Toward the beginning of this insane storm (mentioned in previous posts), I saw several words from others about receiving breakthrough “THIS WEEK.”
Past experience had taught me not to latch on to this kind of word without asking the Lord to make sure it was truly a promise He was giving me, lest I suffer hope deferred and disillusioning feelings of faith-failure. Yet, I’d been meditating on the truth that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8) ~ which has historically translated to us that since He’s with us and in us, we should always be able to receive instantly in certain areas (as people did when He was here in the flesh). And I’d also been meditating on receiving according to our faith (Matt.9:29). So, armed with these promises, I was expectant that God was going to assure me that, OF COURSE I could receive my breakthrough THAT WEEK, if I would fear not and only believe (Luke 8:50). Still, in order to be fully persuaded for the fight of faith that would follow, I asked Him to confirm.
But rather than surrounding me with the confirmations I desired and expected, each time I asked, He responded with words about “patience,” “perseverance,” “long-suffering,” “endurance,” and “waiting on Him.” Among them was ~
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27:14
He assured me that I can believe and receive anything He’s promised in His Word, but that I need to trust Him to fulfill it in His way and time. At first I was troubled by these responses. So I continued asking, not convinced this was truly His answer. When these responses continued, I was no longer troubled……I was in despair. After all, this was no ordinary storm; it was like a nightmare from which I could not awake.
That night when we went to bed, the pages Jesse read from our healing confessions book were all about God’s extravagant love for us. But since God just told us He was not delivering us OUT of this traumatic storm, but taking us THROUGH it, every word Jesse read was instantly challenged by another voice assailing my mind. “Love? How could a loving Father leave you one moment longer in this kind of trauma? That’s not any kind of love I know of!” Jesse soon turned out the light and within moments was fast asleep; but I had been transported to a battlefield ~ in a full-scale war in my mind. The thoughts attempting to accuse and sow offense in my heart toward God eventually crescendoed to a horrifying invitation to “Curse God and die” (which is truly no option; the devil always overplays his hand).
With tears streaming down my face, by the grace of God I realized I could no longer listen to such vile thoughts. It was past time to cast them down and bring them into obedience to Christ (II Cor 10:3-5). In that critical moment, the Holy Spirit brought words to my remembrance, so I opened my mouth and whispered to my invisible adversary, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Instantly, my heart was flooded with very different thoughts ~ thoughts telling me that if God was leaving us in this storm longer, I must choose to trust that He loves us and knows something GREATER is going to be gained by going THROUGH the storm that would not be achieved if we were delivered OUT of it immediately. I must choose to believe that He has our BEST at heart and He will work all things together for our good (Rom 8:28-30).
The next day the Lord graciously poured out a deluge of words to dismantle the lies the enemy tried to hiss in my ears the night before. As I sat down with the stack of Scripture cards I’d been working my way through, He reemphasized many of the precise Scriptures Jesse had just read the night before about His love. He surrounded me with the truth that He is FOR US and that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). And He gave us a powerful word based on II Corinthians 1:8-10.
The word He gave from this passage reassured us that He truly did understand how traumatizing and distressing this situation was and promised us His supernatural intervention and deliverance. He also began to confirm the things I felt He’d spoken to my heart in that critical moment ~ that He was working all things together for our good and that when He tells us to wait for His deliverance to manifest, it’s because He has a HIGHER and GREATER purpose in mind that can only be achieved through the process of walking out our victory in faith and patience. His ways truly are still higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (even those who have been born again) (Isaiah 55:8-9). Though we can learn His ways and thoughts as we seek Him to know the mind of the Spirit (the mind of Christ He’s given us access to – I Cor 2:6-16), that wisdom and understanding doesn’t always come instantly or automatically (James 1:5-8). He counseled us not to use our finite minds to challenge His infinite wisdom and said when we don’t yet understand His ways, we must trust His character; when we can’t yet discern His purpose, we must trust His love (Part of that purpose later revealed in Surviving the Last Days). He promised that we were not permanently stationed in this predicament, but just passing through (“this too shall pass”) and that His appointed time for breakthrough would be perfect. Though I heard all He was saying, that didn’t mean I was happy about it…
A couple of days later, the very moment after I sent a message to some friends about the excruciating events described above, I opened the John Hagee devo for the day and was overwhelmed to see:
Job 13:15—Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.
… Isaiah 50:10 is a verse that confuses a lot of Christians. It says, “Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of his servant, [yet] walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon his God.” Note that it is referring to believers, those who fear the Lord and obey his voice. Yet it says this person is walking in darkness. This is not the darkness of sin, but the darkness of suffering and trouble.
In the real world, good people suffer. How do you handle suffering? With one of your quick-fix faith formulas? Sooner or later, you’ll experience something for which you have no theological answer. You’ll find the answer in the book of Job, but most Christians don’t like to read that book. There are actually two books of Job: the one written by the charismatic convention and the one written by the Holy Spirit. I believe the one written by the Holy Spirit. … Job lost his wealth, his health and his children. His wife said, “Curse God and die.” But he wouldn’t. Job did not know that God had removed the hedge of protection from him and that this was a test so severe that men would look back for centuries and say, “THIS IS WHAT GOD’S GRACE CAN HELP YOU ENDURE.”
What do you do when the light goes out? Look at the last verse of Psalm 27: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (verse 14). You may be so discouraged and depressed, so frazzled and frustrated that quitting looks good. Don’t do it! “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage.” God is too wise to make a mistake and too loving to be unkind. The Holy Spirit will renew you, refresh you, restore you and re-fire you so you can shine, shine, shine. (copyright © John Hagee ministries)
When I saw this, I knew beyond all doubt that the battle a few nights before had not just been with my own heart/mind. It was truly a showdown with the devil (as in the Anatomy of Deception) who was presenting me with the same test he’d given Job in his moment of crisis. Suddenly the Lord reminded me that at the beginning of this storm, He’d given us many words about Jesus’ 40 days of testing in the wilderness as well as an entire series of words from I Corinthians 10:13 ~ surrounding His promise to never allow us to be tempted beyond what we could bear. We had been praying over those words ~ asking the Lord to help us recognize and pass every test and recognize and overcome every temptation we were facing. But we didn’t realize He was alerting us that we’d entered a season of testing. It was not until I saw this undeniable confirmation of my experience and the Lord reminded me of the words He’d given to prepare us, that I realized I’d just been through what was surely one of the major tests we must pass in the wilderness of temptation. I was so incredibly grateful to the Holy Spirit for bringing Job’s words to mind in that crucial moment to help me pass the test. Though I do not claim blamelessness, as God spoke of Job, nor suffering on his same level, his life and trial became a recurring theme in what God has spoken to us throughout this battle.
The confirmation of Psalm 27 here also continued to be a recurring theme. But these weren’t the kinds of confirmations that make someone jump and shout with ecstatic praise. Instead, they were causing a gut-wrenching theological train wreck. (I’ll share more about that later, but lest anyone draw wrong conclusions in the meantime ~ when God tells us we have to surrender to going THROUGH a trial rather than being immediately delivered OUT of it, we must not conclude that He wants us to “embrace” and “surrender to” any demonic attacks from the pit of hell. If He takes us through a trial, He desires (in part) for us to become STRONGER through the process of fighting the good fight of faith to OVERCOME ~ as described in Change Your Perspective).
The Lord had revealed that part of the enemy’s purpose through these attacks was to uproot the truths I’d been meditating on afresh (as mentioned in “Free Your Mind“), God’s promises regarding our calling, and to block us from moving forward in our assignment (I Cor 16:9). This second strategy of the enemy that Jesus exposed in the parable of the Sower shows that God will allow the Word He’s given us to be tested and tried. The goal of the enemy in this stage is to cause us to become offended and turn away from God (aka “curse God and die”) due to troubles, afflictions, and trials.
As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy; Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away. (Matthew 13:20-21) (see also Mark 4:17 and Luke 8:13)
We see this tactic against Job as well. In the “Though He Slay Me” test, the enemy challenges our motivation for why we serve God and tests our level of commitment to Him. Do we love, serve, and worship Him only because of His blessings and benefits. Do we love Him for who He is and all He’s already done for us through Christ or is our love dependent on what He’s doing for us now? Will we be offended and accept the enemy’s invitation to turn away or to “curse God and die” if He seems to be doing something or allowing something we don’t like or understand (for more on this see “No Sacrifice, No Victory” pt 2). When Job lost everything, he fell on the ground and worshiped (Job 1:20). Wow! No wonder the Lord has been emphasizing the importance of praising Him in the midst of the storm (see Don’t Panic; Praise). If the enemy’s goal is to cause us to curse God, there’s no better way to respond in the opposite spirit than to praise God.
We pray all going through this test will dive deeper into the revelation of God’s unfailing love and of trusting Him (His heart, His character) even when we don’t understand His purpose ~ knowing He always has our BEST at heart and is working all things together even better than they could have been otherwise. We pray all will continue to love, serve, and worship God for who He is, regardless of the tests or trials that come. We pray all will hold fast to God’s promise of double restoration (double for your trouble – even as Job received when the test was over), will pass every test, overcome each temptation, and come forth as gold in the power of the Spirit to possess the land! May we always do the opposite of what the enemy wants. Instead of allowing his attacks to cause us to become offended and turn away from God, let’s allow them to turn us to God and His Word all the more, so instead of being uprooted, we become more deeply rooted than we’ve ever been (as discussed in “Letting the Storm Send us Deeper and Higher“).
But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous]. Job 23:10
[As] an example of suffering and ill-treatment together with patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [as His messengers]. 11 You know how we call those blessed who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy. James 5:10-11
Blessings and Prayers, (to be continued…)
© Laura Jewell Tyree
God’s at it again! Made the blog above available publicly on Saturday (8/22/15). Monday (8/24) we listened to the sermon from TDJ’s church from Sunday (8/23) and were once again amazed by the precise confirmations. Here are a couple of clips with some of the confirmations we received from the guest speaker Joyce Rodgers (just included those pertaining to this message – times of testing, I Corinthians 10:13, trusting God when you can’t trace Him, and THOUGH HE SLAY ME)!
God continues to blow us away week after week with confirmations from there, regardless of who’s speaking! He actually also used Joyce about 3 wks ago to bring a funny confirmation of our “movie word from the Lord” for that weekend (the first time we heard her speak at TPH). We’d just watched a film that weekend called “Jack the Giant Slayer”(continuing the giant slaying theme for this season); so we knew the Lord was speaking when the guest for Sunday introduced herself as “Joyce the Giant Slayer” and encouraged us all to insert our names and begin calling ourselves “Giant Slayers” as well! 😀 Praying for all to pass the tests, being fully persuaded that God will bring His Word to pass for us through faith and patience,
Laura the “Giant Slayer”