in your own strength, according to your own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Those who choose to live controlled by the Power of My Spirit live their everyday life in reliance upon His Divine capabilities and capacities, by His efforts and in His strength, according to His Divine Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding. My child, have you yet to fully embrace His Divine Power that has given you everything you need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the One Who called you by His Own glory and goodness? Through these He has given you His Own very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the Divine nature now dwelling within you, and thereby escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. Living in the Power of the Spirit is a life of watching and waiting upon God, looking off unto Me and listening for My voice…for Me to place you where you are to be, lead you where you are to go, show you what you are to do to participate in My work, give you the thoughts to think and present, the words to speak or write. This was the life of My Divine Son Jesus when He lived on this Earth. You are to live your everyday life by the example set by Christ Jesus, Who said, “I only do what My Father shows Me to do; I only speak the words My Father gives Me to speak.”
Life in the power of the flesh, **(your name)**, is characterized by trying rather than by trusting. It is a life requiring your continual striving and struggling; all of your efforts, redoubled efforts, and strength; all of your commitments and resolutions; all of your pledges and promises. Even then…the absolute weakness of your sin-enslaved human nature guarantees you will utterly fail! My child…a life of trying in the power of your flesh ignores My Eternal provision for your living a holy and righteous life: the gift of My Holy Spirit given to dwell in you, and His eternal Power made available to you. It disregards My command to keep on being continually filled with My Holy Spirit, giving Him free reign over the conduct of your everyday life.
Trying in the power of your flesh to do My work and My will presumes that you are fully capable of doing so, and do not need Me. It is an assertion of your self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and that you have no need for dependence upon My Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding. It is not well-pleasing to Me, **(your name)**; it is a life of utter failure and spiritual bankruptcy! Even just trying by your own efforts and in your own strength to live a holy and righteous life is in itself presumptuous…it presumes that you can actually do so, that you can be well-pleasing in My sight in the power of your sin-enslaved human nature. The truth of the matter is…apart from Me you can do nothing that is good, or pleasing, or acceptable to God!
Beloved, life in the Power of My Spirit is characterized by trusting, and not by trying. It is a life of unwavering child-like trust, prompting you to look to My Holy Spirit with an unreserved child-like dependence for His leading and guiding, to show you what you are to do and when, so that you may then respond with an unquestioning child-like obedience. Continually and unceasingly throughout the day and night, your heart needs to breathe in that breath of life that comes from My Holy Spirit and sustains your spiritual life…just the same as your lungs need, continually and unceasingly, to breathe in that breath of life that comes from the outside air, and sustains your physical life!
Trusting implies that you know beyond the shadow of a doubt you cannot satisfy your spiritual needs trying by your own efforts and strength. Trusting is a conscious decision to live your everyday life in reliance upon the Power of My indwelling Spirit. It is an expression of death to self, and absolute reliance upon the sufficiency of God. The only way to live your everyday life in the Power of My Spirit is to trust Me to do this in you. With an unwavering child-like trust…wait upon Me, look off unto Me, listen for My voice. I will lead you and guide you, I will show you what you are to do and when. When you hear My voice, you need only respond and cooperate. You respond in obedience; you cooperate with the power of My enabling grace. My Spirit is at work in you, working in you both to will and to do. My child,,,don’t run ahead of Me, or without Me!
**(your name)**, the Power of My enabling grace can not…can never…be manifested and exercised in you by your sin-enslaved human nature! Only My Holy Spirit can make My enabling grace effective in you. Don’t you understand? It is My work, not your work; your place is to cooperate and to respond. You live a life of trust not by trying to do what I show you to do, but by cooperating with My enabling grace to do so. You are not trying by your own efforts and in your own strength; you are cooperating with My strength, My wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, with My capabilities and capacities. It is My work, not yours.
Your place in My work is to attentively and diligently look for the leading and guiding of My Holy Spirit in everything concerning your everyday life, and to cooperate with the power of His enabling grace to do all that He prompts you to do, or say, or think. He is the One Who produces fruit in your life; you are simply to be a branch that bears His fruit! You participate in My work by making the members of your body and all your faculties available to Me as instruments of righteousness, leading to holiness. Offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice, a vessel dedicated for My honor and well-pleasing to Me. This is your spiritual act of true worship, **(your name)**!
Abba Father…I understand. I am just the paint brush in the hand of the Master; the pen in the hand of the Author; the bow in the hand of the Master Violinist. I am just the instrument of Your Righteousness…a vessel set apart for noble purposes, holy and consecrated to the Master, prepared and ready to be used for Your every good purpose. The all-prevailing, all pervading, atmosphere in which my soul lives and moves and has its very being is an unwavering child-like trust in You, Father. The underlying foundation for my unwavering child-like trust is that in the very depths of my being I have embraced the reality of Your fathomless love for me, and Your absolute Sovereignty over all Creation. Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Thirty
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
My beloved child…the only way you can remain in My promised rest is by your unwavering child-like trust both in My Love for you and in My Sovereignty over all Creation, your unreserved child-like dependence upon the leading of My Holy Spirit, and your unquestioning child-like obedience to, and acceptance of, My will as the very best, very kindest, most loving thing that can possibly be. You are responsible to consciously and deliberately wait upon Me…to look off unto Me and listen for My voice. That is to be your life, ** **. What My Spirit shows you to do, He will also enable you to do. It is His work from beginning to end. You are responsible to be obedient and participate in His work whenever He shows you to do so, and to cooperate with His Power at work in you…not to try doing His work on your own.
Don’t you understand, ** **…in your physical life, maturity is growth from the utter dependence of a baby to the complete independence and self-reliance of an adult. In your spiritual life, however, maturity is growth from independence and self-reliance to utter dependency upon God. He is most spiritually mature who lives a life of unreserved child-like dependence upon Me. A baby is utterly helpless to provide for its physical needs; all (s)he can do is open his/her mouth and cry. Unless there is someone who hears its cry and satisfies its needs, (s)he will surely die. In the same manner, you are utterly helpless to provide for your spiritual needs. All you can do is open your mouth and cry. I am the One Who hears your cry and satisfies those needs.
My child, if you try to live a spiritual life in the power of your flesh…through reliance upon your human capabilities and capacities, by your own efforts and in your own strength, according to your own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding…you will surely die spiritually. Just as a baby cannot provide for its physical life, neither can you provide for your spiritual life. Don’t you yet understand? Your spiritual life cannot grow and mature by trying…only by crying out to Me, and trusting that I will hear your cry and satisfy your needs. Like a newborn baby crying in its thirst…crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up into full spiritual maturity, now that you have tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord!
Beloved…that is why I made a New Covenant agreement with Mankind, and gave My Holy Spirit to dwell in you, to be the Power Who enables you to grow up into full spiritual maturity. It is His work, not yours. He Personally lives out the life of My Divine Son Jesus in you…Who is your Wisdom from God, as well as your Righteousness, your Sanctification, and your Redemption. I put in you a new heart and a new spirit; I removed your stubborn heart of stone and replaced it with a tender, obedient heart. And I put in you My Spirit, empowering you to obey My laws and live by My decrees. This is My covenant with you: “My Spirit, and these words I have given you, will never depart from you!”
It is Finished! The Holy Spirit was given as My Eternal gift to dwell in you…never to leave you, never to forsake you. Embrace the life of My Divine Son Jesus that the Holy Spirit is Personally living out in you…a life of obedience and suffering, self-sacrifice and self-denial…giving Him free reign to do so. Embrace the death of My Divine Son Jesus that the Holy Spirit is Personally working out in you, conforming you ever more deeply into the likeness of His death…death to sin and death to self…in order that you may thereby attain, more and more, to the power of the resurrection life of Christ Jesus My Son out from the dead.
Beloved…this is what it means to live your everyday life faithfully within the Holy of Holies: entrust your life and your everyday manner of living continually and unceasingly throughout each day entirely into My hands. I assure you…I will lead you and guide you by My Holy Spirit! Trust in Me with an unwavering child-like trust that…
- My indwelling Holy Spirit will indeed Be All in you and Do All in you…will indeed place you where you are to be, lead you where you are to go, show you what you are to do to participate in His work, give you the thoughts to think and present, the words to speak or write.
- In My will for your life and in the work I have given you to do…in the ministries I have given to you and their responsibilities…My indwelling Spirit will indeed enable you to fulfill your responsibilities in accordance with My plans, purposes, and will, and in a manner that is well-pleasing in My sight.
- In every circumstance, event, and thing that is currently touching your life, and in all that I will yet allow to touch your life, My Spirit will indeed lead you and guide you, showing you how to respond and when.
- In all things I allow to touch your life, My indwelling Spirit will indeed intervene in those affairs to Personally do whatever is beyond your human capabilities and capacities to do, in accordance with My Own plans, purposes, and will.
- In all things I allow to touch your life, My indwelling Spirit will indeed Personally cause…or specifically, consciously, and deliberately allow…results, outcomes, and conclusions according to My Own good purpose, in accordance with My Own plans, purposes, and will.
- The results, outcomes, and conclusions I bring about will indeed be the very best, very kindest, most loving thing that can possibly be…and that I make all things work together for your good.
- Therefore, it should not matter to you what these results, outcomes, and conclusions are, since that is for Me to consider and not for you. All that really matters is that you cooperate with My enabling grace to keep your heart lovingly and joyfully joined with My will.
Abba Father…I trust in You with an unwavering child-like trust; that is the all-prevailing attitude of my heart! Child-like trust is the framework out of which everything in my life is determined…every action I take, every response to the things that touch my life, every word I speak, and every thought I think and present. No matter what circumstance, event, or thing that takes place to touch my life, it passes through this all-prevailing, all-pervading, atmosphere of unwavering child-like trust in You, Father, and does not disturb my unruffled child-like rest. It simply prompts me to turn to Your Holy Spirit in an unreserved child-like dependence for His direction as to how I am to respond. Though storms in my life may be raging…a fierce tempest whipping the waves into a tumultuous, churning turmoil…beneath the surface, in the depths of God, my heart is peaceful and calm, my soul is tranquil and unruffled!
Reflections: Day Thirty-one
D] ETERNAL PROMISE: MY PROMISED REST
Sheltered in My Father’s Arms
Beloved…you are My child, in whom I am well-pleased. I love you with a fathomless love; you are the apple of My eye. I take great pleasure in you, ** **. Come, abide with Me in the shelter of the Most High…here in the Holy of Holies, in My unclouded Presence within the Heavenly Sanctuary, where you will find your home and your resting place in the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered in My loving arms. I am your Refuge and your Fortress, your God and Father, in Whom you may trust with an unwavering child-like trust, and in Whom you may continually be at rest in an unruffled child-like rest. In My loving arms, ** **, you will find rest for your soul; all shall be peaceful and calm, tranquil and unruffled.
Surely, My beloved child, I shall deliver you from the hidden traps and from deadly hazards. I shall cover you with My pinions, and under My wings you shall abide with Me and find refuge. You will be safe in My care; My truth and My faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not be afraid of any terror of the night, nor the sudden evil attacks of the enemy during the day, nor of any dreaded diseases that stalk in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death of disasters that surprise and lay waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ** **, and ten thousand at your right hand…but these evils will not touch you! Safe and secure in the secret place of the Most High, you will be only a spectator as you witness the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made Me your refuge, ** **, and the Most High your dwelling place, there shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your dwelling place. For I give My angels special charge over you, to accompany, defend, and preserve you in all your ways of obedience and service. They will steady you with their hands, and keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the pathway. You can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes; you will walk unharmed among them…yes, even trample them beneath your feet!
Because you have set your love upon Me, ** **, therefore will I deliver you. I will set you on high, because you know and understand My Name through our deep and intimate Sacred Covenant relationship. Because you are My beloved child, You shall call upon Me and I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble, I will deliver you and honor you. With long life will I satisfy you and show you My salvation.
Precious child…the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire. Since everything on the Earth will be destroyed in this way, ** **, live a holy and godly life as you look forward to that coming Day! Everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as Christ Jesus My Son is pure. Beloved…continually wash your robes in the Blood of Jesus as you look forward to His imminent return; wash your garments that have been soiled with sin, making them clean again, dazzling and white. Wash your feet with pure water; wash the dust of sin off your feet. Blessed are you who wash your robes, that you may have the right to enter through the gates into the City and eat the fruit from the Tree of Life! Continually and diligently do these things, that you may always abide with Me in the Holy of Holies, in the inaccessible Light of the Glory of My unclouded Presence. My child…this is your birth-right!
Blessed Jesus…thank You for so wonderfully encouraging me, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold on to what you have, ** **, so that no one will deprive you of your crown. Everyone who overcomes by means of their faith I will make a pillar in the Temple of My God. Never again will you leave it! I will write on you the Name of My God and the name of the City of My God…the new Jerusalem…which is coming down out of Heaven from My God. And I will also write on you My Own new Name.”
Abba Father…You are a shield around me; You bestow glory on me, and lift up my head. To You I cry aloud…and You answer me from Your Holy hill. I lie down and sleep in peace; I awaken again in the morning, because You sustain me. I will not fear even tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side! For have You not promised? I will never, never, leave you; I will never, ever, forsake you! Assuredly not! O Lord, You are my Help; of whom shall I be afraid? What can man do to me? Thank You, Father, for giving me a good night sleep. Thank You for bringing me safely through the night. Thank You for being my shield and my protector…for watching over me, protecting me, and keeping me safe. Thank You especially for keeping me safe from those temptations and sins that so easily beset me; I am so grateful. Father, I realize…I acknowledge…my sin-enslaved human nature has no power to stand against these temptations and sins. My human nature is a prisoner of sin, held captive by sin, in bondage to sin, enslaved by sin; it is hopelessly powerless, hopelessly impotent, hopelessly helpless to do anything that is good or pleasing or acceptable to You. But Your Divine Son Jesus has set me eternally free from the penalty for sin, and He has set me free from the power of sin!
Blessed Jesus…by virtue of the Eternal Power and Eternal Worth of Your Blood, which You poured out on my behalf on that cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of my sins, there is now no condemnation for those of us who are joined together with You in a living union of oneness as Your bride…the bride of Christ! O death…where now is your victory? Where now is your sting? The sting that causes eternal death is sin…and sin gets its power and authority to cause death from the Law. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them;” and “The wages of sin is eternal death.”
But thanks be to You, Father…You have given me the victory over both sin and death through Christ Jesus You Son! In Him, You have given me the free gift of eternal life…for the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me forever free from the Law of sin and death! You have called me out of darkness into You marvelous Light; You have transferred me out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light! I am no longer a citizen of this world, no longer under the jurisdiction of the law of this world…the law of sin and death. I am a citizen of Heaven, and as such I am under the jurisdiction of the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah!
Precious Jesus…the Eternal Power and Eternal Worth of Your Blood has guaranteed and secured that the Eternal Holy Spirit was indeed given as God’s Eternal gift to dwell in me…never to leave me, never to forsake me. He is the Power of the Divine nature now abiding in me Who continually guarantees and secures my capability to live my everyday life: faithful to my solemn marriage vows as the bride of Christ in our divine marriage; faithfully within the Holy of Holies in the inaccessible Light of the Glory of Your unclouded Presence, Father, in our Sacred Covenant relationship.
Sovereign Holy Spirit…You are my strength! You make my feet like hinds feet; You give me strength and courage to walk along my high places…places of trouble, and hardship, and responsibility. In Your Power, I can say to that mountain, “Who are you, O mighty impassable mountain of human obstacles! You shall become a level plain, a mere mole hill! Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea! Who are you, O great impenetrable wall of human obstacles! You shall become a garden border, a mere stepping stool! Spirit of the Living God…in Your Power, I can climb a mountain, I can scale a wall; my hands can bend a bow of bronze! I can do all things given me to do through Christ Jesus…Who strengthens me! Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Thirty-four
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit always brings the blessings of God.
Prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the hand of God.
It was June 11, 1995. Four years earlier, in March 1991, I had come to the place in my walk with the Lord that I no longer wanted just to do things that I thought would be good and pleasing and acceptable to Him. I wanted to hear from Him; I wanted to know specifically what He wanted me to do. And so I went before the Lord with a determined prayer, “Lord, I want to be led and guided by Your Holy Spirit. I don’t want to do anything anymore until You show me…plainly, clearly, beyond the shadow of any doubt…what You have planned and purposed for me to do.”
During those four years of watching and waiting, looking off unto Him and listening for His voice, I often said to the Lord, “How will I know You are showing me what I am to do; how can I be sure it is You, and not just something I am thinking or imagining? How will I know it is Your voice?” I had never before experienced this leading of the Holy Spirit that I was now asking for. I only knew that it was an intense desire, and I was determined to consciously and deliberately refuse to do anything for Him until I heard from Him. My antennas were up as I patiently waited, straining to hear His voice. Oftentimes, I wondered what He would lead me to do; I thought of a hundred things it could be, and hoped it might be this one or that one of my several special preferences.
On that Sunday morning in June 1995, as I [and two thousand other believers] was walking out of the sanctuary of the Brooklyn Tabernacle after the morning service, I heard a brother across the way call out my name. I didn’t recognize him, but as we began to talk, he reminded me that we had met several years earlier at a men’s retreat. After a while in our conversation, he said, “I’m involved in Prison Ministry.” Since my antennas were up, I immediately said to myself, “Lord…prison ministry? Well, OK…if that is what You want, I will do it. But how can I be sure this is You?” Prison ministry was not one of the things I had thought of during those past four years. It was so foreign to me, and not the least bit appealing…and I knew absolutely nothing at all about it. Even so, I told the Lord that I would be willing to do whatever He wanted; I just wanted to be sure it was Him.
I sought counsel from a brother Paul…a man of God whom I had come to know and respect, who was President of Elim Bible Institute in Rochester, New York. He invited me to come up to the college for the weekend where we could talk, and for me to spend some time alone together with the Lord on their beautiful campus to inquire of Him. They were having their annual week long Camp Meeting Retreat at that time as well.
I booked an early flight to Rochester, and arrived Saturday late morning. After a brief meeting with brother Paul, I decided I would avoid fellowshipping with any of the many people who were there for the Camp Meeting. I just wanted to be alone with the Lord. At lunchtime, I got my tray of food in the cafeteria and picked out a table where no one else was sitting. After awhile, a brother came by with his tray, and asked if it was OK for him to sit there with me. As we engaged in conversation, he said, “I am involved in prison ministry.” I said to myself, “Whoa, Lord; prison ministry, again…a second time!” The Lord said to me as clearly and unmistakably as two friends speaking together face to face… although not in an audible voice, “Are you sure yet? Well just in case you’re not, I am going to show you another thing.”
I spent the remainder of the afternoon alone with the Lord on the Campus grounds. At dinner time, I again took my tray and sat at an empty table. Shortly thereafter, a brother came over with his wife and their two boys, and asked if they could sit with me. As we engaged in conversation, he said, “I’m involved in prison ministry.” Again, I said to myself in utter disbelief, “Lord…that’s three times now!” The Lord again said to me clearly and unmistakably [and these words are quotes!], “Are you sure yet? Well just in case you’re not, I am going to show you another thing.”
Next morning, after Sunday service and breakfast, as I left the cafeteria [this time I did sit alone], I was passing by a brother who was cleaning something on the grass when he called out, “Where are you from?” I replied, “The Brooklyn Tabernacle.” He responded, “Really? So am I!” As we engaged in conversation, he said, “I’m involved in prison ministry there.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; “Lord, the only people I have spoken to here are all involved in prison ministry!” He responded in that clear, unmistakable, yet inaudible voice, “Are you sure yet? Well just in case you’re not, I am going to show you another thing.” I met briefly again with Brother Paul before leaving for the Rochester airport, relating to him these incredible incidents involving meeting only people who were involved in prison ministry during my stay. I told him, “My only problem is…I don’t know any prison chaplains, nor even how to get in touch with them!”
Several weeks later, on a Saturday about mid-morning at my home on Long Island, the Lord startled me saying, out of the clear blue, “Go to JFK airport.” I responded, “Well… OK, Lord; I will do that.” I wondered why He wanted me, of all things, to go to the airport. I had just recently published my first book “Personal Letters From The Heart Of God,” and reasoned that maybe I was to go there just to give out some copies of the book to people He would show me. As I approached the airport, not knowing where I should go, I decided to go to the main terminal. As I walked through the terminal with a bag of my books to randomly give out, I wondered whether it was permissible for me to do this. Just then I saw a sign pointing up an escalator that read “Chapel.” I decided to go there and ask the minister if I was allowed to give out books in the airport. There was a service taking place, so I attended, and at the end of the service I introduced myself to the minister, who invited me to come into his office. As we engaged in conversation, I began telling him about my recent incredible “call to prison ministry” experiences, lamenting that I did not know any chaplains, or even how to go about getting in touch with them. Patiently listening as I finished pouring out my heart, he looked at me and said, “I am the Regional Director of chaplains for the entire Northeast region!” Driving back home, I was stunned…and the Lord spoke to me again, “Are you sure yet? Well just in case you’re not, I am going to show you another thing.”
Two weeks later, on a Saturday mid-morning, I decided to drive to a hospital in downtown Brooklyn to give out some of my books to people in the waiting room. As I was approaching the hospital, the Lord spoke in that clear, inaudible voice, “Go to Brooklyn House.” I responded, “Well…OK, Lord; I will do that.” Brooklyn House of Detention is a maximum security prison located three blocks from the hospital. I did not know why I was to go there, but thought maybe I could get contact information for the prison chaplain and get in touch with him. There was a sprawling set of concrete steps leading up to massive doors, and I wondered if I should go on up; it seemed very intimidating. There was also a line of people at ground level waiting to get to a small window; I got on that line, thinking the person at the window could give me the contact information I needed. It was early August and the sun was beating down on us; I was hot and sweating, and the line seemed to be taking forever. I thought to myself that I should leave and go to the hospital, and then come back here later. But the voice of the Lord said, “No; stay on line.” Finally…I got to the window, and asked the person how I could get in touch with the Chaplain. She said, “I don’t know; this is a bail window.” I walked slowly away, wondering what I am to do now. Just then, a man in a suit came out of the massive doors and was walking down the stairs. I approached him, introduced myself, and asked if he knew how I could get in touch with the Chaplain. He looked at me and said, “I am the Chaplain.” As I recounted to him the events that had taken place concerning my apparent call to prison ministry, and the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about prison ministry, he invited me to come into the prison on the following Thursday evening with a Catholic group that conducted a Bible study there every Thursday. Incredible! The Lord spoke to me again, for the sixth time, “Are you sure yet? Well just in case you’re not, I am going to show you another thing.”
The following Thursday I found a parking space two blocks from the prison, and as I got out of my car, a voice inside of me was just continually screaming, “What are you doing! You don’t know what you are doing! Just turn back!” I knew it was Satan, trying to stop me. I called on the Name of the Lord, and set my face like flint; looking neither to the right or the left, I just kept moving one step at a time toward the prison as the voice continued to harass me!
There were eight of us, including myself, as we entered the prison and were escorted to the chapel to wait for the inmates to be to brought in. There was a delay, so I began a conversation with a sister who was the only female in the group. I soon realized that this lady was Spirit-filled, and we were having a great conversation together! When the inmates arrived, the group leader instructed us to break down into pairs and spread out in the sanctuary. Merlyn immediately said, “Michael is coming with me!” We went to our spot and were joined by a handful of inmates, and I thought to myself, being totally unfamiliar with this setting, that I would just kind of lay back and observe what Merlyn does and learn from her. After an opening prayer, an inmate immediately looked directly at me and said, “What do you have to say to us?” So much for laying back and observing! I silently called on the Lord for help, and was led by the Spirit to speak out of 1 John 3:1…which was part of the book I had just written. As I was speaking, I realized I had the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon me, and commented to the Lord, “Whoa, Lord… this is not me; this is You!” As I continued speaking, I could see that Merlyn was just sitting there, contentedly watching and smiling, enjoying it all! After our time was over and the inmates left the chapel, Merlyn’s countenance was all lit up as she said to me, “I have been asking the Lord for months to send someone like you to our ministry; you are an answer to prayer!” As I was leaving Brooklyn House to go home, the Lord started speaking for the seventh time, “Are you sure yet?” Before He could finish, I replied, “Yes Lord, I am sure!” Hallelujah!
I had never before heard the voice of the Lord, and now I have heard! The Lord Himself Personally taught me! It is so simple a child can understand: Watch for the Lord and wait upon Me; look off unto Me and listen for My voice. I will most assuredly lead you and guide you by My Spirit…and obedience to the leading of My Spirit always brings the blessings of God!
Our God is faithful; I have experienced the leading of the Spirit hundreds of times since then! Blessed Jesus…formerly, in years gone by, my ears had only heard of You and my eyes read about You, but now my eyes have seen You…with my own eyes I have seen You, and I have beheld Your glory! Oh Lord!…I have gazed attentively upon You in the Sanctuary, and I have beheld Your Power and Your Glory! Therefore, in the midst of the congregation I will proclaim Your great Name and mighty Power according to all that my eyes have seen! Because Your steadfast Love for me is better than life, my lips continually proclaim Your Glory! My lips shout for joy as I sing praises to You! I will open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise; with singing lips my mouth overflows with Your praises! Surely, I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving; I will come into Your courts with praise! Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Thirty-five
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit always brings the blessings of God.
Prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the hand of God.
It was Christmas, 2003…and my mother was suffering terribly. She was 85. I had come down to Florida to spend this special Day with her to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus our Lord, but the excruciating pain in her facial nerves was so overwhelming…my heart was broken for her. She was afflicted with Trigeminal Neuralgia…a condition that the medical profession describes as “the most intense pain known that a human being can experience.” Doctors have no idea how to treat it…there are something like 32 variations of this condition, and it cannot be accurately diagnosed as to which one it is.
Pain medications do not touch it; oftentimes, it drives a person to suicide for relief.
I continued in intense prayer for my mother: “Lord, please deliver her from this pain; take the pain from her, and place it on me…let me suffer it on her behalf,” I often pleaded. Not that I thought I could endure it any better than she could; I just couldn’t bear to see her suffer so intensely! I came down to Florida again in February 2004 to take her to a renowned pain clinic, and to see still another neurologist. All to no avail.
One day, sometime in March, out of the clear blue, the Lord startled me with these words, “I want you to move to Florida.” [That is a literal quote, as are the others in this testimony; it was not an audible voice, but a voice speaking within me that was just as clear as if it were audible!] I responded…very much taken aback, “Well…OK, Lord; I will do that.” The thought had never before entered my mind. I lived and worked on Long Island [NY]; the church I loved was in Brooklyn [Brooklyn Tabernacle], where I would always attend the Tuesday night prayer meeting. My most treasured Earthly possession was a log cabin I owned in the mountains of Upstate New York, where I would spend many weekends alone with the Lord. All my friends and acquaintances were in New York, where I have lived all my life. The Lord spoke to me twice again during this period of time, the first time clearly directing me, “I want you to sell the Cabin.” [read testimony on this website entitled “Divine Direction,” where I recount how the Lord told me by His Own voice who I was to sell it to, and at what price: https://preservechristianfamily.org/2017/04/23/divine-direction/] The second time He clearly stated what He intended to do in answer to my prayers for my mother, “I am going to raise up your mother.” I thought He was going to deliver her from her Trigeminal Neuralgia; little did I know that He was going to raise her up off her death-bed!
The purpose of my testimony at this point is to illustrate how the Spirit of God worked in me both the desire to obey my Father’s will, and the power to do His will, in two very major area’s of my life: concerning my most prized Earthly possession, and where I was to live. He enabled me, by the Power of His enabling grace, to respond to His leading and prompting with an unquestioning child-like obedience…and so all the glory belongs to Him. Had I responded in the power of my flesh, I never would have chosen to do the things He asked…and would have missed all the incredible blessings He had in store for me through my obedience!
May 7th I was back at my mother’s Condo in Florida, to locate a place nearby to rent for my relocation. I spent all that next day Saturday looking…and found nothing suitable. Weary from my efforts, as I crossed the Blue Heron bridge back to Singer Island where my mother lived, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit, “Look to the left.” I did…and was just passing a short dead-end street at the end of which was a sign: FOR RENT. There was a small cottage available on that street, and a phone number to contact. I made arrangements to meet the owner there early that evening, and she walked me through the cottage. It was perfect; only 4 minutes from my mother’s condo; only $800 monthly! She told me it was listed to appear in tomorrow morning’s Sunday newspaper, and would be gone in a heartbeat. I took it on the spot!
I was living in a rental unit on Long Island at the time, and in 10 days I packed everything I owned that could fit into a 15 passenger van void of seats [donated everything else], and arrived at my rental cottage in Florida on May 20th. Eleven days later, on Memorial Day, I was with my mother when she collapsed on the floor in utter delirium, mournfully declaring, “I am finished!” I called ER to get her to the hospital!
Her blood pressure was 220; her sodium level was dangerously low…at a point where she could easily have died. Had she not arrived at the hospital Emergency Room when she did for treatment, she would have died! Five days later, June 5th, my mother lay on her hospital bed…four sets of intravenous tubes, non-ambulatory, incontinent, in deep dementia. She had lost 20% of her bodily weight…now just 92 pounds, and hadn’t eaten anything in a week. All of the doctors and nurses told me, “She is finished; just let her go.” That evening Vince, my new brother in the Lord from Upstate New York… the one whom the Lord had told me concerning my log cabin, “Sell it to Vince”… called me and could hardly contain himself! He was praying for my mother with the pastor of his church, and suddenly, he said, he heard this voice within him…but it wasn’t audible…saying, “I am going to raise her up.” Being a new Christian, he was really excited, but did not know what was taking place. “Whoa Vince,” I explained, “You were really blessed; that was the Spirit of God speaking to you and revealing what He was going to do concerning my mother!” Through Vince, that was the second time the Lord told me He was going to raise up my mother!
I continued to hold on to what the Lord had told me, sharing it only with my sister. We spent our days, from morning to night, at the hospital. Meanwhile, the Lord was leading and guiding me by His Spirit. A doctor…the neurologist my mother had last seen… pulled me aside and told me, “Don’t let them perform any invasive tests on your mother; she has suffered enough already. If they were to find that she has cancer, would you really, at this point, put her through Chemo therapy?” Then a nurse pulled me aside and advised, “Don’t let them put your mother on all kinds of medications. They did that to my father, and I really regretted it; we could never determine what was actually going on with him and what was just negative reactions from the various drugs.” I knew these were warnings directly from the Holy Spirit, and the hospital was not at all happy with me as I stopped every “recommended” invasive test, and would not allow them to add additional medications to her treatment! When the Gastroenterologist, however, asked that I allow her to view my mother’s stomach and esophagus with a scope…that it was not a very invasive procedure…the Holy Spirit gave me permission to allow this. The doctor found that my mother had severe ulcers in both her stomach and esophagus… which was a really important and necessary discovery…and immediately put her on intravenous antibiotics to treat it. Finally, upon the Spirit’s leading, I insisted the hospital put my mother on intravenous feeding, reasoning with them that her body had no nutrients to draw on for strength and healing [she hadn’t eaten for weeks at this point]. They reluctantly agreed, reminding me once again, “She is finished; just let her go.” They did not know that I was holding on to what the Lord had already twice told me: “I am going to raise up your mother.” On June 17th I agreed to her transfer to Hospice…on the condition that Hospice would continue with the intravenous feeding.
The Hospice Administrator asked me…three times over the next two days…to please pick out a funeral home for your mother. I ignored his requests. Tuesday morning, June 22nd…somewhere around 10 AM…I was laying back in a recliner near my mother’s bed, just thinking about the Lord. My mother was laid out on her Hospice bed totally out of it…intravenous feeding tube, non-ambulatory, incontinent, in deep dementia. Suddenly, out of the clear blue, the voice of the Lord startled me, “I am going to raise up your mother…and just so you know, I am going to show you a few things.” That is a quote! The Lord’s voice was not audible, but was as clear inside me as if two friends were speaking together face to face!
From that point on, just as the Lord promised, He began “showing me a few things”… my mother began making remarkable and continual progress! She started walking with a walker! She began eating meals at the Hospice cafeteria; I told them they could now discontinue the intravenous feeding! After a few weeks, she was released from the Hospice facility to Hospice care at home. On August 31st, the Lord told me, “No more diapers” I literally outright trusted what He said, and found, incredibly, that He had restored her continence! No one had ever heard of an incontinent person’s continence being restored! We began going on walks without the walker; no more walker! On November 17th, she was released from the Hospice program; she no longer qualified!
Two weeks after my mother’s release, the Hospice doctor who had cared for her during the past four months in the program, called and asked if he could come and visit her. I agreed. I wondered why he wanted to examine her…and then I knew, as he began his dementia test. I had told him that the Lord had reversed her dementia, and I knew he didn’t believe that. He began telling her his test short story having various details and facts. When the story is finished, he would then ask the patient questions concerning the details and facts in the story. A person with dementia is not able to remember those details and facts…but my mother was answering all of his questions with good accuracy, as a normal person would! By the time Doctor Lerner was finished, he was in a daze! He was bewildered; glassy-eyed! He knew that Hospice medications had not brought her back from her death-bed…that they are administered for comfort, not for healing! He knew as a doctor that no one had ever heard of dementia being reversed! As he was walking out the front door, still dazed and glassy-eyed, he turned to me in bewilderment, “I don’t know what you are doing…but whatever it is, keep on doing it.” That is a literal quote! I told him, once again, that the Lord had raised her up in answer to prayer. He still didn’t want to believe that…but he had no answer for what he had just witnessed! Hallelujah!
By year end, my mother and I were going on overnight sightseeing trips! I told the Lord that I would like to go back with her to that Hospice cafeteria for lunch one day…when all the nurses and staff that had seen and known her would be there. I kept asking, and waiting…until one late morning the Lord said, “Go to Hospice cafeteria.” When we walked into that cafeteria, everyone that I had hoped would be there was there! They saw my mother, and were wide-eyed in amazement, fawning over her, as though they were seeing the walking dead! They treated her like a celebrity, talking excitedly with her! They knew that what they were witnessing just does not happen with a former Hospice patient! After we left, and my mother wondered why they paid so much attention to her, I realized that she never really knew the magnitude of what the Lord had done…that she was a walking miracle, a trophy of the Lord, a living witness to His Great Name and Mighty Power! Hallelujah!
I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven Who is well able to stretch out His hand with miracle Power to answer prayer in accordance with His will, but this I do know…my mother was dead, and now she was fully alive! I lived together with her for another 9 1/2 years, and we went on many overnight trips together throughout Florida!
My brothers and sisters in Christ…I proclaim to you Christ Jesus, the One Who existed from the beginning, from Eternity Past, Whom I have heard with the ears of my own inner being, and have seen with my own spiritual eyes. I have gazed upon Him and have spiritually touched Him with my own hands. He is the Word of Life. His Life is continually being revealed to me; I have seen it and testify to it, and I proclaim to you that He is the One Who is Eternal Life. He always existed with the Father, and is now continually being manifested afresh and anew to me. I proclaim to you what I have personally seen and heard in the depths of my soul, so that you also may enjoy this same fellowship together with us. The fellowship I continually enjoy is with the Father and with His Son, Christ Jesus. I am writing these things so that you also may fully share together with me in this fullness of joy. It is our birth-right as a child of the Most High God! Hallelujah!
Reflections: Day Thirty-six
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
DIVINE TOKENS OF LOVE
Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit always brings the blessings of God.
Prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the hand of God.
Abba Father…Who are we, that You would pour out such incredible, wonderful, incomprehensible blessings upon us…continually pouring into us all Your Blessedness, all Your Goodness? How great, beyond measure, is Your fathomless Love freely lavished upon me by virtue of being born of the Spirit into Your Family, and thereby counted as one of the children of the King! That is who I am! I stand in awe as You lavish upon me wondrous tokens of Your Divine Love, Mercy, and Grace…just the little, seemingly insignificant things You do for Your child that mean so much to me! This is our heritage as children of the Most High God! I am Your child, and forever I am; You are my Father and My God! Hallelujah!
One late morning, while visiting my mother in Florida, I went to a lonely private beach that had easement access across from the road bordering her Condo…just to spend some time alone with my Father and commune with Him. I was the only one there, and was enjoying our quiet time together as I lay out on my blanket under the umbrella. Suddenly, out of nowhere, two people on a jet ski were buzzing back and forth along the ocean water directly in front of me! I couldn’t believe it! They had the entire ocean available, but continued buzzing back and forth right in front of me! The noise of the jet ski pierced the peaceful silence, and was ruining my time alone with my Father I had so looked forward to! After a while, when it became apparent they were not about to move on to another spot, I began quietly lamenting before Him, “Abba Father, I really just wanted to spend some time alone together with You, and now this jet ski is interfering with our peaceful time together. I know this is not an important matter, and is kind of insignificant and meaningless…but it would mean so much to me if Your would just intervene and cause this jet ski to go away.” As I continued quietly talking to my Father in this manner, suddenly there was silence. After a short while I looked up to see what was happening. The 2 riders had pulled their jet ski up onto the beach, and were busy trying to get its motor restarted. So I casually walked down to where they were, and asked, “What’s the problem?” They responded, “I don’t know. Our jet ski suddenly shut down, and we can’t seem to get it started again.” “Oh,” I said; “too bad,” as I walked away trying my best to contain myself! I was ecstatic; I could have done cartwheels along the beach! “Thank You, Father, for this wonderful little token of Your love for Your child! Thank You for this little blessing; it means so much to me!” Hallelujah!
Do you really think this was just coincidence? Well…in the Spring 1995 I had just finished writing a book the Holy Spirit had given me to put together entitled “Personal Letters From The Heart Of God.” I was asking the Lord whether I should publish it; I didn’t want to do so without His clear confirmation. While waiting for His answer, I was able to find a printer who would put together 1,000 copies of the book for me at $1.00 per book. This was really an incredibly low price, but in those days there was no way I could afford to spend a thousand dollars to do this. Just about one week after obtaining this quote, my boss [whose Company I was employed with] called me into his office. This was not unusual; it happened every day, since I was Assistant to the President. He was not a Christian; his god was money…and he had a big god that most definitely did not like to share! I could never talk to him about the One True Living God; he didn’t want to hear it. Of course, he knew nothing about the book I had written and was considering publishing. As I sat across from him at our usual little work table, he wasn’t saying a word. Silently, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of bills. Still not saying anything, I watched as he slowly counted out $100 bills on the table in front of me. When he had reached 10, he picked them up and handed them to me, saying, “I just wanted to give you this.” [that is a quote!] Right out of the clear blue, and for no good reason!…except that the Lord somehow moved him to do this as a confirmation to both publish the book and to provide the exact amount of money I needed to do so! Hallelujah!
Do you really think these were just coincidences? Well…at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon in the mid 1980s, I left Brooklyn with a 15 passenger van filled with 5-12 year old inner city kids on our way to a weekend retreat at a Christian Retreat Center in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I was their Youth Leader. The Conference Center Director told me that the Prayer Band from the Brooklyn Tabernacle was going to be there for the entire week…and they had been praying for us every day. I was deeply impressed hearing they doing this, because they certainly did not know us, and at that time I had never heard of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was winter and it was cold, but everything seemed OK…until we got into Pennsylvania. The van was being pelted with an ongoing mixture of wind-driven snow and freezing rain, and the narrow mountain roads winding along precipices and cliffs were becoming slippery and treacherous! I was in a cold sweat, continually pleading with the Lord to watch over us, protect us, and keep us safe. With a heart of thanksgiving, we arrived at the Retreat Center at 9 PM…and the gracious staff was there waiting for us, with a wonderful dinner they had prepared for the kids!
*****Saturday was spent involved with our kids program, and then we joined the Prayer Band in the early evening to have dinner together. After dinner, our kids went over to the fireplace at the other end of the dining hall to sing kids praise and worship songs along with the tracks I would play on our boom box. We always sang these songs, everywhere we went. They knew at least 100 songs, all by heart! We had been invited to sing at a number of churches over the past year; it was our particular God-ordained ministry. The kids were enthusiastic and all lit up when they sang; they thoroughly enjoyed pouring out their little hearts in these songs! Invariably, they would “bring the house down” wherever we went! I selected a track, and the singing began. I never had to tell them which song I was going to play; they knew in just a few seconds into the opening music! Members of the Prayer Band began wandering over and joining in, and soon we were all immersed in singing kids praise and worship songs! Suddenly, out of the clear blue, the Spirit of God fell upon our group! Kids and adults alike were weeping with joy, and then break out into another song! Kids and adults began joyfully weeping and embracing one another, breaking out again into yet another praise song! Everyone was filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit! And so the inaccessible Light of the Glory of the awesome Presence of God just kept going on and on! No one would ever be able to forget that evening when God poured out a Divine token of Love on our little group as we were immersed in praise and worship by the fireplace! Hallelujah!
Do you really think these were just coincidences? Well…in February 2016 the Spirit of God opened a door for me to go to Mississippi to appear as a guest on a radio broadcast at the American Family Association. I was invited to stay at the home of a Christian family during my five day trip. They offered to pick me up at Memphis airport on my arrival, and to bring me back there for my return trip home to Florida. The airport was an hour and a half trip…so I needed to arrive there early afternoon for them to avoid rush hour traffic driving back to their home, and to depart from there early afternoon in order to arrive in Florida at a decent hour. After finalizing my trip plans, the following late-Saturday morning I determined to go on-line to make plane reservations through a ticket agency. I was kind of talking to the Lord about it, asking Him to lead me and guide me by His Spirit, as I make a habit of doing in everything, and decided, “Abba Father…I think I will go for a walk first along the water, and spend some time alone together with You. When I get back this afternoon, I will go on-line to find a suitable flight, and book reservations.” But the Lord startled me, saying in a voice as clear as you and I speaking face to face…except it was not an audible voice, “No; do it now.” [that is a quote!] I responded, “Well…OK, Lord; I will do that.” There were probably 100 flight combinations for the departure and return dates and hours I needed [there were no direct flights]…but all of them had very long layover times. Except one. It was perfect in times of departure in both directions, had the shortest layover times, and was one of the lowest airfares among all available round trips! And there were only 2 remaining seats available! I immediately booked one of them. Later that afternoon, after returning home from my walk, out of curiosity I looked to see if the other remaining seat was still available. It was gone!
Do you really think these were just coincidences? Well…just about a month ago [November 2017], in the early hours of the morning well before dawn during which is my daily time of communing with the Lord, I was prompted by the Spirit to ask, “Abba Father, I know this is not an important matter, and is kind of insignificant and trivial…but it would mean so much to me if You would just cause our Condominium Master insurance policy renewal to come in at the same premium as last year.” I am President of our Condominium Association, and was scheduled to meet with our insurance agent later that morning to finalize the renewal. We had an unsettled claim against our policy, and I was told two weeks prior that the best available quote was going to be $1,500 higher than the current expiring year. As I sat with the agent reviewing the policy, she got to the premium page, and announced, “I am happy to say that we were able to get the renewal at the same premium as last year.” I was ecstatic; another little token of my Father’s love…granting even insignificant and trivial requests for no other reason than just because His child asked!
Do you really think these were just coincidences? Well…on the morning of 9/11/ 2001 we were at 30,000 feet on a flight from Florida, one hour from New York City. The pilot’s voice came over the intercom, as he calmly and quite matter-of-factly announced, “There seems to be some terrorist activity going on in the New York area. So we’re just going to turn around and head for Atlanta.” I was sitting in a row of seats with two other men, and thought to myself, “Why doesn’t he just head for Washington; we are practically right there.” It wasn’t long before passengers with cell phones found out what was going on…that two commercial passenger jetliners had just deliberately flown into the Twin Towers and another one into the Pentagon; the Towers were engulfed in flames and were being utterly destroyed in a massive heap of rubble!
*****We circled Atlanta Airport for several hours before being cleared to land…all planes in proximity of the Eastern seaboard were being re-routed there. Myself and the two men I was sitting with…total strangers…decided to band together and pool our resources, if necessary. They knew the huge Atlanta Airport very well, and knew exactly which airport train to take to get to ground transportation services. There were going to be 35,000 passengers stranded at this airport, so their knowledge would prove to be a great blessing! We planned to get transportation to Macon, Georgia [sort of a central hub], and then to Valdesta on the Florida border, where we would spend the night at a motel. The wife of one of the men had arranged to drive to Valdesta and pick us up, and we would all head back to West Palm Beach together. Would you believe the three of us…complete strangers…”just happened” to live within a few miles of one another? Would you believe that when we had gotten to the Atlanta Airport ground transportation area, our absolutely critical point of departure considering the sheer volume of people looking to find a way out of the airport area, there were only 3 seats left on the last 15 passenger van to Macon? Incredible!
Do you really think these were just coincidences? Well…in the Spring 2013, my mother turned 95. The Lord had miraculously raised her up off her death bed in July 2004; He had Personally told me three times, in a voice as clear as you and I speaking face to face…except not an audible voice…“I am going to raise up your mother.” [That is a quote! You can read the testimony on yesterday’s Prayer Journey: Day Thirty-five] Even in her old age, her spirits were almost always high. She would say things like, “I am thoroughly enjoying life!” When she awakened in the morning, she would say something like, “Oh, it’s a beautiful morning; the sun is shining. I might be getting old, but there is nothing wrong with me. I’m just getting old, that’s all.” And sometimes she would add, “It’s so hard to get old.” But this one morning, as I lay beside her on one of our double twin beds, when she awakened she was not high-spirited at all. She was so depressed…saying things like, “I can’t go out and walk anymore for an hour; I can’t bake; I can’t sew” And she just went on and on, lamenting in that manner. “Just take me to the grave. Just bury me; put me in the grave.” It kind of broke my heart. I was just lying there, holding her hand, not saying anything…and began to pray, silently, “Oh Lord, You see my mother…it’s so difficult to be old. Just reach out and touch her; just give her Your peace and Your comfort.” I continued silently praying along those lines for a while…and then there was silence. Shortly, out of the clear blue, my mother said, “Do you hear that beautiful music?” Well, I didn’t, and I knew that she couldn’t hear anything without her hearing aid. Even when I was right next to her, she could hardly hear me. Yet, she heard this beautiful music, and said, “I wonder where it’s coming from? It sounds like it’s coming from outside.” Every single morning, from that day on, when my mother awakened in the morning she heard this beautiful music… which I never heard! But there, the answer to prayer…or rather, I should say, “Prayer moves the hand of God.” The Lord answered my prayer, and He provided this Heavenly music…this beautiful music for her. Every single morning, for weeks and months, until the end of her life, my mother heard this beautiful music first thing every morning when she awakened!
My brothers and sisters…I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven Who takes pleasure in intervening for blessing in His child’s life, but this I do know by experience…my Father’s ear is attentive to the voice of His child, and He loves to give His child little tokens of His Divine Love whenever my requests are within the framework of His plans, purposes, and will. Scripture tells us, “You have not because you ask not…or you ask with wrong, selfish motives.” Do you really think these seven testimonies were just coincidences? If you do…then it really wouldn’t make any difference if I were to write the many dozens more Divine tokens of love that had taken place since being born into the Family of God on October 17, 1981…my spiritual birth date!
Reflections: Day Thirty-seven
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
Brothers and sisters in Christ…
*****Just as the angels are ministering spirits, are we not called to participate along with them as ministering spirits, sent by the Holy Spirit to serve those who are inheriting salvation? Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit always brings the blessings of God. And prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the hand of God. Following are several testimonies to illustrate how we are called at the Spirit’s Own discretion to participate with Him in His work of salvation in particular souls and in the way He leads us.
As we were leaving the prison that Sunday morning after conducting a church service for the inmates there, I felt deeply impressed to have my brothers in the Lord pray for my visit to the hospital to see my boss. He was not doing well, was on a respirator, and had been suffering from various health issues over the past several years. His god was money, and I was asking specifically that the Lord would arrange for me to be alone there with him, so I would be able to present the Gospel of salvation to him. I was at the hospital quite often; I was his assistant…Assistant to the President…but his hospital room was always filled with people! I needed to be alone with him…free of distractions! That was my prayer. The Lord had told me many years prior, while interceding for him, “Your boss will be saved.” [that is a literal quote!]
*****My spiritual journey to that hospital began 14 years earlier, when the Lord miraculously placed me as Comptroller in Arthur’s privately-held family-owned Corporation. There I was…working in Brooklyn, a location where I had said I would NEVER work! Even so, I knew it was the Lord Who had placed me there! The first few months were not the greatest. On a number of occasions, Arthur would instruct me to do something unethical that I had to respond to by saying, “As a Christian, I can’t do that.” He would get absolutely livid, and angrily tell me, “You won’t go to Hell because you do that!” I replied, “I know; but I still can’t do it.” After a while, my boss learned not to ask me to do those questionable things; he would ask someone else!
*****As time went on, I became CFO of the Company. Then one day my boss called me into his glass-enclosed office and went into a ballistic tirade against me for the next 20 minutes over something I had or hadn’t done [I can’t even remember what it was]… his face beet-red with anger. Finally, reaching the pinnacle of his livid ranting, he was determined to lay upon me what he considered the crowning insult: Furthermore…you are only a clerk, and not even a good clerk; the only reason you are here…THE ONLY REASON…is because I trust you! Well…I was hardly able to contain myself; I could have done cartwheels! What he meant to be the crowning insult was for me the highest compliment a Christian could possibly receive! I didn’t realize it at the time…but that would prove to be the reason why he would listen to, and accept, what I had to say to him on his death-bed about the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus! He could trust me!
*****As the years rolled by, I became CEO of the Company as well, and Assistant to the President. I knew the Lord had Personally placed me in this Company, and so I prayed often for Arthur’s salvation. It was during one of those evenings while in prayer that the Lord assured me, “Your boss will be saved.” His god was money…and he had a very big god. And so the Spirit led me to pray specifically along these lines: Lord…in Your mercy, strip away from him everything he leans on for support, everything he counts on for support, until he has nothing left to turn to but to You. What good would it be if he were to go through the balance of his life with a sense of peace and comfort, a sense of well-being, and then, in the end, lose his soul? What good would it be even if he were to gain the whole world, but then lose his soul? That is exactly what the Lord did in answer to the manner of prayer the Spirit had led me to pray. The Lord literally stripped away Arthur’s health, so that he continually had health issues, and was in and out of the hospital often over a period of years. This work of the Lord in answer to my very specific, Spirit-led prayer was confirmed to me one day when Arthur lamented, “What good is all my money if I don’t have my health?” His great wealth was completely negated, rendered useless and of no value to him!
*****Finally…on Sunday February 8, 1998 as I left the prison, and my brothers had prayed for my visit, I was on my way to the hospital. I walked into Arthur’s room…and, for the first time, there were no visitors there! There was just 1 other person in the room…a nurse! Even better…I soon realized in conversation that she was a born-again believer! The Lord had wonderfully answered our prayer; I was alone with Arthur! I began to talk with him…praying in my heart for the Holy Spirit to open a door for me to present the Gospel of salvation, and patiently waiting. When He did open that door…I could sense the anointing of the Spirit upon me, just presenting the thoughts He gave me to present and speaking the words He gave me to speak concerning sin, repentance, and the Blood of Jesus. As I was speaking, in my mind I was commenting to the Lord, “Whoa, Lord; this is not me…this is You!” He acknowledged his belief, and his desire to follow me in prayer to confess his sins, ask for forgiveness, and make a solemn vow before God to give himself to be the bride of Christ, promising to honor and obey Him as both Lord over his life and Savior of his soul. Arthur passed on to his eternal rest with the Lord just four days later…on Thursday, February 12th…as a child of the Most High God!
I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven Who sends us out as His ministering spirit, but this I do know…my boss’ god was money, but the Lord neutralized his god and made it to be of no value. He placed me in Arthur’s Company, commissioned me and prepared me to be His ministering spirit, for the purpose that 14 years later I would be there to present the One True Living God to a soul whom the Lord foreknew would be inheriting salvation just four days before his death! Hallelujah!
*****If ever there was a person who was the perfect poster-child picture of arrogant, haughty, proud, and in the face of God…that was this person whom I grew up with.
My prayer earnestly continued for my unsaved sister’s salvation over the years, seemingly with no effect. Then one morning…in the early hours of the morning well before dawn…I received a phone call from my sister. She said, “I just wanted to say good-bye.” I wondered why she would call me to tell me that…so I replied, “Oh…are you going on a trip?” She said, “No…I just took a whole bottle of pills.” “Oh Lord!,” I said to myself… “Please don’t let her die, and be ushered into Hell!” I managed to get off the phone with her, and immediately called her husband, my brother-in-law. That he answered his cell phone at such an early hour of the morning was a miracle in itself! I quickly explained what had just taken place, and he was able to contact ER, who rushed her to the hospital.
*****After her recovery, my sister began calling me frequently, and I would talk to her about the God Who loved her, and about Christ Jesus. I lived in Brooklyn, and she in Connecticut…but I would visit often to spend time together with her, to walk the beach and talk about relationship with Jesus…Who He is, and Who He desired to be for her. Several months of this new relationship as confidant for my sister went by, and then one day, during one of our frequent telephone conversations, she asked, “You know that prayer meeting you attend on Tuesday nights at the Brooklyn Tabernacle? Do you think I can go with you next Tuesday?” After I picked myself up off the floor in stunned surprise!…I responded, “Sure! You can meet me there at the church, and we can go in together. The meeting starts at 7 PM, but you should plan to be there around 6 PM, or we probably won’t get a seat. There are four thousand people who attend these Tuesday night prayer meetings!”
*****I gave my sister detailed directions to the church from her home in Connecticut… at least an hour and a half trip. The following Tuesday I arrived at the Brooklyn Tabernacle early and stood outside praying for her, and to maintain cell phone contact [Year 2001 technology] should she need assistance with the directions. The last contact I had was that she was lost…she didn’t know where she was; then we lost contact completely because of the interference of the high buildings. I began praying earnestly for my sister: “Lord, my sister is out there somewhere, and she is lost! Satan is trying to keep her from getting here! Please, Lord…You have got to intervene on her behalf!” I was fervently crying out to the Lord in intense prayer…when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I was startled by the voice of the Lord saying, “Your sister will be saved in this meeting.” That is a quote! The Lord’s voice was not audible, but was as clear inside me as if two friends were speaking together face to face!
*****It was now 7 PM, and I could hear the worship and praise songs that always opened the prayer meeting. 7:20…and my sister is still not here! The worship and praise songs continued…which was unusual; they normally go on for just about 20 minutes. 7:35…I see my sister walking toward the church from a parking lot! We went into the church together…and the worship and praise songs were still continuing! We walked into the Sanctuary with four thousand people immersed in worship…standing with their hands raised in adoration and singing praise songs! My sister was stunned… completely bewildered, saying, “I never saw so many people…worshiping God!” An usher somehow found two seats for us in the balcony, as the singing continued! My sister repeated again her bewilderment. The pastor then called on the people, “Whoever would just like to come down to the altar to continue in love and adoration of the Lord…just come.” The aisles filled with people walking down to the altar! I went, hoping my sister would follow; she did. We continued singing worship and praise in front of the altar and in the aisles. Finally, we all were ushered back to our seats for the remainder of the prayer meeting. When we were dismissed for the evening…it was now 9 PM…I walked my sister back to her car in the public parking lot. She was still bewildered and in awe of all she had just witnessed…and said again, “I never saw so many people…worshiping God!”
*****We continued to stay in touch, by phone and visits. Four months later, in one of our telephone conversations, she said, “Do you remember that prayer meeting I went to with you?” I replied, “Yes.” She continued, still in awe, describing that evening, “I couldn’t believe what I saw there…so many people…worshiping God!” Then she added, “…And that is the reason why I am a Christian today!”
I stood in amazement before the Lord, deeply thankful. He faithfully honored my prayer for my sister’s salvation. He literally stripped away from her everything she counted on for support as I had requested in prayer, until there literally was nothing left for her to turn to but to Him. He brought her to the point of suicide, and then made me to become her confidant…the one whom she would turn to for support! And then finally…He just wanted me to know that He was faithful to what He spoke to me that evening as I waited for my sister in front of the church…“Your sister will be saved in this meeting.” That is what literally took place! There was no altar call for salvation… my sister had simply, and quietly, in the depths of her soul, given her heart to the Lord in that meeting! Hallelujah! That was 16 years ago…and today, my sister continues to be an on-fire Christian!
*****When I was at my log cabin in Upstate New York over the weekends, there was a little country church I attended on Sunday’s, and had gotten to fellowship with a sweet Spirit-filled sister who also attended. We were kind of “kindred spirits.” During one Sunday service, when the pastor was asking for prayer requests, she stood up and lamented about how no one ever came to visit her unsaved husband Al, who was also suffering with Crohn’s disease. I felt the Spirit of God impressing me to become involved. My first visit with Al and Dolores went well, and in subsequent visits I got to know Al better and we became friends; he looked forward to my visits. It became very clear, though, that he did not want to talk about Jesus, or God.
*****Winter came, and I wasn’t able to travel to the cabin because of the heavy snows. I had a Billy Graham Devotional book that I was following, and one day the Holy Spirit prompted me as follows: Every day, make a copy of the Devotional for that day, put it in an envelope [by itself, with nothing else], and mail it to Al. Each day, every day, all seven days of the week…mail an envelope to Al. It seemed like such an unlikely, innocuous thing to do…but I replied, “Well…OK, Lord; I will do that.” For a number of weeks, Dolores told me by phone, Al would get these envelopes, open them, and without reading the devotional just angrily crumple it up and furiously hurl it down onto the floor! Then quite suddenly one day, after several weeks, he opened the envelope and for the first time read the devotional…and then began reading them each day, even several times during the day. This pattern continued over a number of weeks. Dolores said that he began to look forward to getting the mail every day, and would get upset with the Post Office if there was no envelope for that day! [Of course, he would then get two envelopes the following day]. I never did get to see Al again; he ended up in the hospital, and a short time later passed away. But Dolores told me she was eternally grateful for how the Lord used those devotionals to open Al’s heart, and he accepted the Lord with the pastor of that little country church on one of his visits! Hallelujah!
Whoever would have thought that the Lord’s prompting to do such an unlikely, seemingly inconsequential thing would be the very vehicle God would use to draw a soul into eternal salvation through a saving relationship with His Divine Son Jesus! Unquestioning child-like obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit does indeed bring the blessings of God! I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven Who seeks to use us as His vessels to save the lost, but this I do know…Al was dead in his trespasses and sins, but the Spirit of God knew what would draw him into a saving relationship with Christ Jesus, and He knew that I would follow His leading to participate with Him in that work. Mine was the blessing of being used as a ministering spirit, sent to serve those who are inheriting salvation!
*****Friday, 10 AM…the phone in my office in Brooklyn, New York, was ringing. It was my mother in Florida…telling me that my father was admitted to the hospital the day before, is on a respirator and kidney dialysis for his one remaining kidney…and the doctors want to remove him from life support because the prognosis is terminal. All I could think to cry out in panic was, “NO!…don’t let them do that; I am on my way down!” I knew if they did, my unsaved father would be ushered into Hell!
*****The date was May 6, 1994. I had been praying for my father since the day I was born again on October 17, 1981. We had been raised Catholic, but my father never wanted to talk about God. He was especially incensed when I told him, shortly after my salvation, that I had begun tithing; he was ballistic because I was already struggling financially. I was talking with the cab driver on the way to the airport it was only 11 AM…telling him my father was in the hospital in Florida, that they wanted to remove him from life support, and I needed to get down there. He asked me, “What airline?” I replied, “I don’t have a ticket.” He exclaimed in disbelief, “There is no way you are going to get on a plane…especially to Florida! This is Mother’s Day weekend!”
*****I entered the terminal, and got on a really l-o-n-g line to a ticket agent. All the while, I was just crying out to God, “Please make a way for me to get on a plane! Please don’t let my father pass away before I can get there! Please give me just one more opportunity to present Your Gospel of salvation to my father!” I just continued to pour out my heart to God as I waited what seemed to be forever on that line! Finally…I was in front of the ticket agent, and in desperation I just poured out my heart to her concerning my father being in the hospital on his death-bed, and my urgent need to get to Florida. She listened patiently, and then replied, “You’re in luck; I have 1 ticket left.” I boarded the plane just thanking and praising the Lord for providing that ticket for me, and continued to cry out to Him the entire trip, “Please don’t let my father pass away before I can get there! Please give me just one more opportunity to present Your Gospel of salvation to my father!”
*****The cab driver pulled up at the hospital entrance in Palm Beach Gardens and I hurried to the area where my father’s room was located. I saw my mother with my sister, several friends, and several doctor’s huddled together in conference. When I walked into the midst of that conference, they were again strongly recommending that my father be removed from life support…to which I emphatically proclaimed, “We are NOT doing that! No way!” The conference over for the time being, we all decided to go to my father’s room. There was no way I was going to be able to talk to him about the Lord…especially with my unsaved sister present. I began pleading with God in my heart to make a way for me to be alone with my father, with no one else present. Shortly, we all decided to leave the hospital to have dinner, and then return. As we walked toward the hospital exit, I kind of lingered behind…and then was prompted by the Spirit to just turn around and go back to my father’s room.
*****Finally…I was alone with my father! I took hold of his hand and began to talk to him; he could hear, and understand, what I was saying…and since he could not talk, he would respond when asked by squeezing my hand. The Spirit of God was upon me…I could sense it…and I just presented the thoughts He gave me to present, and spoke the words He gave me to speak…concerning sin and repentance and acceptance of Who Jesus was…the Divine Son in the Triune God, the Lamb of God Who came into this world to become the One only all-sufficient atoning sacrifice that brought forgiveness for his [my father’s] sins and restored his relationship with God. I asked if he would like to receive Jesus as Lord of his life and Savior of his soul. As my father squeezed my hand to say “yes,” I led him in a prayer and he accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Hallelujah! I made arrangements with the Hospital to stay with my father in his room that night. Every time he awakened throughout the night, I was there to take hold of his hand to comfort him. In the morning, as I was preparing to leave, my father’s countenance was radiant; I knew he had truly accepted the Lord! That was a confirmation of the Spirit! My father went home to be with the Lord two weeks later, on May 26th. But it no longer mattered! Hallelujah! Surely, I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving, and come into Your courts with praise…singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, and making melody in my heart to You, Lord!
I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven Who is not willing that any should perish without having been given ample opportunities for salvation, but this I do know…my father was dead in his trespasses and sins, but the Lord in His Omniscience knew my father would accept that invitation to accept Jesus on his death-bed. He therefore Personally intervened to stay the hand of death, and wonderfully opened up the way for that one more opportunity for me to be able to get to Florida and present the Gospel of salvation to my father. Mine was the blessing of being used as a ministering spirit, sent to serve those who are inheriting salvation!
Reflections: Day Thirty-eight
E] ETERNAL PROVISION: GIFT OF MY HOLY SPIRIT
9½ YEARS OF MIRACULOUS SIGNS AND WONDERS
Prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the hand of God.
My mother stands as a trophy of the Lord God Almighty, a living witness to His Great Name and Mighty Power! The Lord literally stretched out His hand to heal, restore, and deliver her, and to perform miraculous signs and wonders through the Name of His Divine Son Jesus!…just as He had told me He would 3 times, “I am going to raise up your mother.” [Read testimony in Prayer Journey: Day Thirty-five testimony DIVINE MIRACLE] He miraculously raised her up off her death bed in June 2004, and healed her of the trigeminal neuralgia that had caused such intense, debilitating pain; He restored her mind to normal and restored her continence; He delivered her from disabling physical weakness, renewing her strength and enabling her to walk again, unassisted! Before 2004 had ended, my mother and I began traveling throughout Florida on overnight sightseeing trips! She never needed to use a cane or a walker; just five weeks before her death on December 6th, 2013 at the age of 95, she walked the staircase to her second floor condominium!
Even more, beyond all He had already done up to that point, were the many incredulous and miraculous signs and wonders that took place over those following 9½ years of her life! I was there; I witnessed His great Name and mighty Power with my own eyes!…and I testify to it! He did not raise up my mother for no other reason than just to give her 9½ more years of life here on Earth. He raised her up for His Own purposes; she was consecrated unto Him as an instrument of His Righteousness, a vessel for His honor. At first, I thought the Lord’s purpose was for me to minister to my mother…to care for her, and enable her to live out her life in peace and comfort in her own home for the remainder of her life. It took several years before I realized that He was using my mother to minister to me…spiritually! He used her to teach me, patiently and painstakingly over all those years, how to truly love! I am eternally grateful, and give our Lord all the honor, glory, and praise for all He taught me through my mother, and give her as well all the honor and respect due her as my mother.
The work the Lord had prepared my mother for in raising her up to minister to me continued over those following 9½ years, and was brought to completion in those last 78 hours of her life. As she lay hopelessly helpless on her bed, utterly unable to satisfy the intense thirst of her parched mouth and throat, all she could do was open her mouth and utter a muted, unintelligible sound in a plea for cold water. No one on the face of the Earth could understand what my mother was saying, but I. I understood. For those last 78 hours, the Lord had given me the priceless privilege of inclining my ear toward her, unceasingly day and night, listening for her voice. Whenever she opened her mouth and uttered those unintelligible sounds of intense thirst, it was my privilege to be there with cold water and a mouth sponge to satisfy her thirst, until she was fully satisfied. That was the sole purpose for my existence during those last 78 hours of her life…to hear my mother’s cry and satisfy her thirst. I am eternally grateful for how the Lord used her to teach someone so deficient in love as I to experience what “agape” love really is…by Personally teaching and training me over 9½ years through my mother, and then having me engage in it so as to “earn my Masters!” This was the spiritual purpose for which the Lord had raised her up; and when my mother’s work on this Earth was finished, the death of her body brought her to be together with Christ Jesus our Lord in Heaven for all eternity!
Abba Father…I have gazed attentively into the Sanctuary, and I have beheld Your Power and Your Glory! With my own eyes, I have seen Your Glory!…and in the presence of the congregation, I will proclaim Your Great Name and Your Mighty Power according to all that my eyes have seen! Following is a link to a video presentation of my testimonies of those 9 1/2 years of miraculous events, given at my mother’s Memorial Service on January 25, 2014…testimonies of how obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit brings the blessings of God; testimonies of how prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moves the Hand of God. You will be greatly blessed: http://tinyurl.com/y9opt394/ [please note: the church and the Denomination identified at the beginning of this video are Apostate and no longer belong to Christ. I have since confronted Leadership with their apostasy, and am no longer associated with them]
40 DAY PRAYER JOURNEY
Conclusion: Sixth Week
March 6th was the launch date of your 40 Day Prayer Journey, and now we are at the conclusion. The specific blessings you were praying for were…
- Personal revival. Revival begins in one’s own heart. The prayer journey is a consecration of my heart to God, pleading with Him to bring revival, and to begin with me.
- Longing for God…an ever deeper, ever more intimate, personal relationship with Him.
- Hunger and thirst for personal holiness in my heart, manifested in living out my everyday life.
- Seeking to keep on being continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
This was the entire focus for the prayer journey over these past 40 days. It was intensely personal in nature, a heart-cry to God to touch your life by His Spirit, and work a deep change in you. You had God’s blessed assurance: you will never be the same again!
For those who had been wholeheartedly engaged in this prayer journey, it will now become for you a launching pad…if it hasn’t done so already…into experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon your life, according to His command, “Keep on continually being filled with the Spirit.” You will experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in your life…singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs and making melody in your heart to God. You will experience prayer, in accordance with God’s will, moving the hand of God, and you will experience the blessings that come from obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. God will show you His Glory; you will see it with your own eyes, and you will have occasion to testify to His great Name and mighty Power! Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God!
Do you have a testimony in your heart that God has touched your life during this prayer journey? I have personally heard from a whole number of brothers and sisters that they have been deeply touched! Pastor Jeremy and I met last Wednesday…and we would like to invite you to send to him an E-mail testimony [by Good Friday], giving glory to God for what He has done. We are going to compile these testimonies, publish them, and make them available to our CITG members…and for whoever else you feel led by the Spirit to share them with. In the presence of the congregation, I will proclaim Your great Name and mighty Power according to all my eyes have seen! Surely, I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving; I will come into Your courts with praise!
The 40 days of this prayer journey ends tomorrow on Palm Sunday…but it is not the end but rather just the beginning! If you view this prayer journey rightly, it is just the beginning of a life-long journey down into the fathomless depths of God…ever deeper, ever more intimate! Abba Father…I continually set my heart upon the rich eternal treasures that are above, in the Heavenly realms, where Christ Jesus Your Son is seated at Your right hand. I continually set my mind and my thoughts on the things of Heaven and the spiritual realm, not on the things of Earth and the physical realm. For I died in union with Christ Your Son, and have been raised up together with Him into newness of life; my new life is hidden now with Christ Jesus in You, Father. When Christ, Who is my life, appears, then I also shall appear with Him in glory. Hallelujah!