Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rise Up and Find Truth

Rise Up and Find Truth

NOTE* - This page is part five of the series. In order to fully comprehend the magnificence of our Lord Jesus Christ and some of the ways that the God of wonder works, and how He walks with us through our trials, then it is recommended to start at the beginning of this series. 

His spectacular ways are endless in which He works with His people, in fact, with all of His creation. His love and His faithfulness are unsearchable, steadfast and true. As well as I know Him, I must say that all my knowing can likely be measured to only the size of a fingernail.  I have barely begun to discover His goodness, His wisdom, His patience, His understanding and His fullness.  He is just too vast, too fathomless, incalculable, deep, limitless...well, adequate words fail me.  He is beyond description in any language.

The series pans out like a book and is divided up to make for easier reading (and I am not quite finished it yet...at this point, there is a bit more coming). Countless numbers of people today prefer to read in short spurts, due to hectic and full schedules, and due to the many distractions that life in today's fast-paced world presents.

One reason behind the sharing of this testimonial is to provide just a glimpse into some of the wondrous ways in which God works. He is faithful and deals with each of us individually, according to His wisdom.   

Since each one of us go through our own trials and tribulations, we need to strengthen and encourage one another to not give up, to indeed, endure to the end, that the living God is into the intricate details of every aspect of our walk. We learn from each other. May the reader glean from this writing, and come to either understand or be reminded that it is only through Jesus the Christ that we will endure to the end.

Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3 --- Part 4 --- Part 5

Prosperity Teaching - Spirit of Error

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  [Mat 6:19-21]

It is not my intention to delve into what has become known as the prosperity teaching or gospel (typically called Word of Faith), with pet names given to the doctrine such as “blab it and grab it”, “name it and claim it” etc.  No, there are plenty of books and articles written on it, so again, I will not go into great depth here.

Although it is an erroneous doctrine, countless Christians believe it. A spirit of error is rampant throughout many, but certainly not all, churches. Therefore, the purpose and reason behind the mention of the false teaching here has to do with the “coin in the soil” in part four.  

When the man of God prophesied and instructed me, he was careful to make clear to me the various ways in which our Creator prospers us. He took time to make sure I understood fully and that he was not misinterpreted.  Indeed, he was successful...I understood his position.

It is without question that God sees the heart. [1Sam 16:7] He teaches us, trains us, then, He allows us to be tried, tested, proved.  We continue to learn as long as we are in these earthen vessels, and speculatively I might add, likely learning throughout eternity, if our names are written in the book of life.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  [Rev 20:15]

And there shall in no wise enter into it (new Jerusalem) anything that defiles (unclean), neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life [Rev 21:27]

The man of God made it very clear that it was NOT about money (don’t expect a money tree, he said), but prosperity.  He did not say that receiving money was a negative thing, nor did he suggest or even hint that expecting blessings from God was some form of evil or false doctrine.

Since the brother in Christ was only briefly acquainted with me, I ascertain that his chief concern was whether I understood the fullness of what it means to prosper. To be sure I comprehended his position correctly, he further elaborated by adding that prosperity does not necessarily pertain only to material things, but rather deemed it imperative that I understood there is prosperity of the soul, and more importantly, of the spirit. Of course, the latter more oft than not occurs through pruning, purging, refining, deliverance, healing and so forth.

Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see. 

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (discipline, correct, prune, humble): be zealous therefore, and repent.  [Rev 3:17-19]

This next verse, as so many others, I have used umpteen times over the years in various articles because the Lord led me to the scripture one time in the midst of a fiery trial, or during one of the dark nights of the soul. The verse is nestled in amongst the directions given to Moses, regarding the holy war to be fought with the Midians.
Adhering to the counsel of Balaam (the diviner/prophet from Mesopotamia), the Midianites had sent their most seductive women to ensnare the Israelites, to cause them to commit fornication (adultery) and idolatry.  These women would later be killed.  

In regards to themselves (Israelites) and to the spoils of the war (booty), the Lord commanded purification of everything and everyone involved, to remove the stench of war, as well as to cleanse them from defilement and impurities of any and all sins committed through it all, including succumbing to temptations.

We too have been defiled, unclean and impure before we are saved, not only due to the carnal, fallen nature we are born with, but also from the sins that we have committed.  When we repent (confess our sin and turn away), indeed, through Jesus Christ only, we are forgiven and God remembers our repented sins no more.  [Micah 7:19

Once forgiven, we must be made clean and purified (spiritually).  It is a process, and step by step, the Lord leads us through it all, but we must work with Him.  When God exposes anything not of Him in us, we must humbly acknowledge His wise counsel, and not justify or excuse that which we know displeases Him or is sin.  And yes, every single one of us has something (or perhaps many things) that we struggle with.  It is absolutely a battle with our flesh until the day we leave these bodies.  We learn to overcome.

How does this happen?  We are purified by the trials that flood (overwhelm) us, and by fiery trials (something too hot to handle, a furnace (circumstance, situation) we want out of).  Some struggles are short-lived before victory is secured.  But there are tougher struggles that can only be overcome through trials and errors, fervent prayers, humility, sorrow and bitter tears.

Those of us who love Jesus will experience desperation to be in God’s will, a need to obey Him, a desire to please Him, as well as a conviction, a determination to overcome, persevere and endure to the end. Hallelujah to the Lamb!  His longsuffering (patience), understanding and pure love for us powerfully motivates us.  Faith is a shield to all who trust in Him [2Sam 22:31].

Everything that may abide the fire, you shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abides not the fire, you shall make go through the water.  
[Num 31:23]

Through Jesus, His Spirit and His Word, the living God, our Saviour, clearly teaches us, if we are willing to study, hold fast to faith and trust, pray, worship and walk obediently to His leading. I have failed Him more times than I care to admit since I first began my walk with Him, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I repent and rise up again.  

We make mistakes along the way, every single one of us, no matter how godly we may be.  Read carefully about those written about in the word of God. All the stories told to us and the people who sinned were given to us as examples.  God knows our battle and our propensity to sin. 

None of us are above error or the possibility to yield to a certain temptation and thus fall into sin, not whilst we are in these earthen vessels. We must listen to the Holy Spirit and obey His leading.  We do well to keep a repentant heart, just as our forerunners such as David and Peter et al did, who were also examples to us.  We abide in Christ Jesus (Yeshua), clinging as grapes to the Vine.

The brother in Christ who instructed me to place the tooney (the Canadian two dollar coin) into the soil, did not know me at the time, so he made a point of letting me know that it was not about any prosperity teaching as that which is widespread amongst many Christians today.  I understood, and Abba (heavenly Father/Maker) knew this of me, for it was He who taught me through His Word, by His Holy Spirit, and by experience, all of which kept me from being deceived and staying in that spirit of error.

It was with childlike faith that I obeyed the instruction given to me, no matter how ludicrous it sounded.  I did not expect the Lord to move on hearts to give me a vehicle.  In fact, I did not know what to expect, but if the Lord spoke through another to direct me, then, I wanted to obey. 

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. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil.  [Prov 3:5-7]

I wish I could say that my obedience was always that instant and sure, but again, I have failed at times.  One may be able to fool others, but we can never fool God.  He is omniscient (all-knowing). The key is to grow and to put into practice what we learn, to walk in love and to bear good fruit. 

Trial and error, testing and suffering, all these things help us to learn obedience.  We must hold fast to our faith (despite any violent shaking, and yes, we will be shaken) obey God through Jesus because we love Him [1Jn 2:3; 5:3], and we love Him because He first loved us. [1Jn 4:19]

Do not be alarmed or think it strange, my friends, when your world and your very body, soul and spirit are shaken.  Through it, all that is not of God will be shaken loose.  By this, we also learn obedience by the things we suffer.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, no matter what. Yes, I full well know how difficult it is, and we may fall, but we must rise up again, and when instructed to by the Lord, rise up higher.

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  
[Heb 12:26, 27]

Though He (Jesus/Yeshua) were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered;  [Heb 5:8]

God Still Does Give Unusual Commands

Do you think that the Sovereign God would not instruct His people to do unusual things that defy logic and are done at the risk of being considered a religious zealot or fanatic, dangerously lurking upon the border of insanity? Surely God’s people who obey such commands are (or were) considered to be suffering from some form of psychoses or another, by the world’s standards, if they carry out doing those odd things in obedience to God, trusting Him…and the world laughs.
But it is God who will have the final say and the last laugh.  We will see the fruit of our faith and our faithfulness through trust and obedience and know the joy of such, which leads to victory in and through Jesus the Messiah (Yeshua).

Bear with me whilst I share some examples.  There are plenty throughout the Bible; I chose but a few.


What about Ezekiel, when God commanded the prophet to do outlandish or peculiar things?  How did the godly man bear up? First of all, he had faith and trusted the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord knew the faithfulness of His servant.  Even still, the Lord God must have surely strengthened him to endure because certain actions on the part of Ezekiel were carried out over a lengthy period of time.
Moreover, take you unto yourself an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city: and set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.

Lie also upon your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that you shall lie upon it you shall bear their iniquities.  For I have laid upon you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shall you bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. [Ezek 4:3 -5]

Understand that this was no easy thing for the prophet (or anyone else) to do.  He lay upon his side for 390 days [vs 5] (a little over a year), which represented the number of years Israel had sinned.  Have you ever felt that a certain trial or testing, or tribulation is more than you can bear?  I have. 

More often than not, but not always, acting on the instructions would involve the physical discomfort and suffering of the physical body, not to mention the anguish of the soul and spirit.  Yet, no sooner had Ezekiel obediently fulfilled God’s command to lie on his left side for such a long time, God instructed the prophet further.  There is brokenness involved and significant humility.

And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year. [vs 6]

Do you think that was hard to do, lying so long on either side?  As if that was not bad enough, the Lord further instructed Ezekiel that he bind himself with bands (ropes or woven chains), in order to prevent him from turning from side to side for relief. [vs 8]  Logic alone suggests the suffering involved.

Ezekiel was also told what to eat (wheat, barley, lentils, millet and fitches (black cummin) and 20 shekels of meat [approximately half a pound] per day.  He was to drink about 5 litres (1.5 gal) of water per day.  Then the prophet had to bake his barley cakes with the human dung [vs 12].  This was to show Israel how they were defiled and polluted with their abominations.
When he bore the burden of God’s commands and all was accomplished, Ezekiel was further humiliated.  He was to take a sharp knife and cut off his hair and his beard, then burn one-third in fire in the middle of the city (where all could see).  Another third he was to slice with a knife and toss it to the wind.

He was to take the remaining hair and bind them to his robe, then take them and cast them into the fire.  This was symbolic of the judgments that God had ordained (decreed) over Israel and Judah for their sins.  So, for approximately one year and three months, Ezekiel went through pain, suffering and humiliation, which was the will of God.  

However, it was not without purpose or reason.  The Lord God was drawing His people to repentance, but due to their hardheartedness, He foretold of His coming judgments.


At the same time, the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off your loins, and put your shoe from your foot.  And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

And the Lord said, Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder against Egypt and against Ethiopia;  
[Is 20:2, 3]

Even though that kind of behaviour was not against any law in those days, following such instructions would still turn the heads of the people and get the tongues wagging. Obeying would require humility.  

Even today, there are teachers and theologians who cannot quite come to grips with Isaiah’s actions and who will suggest that only certain parts of his body were exposed.  Thus, they seemingly miss the gist (essence) of God’s message.
For those who might think that extraordinary instructions were only given to the prophets of old, let’s look to the New Testament.  

One time when Jesus and His apostles entered Capernaum, temple tax collectors asked Peter if his master (Jesus/Yeshua) paid tribute (taxes).  When Peter made mention of the question to Jesus, a brief dialogue took place, but then Jesus instructed Peter to do an uncommon thing. 

Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go you to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up, and when you have opened his mouth, there shall you find a piece of money: take that and give unto them for me and you.  [Mat 17:27]  (Jesus instructed Peter)

There are other examples in the Bible that one can search out.  In my reasoning, for someone to go fishing and look for money in the mouth of the first fish caught is no stranger than being directed to place a coin in soil and wait to see how God will prosper, whether in body, soul or spirit, or in other areas.

If we truly believe that God (Jesus) is still the same yesterday, today and forever, then we must also believe that indeed, God can instruct His people today to do the unusual, the extraordinary.  If you are going through a difficult, heart-wrenching and/or long period of suffering, hold fast to your faith.

Trust God to see you through.  He will not leave or forsake you.  He still walks with us through the fiery trials and the overwhelming times of suffering.  Yea, but what Satan intends for evil, God intends for good!

I had been told to keep the coin in the soil a week, a month, as long as the Lord led me to keep it there. It still remains in the soil. It has been approximately three weeks (at the time of this writingthat I have had the vehicle that I was given, presented to me only two days after inserting the coin into soil.

Yet, I must state that I was already well aware of a deeper meaning to prosperity, that being a prospering of the body, soul and spirit.  There is a cleansing and healing taking place in me.  At times, the work produces tears and mixed emotions and jumbled feelings, which further cleanses and heals. 

Obedience is the Work of Faith and Trust

Within days after receiving the vehicle, two cheques arrived, one from the BC Scrap-it program and the other, income tax refund.  The total was only $275. It was not until afterwards that I realized that I was tested.  Step by step, the Lord moved upon my heart and I obeyed.  The entire amount of $275 was distributed amongst different people, each given different amounts, as the Holy Spirit instructed me. 

Did I have plans for the money?  Of course, just as anyone else would have, but I know the Lord’s leading.  If He allows a testing in any area, it is ultimately for our good, but for His glory.  God knows what lies within our heart, and what condition our heart is in, but we need to know. We can fool or deceive ourselves if we are not careful. Trials reveal to us our strengths and our weaknesses. 

For any who ever heard or read my testimony, it is known how the Lord taught me to not fear times of lack, and to obey Him despite outward appearances.  Now I must add here that there are still times that things happen where it is extremely difficult for me not to look at what is going down, and I have to war against (cast down) endless thoughts of doubts that rely on logic and tempt me to fall into fear. 

There are other times the Lord will command me to do something that will cause suffering, which would be anything that causes my flesh to resist, and the battle is on.  Yes, the Lord delivers us from many things, but there are also times that He is teaching us to overcome, hence the warring between our flesh and our spirit man.

Fear and unbelief will not only challenge, but fight against our very faith and trust in God.  I cannot pretend. I am as the rest of my brethren…in a war with seemingly endless battles. 

As I gave away the money as directed privately by the Lord, there was only a few dollars in my bank account and less on my person.  Yet, my rent and bills were paid and there was enough food for a week.  The van had nearly a full tank of gas when it was given to me. 

Suffice it to say that as there is need, the Lord continues to provide. He has not given me vast amounts of money at this time; however, God’s ways and timing still astound me.  Let us not despise small (humble) beginnings.  The reality is that there are millions who suffer with much less and yet remain grateful to God.  We learn to trust God, to wait on Him and to be grateful, without complaint or murmur, for that which He provides and for the times that He allows us to go without.  Not all tests are easy.  In fact, most are difficult and challenging.

The nucleus (core, center) of the prosperity teaching is the “seed faith” principle that teaches people to give money (typically to a ministry), in order for God to produce a “harvest” to provide for a need, whether it be finances, employment, healing, intervention in a relationship, salvation of others, or any other need that one may have. 

People are told that if they plant a seed of faith, they are to expect a miracle because by faith, they gave money (seed) away. After giving, people are to claim their miracle (speak it as though it were done).  The doctrine encourages giving out of necessity or need, to expect miraculous results.

In other words, one “gives” in order to “get”.  That is the wrong motive and intent of the heart.  It is gross error.  Yes, we are taught that we reap what we sow, but that is far deeper than just about money.  We sow sinful deeds, we reap consequences.

For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  [Gal 6:8]

And are we Sovereign?  Are we God?  Who is it that “commands” things into existence?  ONLY if and when God has made a personal promise (personal covenant) with an individual, backed by His word, and perhaps even signs and wonders (if He so chooses) can we (and should we) stand on His Word and speak forth confidently, knowing we are in His will.  Expect enemy attacks though, for the adversary has but one mission.  He comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Or perhaps Jesus will grant unexpected confirmations spoken through others, then yes, speak forth His Word and stand your ground regarding His promise.  Do not be surprised when the adversary targets you as prey and brings about temptations to lead you astray and into disobedience.

Just as in the Garden of Eden, Satan still speaks truth, but with a careful twisting of God's word, it becomes a lie. We have been warned of Satan's cleverness and craftiness.  He is the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning. [Jn 8:44]

If Satan spoke straight lies, who would believe him?  The fact is that he will use God's word (pure and absolute truth) and then take that which is written and slyly manipulate it in such a way as to conceal the lie, intended to deceive.

Unequivocally, I believe in standing on the Word of God and speaking forth God's promises. The Lord God is the Rock upon which we stand. But He (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. [Mat 4:4]

I believe in offering up to Jesus thanksgiving and praise, and in worshiping in Spirit and in truth, and in waiting (tough lesson) upon His timing and way.  Everything must line up with God’s Word and His character. That is a teaching all in itself. 

The serpent still presents himself in many forms today.  Satan (adversary) still takes the truth of God’s word and twists it just enough to produce the seeds of doubt regarding what God spoke (and what is written), or whether we even heard Him speak at all.  Satan will take God’s word and insinuate that it is a lie.  
The very scriptures that teach us to gladly give the best we can, and that God will provide for us, are the very scriptures (amongst others) that the prosperity teachers use to convince people that their doctrine is true. 

But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.  [2 Cor 9:6, 7]

The prosperity doctrine is false and grossly misleading. The truth of God's word is given, but manipulated to suit a hidden agenda, which is typically to persuade believers to give to their ministry.  I speak mostly of the originators of the prosperity teaching, for they are greedy shepherds that do fleece the flock.

Yes, we should give, and yes, we should support our spiritual shepherds, especially when they are godly (not perfect, as none of us are) people who have good fruit, walk in love, and teach the truth of God's word. But in all we do, we should allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, and not have people force or persuade us. This is a key factor in giving cheerfully and not grudgingly (like you have to).

What of those who live in impoverished countries and have no home and no money even for food and clothing?  Are they accursed or in greater sin that those in wealthier countries?  Absolutely not! 

Yet there have been certain evangelists that go into impoverished countries preaching the prosperity gospel, when countless have walked miles, and some even days, just to hear God's word, or to be prayed over for salvation, healing and deliverance. Woe to the greedy shepherds!

Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, from his own quarter. [Is 56:11]

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. [1 Pet 5:2]

Every person who has ever been born and lived long enough has sinned (carnal nature) and has fallen short of the glory of God.  The prosperity doctrine does not take such things into consideration.  Jesus told us that there would always be the poor amongst us, in John 12 verse 8.

Yes, we are to joyfully give as we are able to, or as led by the Spirit of God. That being said, it should be pointed out that there are many ways to give that do not involve money.  There are countries where our brethren live, who do not have financial resources.  They may not even have a home, yet they find ways to give of themselves to glorify Jesus.

We who are able ought to help the widows and the orphans (pure religion), visit the sick and reach out to those in prison.  In today’s world, we cannot be all things to all people. We each have a part to play and people the Lord will lead us accordingly.  God will put certain people on our heart, or bring one in need and their situation across our path, so that we will either to aid (help) that individual. 

When we are unsure, the Holy Spirit will guide our steps and lead us to support a work, ministry, group or individual. We simply cannot be all things to all people.  Only God can be. Praise to Jesus for all He accomplished on the cross, and in His death and resurrection.

It is between each one of us individually and the Lord, but none of us should be pressured by another to give, either by manipulation, coercion or deception.
Follow the Spirit’s leading. Obedience is an action, but it goes hand in hand with faith and trust in God Almighty. It is the works of faith.

Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that if you give money, you will get a miracle. The meaning and context would have to be manipulated in order to reach such conclusions. Should we pay God for His intervention or to grant a miracle?  Did anyone in Jesus’ day plant a financial seed in order to obtain a miracle by His hands? Something to consider…

I would encourage each reader to check out what God does say in the written word.  Pray earnestly and sincerely about it, if you are one who believes such a teaching.  God, through Jesus, will reveal truth to you, bringing everything into balance (key word) and give you the correct perspective.

It is imperative these days to take things to the Lord because Jesus warned and foretold about deception in the last days, the end times, where deception will be so strong that if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. [Mat 24:24] It IS possible!  What were the very FIRST words out of Jesus' mouth, when His disciples asked what would be the signs of His return and the end of the world?

Take heed that no man deceive you. [Mat 24:4]

The very first words out of Jesus' mouth! Four more times in that particular talk with His disciples did Jesus mention deception. Yes, my friends, we are inundated with global deception these days, overwhelmingly so.  Even the phrase "fake news" is a common buzzword in today's society. It has gotten that bad!

Satan will do all he can to lead God’s people astray, and all of us can be deceived if we do not cling to Jesus, praying and wait upon the leading of the Spirit of God.  We cannot do it without Jesus, no, nor can we without each other.

One Example of a Lesson from God

I would like to share one personal example to show how I came to stand in the position I take on this matter.  When I was first searching to learn about Jesus, the first church I attended was a Word of Faith church.  It was where I first heard about the teaching firsthand.  Indeed, select scriptures were used to enforce the validity of the teaching. There has always been a part of me that believed in Jesus. 
Little did I know then that even the devils believe and tremble, not to mention that I was yet unsaved and knew little of the Bible.  However, the preacher’s presentation was most convincing. At the time, I needed employment, but I also needed to move because the apartment I was renting was not well-maintained and to remain would have been unhealthy.

I had a habit of walking to ponder things, as I did not yet know how to drive nor did I own a vehicle.  Today I tend to go for long drives and find a place to sit and think, weather permitting (but I still love walking too).  On my walk, only blocks from where I was living was a sign that caught my attention.

The owner of a small apartment building (10 apartments) was advertising for a couple to be residential caretakers.  A one-bedroom apartment, plus a monthly salary was being offered.  The man was to be responsible for maintenance of the building and grounds; the woman would be responsible for cleaning vacated apartments, painting etc.

Being young and naive, I was sure I could accomplish the work of both.  There was a temporary caretaker on the premises, which is where one was to apply for the position.  No one answered the door or phone, but that did not defer me from what I did next.

I had received the prosperity teaching without question, listened to the steps to take and understood that faith required action.  By faith, I “named” my miracle and “claimed” the apartment and the position.  I wrote out a “notice to vacate”, which was one month’s notice and handed it to building manager.  He was surprised by the notice, but accepted it.

I took the little money I had and placed all of it in an envelope in the offering plate. It was my best seed. Then I thanked God for the miracle He was about to give me.  Whenever I passed the apartment building, I would thank God for my new home and job.  It turned out that the person taking applications did not live on the premises, but would come on certain days to meet up with applicants.

Packing up my belongings began.  I returned to the apartment building to apply for the position, fully expecting to be hired. I lived in a rural community, a small town where few were unemployed.  When the door opened, I flashed my best smile and informed the man that I had come to apply for the position.  He asked me if my “husband” was with me.

I told him that I was single, to which he replied that a couple was required to fill the position. My efforts to convince him that I would be able to handle all of the work and provide solid references from past employers, failed.

The man patiently explained that the male’s portion of the job would entail heavy work, but also required electrical knowledge and experience if the furnace, air conditioning, laundry equipment, broke down etc.  I was up against a wall, as I had no such training.

He apologized, but told me there was no sense in applying, as the owner specifically wanted a couple.  I thanked him and walked away.  I was in shock.  What had gone wrong?  I had done all the teaching says to do. My faith was put into action by planting a seed (giving to the church), handing in a notice to vacate, packing and confidently setting out to fill out an application.

One mistake I made was putting more trust in my actions, than in God, as though what I did would convince God that He must indeed grant my miracle.  Although I was turned down for the job, I still had hope.  Desperately, I went to the manager of my building to ask him to cancel my notice to vacate, but alas, it was too late.  The apartment had been rented and the new tenants were due to move into it in less than two weeks, at the end of the month.
With no money and no place to go, the reality of my situation hit me like a ton of bricks.  Devastated, bewildered and completely undone, I placed a call to a friend that I had met at the church to find out what I did wrong. She knew that I was greatly shaken and told me to hold fast until she could send some elders to speak with me.  Three men from the church arrived.  

I cannot remember any of what was said, but I do know they prayed and told me to trust God to provide.  Two days before I was to vacate the premises, my friend called.  She was married and had three children.  Her house was full, but she was willing to allow me to stay on their couch and eat with them, if I was willing to do some housework and babysitting in exchange, until I could get back up on my feet.  I gladly accepted.  Within six weeks, I managed to secure employment and a new place to live.

I had learned a hard lesson. Some may say it was because I was not saved, others may say that I lacked faith, but God allowed me to see the error in the teaching.  A hard lesson indeed, but one lesson that stayed with me.  The preacher of that church literally, physically, removed me from the church. But that is another story, another time.  

I will end the topic here, but it is important that the reader fully understands my position on the teaching. We are not to “give” only to “get” what we need. Period!  There are other errors within the doctrine, but as previously stated, there is plenty of material available in books, magazines and in articles that are on the internet.  If the reader believes in this false doctrine, then I would urge you to take what I wrote to the Lord.  Read God's written word, and by His Spirit, God will answer a genuine prayer for truth.

For everyone that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? [Lk 11:11]

The above scriptures were part of Jesus’ response when His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.  We all need the Holy Spirit, for it is He that will lead us into all truth.  God will reveal to you whether a teaching is true or not.  He does not want any of His people deceived.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [1Jn 4:1]

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.  We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us.  Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. [1Jn 4:5, 6]

for His glory

Bonita                    dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com

If led, please pray for the following countries. Brothers and sisters in Christ are scattered around the globe, hidden in every nation. They need our prayers, as do the unsaved.

Canada, particularly British Columbia 

With 160 fires still burning, a provincial state of emergency has been extended to August 18th until further notice. 

Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Columbia, Croatia, France, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Korea (many have relatives in trapped in North Korea, unable to leave)

Saudia Arabia, Spain, South Africa, Russia (Moscow), Trinidad, Turkey, Venezuela, UK (Ireland, Scotland, Britain), United States

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rise Up_Prisoners of Hope

To get the full impact of this testimony, to show how God works to show forth His power and glory, and His concern for each of us individually, please start at the beginning (if you have not already).

The Testing was Not Over
It was also after the physical healing that other areas seemed to be targeted.  It started small, more of an annoyance than anything else.  I had purchased a blender about a year ago and it simply quit.  Changing my diet meant adding smoothies to try and heal my body from all the medications I had been on. 

Having a blender helped me to achieve that.  Frankly, I did not give it much thought because I had reasoned that it had lasted a good year for less than twenty dollars, so it did not bother me. It was merely an inconvenience more than anything. However, that was only the beginning. 

Approximately two weeks later, the transmission on my SUV gave up the ghost (quit, finished, kaput).  I still did not see the event as an attack from Satan as these things happen in life.  Was I surprised?  I was indeed! I had only had the vehicle for about seven months. There had been no warning signs that I was aware of.  It caught me completely off-guard. 

So, what was my attitude?  What was the condition of my heart? The glory belongs to the Lord alone…and I will not touch His glory!  In order not to mislead anyone, further testimony must be forthcoming in an effort to show the reader some of the ways God works.  His ways are unique with each of us.  There are times we can relate to similarities in His doings, but how often are we delighted and encouraged to hear how He deals with others?  We learn more of Him as we listen to testimonies that glorify Christ Jesus.

He has Torn; He will Heal
If God tears down, it is for a good cause and He will build up, restore. It all works together for good – for His purpose. [Rom 8:28]

God does not expose sin and pronounce pending judgment without also offering a solution and to grant hope and comfort to His people. His solution is for people to humble themselves and seek His face, pray, and choose to turn away from sin.  He knows all our struggles and helps us, if we are willing to let Him. In His mercy, He offers forgiveness; by His grace, He sent Jesus to die upon the cross for our sins. So great is His love. He tears down, but He rebuilds.  He is the potter, we are the clay.

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.  [Hos 6:1-3]

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up [Ecc 3:2, 3]

Be still. Believe for the impossible. Mary, the young virgin lady who was chosen to bear Jesus the Messiah said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Your word. (And the angel [who brought God’s message] departed from her.)  [Lk 1:38]

Step by Step
When I first returned to Canada after being in the United States for several years, I returned to BC, the land of my heart.  However, the cost of living in the province was off the charts and completely unexpected.  Finding a place to rent was not easy. The demand for affordable housing was high and apartments went as fast as they were advertised. It was so high in fact that getting a potential landlord to answer an email or return a phone call was a rarity.

As a result, I ended up staying in shelters for four months.  About six weeks after my arrival, I renewed my Canadian driver’s license and purchased a 2000 Grand Am, thinking that it would be easier to find a place with a vehicle, but no, it would still be another two and a half months before I finally would find a place.  Even then, it was only a room, with a shared kitchen, living room, bathroom and laundry. How happy I was the day I was finally out of shelters.

It took yet another five months to finally succeed in finding an apartment, which is the one I have lived in now for slightly over two years.  Not quite a year had passed when the motor of the Grand Am blew.  There was no way I could afford another vehicle.  The apartment is located outside of town, more in the country.  How was I going to get groceries and do business?  My attitude left much to be desired when I found out that it would be about two grand (thousand) at the minimum to replace the motor.

Instead of remembering how it had been a blessing to even get the money for a vehicle so quickly after my return to Canada, I became quite disgruntled. The cost of replacing the motor was not only out of my reach, but given the age of the car and the high mileage, it simply was not worth it. I had already replaced other parts, and had just put a new battery, an expensive hydraulic hose (with a silicon chip) and winter tires on the vehicle as well.
Despite the fact that the external body of the Grand Am was in excellent condition, it still had to be scrapped.  I had tried to sell the car for parts, but there were no offers or calls.  For two days after the motor ceased, I grumbled and complained.  The Holy Spirit alerted me to my poor attitude and my lack of trust in the Lord. Somehow He amplified my words so that I was fully aware of not only my attitude, but my tone.

Those who know me or have followed the blog for some years know full well the challenges and the suffering I went through in the shelters. When I shared my experiences on the blog and on Blogtalk radio, it was not for sympathy. Not at all!  But rather, it was to share how God allowed everything that I had learned in my Christian walk to be tried, tested.

 It will not be repeated here, but less than a year later, it was still recent enough to remember the things the Lord taught. It was simply a matter of putting it into practice.  Was I such a hard work for the Lord that He had to keep allowing testing in major areas?  Obviously, there was still work to be done, or perhaps the fruit of His work had not yet come to the surface.  Or was my heart’s condition worse than I realized?

Two days of bad attitude were two days too long…I sincerely repented.  The Holy Spirit shone a spotlight on my attitude and it could not be ignored.  The Lord is never wrong, but I can be…and sadly, I was. It took the faithful Holy Spirit to open my ears and eyes to my behaviour. 

Immediately after repentance, the work the Lord had already done in my heart took over and my attitude made a 180° turn.  I repented of not trusting Jesus and began to thank Him instead.  As soon as any of us begin to thank God for one thing, numerous other things to be thankful for come to mind.  It has always seemed to me that when one begins with genuine thanksgiving, it automatically leads into praise.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name [Ps 100:4]

It is no exaggeration when I say that only a few days after I changed my attitude I received a phone call from my landlord. He and his wife had discussed my dilemma. He called to tell me that he had purchased a (year?) 1998 Nissan Altima, for $800.  I could pay him back as soon as I was able to, without any pressure or deadline. 

I could barely believe my ears, but I immediately connected the unexpected blessing with my changed attitude.  I thank God for the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  From my editing, I just happened to have half the amount of money ($400) when he informed me about the car.  We arranged to get the vehicle the following day, as it was in the next town about 40 minutes away. He was glad to have half the money upfront, although surprised. That was God’s doing and timing, undoubtedly.   
Less than six weeks later, I managed to pay off the remaining amount.  No sooner was the car paid for than an accident occurred.  I had been approaching a stoplight in the left turning lane.  A truck that was exiting a mall parking lot broadsided my car on the passenger side (T-boned).  No one was injured.  The young man was very apologetic, took full responsibility without argument, glad that I was alright and very cooperative in giving me all the details needed for the insurance company.

From my observation, the Nissan only seemed to have a hint of a dent and a couple of scratches, one being a long scratch down the side, so I was not even going to bother with a claim.  However, the passenger door would not open or shut properly, but I had thought that it would not take much to fix.
The next day an appointment was made with a claims adjuster in the government office.  Unfortunately, automobile insurance in British Columbia is not privatized.  It is a public insurance program that is owned and operated by the government, a Crown corporation owned by the Sovereign of Canada. 

I had fully intended to do the repairs and continue driving the car, but it was not to be. The insurance adjuster wrote the car off, stating that it would cost more to fix the door (deemed to be an unsafe and illegal condition) than the vehicle was worth.  

Since only $800 had been paid for the car, I knew that more than likely, I would again be without a vehicle, and I surely could not expect my landlord to step up to the plate a second time.  He had been most kind in helping me out, and I was not about to take such kindness for granted or frivolously.  Now perhaps the reader can understand why I have forgotten the year of the car.  I had only owned it for six weeks, and now it too had to be scrapped.

Who Rules Your Heart?
What was my attitude this time?  I made sure my heart attitude was not one of bitterness, or grumbling or complaining. But again, all praise be to God whose Spirit exposed my negativity and rebuked such when the Grand Am had to be scrapped. Well, my Christian brothers and sisters would be pleased to hear that the Lord had done a good work. No way was I going to grumble and complain this time around. I was thankful for the opportunity that the landlord allotted. 

As he was not a Christian, I was convinced that the Lord had moved upon his heart, since he was in the financial position to assist me.  Even still, whether he was well able to afford the assistance or not, it was still an act of kindness.  No one can deny that fact.  

I believe that the landlord had acted on the Lord’s prompting, although he gave no credit to Him.  And yes, he had boasted to my neighbours (his other tenants) about how he had bought me the car. Of course, they would learn that the loan was paid back.
It was a couple of days before the insurance adjuster called me to say that I would receive $2,091 for the $800 Nissan.  Pardon me??  I was flabberghasted, but pleasantly so!  I saw it as coming from the hand of God. In fact, I am convinced that the Lord orchestrated the outcome of all the occurrences, to teach me and to try me.  Shortly thereafter, about two weeks, give or take, I purchased a 2003 Mazda Tribute SUV 4x4.

I had never owned a vehicle that new, never mind the fact that it was a 4x4 (4WD).  I was over the top, high with happiness and delight. The kilometers on the engine were high, but it had been well maintained.  The previous owner had originally purchased the vehicle for his wife and looked after it.  He had told me that his reason for selling it was because his wife wanted a newer vehicle.  The money from the insurance covered the cost of the SUV, plus the taxes. All glory to God!

The accident and resulting purchase of the vehicle occurred last year, in November, 2016.  I would enjoy driving the 4x4 for the following six months. It was in June (2017) when I was returning home from town after running some errands that suddenly the Mazda would not accelerate when I stepped on the gas.  I was travelling in the midst of heavy traffic upon the main highway that ran through town.   

I immediately turned on the hazard lights, scouting for a quick exit off the highway.  There “just happened” to be a convenient entrance to a bar and lodge parking lot to my right, so I quickly turned in so as not to slow rush hour traffic, and surprisingly coasted through the lot. If the reader saw the size of the parking lot, you would see the wonder that the SUV had coasted through without stopping.

Incredibly, there also happened to be a back street that was adjacent to the rear of the lot. I was able to coast onto the street before the vehicle came to a full stop, unable to go further.  I had reverse, but no forward gears, not even in 4WD mode. The transmission had failed. Praise God that I had brought my cell phone with me.  Many times I left it at home when I was not going to be away for long – I’ve changed that habit now.

I also had about $15, which just covered the cost of a taxi to get home.  God went ahead of me.  Not only was it amazing that I was able to coast through a fair-sized parking lot that just “happened” to be there, but the odds of a street being adjoined to it was nothing short of miraculous.  It was also in a place where there were no parking restrictions.  The SUV was still plated and insured, so it was safe to leave it parked there without concern about being ticketed or towed.

The incident was completely unexpected. There had been no evidence of leaking from the transmission, no burnt smell, no “check engine” light, no trouble switching gears or popping out of gear, and the transmission fluid level was fine.  There had been no warning signs for me to take the vehicle in to be checked, but the end was definite.  

Over the course of the next two days, I placed multiple calls trying desperately to find an inexpensive transmission.  Just as the Grand Am is infamous for blown motors, Mazda has been notorious for tranny problems.  I did not have that foreknowledge when I purchased the vehicle.  

As a result, there were no used transmissions available anywhere in western Canada at the time, but there was one available in Ontario.  The cost of the transmission plus shipping fees from Ontario to British Columbia, as well as the cost of labour to replace it, combined with the high kilometers already on the vehicle, was far too much. 

What was my attitude? Ha! Guess!  The devil was not going to get even so much as a whimper out of me!  When the Lord does a work, He does it well.  How could I not thank the Lord? Even being able to buy the SUV 4x4 in the first place was a gift from God.  I had never owned a 4WD before.  I had a riot in it, meaning it had been a real enjoyment, especially in the winter on BC’s mountainous roads. 

Its initial cost, including taxes, had been covered by the claims settlement. If I was to complain or grumble in the least, then I had surely learned nothing about trusting God after the Grand Am episode at all, not to mention I would be guilty of ingratitude and bitterness. Yes, the vehicle had to be scrapped.  I had accepted the fact that I would be without transportation for likely a year or so, until I could save a couple thousand to get yet another vehicle. 

I purchase my water from a depot because of the smell of chlorine in the town water that comes up from the tap, not to mention the foul smell that crops up randomly. At the time the Mazda went out of commission, the township had a “boil water” warning in place.  How was I going to carry two five gallon jugs onto a bus?  If I did manage to do so, I would have to take a second bus trip to town to get groceries, plus take care of other business in town.  

Buses are not as frequent in this small town as they are in larger communities.  One has to be prepared to wait, even up to an hour if a bus is missed.  People were asking questions for transportation, but I had no answers except to say it was all in God’s hands, and that it could be a year or so before I would be able to purchase another vehicle.

A Hard Hit
There had to be a reason behind everything that had been taking place.  The incident occurred very shortly after my knee had been healed.  The reader does not need it all repeated.  The friend that I had gone to the hospice with offered to pick me up for church.  I gladly accepted her offer.  The brethren prayed to the Lord on my behalf.

Five people had approached me at different times prophesying that God would provide a car for me.  It was indeed encouraging to hear, but personally, I could see no way how that was possible.  I am not in any position to get a loan and pay interest fees.  I live humbly but have no lack, thanks be to God.  Yes, God can make a way where there is no way.  Nothing is too hard for Him.

But despite the spoken statements grounded in faith from the brethren, it was impossible for me to figure out how my Lord would do that (leaning on that logic (reasoning) instead of trusting God, which we are counseled to avoid, and not be wise in our own eyes, but to fear God, as it is written in Proverbs 3: 5-7)

When I had looked up the local scrap yards, I saw an intriguing name that appeared in the search engine. When I clicked on the site, I learned that the province had a non-profit program that offered incentives to people as part of what is called RYR (Retire Your Ride) or “voluntary early retirement program”. 

Apparently, these vehicle scrappage programs exist across the country, which I had previously been unaware of.  If another unaware Canadian reads this, perhaps it will help them if they find themselves in a similar situation as I found myself in.  These programs are not well advertised and are not commonly known amongst the majority of citizens.  Anyone I mentioned it to were unaware of the program.

From one of several pages on the websites belonging to the Government of Canada, there are a few dedicated to explaining the purpose behind offering this program to Canadian citizens, but it helps significantly if one is first aware of such a program in order to search it out, or unless one just happens to discover it in a search for something else, as I myself had first heard or learned about it.

“The Government of Canada is committed to improving air quality across the country and reducing the health and environmental effects of air pollution. Accelerated on-road scrappage programs are positive steps in the right direction. 

These voluntary programs are developed and run by local organizations in communities across Canada and supported by partners, including Environment Canada. They are designed to improve air quality and to help reduce smog-forming and climate change emissions by permanently removing older, high emitting vehicles from Canadian roads.”  (Quoted from one Canadian government website)

It is the government’s aim to get all older vehicles off the roads of Canada as part of an effort to help control climate change, and emissions have a “greenhouse effect” due to the gases older vehicles emit, such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, toxic air pollutants and more.  The terms “global warming” and “climate change” are often confused today as meaning the same thing.

Even today, the topic and two terms stir up heated debates not only amongst scientists, but also amongst the general public.  It is true that although both are used interchangeably, the two expressions are not new ones and the definitions and meaning of each differ. Many consider global warming to be a hoax. 
A page on the NASA website uses both phrases interchangeably.  It is not my intent to delve into the topic here either, but rather to shed some light (clarify) on the motive and intent involved in the Canadian government creating such an opportune program that would encourage public cooperation.  The offer of money is, and always has been, a powerful incentive and motivator.

Why I had not come across the website previously in the search engine when I had to scrap the Grand Am was beyond me, but there it was now.  The offers are particularly compelling for those who are strapped for funds.  The downside of the program is that the onus is upon each individual to deliver their old vehicle to a scrap dealer. 

Not only are the types of vehicles on the government’s list expensive to buy, but the transportation must be one purchased from a limited list of models found at one of the local dealer who has partnered with the program. Everyone knows that buying from car dealerships is the most expensive avenue to take, due to overhead and added fees that are not included in a similar transaction done privately between citizens.  The interest fees on a lease-to-own vehicle are extremely high.

Despite the fact that my SUV was only eight blocks from the scrap yard, local companies quoted $150 as the minimal set fee for towing. A call was placed to the scrap yard.  Their fee was competitive with the local businesses, but when I explained my dilemma, the representative excused himself momentarily, placing me on hold. When he returned, he stated that since the vehicle was in close proximity to them, they could offer to tow the truck for $50. 

I was blessed and am absolutely convinced that the Lord moved on some hearts to help me out further.  Not only would the incentive (which could take up to six weeks to receive the cheque) that I chose cover the towing cost, but it also covered the expense of taxis I had to take to town over the course of three days.  Once an application is made online, it can take 24 hours or so before one knows if the application was approved or not.  The approval must then be printed up and submitted to the scrap yard.

Papers needed to be signed to transfer ownership over to the scrap yard, as well as to meet up with the tow truck driver, hand in the license plates and cancel the policy at my local insurance brokers.  When the cheque did arrive, the settlement amount would also pay the expense for other unavoidable and necessary trips to town via taxi over a three day period.  The Sovereign God always goes ahead of us, whether we are aware of it or not.

Without lengthy explanations, suffice it to say that the only incentive offered that I could take advantage of was the offer of a payment of $200 if a person scrapped their vehicle at a participating local business.  To me, the offer was a tremendous help when funds are lacking. 

After having scrapped the Grand Am at a loss (considering all the new parts or replacements I had made) and that it had only lasted me a year, I still considered it to be a blessing from the Lord, as I had been unaware of such a program.  I am convinced the Holy Spirit led me to the information, according to God’s wisdom, His way, His will and His timing.   

On the third day after the Mazda became permanently parked on the side street, I arranged for the truck to be towed. Suffice it to say that an application had been filled out online to the BC non-profit program, which was approved. The vehicle was confirmed as being the official property of the metal recycling company and scrapped.  It was then a matter of waiting for a cheque would be issued.

It was official – I was back to being a foot soldier. (A little humour is required here – very little.) 

When Is It Enough?
The upside was that I would have more time to work on the long-awaited article “Comfort My People” that  I had felt led to write after having opened at exactly Isaiah 40 three separate times, back in March (2017).  As soon as the Mazda was taken away, and plates were handed in with cancellation of the insurance policy, I headed home.
Once back, I eagerly fired up the laptop and…oh no!  Now what?  Pages were slow loading, often receiving an “Aw, snap!” message (page loading error/crashes).  An arrow prayer to the Lord met with silence.  Even trying to Google a solution was nearly impossible.  

Rather than being redundant, it took day after day of trying everything possible, from scans for viruses, Trojans and malware, which I initially thought was the culprit, to finally restoring the laptop to an earlier date.  Nothing, nothing worked.  A technician was willing to check out my computer remotely for $75 an hour.  I had no money to throw away like that.

Another extremely frustrating and stressful week!  Silent tears of exasperation rolled down my cheeks.  I had only begun to recover from the months of anguish, disorientation and confusion in the three weeks that had passed since my healing.  Was it all a test, an attack from Satan, or was it just life in general?  If it was a test, I longed to pass it.  If it was an attack from Satan, I sought to overcome it.  If it was life’s problems in general, I would just live it and keep on.

Weariness was upon me.  Is there no reprieve Lord?  Jesus said, Come unto Me all you that labour and are heavy laden (weary) and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.[Mat 11:28, 29]

If the Lord wanted to take the computer too, He had every right. First, there was the raging in my physical health. Then, the battles within my soul which included strained relationships (Satan was working), questioning my faith and my standing with God, as well as the confusion, disorientation, depression and angst that came with the side effects of medication were simultaneously challenging me.  Then, last but not least, there was the battle that my spirit man had been involved in with the wrestling against both my carnal nature (flesh) and the adversary. 

Four more days passed where it was nearly impossible to do anything on the computer, but the climax took place in the latter part of the week, namely the last three days. Indeed, I prayed. The Lord had tried me before to see if I would give "all" up, when He sent me to the United States. 

Surely I would not need to be tested again?  But what if...what if I DID need to be tested again?  So, I determined that day that if the Lord took it all again, I would just wait on Him and not complain.  He has my life in His hands and I had to choose ...either I choose to trust the Lord or I do not. Period!

I chose to trust, even if my heart was heavy at times, God knew that I wanted to do what was right in His eyes simply because of all the patience He bore in teaching me hard lessons. How could I disappoint Him? He had even taught me about love...after all this time...true love; the kind of love that does not betray, or abuse, or reject.  Do I believe Jesus loves me? I do...

So once that was established, I went back to my computer. It was late in the day, but that is when I called the landlady after I had the idea that the router may need rebooting. The information had come before my eyes a couple of times (as a possible problem) the few times I did manage to get a page or so loaded.  The rebooting was a last resort. If that failed, then my back was up against a wall without remedy. 

Why was all this happening?  What was I was to learn?  The thought occurred to me that ever since I had named a website “Time of Revealing (Warriors of Endurance), and a radio program “Warriors of Endurance in the Time of Revealing” in mid-2014, heavy trials and tribulations were my portion.  

The website is defunct as of June 1, 2017, and the radio program was discontinued shortly after I came out of the shelters, both due to finances.  If I were to determine where and when the latest trial began, I would have to consider mid to late 2014 as a starting point. Well, I certainly did not feel like any enduring warrior, but we are taught not to rely on feelings and emotions. 

We are taught not to be overwhelmed by outward appearances, but to keep our eyes on Jesus (Yeshua) the Christ.  We are to walk by faith and not by sight.  We are to speak the Word of God, which spiritually is a mighty two-edged sword of the Lord.  There are superb instructions, guidelines, armour, tools and weapons given to us in the Word of God.  It is wonderful that we have these things to utilize, but they are of little value if left unused.

It seemed that after I had prayed to the Lord, ending with admitting that I did not know what to do, it occurred to me that as a last resort, I should call the landlady to see if she would reboot the router (modem). The router for the entire building is located in the neighbour’s apartment next door, but she was away at work. It was later that day the router was rebooted and viola!  A victory shout sounded!

THAT was the problem all along. An entire week was needlessly lost.  Indeed, the devil may laugh, but God will see to it that His people are never ashamed.  It is waiting on His timing and His ways to bring about good that is hard and yes, even incredibly difficult for us.  The devil can only go so far. He was defeated at the cross as the Saviour’s precious and costly blood was shed for the sake of sinful mankind.  

My computer (hallelujah!) was safe. So many are weary, tired and under vicious attack in every area imaginable.  We must keep pressing on, my brothers and sisters.  Let us keep each other, the true ones in the Body of Christ, covered in prayer.  We have need of one another…we must know this, and even if we know it, reminders are helpful.  

Although our God still issues severe warnings by His Spirit, at the same time, He desires that His faithful, battle-weary ones be comforted and encouraged, so that none of us give up or give in, so that we will rise up, rise up higher with renewed (restored) hope, and endure to the end.  Hallelujah!

Expect the Unexpected and the Suddenlies
The Lord God is known to do unexpected things suddenly, whether in blessings or whether in judgment.

I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of My mouth, and showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. [Is 48:3]

The week after the Mazda quit on me, a friend and her husband picked me up to go to a prayer meeting.  Perhaps ten of us humbly gathered together.  The saints of God prayed over me.  Only God knows everything and only He can move upon a heart.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will.  [Prov 21:1]

A suggestion was made to take up a collection (completely unexpected)...and I was given $75. Considering there was very few of us gathered together that night for prayer, it was amazing.  I was blown away by the unexpected generosity and kindness of my brethren.  It immediately went for food…but something else happened.

I had listened to a random sermon online not long before that particular day of the prayer meeting.  I cannot say who the preacher was. At the time, the title caught my eye, but I cannot recall the name of it now.  The preacher man was teaching on listening to God and was using Naaman, a valiant commander of the army of Syria, as an example. [2Kin 5:1]

To cut to the quick, God’s prophet Elisha had given instructions from the Lord to Naaman when he had come to him to be healed of leprosy. 

And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, God and wash in Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.  
[2Kin 5:10]

Naaman’s pride was greatly bruised when the prophet sent a messenger to a warrior of high caliber and rank such as himself.  Even the directives from Elisha infuriated him because he had expected the prophet to call out to God, lay hands on him and he would be healed. [vs 11] It also enraged Naaman that he was to wash in the Jordan, which he considered to have murky waters in comparison to the cleaner waters of Abana and Pharpar, which were two rivers of Damascus. 

Did the prophet not know who he was dealing with?  The pride of the commander was evident.  When one of Naaman’s servants saw the anger of his master, he encouraged him to listen to the prophet.  Naaman chose to swallow his pride and followed Elisha’s command.  As a result of his obedience to the prophet, Naaman was healed to such perfection that it is written that his “flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”  [vs 12-14]

One statement that the preacher made seemed to be highlighted.  It was a statement that I would not forget.  “When a prophet of God tells you to do anything, no matter how strange it seems, do it anyway.”  I remember thinking that no prophet these days told people to do odd or unusual things in order to receive a miracle.  That night I went to the prayer meeting at the little church in town.

A vibrant and godly couple from the UK who came to BC Canada, obeying the Lord’s leading, were at the meeting. They are musicians who lead the people into worship with an anointing that cannot be denied. The husband tells the people that the music is not about entertainment or emotionalism, it is about worshipping God.  He plays guitar whilst his wife plays keyboard; they both sing.  The brother has a prophetic gifting as well.  When he prayed over me, he also prophesied. 

Taking a handful of change from his pocket, he took a tooney, the largest coin in today’s Canadian currency with a value of $2 and gave it to me. The coin is silver with a gold-coloured center.  He told me to plant it in soil and not spend it.  He said not to expect a money tree, but prosperity. He made certain to point out that there are many ways God prospers people besides finances.

He went on to state that God also prospers His people in body, soul and spirit.  Of course I have well-learned that in my walk with the Lord.  However, since he knew nothing of me at that time, he wanted to be sure that I understood. I did.  Was this not an odd or strange directive from spoken through a prophet of God? With childlike faith and a desire to obey God, I planted the tooney in the soil of a small rubber tree plant that I have.  No extra watering needed!

Two days after placing the coin in soil, my new friend and a sister in Christ from the church called me and asked if I would be home that afternoon. Yes, I would be. This was the same friend that I had gone to the hospice with to visit the woman with cancer just two days before she died.  This was the same friend who had also been the one to initially ask people at the church to pray for the woman.

In less than an hour, she arrived along with her husband and sister.  She took me to the parking lot of the apartment building and asked me who a certain van belonged to.  Recognizing it immediately, I said, “You.”  She said, “No, it’s yours!” and with that her husband handed me the keys to a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan (NOW the newest vehicle ever owned), with only 91,000 km (lowest I ever had), fresh oil change, new brakes, excellent summer tires (under warranty still) and more.  In my shock, I truly did not know what to say. 
Simply saying ‘thank you’ seemed not enough. They took me to town and transferred the vehicle in my name, got it plated and insured for the month and gave me the keys again.  It is no secret to those who know me that when an emergency or some significant event happens, I have what is called delayed reaction.  It takes awhile for things to fully hit me. I would say that is why I am good in an emergency, as I am okay until time passes.  It could be hours, days or weeks.  It is possible that it is a defense mechanism that was developed over time, given certain traumas that happened in my life.

As I was about to get in the vehicle to drive home, I noticed tears in my friend’s eyes and upon her face.  Knowing that the van had previously belonged to her mother before she passed only a couple of months earlier, I interpreted the tears as being the result of sadness at seeing her mother’s vehicle go out of her possession.  Deeply touched by her tears, I told her that if it was too difficult for her, I would truly understand, and still ever appreciate the heart…anything so she would not be torn. 

But that was not the case whatsoever.  The tender soul explained that she was thinking how happy her parents would be if they knew their vehicle had been a blessing to another believer.  She was overjoyed at being able to give such a tremendous gift. What a beautiful outlook and thought!  It greatly moved me.  But even more heartwarming was how they had prayed about the matter, and their immediate obedience to Jesus! It was humbling and a sheer delight at the same time.  How great is our God!

God tests our faith.  I had planted the coin without hesitation, despite how foolish and crazy it sounded, but I never expected a vehicle.  However, the words of the man of God are true.  The Lord is well aware of all that we have need of, but it is the condition of the heart that He works with.  He purges and refines us so that we will shine forth like pure gold.  This is prosperity at its finest – spiritual prosperity.

Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.  [Rev 3:17, 18]

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.  [Zech 13:9]

When I wrote out the testimony of my life, the title was given to me by the Lord. It is “First the Inside of the Cup”.  Our Creator is more concerned with the inside of our bodies, the heart, the spirit man that each of us have, the part of us that is born-again when we believe the gospel of Christ Jesus and receive Him as Lord and Saviour.  The title had been inspired by scripture that the Lord had led me to when He instructed me to write out my testimony.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full extortion and excess.  You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  [Mat 23:25, 26]

Whole Lotta Shaking Goin’ On
I do believe God’s word is Spirit and life [Jn 6:63] and truth! [Jn 14:6]  I do believe God’s word is timeless, that it speaks to us today, corporately and individually (that’s what SPIRIT and life and truth altogether accomplishes – the LIVING WORD of GOD).  

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. [Ps 34:17]

It is a fact that there was much turbulence physically for me. I know full well that others have been going through excruciating physical (body) circumstances.  Others have or still are dealing with crushing matters of the soul (mind, emotions, feelings, doubts, etc), whilst others are struggling in the matters of the spirit (heart). 

Countless people are tormented, feeling condemned because of struggles with sins, battles with demons, generational curses (through blood lines; all forms of witchcraft, freemasonry, dark occult), false prophets and teachers, a corrupted, plagued world, all of which play a part in the suffering that mankind, from young to old, is up against in these last of days.

With great hope and faith, His intervention is eagerly anticipated and awaited.
I understand that the Lord had spoken to me about miracles taking place, but also the fact that great trouble was fast approaching. He again warned of the counterfeiter Satan who would also manifest “signs and wonders”, through the false prophets that are in the world. 

It was shared on December 31, 2016 about part of what the Lord had impressed upon me (as well as others) part of what could be expected in 2017.  Then, on January 5, 2017, I shared the message given to me. In part, the message:

“It is no game; it is war! I am positioning My people. Many are experiencing or are about to experience miracles (deliverance, healing, restoration), fulfillment of long-awaited prayers, dreams and visions, that which was once thought impossible becoming reality.”

“Yea, but beware, for Satan and his evil cohorts are also manifesting ‘miracles’ and the ‘impossible’.  This will increase, as it is written. The counterfeiter has always been a master of illusion, with flatteries and smooth speech and dark sayings, he plants seeds of doubt in a whirlwind of confusion.”

[End excerpt]

Yet, through Christ Jesus and by His Spirit, we will discern the difference between that which is of God and that which is of the adversary, Satan. I do not believe that our past experience, knowledge or wisdom will help us discern.
According to our Messiah Jesus, He forewarned that [deception] would be so grand that if it were possible, even the elect [His people] would be deceived [Matthew 24]. Such is the craftiness and cunning of Satan and his cohorts, the enemies of the cross of Christ.

Who in the days of His flesh, when He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and He was heard in that He feared (holiness, devotion); Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.  [Heb 5:7, 8]  

Yet, even now miracles are taking place that can only be attributed to God. These have been going on for some time, but mostly kept from vast public knowledge. However, in the recent past years (decade or so?), miracles have been taking place that are so spectacular and absolutely validated that even mainstream media has had to report on the events due to the widespread positive talk of the people.

Even critics and skeptics, who set out to disprove such reports, have themselves been healed or have witnessed undeniable miracles firsthand, thereby having their mouths stopped, except to admit that indeed, faith and healings are real. 

Even certain stiff-necked, obstinate doctors have had to admit that although there are some miracles that can be explained medically (sigh – such is man that LOGIC must define everything), they are hard-pressed to admit that miracles have taken place that defy logic and must have required faith in God.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  [Heb 11: 6]

Our Lord has stated 2017 will see many blessings and miracles, but we are to keep aware that great troubles will also be seen. The Lord God keeps everything in balance and perspective when we cleave to Him. He is ever-faithful and whitewashes nothing. He has always given fair warnings, convictions and exhortations.

Prisoners of Hope

Satan presents all manner of temptations and will do all it takes to convince a person to choose to swallow his lies.  But those whose hope is in the Lord will not be ashamed.

Turn you to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto you.  [Zech 9:12]

The Silversmith is a short 2 minute video that packs a punch that will knock the wind out of you as you come to understand the beauty and fullness of God’s word. In an article last year, I had mentioned how a silversmith knows that silver is purified.

The story goes that two women came across a scripture in Malachi:

But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  [Mal 3:2, 3]

Now only the part that is emboldened was used in the video. One woman decided to go to a silversmith. She asked questions, two of which make the story precious.  One question she asked was if he had to sit by the fire the whole time the silver is being refined.  He replied yes, but further stated that not only does he have to hold the silver, he has to make sure that he removes it from the flames at the precise and exact time, or it will be destroyed.

She pondered his words, then asked how he knew when the silver was completely refined.  He smiled and said it was when he could see his image in the silver.

But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. [Job 23:10]

For My name’s sake will I deferMine anger, and for praise will I refrain for you, that I cut you not off.  Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction[Is 48:10]     
Two minute video called The Silversmith

“Solomon taught his son to anticipate the LORD would prove, test and purify the hearts of His people by trials that test the heart, purify the motive and humble the spirit.”  Dr. Travis Smith (pastor) Source: Heart of a Shepherd

Marlene Kleepes had cerebral palsy, but she was also plagued with very severe spasms that were so violent that her attendants sometimes suffered broken bones trying to restrain her.  Marlene had been sent to the Mayo Clinic to get help and improvement, but her inheritance ran out.  She was to be sent to a nursing home.  She cried out to God and He gave her a vision of herself healed. 

She saw a certain “church” “jump off the page” and the pastor was called.
When he arrived, Marlene said he was the man in her vision who had prayed for her.  So the pastor took her to his church. He was not sure how to pray for healing, but he did and the congregation stood in agreement with him. 

After he prayed, he asked her if she wanted to stand on faith”.  Marlene did. With the pastor and another man lifting her up and supporting her, she took steps. At first, her knees and feet were pointed inward, but each step she took, they began to straighten out until she was walking normally. 

Within minutes, she was literally running around the church. Afterwards she returned to the Mayo clinic, where they recorded that they saw her walking for the first time.  Marlene was discharged.  

She returned some weeks later to the Mayo Clinic.  It is confirmed via medical records that all abnormalities (from cerebral palsy) are gone, and even Marlene’s eyesight is healed.  She no longer needs spectacles to see.  Marlene Kleeps is healed of cerebral palsy and enjoys a normal life to this day.  Today she preaches!

Another documented miracle!  Delia Knox, who was crippled (paralyzed) for 23 years after being hit by a drunk driver was healed.  

Behold you among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you.  [Habakkuk 1:5]

Would you believe it when I tell you that my kettle quit on me, only seven months after buying it?  How about if I told you that the new thongs (sandals) that I was wearing last week broke after having only worn them for a month?  I went into the bank and the sandal was repaired with packing tape until I could get home.  They had to be “scrapped”. 
Haha!  I kid you not! If I could make this stuff up, I would be in high demand in Hollywood by producers looking for good scripts.  Satan will continuously accuse us, even making every negative thing that happens as though it were our fault. He is the father of lies.  Life goes on…but God is for me, for us who trust and wait on Him!   

What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  [Rom 8:31]

for His glory
Bonita                 dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com

Special Note:  For the past few weeks, several countries are upon my heart.  Our brethren are scattered around the world and in their own trials and tribulations.  They are part of the body of believers.  

We do well to keep them in prayer.  Like us, they are under the rule of the government of their country, and are not responsible for trespasses leaders make against other nations and their people.  Sadly, we tend to judge an entire nation of people by the actions of their leaders. 

The Lord has His people praying for their own nation, as well as other nations globally.  He often rotates the countries He places upon hearts to pray for.  There are approximately 196 countries in the world and God’s people are in them.  He cares for every single child of us within each nation, and for every lost soul. 

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

Russia has been strong upon my heart, as has Germany (with Belgium noted) and the UK.  Other countries (in alphabetic order) that I feel led to pray for at this time are: 

Africa, Australia, Britain (all of UK), Bulgaria, Canada (BC noted due to fires, earthquakes), China, Croatia, Finland, France, Iceland, India, Israel, Japan

Mexico, Norway, South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru), North Pacific, North and South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia

Please join me in praying for any place that the Lord may put on your heart.  From time to time, I will post other countries that come heavy upon me to pray for. 196 countries – every one of them in need of prayer as much as our own country’s people need prayer.