That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: [1Pet 1:7]
It has been over three months since I have written on the blog, but due to many factors, it has been challenging (to say the least) to accomplish posting. Many of you have written, inquiring about how I am doing. Words cannot express my heartfelt gratitude for the emails. Thank you from the inner chambers of my heart! (I do not have time to write each of you individually. This will be explained further on - partially.) Thanks for understanding (in advance).
My last post and radio program explained why I was led to leave the United States. I know that the Lord was with me and ordering my steps, despite outward appearances. The journey was incredibly long (six days on a bus); however, it was a safe trip and blessed.
However, the Lord had a plan in mind that I never would have agreed to IF He had asked me to agree ... well, obviously I would eventually agree (He IS King and LORD God after all), but there would have been some "discussion" between us, amidst my protests, undoubtedly.
His ways truly are not our ways and I have been reminded of that fact in a way that I will not soon forget. I will withhold many details at this time for a future program (Lord willing) on BlogTalk radio, but for now, suffice it to say that this post is being written at a coffee shop with Wifi.
When I arrived at my destination (B.C.) in Canada, I had $20 left. It cost $18.50 to go from the bus depot to a homeless shelter. Yes, this was indeed the Lord's will. Now you understand why I clearly said that I would have had a "discussion" with the Father, with some protesting (trying to persuade Him that there was a better way) and why I state that yes indeed...His ways are NOT our ways. Having to leave the United States due to circumstances left me little time to prepare financially, meaning there surely was not enough to secure a home.
Yes, yes...I know. We are all taught to have everything in order 'before' we embark on a move, yet again, the LORD's ways are not our ways. There have been those who thought (or think) I am out of the LORD's will and advice abounded. I must say that these nearly three months in the homeless shelter have been an eye-opening experience. Again, I cannot share all the details at this time, but what a mixed bag of events.
As Our Forerunners
If Joseph (Jacob's son) was alive today, it is quite likely that many folks today would think he was out of God's will too when he went through those seventeen years of incredulous events. After all, his father was a man who had been blessed by God. The Almighty Creator had given Joseph prophetic dreams, but woe to Joseph, he must have been too proud in telling his brothers and father. Or perhaps he had hidden sin that only God could see. Well surely there must be "some" reason all that 'trouble' came upon Joseph.
He made his father angry with his dreams (sun, moon and stars bowing down to him) [though his father did ponder the dreams silently in his heart] and made his brothers jealous (all the sheaves of wheat bowed to Joseph's sheave). Genesis 37 tells the story. Joseph was hated, sold, his feet bruised from shackles (Psalm 105:16-22), became a slave [servant], falsely accused and imprisoned. Years and years passed... Was Joseph being chastised or was he out of God's will? Nope.
Of course, another popular character in the Word of God is Job. So much befell him. He lost everything, from family to possessions. His grieving wife snapped at him, challenging his faith. His friends had all kinds of "helpful advice" (facetious comment). Yes, Job erred with self-righteousness, but I would like to see us go through what he went through and not try to justify why it was all "so wrong" to happen. Would we not be self-righteous too, defending ourselves against the injustices done to us? I think, given our sinful nature, we would.
Yet, we have the advantage of reading what happened to Joseph and Job. We see and understand God's wisdom, the trying of faith, the purging - all - we can see and understand it all. But, when the trials come upon us, we feel much like Job and our friends...more often than not, sound just like Job's friends. "Just repent"..."God sees the heart and motives (repent)"..."You're out of God's will (repent) - get back into His will".
It matters not how it's worded, fellow believers often think something has gone wrong with us if we are being "punished". Yet, we are not God and as the "created", as His creation, we cannot possibly understand His wisdom fully or know all of His ways. He is far too vast for us to comprehend. It is like an ant trying to understand the ways and wisdom of mankind. Impossible!
How Long, Lord?
To make it brief, I had pneumonia, then got pleurisy, then got pneumonia again (as of two and a half weeks ago). I'm on the mend after 42 days of antibiotics and 5 days of steroids. Now the doctor says that I may have a hernia from all the coughing (ultrasound booked for January - earliest available time). Is God with me? Yes! Although I had my moments of doubt (who would not?), I know that I know He is with me.
In six days I have to leave the shelter. We are only allowed 90 days out of a year. Still, I have not found a place. Under pressure? Oh yeah! When I arrived here, I was astounded at the cost of living. A studio apartment (bachelor) MIGHT be found for $550/month plus and a one bedroom is typically $650 and up in this area. So, I have been trying to find a place out of town, which sometimes offers more for less. It turns out that British Columbia has the highest cost of living in Canada.
To turn to Social Services (welfare) for a helping hand until I can get re-established, a person is allowed $375 for rent. One cannot even find a room to rent for that price. Am I depending on God? Most assuredly - when there is nowhere else to turn, where do any of us turn? We are told to walk by faith and not by sight and we must, but we are greatly challenged when circumstances scream opposition and impossibilities at us. Yet, time and time again, the LORD has often come in at the last minute.
If worse comes to worse, or push comes to shove, there is another shelter about 45 - 60 minutes from here. I can only go a step at a time and even if I walk on shaky legs, seeing only one lit step on the path each moment, I will still trust my Lord. He has not let me down yet. Yes, He has led me through many trials and fires, but He IS "ever-faithful". I will not renege on the statement, no matter who says what to me.
Let us encourage each other in these dark days. This life is temporary and I do believe that no matter how discouraged we get; no matter how doubts nag us; no matter the sorrows and bitter experiences, Roman 8:28 is as true as ever...and so is Proverbs 3:5, 6
For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called, according to His purpose. [Rom 8:28]
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. [Prov 3:5,6]
Have I cried out, "How long, o Lord?" Yes. I have had my times of discouragement, desperation, hopelessness and more. I cannot pretend - I surely have. Yet, the very Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) brings me back around. Sometimes, fellow believers would have us deny the emotions and feelings that are 'natural' because in their minds, well, it's just not spiritual. But nothing will convince me that it's not 'okay' to go through such things. The Word of God convinces me that it is okay.
I must leave the cafe now, but yet again, I ask for prayer - for a place to live, for finances, for restored health - however the LORD's precious Spirit leads you to pray. We all need prayer - every one of us.
So many times over the years, I have written and spoken about encouraging each other to endure to the end, to keep strong and of good courage (even if it means humbly allowing the LORD to carry us awhile in our weak times); keep the armour of God on; remember the precious, costly Blood of Christ covers us and the holy angels are at the Father's command to help us. He will never leave or forsake us, as long as we remain faithful - it is written.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that does go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. [Deu 31:8]
We, who are His, have a work to do. We do not have to be some "big name" with a great following. We do not have to have an impressive "title". We, His people (His children) all have a mission and to our Father, it is all important. Even if few amongst the seven billion plus souls on earth know us, so long as we remain faithful and trust Him and not turn away (fall away) and forsake not His mercy, then, by His Spirit, He will direct (lead) us.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. [Heb13:5]
He Prophecies to Us
About ten months ago, the Lord gave me a word called "Baptism by Fire" and I just 'happened' upon it when I went to post this blog (another story, another time).
Here are a couple of excerpts:
I know it is hard; I know the frailty of flesh. I understand how flesh wars against (resists) the spirit. Yea, but I see the motives and intentions of even the most awkward child. Trust Me. Yea, when you are willing and lay it down, do you see how I open your eyes now to reveal to you that I AM with you? I did not leave or forsake you.
I AM walking with you through the fire. If you cannot see because of the flames of the fire, then at least be aware that you are not consumed. You are still here. Allow My peace that passes all understanding to reassure you of My presence.
In focusing on Me instead of the fire, instead of the circumstances and those that threw you into the fire, then you can rest, knowing that I AM indeed walking with you through this fiery time.
As you trust in Me, holding fast to your faith, I shall bring you through. Despise not this furnace of affliction, for again I say to you, this is My will and My great love for you and I shall bring you through. Though others may think they know the end of a matter, fear not, for they know not My mind, nor can they counsel Me.
Yea, let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Now you go deeper, pressing in closer to Me, along the narrow path, learning further obedience by the things you suffer, even unto death. Those whose intentions are pure, will surrender to My hand which does the shaking and they shall endure.
Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered [Heb 5:8]
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy.
[1Pet 4:12, 13]
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: [1Pet 1:7]
I have seen the intentions and motives of your heart, fear not. I love the awkward foal as much as the strong horse.
But He knows the way I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. [Job 23:10]
Although I removed many articles to transfer to my new website (which has been on hold all this time - sigh), the above mentioned post can be read in its entirety by clicking:
Yes, despite outward appearances, I do believe I am in God's will. Through this trial, I have seen my failures, shortcomings and weaknesses, but I also have learned more about my strengths and God's goodness. He is marvelous in every way! Forever, I will praise Him (and I mean that with all that I am)!
I would like to thank my brethern, friends and readers of the blog for taking the time to email me and ask me how I am. It truly warmed my heart and gave me strength. Lord bless you all. Keep strong, stay faithful and armoured - keep trusting and DON'T GIVE UP! Much love...
for His glory