If you would ask the true “heart determined” believer in Christ today just what it is that they need now more than ever, it would be totally answered by the very raw words;
“I am need to have full clarity of mind and a fearless trust in the knowledge of how much God loves me.”
WE ARE IN ONE HOT REFINERS FIRE!
People are winding up in anger, disbelief and frustration over this “Unfair” season the Bride of Christ is in! It just isn’t fair! We have been so good! We have laid down everything!
Why oh why are WE being singled out?
“I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.” Psalm. 69:3.
“I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears,” Psalm. 6:6.
Does this sound like you right now?
EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE TESTED SOMETIME!
The strongest impression I have received from the Father about the condition of His Bride is this.
When things are going “fabulously” for her, when all of heaven is blessing, she wants to keep it that way!
If she is not in a place of great humility and thankfulness for what The LORD is doing, she tends to assume that, “It’s about time folks knew just how long I’ve been waiting for them to see just how great this church, or ministry or intellectual skill I’ve been soooo blessed with is!”
Then comes the attitude that we have to keep it allotted to only a few “real winners” like ourselves, and we become exclusive and look for only high rollers to run with.
And then. AGAIN comes the TEST.
Persecution comes, mug slinging, attacks on personal integrity, character assassination, and again the fiery trial………of our soul.
TO REMOVE IMPURITIES — GOD USES A HOT OVEN!
These trials as if by fire are only to test our faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold– and our faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.
“So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1: 7.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
The LORD is working the Bride overtime right now to deal with selfish ambition, personal comfort, and any other areas of personal agenda or presumption.
We as Christians have often presumed that because we are Christians…
…we should never experience severe sorrow, grief, loss, or devastation.
This “fairy tale” stems from a huge level of denial and total self focus. It is also a very Western culture mindset.
A dear friend of mine who went to China and who was visiting a Chinese underground church group, had a reality check that shook her to the core of her faith.
She thought that she was coming to this group to “help and bless them.”
When they asked her what could they pray for the church in American about in order to bless them she was flummoxed! Her reply was, “We came to see how we might help you! ”How can we pray for you?”
The response back was,
“Pray that we would not be fearful or silent about the gospel of Jesus we share when the authorities beat us or imprison us.
Pray that we remain strong enough physically to endure the persecution we receive and not fear what man may do to us.”
SOBERING ISN’T IT!
When others around us are going through loss, trauma, or heart breaking circumstances, sadly, many believers turn away in disgust or even more disturbing, display an arrogant attitude of thinking they are more blessed by God because their lives are not so complex or “shattered” as those around them who must have done SOMETHING wrong to bring these things upon themselves.
Regrettably, some of the pain some saints are experiencing is due to the disobedience of those in the Body of Christ around them!
They resist the hand of God and react against others in retaliation toward God bringing correction or exposure to their secret lifestyle of personal gain or need for power!
WE ARE NOT ALONE!
“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart,” Hebrews 12:3.
Admit it! It is hard to not lose heart right now!
The world is in a tailspin and lukewarm Christians are showing their true colors! It’s time to deal with this! It is NOT going to go away!
AGONY IS MORE SEVERE WHEN IT IS “ENHANCED” BY BETRAYAL!
Jesus went through it. Stephen went through it and so did hundreds of others! AND it hurts, and disillusions, and causes us to be so very very weary!
“You will be delivered up and betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and [some] of you they will put to death,” Luke 21:16.
THE TRANSFORMATION FROM FRAGILE …
…TO FERVENT IS COMING!
“When?” You may ask…..
“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him. That I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power out-flowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope……
….. That if possible I may attain to the spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead even while in the body.
Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do, it is my one aspiration, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the supreme and heavenly prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward,” Philippians 3:10-14 (AMPC)
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THE LORD WOULD REQUIRE:
1. To gain HIS strength, we must relinquish our power or control over what we think of others.
We will be judged by the way we judge others when they struggle. Pious and lofty lectures are not the Kingdom language of healing and restoration.
Loving-kindness and Mercy reveal the heart of godly maturity in a believer when dealing with the sorrows and anguish of others.
“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 25:20.
2. Reach out in kindness to those under fire.
Encourage them to stand. Encourage them to seek The LORD. Bless them and don’t talk about them when they struggle!
“The LORD God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple,” Isaiah 50:43.
3. Get still.
Stop organizing, planning, and pushing ahead into oblivion! God really does have a plan!
“Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for The LORD, Will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become cynical. “ Isaiah 40:30 -31.
4. TRUST FOR A MOMENT!
It’s all about trusting God in the end. Oh yes it is! Will He REALLY refresh us in this time of struggle?
His Loving Word says so.
“For I satisfy the weary ones, and refresh everyone who languishes,” Jeremiah 31:25.
THE LORD IS PRODUCING ENDURANCE WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT!
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which The LORD has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.
THE FATHER IS URGING US TO RUN TO HIM.
He is there! Even in the fog of struggle, loss, anxiety, and also in seeming success.
He wants us to be desperate for Him and rely wholly on His voice.
To make all of our decisions based on His plan for the whole earth!
Lean into His Voice.
Elevate Grace and Mercy…
… And lower your own opinion of yourself and your abilities to “lecture” others into healing or restoration.
WALK SOBERLY IF YOU ARE LIVING IN ABUNDANCE AT THIS TIME, ON ANY LEVEL.
Keep the vigil of prayer you are keeping for others well lit by the reflecting memories of past times when you yourself needed the Merciful Hand of God to lift you from agony and redeem your life from the pit.
Let us be so devoted to the “One” who lavished and spilled out all He had, that we might repeat His actions, and in so doing, bring His Glory to it’s fullest measure and depth.
“Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 35:6.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.