Friday, July 1, 2016

On Dangerous Ground – Where is Hope

If you have not started at the beginning of this article, Part 1 begins here.

Where is Hope?

It was about a week or so ago (mid-June 2016), in a moment of weakness, I cried out to the Lord, “Where is hope?”  Of course, I had taken my queue after I had read in the Word of God: Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  [Prov 13:12]

Immediately after that sincere question, I arose from prayer to leave out and get some supplies in town, not giving my plea another thought.  Is it not true that God’s ways and thoughts are unsearchable and always remarkable, particularly when He has been silent at times, yet He plans to answer our prayers?  Usually, we are completely unaware when the Lord is about to move.

He is always ahead of us.  At the checkout stand, as the cashier was ringing in my few items, I noticed her nametag. Black lettering printed on gold plating, it simply read, “Hope”.  Soft laughter escaped me, but my amused chuckle was drowned out by the sounds of a busy establishment.

 ‘Hope’ was oblivious to it as she continued scanning my few items and bagging them. However, I not only acknowledged ‘hope’, but also the Creator’s impressive wit and humour. 

I had randomly chosen one cashier out of several possibilities in the busy store. It also happened to be a store that I rarely frequented.   Hope’s presence was a fine, albeit miniscule example of Abba’s absolute Sovereignty. 

Some folks would explain the incident as sheer coincidence, but God’s people recognize His direct and intricate ways with His creation, if only we open our eyes to see. We must have faith that He hears us and trust His ways and timing, no matter how long we have to wait. Yes, that is easier said than done, but necessary. 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts [Is 55:8, 9]

My heart was encouraged and faith girded up, strengthened by God’s grace when I sawHope’, reminded anew that God is for me and not against, to know that indeed, there is always hope…Jesus Christ [in us (me)], the hope of glory. So great is His love!

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory [Col 1:27]

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.  [Eph 1:17-19]

And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. [1Cor 13:13]
Is it not true that when we cannot see in the darkness, we long for light, even the faintest glimmer to break through and vanquish part of our obscured vision?  In a spiritual sense, if God has been silent in a time of need, we long to hear Him speak, or at the very least to provide a ray of hope to shine through the clouded darkness that has temporarily pierced and encompassed our soul.

It is also a truth that it is only in great darkness, when hope pushes away lingering clouds, that we can clearly see the moon and the stars shine, revealing the glory that the Lord has bestowed upon them.  Even still, creation is not greater than the Creator. In all of its beauty and grandeur, creation is merely a hint, a slivered reflection of the more excellent, majestic glory of God! 

We should never worship or serve creation more than we worship or serve the Creator, who is blessed forever [Rom 1:25], which includes idolizing a person. Nothing should be exalted higher or take precedence over the Maker. In all things, His workmanship and wisdom is to be recognized and appreciated, but He alone is worthy of all glory, praise and honour.

We must love the Lord God with all our heart, mind and soul, through Jesus Christ. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it; we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. [Mat 22:37-39]

Would we steal from ourselves, or gossip about and slander ourselves?  Would we lie to ourselves or be unfaithful?  Do we feed and clothe ourselves? If we love our own selves enough to observe all these things, then we must love others by doing the same. Jesus added, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [Mat 22:40]

There is a proper and divine order appointed for all things. When God’s order is rebelled against, evil corrupts.  Things will then become imbalanced and unbalanced. Upheaval and chaos follow suit, and destruction will result.

In our darkest hours, when we cannot see ahead, we need the Light of God to shine upon our path, even if it is a step at a time. We need to look for it, so that our hope is not dashed against the cold hardness that reality very often brings. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.  [Ps 103:14] That glimmer of hope is found in Christ Jesus. He bore the agony of the cross for our sins. He took our place willingly and paid the debt we owed in full. Bless our King, Jesus the Messiah (Christ).

We must believe the promises of God and be as Abraham, who against hope (against all the impossibilities) believed in hope (simple faith) that he would become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken […] [Rom 4:18]

Nagging Doubts
God (Yhvh) instructs us to trust Him with all our heart and not to lean on our own understanding.  He promises that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our steps. [Prov 3:5, 6]

That does not mean that every thought, impulse or idea that enters our mind or every happenstance that enters our lives is His divine will for us. If we remember that, we may not be so quick to lay the results or consequences of our actions or sins and/or sins or actions of others at the foot of God’s throne, blaming Him for ‘allowing’ it.

We do not have to look too far or listen very closely today to see and hear all that is happening in the world today; all that is “allowed” by God.  However, that does not mean that everything that happens is the will of God, or that He is ignoring it.

He is fully aware of all that is going on.  As I have stated before, if God interfered or intervened in every single thing, we would then accuse Him of controlling and manipulating us, and insist on our ‘right’ to choose as we so please. Are we ever satisfied? 

Indeed, God’s ways and timing when it comes to dealing with matters is strictly in His hands.  All will stand before the Judgment Seat and be held accountable. Yet, if we have repented and are cleansed of our sins, then we need not fear.

We all question things we do not understand and seek diligently (and sometimes desperately) for answers that may or may not come in our lifetime. One has to truly seek God, in repentant (if need be) prayer, and wait upon Him to direct us.

Trust, patience (waiting) and endurance (perseverance) are three of the hardest calls for people. We want out of uncomfortable, painful or frightening situations quickly.  Trusting that God is moving on our behalf and waiting patiently for His timing is no passive duty or light task.

Discouragement, restlessness (impatience) and doubts knock loudly. It takes strength not to answer or open to them. Faith must arise, even if it is only the size of a mustard seed.  The temptation to take matters into our own hands (like Abraham and Sarah did, which is revealed in Genesis 16) is alluring, even for the strongest believer.  
Temptation itself can be extremely hard to resist, but never impossible. When we struggle with sin, the Holy Spirit is convicting us. That is a good sign. Be patient; we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Only believe, repent, pray earnestly and do not give up.

Woe to the one who is not convicted, for the Lord chastises (corrects) His own children.  For whom the Lord loves He chastens (reproves, disciplines), and scourges (punishes) every son whom He receives. [Heb 12:6] 

For whom the Lord loves He corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. [Prov 3:12]

Lead Us Not into Temptation
For some odd reason, down through the centuries, people teach a message that is taught in a spirit of error. Ministers preach and teach that God will never give us more than we can bear, and down through the corridors of history, the words echo.
That is not what scripture says. It is written that when temptation comes, God will make a way of escape, so that we may be able to bear it. [1Cor 10:13]

Now interestingly enough, all previous twelve verses in the scriptures before are speaking of the Israelites in the wilderness.  It begins by reminding us how (Israelites) passed through the [Red] sea, ate the same spiritual meat, drank the same spiritual drink from the spiritual Rock that followed them – Christ.

Then, it is written that God was not well pleased with many, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”

What do scriptures mention? It speaks of idolatry (golden calf), and the people ate, drank, played (caroused), committed fornication – 23,000 fell in one day. They murmured (grumbled continuously). All these things that happened to them were examples for us: written for our admonition (counsel, advice).

Wherefore (for that reason) let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. There has no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. [1Cor 10:12, 13]

The Lord God makes a way out from temptation, so we can handle it (bear it). In other words, we can resist temptation. There is always a way that we can turn away from it (a way of escape).  We must choose to resist or accept.

The word “temptation” is written twice and “tempted” once – three mentions of temptation/tempted being in one verse. Obviously, God wants us to take notice and heed the warnings He gives.

The Lord does not waste words.  When He repeats a thing, He wants us to pay attention (observe, heed, obey, take to heart). 

For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceives it not. [Job 33:14]

But where is it written that the Lord God will make a way of escape from life’s burdens and tragedies?  Millions are caught up in circumstances that are more than they can bear, which can even lead to death.

Yet, we are erroneously taught that God will not give us more than we can bear, resulting in multitudes feeling they are not “strong enough” or fail God in some way during their time of great duress, grief, sorrow and pain because they are overwhelmed and having a hard time coping.

One of the more serious offenses that can happen as a result of this parroted erroneous teaching is that some will do everything they can to handle overwhelming circumstances on their own, when we should turn to God. He wants us to trust in Him. He knows our limits, our frailties, our very frame.

Mankind suffers in many ways: financial woes (unemployment, cutbacks, layoffs, foreclosure etc); after-effects of natural calamities (flood, earthquake, volcano, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, fire etc); untimely deaths (illness, accident, drug overdose, suicide, murder, war etc).

Other losses are also suffered, all of which are great hardships; (divorce, severed personal relationships/friendships, estranged relatives (children, parents etc)), abuse (torture, mutilation, kidnapping, sex slaves, witchcraft etc). The ways in which one individual, family or nation can suffer are endless.
Yet, people are supposed to bear up because according to this teaching, we are not given more than they can bear. More often than not, we need help - God's help, His mercy, grace, forgiveness and power. The scripture is clearly referencing temptation and the sins that it leads one into.

It is written that with temptation, God will make a way to escape it, so we can handle it (bear it). Even Jesus was tempted (prime example), yet He countered every temptation with the Word of God. He did not sin.

Preachers, beware! Teachers, take note! How many search the scriptures before they parrot what they themselves have heard others teach? One thing the Pharisees did was to lay heavy burdens upon people that were hard to bear, burdens which they themselves would not be expected to carry, nor would they.

Yes, we should and need to pray and ask for God’s help in each and every situation. In reality, it is written that we are to take everything to Him in prayer.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. [Phil 4:6]

Endless testimonies have gone forth glorifying God for His divine intervention in crisis situations and for unexplainable miracles that He performs. Yet, none of us can say why He intervenes sometimes or why He does not.

We can only speculate on how God may or may not do things because He is so vast. None of us can know all of God’s ways, or tell others what His thoughts are.  We only know what is in His Word, what others share, what we have personally experienced and what God Himself reveals through His Holy Spirit.  None can direct or command Him, or stay His hand!  He is God; we are not. Period!

If something comes upon us unexpectedly, or if we must wait a long time for God to move, fears and doubts taunt us and the voice of temptation whispers to us:“Impossible, there’s no way out!”; “This needs immediate attention. I have to figure something out!”; “I’ve waited long enough!”; “What was I thinking?”; “What kind of God would allow this?” “Has God said…?”

Our own emotions and negative thoughts can be a challenge all in themselves. We must get rid of them whenever they present themselves and not dwell on them. If entertained, doubts will swirl in a bottomless pit of confusion, darkened by fear and tormenting thoughts.
That being said, we must also keep in mind that we have a powerful adversary. His power and influence cannot be downplayed. Remember, he successfully convinced one-third of God’s holy angels to join him in rebelling against their Creator.

In the beginning, his evil influence and involvement with mankind was so powerful and successful in its corruption that God sent a flood to destroy every living creature upon the earth. Only eight souls and the animals inside the Ark that Noah built at God’s command, escaped from perishing.

It is with great compassion and understanding that the Holy Spirit urges true disciples of Christ Jesus to keep in mind what Jesus/Yeshua accomplished with His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. 

It is wrong to blame the adversary for all of our negative thoughts or deeds (sins). In our fallen nature, we sin in our flesh and we alone are accountable and responsible for our choices. Through Jesus Christ and genuine repentance, our sins are forgiven and cast into the depths of the sea (forgotten– remembered no more) [Micah 7:19]

God will be pleased to either expose deception in any way, shape or form, or confirm His approval when we bring a matter before Him in humble prayer, trusting Him to answer in His way and timing. Having doubts, in itself, is not wrong. God understands our questions and any doubts that crop up in every area of our walk from time to time, especially during trying times where we must persevere.

The Lord is well pleased to prove Himself faithful, true and worthy of trust. As our Maker, He thoroughly and intimately knows us. His understanding is beyond measure. We all struggle with doubt occasionally; yet again the crucial key is to take all things to God in prayer. 
Our faith must be childlike (simple, humble), yet deeply rooted (obedient, trusting). When the winds of adversity blow and troubles beat down like torrential rain upon us, if our house (faith) is built upon the Rock (God, Jesus), then it will stand. Though faith may be shaken in the storm, it will not fall (not fail us) but stand because of the strong and sure foundation upon which it is built (by God). 

We must believe beyond any shadow of doubt that God is who He says He is, that He means everything He says (His Word) and that every promise He gives is true. Without faith, we begin to fear our future. Seeds of doubt, when not uprooted but watered or nurtured with fear, will quickly turn into a harvest of unbelief.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. In Christ, we have hope. How great is God’s love? Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains.

Satan - Adversary
Satan is a competent adversary, intelligent, crafty, walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour with his wicked, twisted lies. He is strategic, a cruel mastermind, whose temptations and deceptions are powerfully persuasive, yet exquisitely subtle and precise.

That old serpent, the dragon spoken of in the book of Revelation, knows the frailty of mankind in his fallen nature, combined with the flesh’s propensity to sin.  Satan and his hordes know that with precisely timed, tactical arguments and reasoning, combined with the presentation of false evidence (illusion/delusion), even the most stubborn and intelligent soul can be fully persuaded to believe a lie (deception).  

No wonder the Holy Scriptures instruct us to take everything to God in prayers and supplication, with thanksgiving.  Endeavouring to mimic the Lord God, who speaks to us in a still, small voice by His precious Holy Spirit, Satan will whisper his own words that present themselves as thoughts in our minds.  
Those new in the faith (lambs/babes) are prime targets to be deceived due to their innocence and need to be guarded against not only Satan, but also against false teachers, false prophets and false brethren. All of us need to be guarded. (Eph 6 - Mat 24)

When the Lord has made a personal promise to someone (through His Word, by His precious Spirit, in a dream/vision/ prophetic word/word of knowledge), the adversary will try to convince God’s people that the destiny He promised is a fabrication of their own minds. 

In opportune moments, Satan’s wicked armies will attack the Body of Christ either on a corporate scale (globally), or by specifically targeting certain groups or individuals within the body of disciples.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Eph 6:12]

At times, the adversary strikes full-force (fast and furious) with an onslaught of attacks, whether in thoughts (doubts, negative notions) or deeds (one thing after another goes wrong).  As stated previously in this and other writings, two statements I learned that are worth paying attention to.

     a)   The strongest onslaught is just before the victory.  Holy Spirit 
     b)   The hardest part of faith is the last half hour.  David Wilkerson

Satan’s lies will try to persuade us to give up on waiting because we have been deceived either by ourselves, some devil (cunning serpent that he is) or that we have been sent a strong delusion by God himself because we did not want truth, but sought only to fulfill some fleshly desire. He is father of lies. [Jn 8:44]

Satan will suggest that the wait has been too long or that God needs our help in bringing a thing to pass. If we listen to him, we may decide to try and do things our own way; or worse yet, quit believing in any promise the Lord has made.

Think upon those before us who had to wait for God’s timing; Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Jacob, David, Mary, Anna, Elisabeth et al. Remember, Satan injects thoughts (fiery darts) and speaks in the ‘first person’, so we often claim the words as our own. He will be persistent in his sifting, hoping our faith will fail us and that we will surrender faith to hopeless abandonment.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  [Hab 2:3]

He will present every temptation where he knows we may have a weakness or longing.   Temptations will come before us like a carrot dangled on a string before a hungry donkey, set before our eyes as an enticing incentive.  
There are always strings attached to the adversary’s offers.  He will earnestly persuade us that what we want is within our grasp, urging us to plow ahead. He will keep our focus on the carrot (temptation), so that we do not see that the way he leads us will be over the edge of a dangerous precipice.

Lies filled with empty promises aimed to convince us that the temptation will fulfill all of our wants, needs and desires to greatly satisfy any lust of the flesh, gratify any lust of the eyes and fill our hearts with fleshly pride if we accept the illusion of the temptation. [1Jn 2:16]  
The temptations of the adversary are powerful and seducing (attractive, enticing, fascinating, alluring) and personally selected for each individual.  A temptation can be so deceptively convincing that if a follower of Christ caves into it, they will go astray. 

Then, when and if a sin one fell into by yielding to temptation and is recognized, the strong urge will be to stay in the sin (it is most pleasing to flesh), to accept it as a new way of life, or to keep repeating it. 

Or one may choose to deny a thing as sin (even if deep within, that one is under conviction), or one may seek to justify it. ("God understands, He knows my heart," one may say defensively.)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins (mind, will), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 
[Jer 17:9, 10]

There are some occasions and situations where Satan will do all he can to prevail in persuading us that we are hearing the Lord’s voice, thereby triumphing in misleading us. We must seek God and abide in Jesus.

Subtlety of Deception
How many people go off half-cocked (thoughtless actions, foolish, premature) doing something, claiming they heard God instruct them to do a thing, when clearly, even an unbeliever would question what ‘god’ told them.  We have people who steal pizzas and say “God told me to do it.”

There are people who fornicate, commit adultery, rape and murder and believe it is God’s will. I recently read where a man was arrested after he climbed into a lions’ den at a zoo because “God told me to do it because I am a prophet.”

If the man is comparing himself to an ancient prophet, he should know that it was not God who told Daniel to enter into the lions’ den. The presidents, princes, governors, counselors and captains consulted together (conspired) to convince king Darius to make a decree that for thirty days, whosoever prayed to any god or man except to the king himself, was to be cast into the den of hungry lions.

These wicked, proud men were jealous of the fact that Daniel was set in a high position over them because of his “excellent spirit”. Faithful Daniel did not stop praying to the true living God of Israel.
Despite every effort on the king’s part to find a way to deliver Daniel from being punished for disobeying his sealed decree, he was forced to abide by the law and have Daniel thrown into the den of lions. [Dan 6:3-9]
God had sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions, so they would not harm Daniel. King Darius was overjoyed, for he thought highly of Daniel. When Darius understood the plot of the wicked conspirators, he ordered all of them, along with their wives and children to be cast into the lions’ den. The king then established a new decree which was to be strictly enforced.

That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end.  [Dan 6:26]

So if anyone was to step into a den filled with lions today, saying they are a prophet and God told them to do such an act not only borders insanity, but is also completely unscriptural. Such deeds are obvious acts of foolishness, yet prove the subtlety of deception that can confuse and cloud the mind, and cause wayward (rebellious) and lost souls to err.  

We are told not to believe every spirit, but to test (try) every spirit to see if it is of God or not because many false prophets have gone out into the world. [1Jn 4:1] We must keep the Word of God in context, and not add to or take away from it. Our prayers must be in earnest as we humble ourselves before a holy and just God.

Doubts – Constructive or Destructive
It is not only when bad things happen that we tend to question God, but most of us can be elated, yet unsure when He gives us a personal promise. Remember how Abraham and Sarah both laughed when they heard they would have a son in their old age?

Remember Zacharias doubted when he heard his wife would conceive in her barren womb, at an old age? The angel Gabriel appeared before him and gave him the message from God, beginning with, “…your prayers have been answered.”

What was Zacharias’ response?  There was a holy angel standing before him and doubt came upon him!  Is that not just like us? We would likely rebuke Gabriel and say, “Get behind me Satan! I know you can appear as an angel of light!” Albeit we would be trembling, I can assure you.

Zacharias asks, “How shall I know this?”  (He can clearly see that this is God’s messenger!) …for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” Gabriel had to quickly put Zacharias in his place and shake him to his senses.

“I am Gabriel that stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings.” [Lk 1:18, 19] Zacharias doubted what Gabriel was saying, as if God would come up with a even more convincing way than to send one of His trusted, holy angels with a message. “How shall I know this?”  akin to ‘how shall God convince me, angel, besides with your words?

In order to keep Zacharias from speaking forth any more doubt (lack of faith), Gabriel told him that he would be silenced until Elisabeth (the Virgin Mary’s cousin) gave birth to John the Baptist.
And behold, you shall be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed because you believed not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (appointed time). [vs 20]  Before Zacharias’ doubt could become destructive, he was silenced, for the prophecies of old had to be fulfilled.

The Lord is longsuffering (immeasurably patient). He understands our nature and is faithful to answer our questions that expose our doubt. It does not trouble Him, unless the questions lack faith in the promise that is given (His word).  Mary asked questions that expressed doubt because she had never lain with a man.

“How will this be?” Mary asked the angel, seeing I know not a man?”  Do you see the difference between constructive and destructive doubt?  Mary had faith (believed) what the angel had told her, but in her own understanding, she could not see how it would happen.
She treasured all the things spoken to her and pondered them in her heart. [Lk 2:19] She had faith, even though she was astounded by the news. Her doubt was constructive, in that she still had faith to believe the promise.

Whether a promise comes to us in times of prayer and fasting, a dream/ vision, or a word of knowledge/ prophetic word through a trustworthy servant of God, His promises can be astonishing to us.

There will be a quickening in our spirit as we hear the truth of a promise. When we read God’s Word or hear His words of a promise, we can come up with some serious questions. We may have doubts about how or why such a thing will occur, and even wonder why God would choose us? Why us?

After all, the Messiah has been born. We now anxiously await His return.  Maranatha! What will our personal promise accomplish for the kingdom of God, and how will Father be glorified through it?  We always seek reasoning to satiate our understanding.  The impossible is always hard to imagine.

There is not one person who has ever lived that has not had to wrestle with doubts at one time or another. It is part of the human condition, our humanness, as it were. We can all be like “doubting Thomas” and demand proof of a thing before we believe it.

When I speak of doubts that lead to unbelief and ultimately rebellion, it is not the normal doubts that come upon each of us sometimes. If something seems off or a red flag goes up, doubts arise. We become cautious, or so we should. Our discernment is stirred.

When people say we are not to judge, the statement is usually made to throw off our discernment, or to avoid the obvious. Proper discernment requires judgment, albeit righteous judgment.  Jesus himself told us to judge righteously.

Judge not according to appearance, but judge (decide) righteous (upright, excellent, decent, virtuous) judgment. (subjectively or objectively; for or against) [Jn 7:24]

The spiritually unhealthy doubts that lead to unbelief are the ones that we entertain or nurture to the point that no matter what God says, no matter what miracles we have witnessed or heard about, we still cannot believe Him or trust Him.

No matter the degree of evidence given or confirmations given, some people simply refuse to believe it until they see it. That is not faith; that is unbelief. For some, faith fails them, for it is pretentious (not deep), a weak and shallow faith.
Real faith will gird us. It is humble, simple, and does not fail us. It will surround and encircle us. It will keep us balanced, hopeful and steady and absolutely trust in God through Jesus Christ.

Indeed, there are people who allow doubts to become destructive to their faith. In their unwillingness to have confidence in God and completely trust Him, obeying His instructions and waiting upon Him, they become filled with unbelief and disobedient to His will.  

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  [Is 40:31]

That is what happened to the Israelites who were destroyed in the wilderness, having missed out on the opportunity of entering into the Promised Land. Having seen God move in mighty and miraculous ways, they still complained and refused to believe that He would continue to guide and bless them, as they obeyed His leading and commandments.
As if murmuring and complaining were not enough, they proudly crafted a golden calf, an idol, so that they could worship it and boldly carouse around it. They blatantly disobeyed God’s commandments. They were unthankful and full of unbelief. Destructive doubt!

They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul. [Ps 106:13-15]

It was difficult to eat the manna from heaven (bread) that sustained them day in and day out without any variety whatsoever. Yes, we all know how difficult it would be to eat the same thing day in and day out for a couple of years.

However, they began murmuring, lusting after Egypt because of the variety of food they enjoyed there. How soon they forgot their captivity and bondage! Little did they know that the manna from heaven was symbolic of the Bread of Life – Jesus!

They despised the Lord and murmured about the way He was dealing with them. God responded by sending so much quail (meat) that the Israelites began gathering (stockpiling) it and ate in a gluttonous manner. [Num 11:31-34]  Therefore, due to their lust and for despising Him, the living God sent a plague and many of them died there.

I hope that I have made it clear how doubt can become unbelief. We can have faith but also doubts, as did many, if not all of our forerunners and patriarchs. Or we can lack faith and doubt God, as the Israelites did.
 
Their unbelief led to rebellion; hence, the golden calf. They were demanding, not humble; complainers and murmurers, not thankful. They turned their own testing around and tested God instead.

Another Example

One Israelite whose doubt proved to be constructive was Gideon.  Once the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land, those who entered into the land once again disobeyed God. It is as if they forgot what happened in the wilderness.

Therefore, as a reminder, the Lord allowed the Midianites to oppress them for seven years, stealing the Israelites’ crops, thereby impoverishing them. When the Israelites finally cried out to God, the Lord sent an angel to a man called Gideon, who threshed wheat by the winepress and hid it from the Midianites. The angel called Gideon a mighty man of valour.

Given the years of oppression and trouble, immediately Gideon had doubts about God being with them. He understood about God’s anger and judgments, so he asked the angel, “Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?” 

He asked where all of God’s miracles were, such as the ones He performed when He brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. God [Yhvh] told Gideon that He was sending him to defeat the Midianites.  [Jdg 6:14]

Doubt rose up again, but this time Gideon had doubts about his abilities and how it was that God would use someone like him. He was not doubting what God was saying through His messenger, Gideon was wondering how it could be that he would be the instrument through which God brought Israel victory.

He informed the Lord that his family was poor and he was the least in his father’s house.  God did not rebuke Gideon, but instead assured him that He would be with him. “Oh my Lord, how shall I save Israel? [vs 15]

Still unconvinced, Gideon said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, then show me a sign that You talk with me.”  [vs 18] (This is a prime example of a man trying the spirit to see if it is of God.)  Is that not how we can be also?

In fact, scripture instructs us to try every spirit to see if it is of God. Gideon did not have scriptures to refer to. An angel was the liaison between Gideon and God.  “Lord, if it is really You speaking with me, show me a sign.”  In other words, he sought confirmation, proof that he was not being deceived.

The sign came when Gideon prepared food for the angel. A staff was in the angel’s hand. When he touched the kid (baby goat) and the unleavened cakes Gideon brought to him, fire appeared out of the rock and consumed his offering. Gideon was now convinced that this was indeed an angel sent by God.

Other important events took place (such as Gideon destroying the altar of Baal), but I am going to skip over some things to come to the part about the fleece. You can read the full details in the book of Judges, chapter six. 

When the Lord gave Gideon a personal promise that Israel would be saved by his obedience to God’s instruction, doubts once more plagued Gideon.  He revealed his doubts by asking God to perform a miracle (not in those words, of course).
Gideon would be convinced that he was being directed by God, if he put out a fleece and only the sheepskin would be wet from the dew, but the ground around it would be dry. Gideon knew that only God could accomplish a feat like that.

And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. [Jdg 6:38]

Gideon feared God. Respectfully and humbly, he asked God not to be angry with him. He needed one more confirmation, one more bit of proof that he was actually hearing from God Himself. He asked the Lord to keep the fleece dry, but let all the ground around it be wet from the dew.

And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. [Jdg 6:40]
Abraham and Sarah had doubts; they both laughed at the promise of having a son due to their old age and barrenness. Yet, they believed. Impatient, yes, which is why Ishmael was born, yet they learned patience and had faith in God’s promise.

Gideon had doubts. He asked many questions and asked for signs, yet he had faith. He obeyed all of God’s instructions once they were confirmed by the signs he witnessed with the fleece. He believed God could make such promises, but he had to be convinced that he was not being deceived.
The faith of Abraham, Sarah, Gideon and Mary, as well as others throughout the Bible, despite their questions and doubts, was constructive. Their trust in God led to obedience, despite having to wait patiently.  God’s promises were fulfilled and He was glorified!
The Israelites had doubts and asked many questions. However, despite the fact that all along their journey in the wilderness, with God leading them, they still moved in unbelief (lacked faith). They still were bitter and ungrateful. 

They feasted, caroused and danced around an idol, a golden calf, after the incredibly marvelous miracles God performed. Their doubts were destructive and led to disobedience (rebellion). When Moses returned from being in God's presence upon the mountain and saw what his people did, he broke the stone tablets that the ten commandments were written on.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables (stone tablets) out his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. [Ex 32:19]

Do you see the difference in having faith when doubts arise, yet trusting God to do as He spoke, as opposed to lacking faith where doubts become unbelief (no trust in God), followed by rebellion?

It is important that you see the contrast clearly. Otherwise, the adversary will put a spin on things and bring complete confusion, in an attempt to steal your hope, destroy your trust and kill your faith, for it is our faith that pleases God, for it proves our trust and leads us to obey.

Trust

The world today has become an “instant gratification” generation and society –an impatient and proud people, wanting what we want now, disposing of what we do not want and demanding our rights to gain whatever we so desire.  How many stop to ask God what He wants?  There are few, even amongst His own followers.
We must learn to trust God, wait patiently upon Him to answer and learn to endure. When He instructs us, He will not stray from His Word or His character, nor will He endanger our lives or lead us to act immorally, vindictively or dishonourably.

But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  [Rom 8:25]

Definition of trust: “confidence in; reliance, faith, belief, conviction, credence”  
No wonder the Lord instructs us to trust Him. The very word implies “faith”, “belief” and “confidence”.

Definition of acknowledge: “to accept or admit the existence or truth of; accept; to recognize the authority, validity or claims of; to show or express appreciation or gratitude”. 

It becomes clear as to why we are instructed to acknowledge God, for the implication is “to accept the existence or truth of” (and even more, as defined).  Truly, Abba is a good Maker and loving Father, desiring to perfect us in the ways He knows are the best. 

He is faithful in opening our eyes to see even the faintest glimmer of hope, and to grant us wisdom, and knowledge with understanding, when and if we seek Him in earnest prayer. The only way we can learn to trust Him is by coming to know Him, and the only way to come to know Him is by His Word and prayer, spending time in His presence.

Our faith must be simple, which is childlike. Simple faith runs deep because it is confident in God and quickly learns to trust Him, as surely as a young child trusts a good parent.  

Faith is not shallow, pretentious or complicated. If shaken (sifted), faith will not fall, for when God builds the house, the foundation is sure (built on the Rock). Faith is anchored in Jesus the Messiah.

So many today are afraid of miracles because of the warnings of false prophets in the end times, the last of the last days, who will also perform great signs and wonders. Yet, God promised to LEAD us, if we will but trust Him.

Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. [Mat 6:33 –Jesus] It is truth that He will never fail us, nor leave or forsake us. It is a promise He gives that we can believe he will perform. He is God of the impossible.

We are the ones who would have to turn our backs on Him and go another way – in a direction away from Him. Fear will lead to unbelief (lack of faith and trust), which will manifest as pride, by which we rebel against the one, true Living God, the everlasting King, who will cause the earth to tremble at his wrath.  [Jer 10:10]

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go. O that you had hearkened (listened) to My commandments! Then would your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea: 
[Is 48:17, 18]

I Will Not Serve You
Definition of pride: “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit and superiority; a deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own accomplishments and successes; proud of one’s quality or skills; elation and delight arising from status, possessions, relationships; conceit; holding one’s self in high esteem; often hubristic (excessive pride or self-confidence combined with arrogance)”

Arrogance:  “egotistical, having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities, haughty, self-important, one who feels superior to others; full of one’s self”.  

Arrogance is found in the company of pride, where one will support and exalt the other.

Allow me to repeat myself here. “Fear will become unbelief (lack of faith, love and trust), and unbelief feeds pride and leads to rebellion.”   

Sound familiar? Lucifer became very proud of himself, which corrupted his wisdom, according to the Word of God. Why do you think God will not move when unbelief rules us? Pride and rebellion are the result of unbelief.
Lucifer’s beauty and wisdom must have been profound indeed if he could convince one-third of the then-holy angels to join him in rebellion against the Sovereign and Righteous God. Can you imagine living in the very presence and power of the Creator’s love, glory and majesty and yet become dissatisfied, defy Him and desire more? 

By his very actions, Lucifer proclaimed, I will not serve you. I shall be as the most High.”  That is the embodiment of pride! Pride can be blatant (open and unashamed) or it can be subtle (clever, delicately precise and indirect).

I will dare to quote from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 28, although scholars and theologians of Biblical hermeneutics and/or exegesis debate whether or not the texts actually describe Lucifer (Satan) before his fall.

Some scholars are disgruntled with those who conflate the nature of the king of Tyrus (Tyre) and of Lucifer in Ezekiel’s prophecy of Tyrus’ destruction, whilst others speak of the evil spiritual power/entity behind or influencing the king of Tyrus, which they contend was Lucifer, the one known as Satan today.

The argument tends to be whether the story is strictly literal or a combination of literal and spiritual (king of Tyrus and Lucifer), or whether the texts even refer to Lucifer at all. I will refrain from adding my thoughts or understanding; however, the mere usage of the passages of scripture here should be a clue as to my position.

You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets (tambourine)and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. [Ezek 28:13]

Was the king of Tyrus, a mere man, present in the Garden of Eden? According to scripture, he was not. Adam was created and placed in the Garden, and later Eve. It was there that the serpent (Satan) did lead the two into temptation and they did disobey God. There was no third person, no king of Tyrus. Something to consider…
You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
Your heart was lifted up (pride) because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: […] [Ezek 28:15, 17]

Do we become dissatisfied with what God has given us and decide that we want more? Does our heart become lifted up because through Jesus (Yeshua), we become the children of God?  Do we think we are “little gods” or consider ourselves His equal, since we are made in His image?  If so, then we thereby corrupt our wisdom by becoming self-righteous (prideful) and rebellious?

Will we truly serve God? If we say that we will, you can be sure that He will search our hearts and prove (tests, tries) us to see if we mean what we say.
I the Lord search the heart; I try the reins (mind, will) even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings [Jer 17:10]

If we say, “I will not serve You”, then Satan rules such lost souls and they shall join the rebellious, lawless one in the lake of fire.

Negative Thoughts

Previously, I had penned many possible questions that one may ask God or think about when dark and unexpected events come suddenly upon us, or when we are waiting upon God for a promise (prayer/vision/dream) to be fulfilled. It is then that the reality of our inability to control every aspect of life hits us squarely in the face.

The dialogue penned previously leaned more toward those who have lost their confidence and hope, who may question their salvation or who they are in Christ. Questions can arise when one doubts God’s love, grace and mercy, or even His Sovereignty and faithfulness in their lives.

Those who lack confidence in the Lord and His Word may not be able to differentiate between what thoughts come from God, which ones come from the adversary (fiery darts), and which ones are from our own minds. Sometimes every believer struggles with discerning whether the thoughts are ours or those of the adversary's. 

Remember: God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  [1Cor 14:33]

If anyone entertains negative thoughts or vain (baseless, worthless) imaginations, we open ourselves up wide for deception. We can end up giving up in hopelessness by listening to doubts of our flesh or the lies Satan.

I once heard that the “narrow path is strewn with casualties”.  If he can, Satan will seduce us with temptations (whether in thought, word or deed), motivated by his hatred for God and His creation, and his intent to veer us off the narrow path.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out having lunch.  Seated not far from me were three older women, involved in a serious discussion.  They had been conversing for awhile, when suddenly my ears tuned into what they were saying.

One woman was speaking about all the negative thoughts that she had been trying to deal with; thoughts that seemed to be relentless and nonstop, no matter how hard she tried to distract herself. 

A second woman admitted that she too had been struggling with a barrage of negativity and wondered if she had “lost it”. The third woman immediately quipped, “That’s Satan!  He was doing that to me, but I put him in his place. That ended it.”

It was at that point that I understood that all three of the woman were Christians, or at the very least, striving to know Jesus. The first woman stated that she had some success by reading the whole chapter about love in the Bible.

The verses had helped her to remember God’s love for her. The third woman, who had previously mentioned Satan, asked her where in the Bible was there a chapter written about love.
The first woman could not remember, but promised to find it and let her know. At that point, I chimed in, simply stating, “First Corinthians, chapter thirteen.”  All three turned and smiled at me, likely surprised at my input.  The one woman confirmed what I said and thanked me.

It was no coincidence that I overheard their conversation. It was then that I realized that so many Christians are experiencing an onslaught of negative thoughts that it is almost epidemic, and surely a full-fledged attack of the enemy against the Body of Christ; and against the Bride of Christ.

Be sober, be vigilant (strong in faith); because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished (experienced) in your brethren that are in the world. [1Pet 5:8, 9]

The Wild Horses
Two magnificent horses ran in the wild, as free as the wind that blew through their flowing manes and as strong as the mountains in which they climbed. They ran from valley to valley and hill to hill, always looking for adventure.
They would mingle with the herds of other wild horses, yet never stay long enough to be accepted. A time of great drought came upon the mountains, hills and valleys in which they loved to roam, drying up the plenteous lakes and rivers and killing off the lush grasslands.

The wild ones grew weaker. Once upon a time, when the wild young stallion was asleep, the older wild horse began to seek out a source of nourishment. Vultures circled around and watchful wolves stood silently, hidden from sight. Suddenly, the older wild one stopped, an alert ear twitched, listening in the wind.

She made her way towards what, she did not know, determined to find food and water. Her spirit yet remained wild, but her flesh was becoming ever-more weak. She stumbled upon unknown territory and stood tensely, distrusting, as a kind man beckoned her softly, waving fresh grain in the air.

The smell of fresh water drew her as a magnet is drawn to steel. She had no fear, yet she was ever-cautious. The gentle master cupped his hands and filled them with the water. Her need for water in that desperate moment was stronger than her need to be free.

She approached the man and drank thirstily from his hands. He turned and gently stirred up the water in the trough, speaking with the tenderness of a newly-opened bud. Slowly, the mare dipped her mouth in the refreshing water. How good it felt upon parched lips! How perfect it tasted! How soothing it was to the weary body!

When her thirst was satisfied, she turned and carefully took hold of the grain he had in his hand, nibbling nervously, yet hungrily. When the mare had eaten the small portion he held in his hand, the kind master fed her corn and oats. He had left the gate open, so that the wild one could leave if she so desired to.

She did leave to go looking for her companion. Once she reached him, she nudged him and whinnied so that he would arise. He did arise and followed her to where the kind master was. The wild stallion drank and ate to his heart’s content, keeping a watchful eye upon the stranger. When the stallion saw that the wild mare was not leaving, he seemed confused. He whinnied and snorted, as he pawed the ground.
The wild one looked back at the master, as she followed the stallion out of the open gate that led back to the wild. The kindness and understanding in the master’s eyes was evident, but so was sorrow. The wild one broke her gaze, released a forlorn neigh, reared up upon newly-strengthened legs and bolted into the wild.

The stallion broke into a run and soon outran his wild companion, without looking back at the kind master who had left the gate open – he was patient and more than willing to wait.

From time to time, the stallion would separate from the mare to frolic and run with others in a herd, but the wild one would not join in. There was a longing in her heart, a longing to see the kind master. Yet, her spirit remained wild and free - wanting not a tame and gentle hand to rest upon it, for any hand that offered love could not be trusted.

One day, as she watched the stallion frolic with another mare, she suddenly bolted in the opposite direction. With all her might, she galloped back to see the kind master, wondering if he would still be there.

Uncertain Terms

When she got to the open gate, she abruptly halted, listening keenly and looking around cautiously. She did not see the master, but she instinctively was aware of his presence. With trepidation and great restraint, she entered the pasture via the open gate.

She stopped yet again, listening intently, with her ears turning in every direction. All was still. She could smell fresh water, corn and oats. She walked slowly up to the trough, looked around once more and bent forth her head to drink deeply. She ate only enough to sustain… she was missing her companion. The loneliness that covered her was akin to the darkness of night that covers over the lands.

Curiosity caused the mare to search out the barn. Other horses were in clean stalls; some snorted as she walked by them, others just blew through their nostrils. They were obviously not wild horses, yet they seemed content. She saw some empty stalls, yet looked ready for new horses. There was fresh, clean straw.

The wild one returned to the pastures. Still, there was no sign of the master, but she was keenly aware of his presence and sensed that he was watching her. She felt no threat, yet there was an uncertainty within her. She loved the freedom of the wild and refused to stay within boundaries, whether love be offered therein or not… for love was a foreigner not to be trusted and the wild should remain untouched.

Introduction

As the wild one stood at the fence, looking out to the wild, she heard a soft rustling. The kind master spoke. She did not flinch, but she did not turn towards him. Suddenly, he was at her side, speaking softly, in a still, small voice. The wild one did not look at him, but her ear was turned in the direction of his voice.

She was listening to his tone, his words. She felt a gentle hand rest upon her back. She flinched instinctively. The gentle hand stroked in ways she had not ever known. Fear caused her heart to pound, yet she did not run away. Finally, she turned to look at him, but there was no one there. She moved around the enclosure, as all her senses kicked into high gear.

She heard a gentle clicking sound and upon following it, she saw the master standing by the trough of fresh water. He was bidding her to come and drink. She cautiously, slowly walked over to the kind master and stopped in front of him. He carefully extended his hand, but she pulled back slightly, timidly. The master did not flinch, but kept speaking softly.

Great was his understanding. Patience was his strength. He held his hand steadily and she could smell his fragrance. It was new to her, yet pleasant. He touched her as one with the touch of a feather, but the strength of a lion…and she could feel a love go through her like electricity. It pierced through to the core of her wild spirit like a lance pierces a young fawn, yet it comforted her with great peace. He spoke to her for a time and then, he moved out of sight.

The wild one had enjoyed the introduction to the kind master, but suddenly she heard a familiar sound off in the distance. It was her companion. She took a few steps towards the open gate, but stopped and looked behind her where the master had been. He was not there. She heard the sound again. Rising up on her hind legs, she let out a neighing sound and ran through the open gate, back to the wild at a full gallop. She did not stop to look back.

Call of the Wild
She went back and forth, between the wild and the master’s pasture, feeling torn between the two. One day, she brought her companion, but he did not drink or eat with any interest. The younger wild horse snorted and impatiently pawed the ground. He was hearing the call of the wild. His heart was not for the master; it was for the pastures of freedom.

The stallion’s ears suddenly went straight back and his eyes grew large. His nostrils expanded and his lips curled back. He was angry and aggressive for no apparent reason. The wild one lowered her head, her ears pinned back. Her eyes grew large, as she watched the stallion’s tail begin to swish back and forth, then up and down. What had come over the stallion?
He reared up on his hind legs, giving a nasty bite to the wild one, before turning and kicking her. He fought her, she but defended…yea, but the stallion won. He let out a scream before he bolted and ran out into the pastures that led to the woods. He was gone. The older wild horse let out a loud, sad neigh before she folded her legs and lay down upon her belly in the enclosed pasture.

The kind master came and attended to the wounds of the mare, speaking comforting words. His ever-gentle touch brought peace to the wild one, but her heart had been broken. The master led the wild one to a stall filled with fresh hay. He gently closed the gate, as the wild one laid down and fell asleep. Time passed.

The wild one would trot around the enclosure, calling out to her companion, but there was no answer. The kind master watched, grieving at the inner suffering of the wild one. She barely ate and did not mingle with the other horses. With a broken heart, her days seemed long and lonely, as she stared out endlessly over the vast fields, towards the thickened woods, rolling hills and rugged mountains.

With great knowing and understanding, the kind master opened the gate. The wild one stood still, ears twitching. She galloped into the fields, stopped, looked back momentarily at the master before bolting.  She ran again until she was out of sight.

For a season, she remained with her companion, but rough times were ahead of her with this wild one. She would bring his foals into the world, but he would not be true to her or the foals. The vultures and the wolves kept a keen eye upon her and her little ones. They hungrily, yet patiently waited for their time with her to come.

Great trouble continued between the stallion and the mare, until one day he attacked her, leaving her for dead. He took the foal and fillies far away. Would the mare rise up again? The vultures circled and the wolves howled in the distance.

Sad Reality

Time passed and much of the time, the wild one did not know if she was having a nightmare, or if all that she saw was a reality. She fought within, sometimes aware of the kind master’s presence; sometimes oblivious to him. There were battles yet ahead to fight, but for now, she would drift, not knowing that she was becoming inseparable with the kind master. She walked in much confusion and duress. One day she ran to find her companion.

The wild one galloped until she could see a herd of horses off in the distance, grazing in a pasture with the mountains as a backdrop. Then she saw a herd of white horses running through a nearby lake. 
As she smelled the scent of her companion, she ran towards the water to join in. Suddenly she stopped, as she noticed her companion running with another mare. They ran up a slight embankment to a field where two foals were resting. The mare that was with the stallion began to eat contentedly, whilst he watched. 

As the stallion saw the older wild mare, he let out a warning neigh. In surprise, the wild one, who had been with the kind master, stumbled back and slipped into a watery mud puddle! With great struggle, she pulled herself out.

With a protesting neigh, she bolted and ran towards the land of the kind master. Seeing her approach, the master opened wide the gate to welcome her in. He cleaned her up and fed her, all the while speaking to her with kindness, wisdom and comforting words. She was back to stay, happy to be accepted.
No amount of running in freedom could equal the joy of running in love. It would take time to get to know the kind master, but she needed his love. Perhaps he could mend her broken heart. It was as if the kind master understood. He wrapped his strong arms around her, without saying a word. The wild one made a choice that day. In the strong steady arms of the kind master she would remain.

God Had Spoken

As I read what I had written, I knew deep within that the story came from God; it came through Jesus. I knew that I was the older wild one, but I did not understand that the story was prophetic in nature, nor did I comprehend the great love God revealed to me by giving me that story as a forewarning.

 “The Wild Horses” was the first communication since age six that I had had with the Lord. Little did I know then that I would be hanging onto the story for years and years to come, but God knew!

Little did I know that it would be twenty years from the time I was given the story until the time I became fully committed to Jesus, but God knew.

And He waited patiently...

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. [Jer 29:11]

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  [2Pet 3:9]

But the Lord is faithful, who will stablish you, and keep you from evil. 
And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that you both do and will do the things which we command you.
And the LORD direct your heart into the love of God, and into the patitent waiting for Christ.  [2Thess 3:3-5]



for His glory alone

Bonita                                   dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. Thanks sis. Such an encouraging word to know that the Father is so patient and loving towards us...even when we are stumbling in uncertainty on our path.

    ReplyDelete

Comment or email at: dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com