how was your Holy Week? I was already sick when I did the deliverance night on Thursday, and it got worse the day after. I have been recovering since. A family member told me on Saturday what an honor it was that I was suffering physically like Jesus on Good Friday and believe it or not, it comforted me deeply to hear that. I received it with my heart and things did shift on Resurrection Sunday! I was feeling so much better when I woke up and I told the person immediately – we both smiled. How about you? Maybe things did not shift for you on Sunday. I get that, God does not play according to our expectations. God had a set time for me and He did it out of grace. My testimony does not apply to everyone. You have not failed to believe or done something wrong because you did not get the change on Easter. Do not hang your faith on certain dates but know what God is speaking to you personally. God loves you and has a sovereign plan for you!
I am sharing my testimony though, because sometimes you just need a reminder that there is a good reason behind the suffering you are enduring. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that God made me sick. No, God is good and there is no evil in Him. He does, however, allow suffering. Followers of Jesus must face various trials and tribulations all throughout their lives to receive the imperishable crown (1. Corinthians 9:24-25). By partnering with Jesus, always looking unto Him as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we enter the rest that our Father has for us through Jesus Christ. We enter this rest by faith; and when I do not have the strength to figure out why something is happening, I rest all the more in the finished work of Christ. He makes everything work together for my good because I love Him! I trust Him enough to remain in Him through faithful obedience: I cry out to Him in faith, “please receive this sinner, Father, into Your presence! Help me draw near to you when I am weak and my flesh is failing. Holy Spirit, come, and do what only You can do! I believe, help my unbelief!”
For me, the most horrible feeling I ever had in my life was that of permanent disconnection with God. I cannot even imagine how painful it must have been for Jesus to feel that on the cross. He endured it for us when He cried out loud, “eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani (my God, my God, why have You forsaken me)”. I remember that day, kneeling down to pray and feeling the terrible coldness. I got scared and started trembling all over my body, I cried like a baby and told God to please not abandon me – to please forgive me for making Him harden my heart by continuously grieving the Holy Spirit with idolatry and unbelief. I felt like I was literally dying! Oh, may the Holy Spirit remind me whenever He must of this fearful moment when the holy fear of God gripped my soul and led me to repentance. Hell (the absence of God) is far worse than any physical suffering I can ever go through here on earth!
Why am I sharing this with you? Because for the most part, I felt like a total failure this past week. I was in an intense spiritual battle of the mind, and my body was still weak. I knew all I had to know, that He was teaching my hands to war (Psalm 18:34). I knew I was going through the valley of humility in this season because I had prayed for more brokenness. Ah yes, you pray those prayers, right? Either out of sincerity or pride or most likely both, only God knows. Yet He loves those prayers! He leads you faithfully through it, helping you to face the truth about yourself that you are utterly lost if not for Jesus. Your mind is so corrupted and prone to sin and the enemy would totally have his grip over us if it were not for the blood of Jesus. Satan tries to keep you there: in shame and fear; he lies to you to identify with those sinful thoughts, he accuses you of being a failure, that God would not want you anymore. How could he possibly want you with all that you are? Child of God, how do you fight against this judging tongue? What do you say? Repeat after me:
Get behind me, devil! The blood of Jesus covers me and you must flee from me because it is written. I resist you and declare that I have died and now it is Christ who lives in me! I wear the new man, which has been renewed by the Spirit of God! I have the righteousness of Christ and I am blameless and spotless in His eyes. I live by it and I am a beloved child of God. God promises to me that I will never be in shame and disgrace anymore because of Jesus. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray! Amen!
God always led me in triumph through this kind of battle for years and years and yet, there seems to be a depth to knowing God that I cannot reach without going through it again, in a deeper way. There is a depth to this prayer that you can only know when you have had that intimate experience with God, and His Word has sunk into your heart. I can pray this prayer with faith for you, especially as I have the gift of faith, but I pray that you will get deeper with knowing God yourself, my friend! There are some times when we have to fall to rise up again. It is God’s way of refining us. I titled this post “And Some Of Those Shall Fall” and I got it from Daniel 11. Let me finish with this Scripture:
Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. (vv. 32-35)
Daniel was prophesying about Antiochus Epiphanes here who would bring about a great tribulation among the Israelites of such a measure that many would fall away from faith. Believe me, this Word is alive and active and still applies to us a 100%! The whole point here is that God arranged this. For what reason, would you ask. Notice the corruption and apostasy among THE PEOPLE OF GOD foretold in this chapter (remember the same foretold in the book of Revelation?). It says, however, that the people who KNOW God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. The people of God who UNDERSTAND shall instruct many. Yet, the persecution will continue and only become harder. Many of them will be killed, imprisoned and plundered. There will be only “a little” help (because God knows we need that). But by then, even some of those of understanding, who know God, shall fall. Again, God appointed this. Why? For refinement and purification. For them to be made white.
My friend, we must strive to know God and understand His will, the Word (read 1. Peter 1 and Colossians 1). It makes such a difference when you truly know Him through the Spirit – when His Word is engraved deep into your heart because you have encountered God as it is written about Him; it is all about relationship! And if you don’t have that, don’t give up! For even those who know and understand, even some of those must fall to grasp the gospel in a deeper way. If you have put your trust in God by believing in Jesus, God will finish the work which He has started in you. Only remember to remain in Him by doing what He has commanded us: to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to love one another, we are to act according to His will for us in Jesus Christ: to rejoice always, to give thanks in all circumstances and to pray without ceasing. Do this and you will remain under the wings of God in Jesus Christ.
So yes, let us strive to love when we are hurting and in pain, knowing that our suffering leads us closer to Christ. Let us never relent in pursuing righteousness and fearing God because it heals us and gives us a better knowledge of who Jesus is. Let us love and forgive like never before because such testimony helps us overcome the enemy! Oh Jesus, thank You for Your blood. Thank You, Father, for giving us so graciously of all the spiritual blessings we have through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is a seal upon us until the day we get home. We trust You will get us there and rest in Your love today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Be encouraged and equipped for battle!