Friday, May 11, 2012

Overcoming Overmuch Sorrow

 “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…”—Isaiah 53:3
“My sorrow is beyond healing, my heart is faint within me!”—Jeremiah 8:18
“I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.”—Romans 9:2
 “Forgive…and comfort…lest…one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.”—2 Corinthians 2:7

The Final Word

“Because in much wisdom there is much grief,
and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”
—Ecclesiastes 1:18

I sought to grasp the meaning
Yet failed to understand;
So I labored for gleaning,
But got instead a reprimand.

Then God opened up His hand
(And I came to realize)
The abundance of the land
And the apple of His eyes:

By observation
All I see is sorrow;
But by revelation,
Sunny is tomorrow.

I must start this article out with a disclaimer.  Since I am going to plumb the depths of my own sorrow and delusions—getting very personal about my private struggles with my specific demons and fears—I claim nothing except an attempt to be transparent; whether this ministers Christ or just lays out my own carnal heart I can hardly judge from my perspective.  I feel compelled, nonetheless, to bare my heart without excuse; to courageously reveal everything within it—the good and the bad.  To be strident when I think and feel strident; selfish when I am selfish; to honestly express—not what I hope or feign my heart to be—but what it actually is today in all its unvarnished glory or shame.  The purity (or filthiness) of my heart will no doubt shine forth; If my love for God shines the brightest after all is said—and I believe it will—then we can all rejoice.  I have pulled no punches in regard to my true sentiments; I have expressed my pain and sorrow and explained my reasons for feeling the way I do.  If I make excuses, they are honest ones that I either hold honestly delusional or honestly correct; you be the judge.  Treasure out of an earthen jar or light out of darkness is my only goal or intent here; by accentuating my worthlessness I hope to magnify His treasureness, and by accentuating my darkness I hope to magnify His light.  The more naked, the more transparent we become, the more faults and mars we allow others to see concerning ourselves, the more we glory in our weaknesses rather than our strengths, the easier it will be for others to notice something transcendent about us—which is only Christ in us, that immeasurable and priceless hope of glory.
The Duck and the Fox  
As I write this section ( on August 4, 2009) I am contemplating a bunch of miscellaneous details concerning the significance of a roosting duck that had been dutifully sitting upon her eggs until a frightful event that occurred just this morning.  For days, perhaps even weeks now, a mother duck had been laying upon her eggs just to the left of my front door in the underbrush beneath some bushes.  While I slept, my housemate had been out doing his taxi duties into the wee hours.  Finally, around , after he had finished his shift, he drove home, parked, and remained in his car listening to the radio as someone read from the Bible.  As he sat there in his cab listening, he suddenly noticed a ruckus going on in the front yard.  First he discerned the outline of a duck, and only after looking more intently, did he also see the culprit: a fox!  He stepped out of the cab and startled the creatures; the fox ran off and the duck lay there for while.  Finally, even the duck got up and slowly waddled off, dazed and confused.  It took off down the road, around the corner, and eventually—I imagine—back into one of the many ponds or lakes nearby.  Before my housemate went into the house he decided to check up on our mother duck; unfortunately, his suspicions were correct: the duck that had been involved in that open yard ruckus was her.  There, surrounded by many feathers, was a bunch of white eggs left unattended; with the mother gone, the potential ducklings are sure to perish.  Ironically, even the fox failed to secure a meal out of this deal.
Many miscellaneous and disjointed thoughts about this incident and other seemingly unrelated occurrences have converged to make me realize that there is more to this incident than one might think.  After my housemate told me this story, I immediately thought of a Scripture verse found in the Song of Solomon; I remembered about the little foxes spoiling the vine and I mentioned this to him.  Amazingly, the radio broadcaster had been reading from the Song of Solomon; my housemate even remembered him reading that specific verse!  I knew there was something transcendent being said here; after my housemate left I continued to meditate and ponder upon the incident.
SOS!  The Heart Cry from the Song of Solomon
Then I came to Jessie Penn-Lewis’ Thy Hidden Ones, a book about—you guessed it—the Song of Solomon!  So illuminating and pertinent to our theme is her commentary that I am going to quote a bit of it here (pgs. 35-36):
“Oh My dove that art in the clefts of the rock…Let Me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.”—Chap. ii.14. 
Hitherto she has known Him as her Indwelling King, she has had glimpses of the cross, and has agreed to follow Him in the pathway of the cross; but she has not yet fully apprehended her position as buried with Him by baptism into His death, and therefore separated from herself, and from all the old life and its claims.
The Well-Beloved reminds the soul of her place in the Cleft of the Rock, because He can recognize her as His betrothed one nowhere else.
The bride for the first Adam was taken out of his side during his sleep; made of his own nature and presented to him by her Creator—a marvelous foreshadowing of the mystery of Christ and His Church!
 “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards…My Beloved is mine, and I am His; He feedeth…among the lilies.”—Chap. ii 15,16.
She hears the Well-Beloved’s voice, sees His attitude, and hearkens to His call to ariseto forget the things that are behind.  She listens to His message about the cross, to His call to turn her face toward Him, but—she does not understand!  She is pre-occupied.  She evidently has her eyes  upon the vine…its promise of fruit…the keeping of her vineyard…she has been too much engrossed in active service, and had neglected her own vineyard.  Now she goes to the other extreme, and is so occupied with her vineyard as not to be able to understand her Beloved’s call.
It is not enough for thee to rest upon thine old experience, and comfort thyself that thy Beloved is thine, or that He is still in thy heart feeding upon the lilies of His own planting within thee.  Thou wilt have to learn that thou must press on, and walk in His will in sensitive obedience, if thou art to know the Lord.
Some of the highlighted words and phrases are mine and some were hers—but accentuating these particular truths—we come to realize something wonderful.  The name of my housemate in the previous story about the Duck and the Fox is Christopher, which in Greek means “bearing Christ inside.” Penn-Lewis’ use of the phrase “Indwelling King” and the context in which she used it now seems even more prophetic and pertinent.  She, of course, used this phrase as an intermediate position between seeing and actualizing, one wherein the bride knows her Lord—having an internal sense of Him—but not as yet fully discerning her exact and honored placement at His side, not ahead or behind Him.  It was Christopher that shewed the little fox away and symbolically the one still tending to the vineyard.  As I slept, overcome by much sorrow—and having made all my bed in tears—a part of me was attempting to salvage a shred of hope concerning my vineyard or fruitfulness.  But just as Christ upbraided His disciples for sleeping the sleep of sorrow when vigilant prayer was needed to overcome the impending hour of testing, so he was telling me (and you) to “awake my bride!”  As accentuated earlier, we are “called to arise…to forget the things that are behind; to “press on” to “know” the Lord.
AN UPDATE; AN INSERTION (8/6/09): I just came across some more revelation that seems to fit right here.  I was looking up the meaning of the river Euphrates, “fruitfulness,” when I stumbled over this: (“Behold, I am coming like a thief.  Blessed is the one who STAYS AWAKE and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.”) Revelation 16:15, emphasis mine).  In an article just weeks ago a report was made about how the Euphrates river had been drying up lately; fruitfulness is drying up all the way back to the Earth’s Creational inception just as death had been rolled all the way back to Adam when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan to reach the Promised Land.  The implications: Kings of the East are magicians and sorcerers, the preeminent witchcraft users of men—those who pretend to be spiritual by originating a false life, signs and wonders from within their own souls—and when the river of natural vigor dries up, they are left with little option but to be divinely led to their death in the valley of Meggido at the feet of true Israelites.  In other words, a natural famine on a worldwide scale is presaging a soul famine.  Even His truly spiritual people, His real people, are suffering heavily today only because we too have some of this pseudo-spirituality going on inside of us.  We are currently being judged to victory or condemnation; we are being dragged to the valley of Meggido to meet our Maker.  It ought to be a joyous occasion, but alas, we have not bought gold refined in the fire or traded off enough of our carnality to be ready for this wonderful Day of the Lord.  This Day of the Lord destroys anything flammable (our God is a consuming fire) and the very brightness of His coming, the sheer magnitude of His brilliance, will so inflame our fragile hearts so as to purge away all natural affections to such an extreme degree that every natural heart will burst asunder and every thought of every heart will then be open and bare before God and everyone.  The amount of pain or loss that we suffer will depend entirely upon how much we value the thoughts of our own heart and mind and how much selfishness we were still embracing and hiding from God and others.  Beautiful in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints; horrible and shameful in His eyes will it be if we count our present losses and sufferings to be worthy of comparison to an outshining of the Lord alone on His own day.     
Many have rightly discerned the times and have accurately cited these verses from Hosea, chapter 6, verses 1-2 as being pertinent for us today: “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.”  I would add the next verse as being the target for which God is aiming towards in this hour: "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth."  “Knowing” in Scriptural vernacular speaks of sexual intimacy between a husband and wife; He is calling His bride into the bedchamber!  We must press past any remaining fear and give ourselves wholly to our Husband; shrinking back now would be a most grievous reaction to His extended heart of love and His desire for intimacy.  For the bride to shrink back in fear on her wedding day is an unthinkable and nearly unforgivable offense toward the bridegroom.  An act of visceral repulsion cannot be feigned and those that shrink back—from the heart—are in danger of remaining forever unknown.  These are those who might do all kinds of things in His name, work all kinds of miracles perhaps, but have never entered into the bedchamber of our Lord—the Holy of Holies—to experience true intimacy.  He is looking for one inherently sweet cohesive and single-minded bride, not a multitude of swarming busy bees that have to work hard to produce sweetness.
My Personal SOS!
At the backdrop of this violent encounter (the duck and the fox incident) was myself nearing both a spiritual breakthrough and a material breakdown.  Attempting to reach a prophesied level of spiritual maturity and financial prosperity and fighting back enormous reservoirs of sorrow over natural desires yet unrealized, I found myself swinging alternately to the lowest depths and the highest heights (normally the very signs of immaturity), however, my actual position or equilibrium (centered and sure) was only being temporarily disturbed.
God is moving on my behalf, and many strange things are presently happening that I believe will speak more clearly in due time.  I recently resigned from a good paying job during this weakening economy to reestablish a Real Estate career that I had previously thrown off.  About five years ago I became lovesick over a young woman that did not return my love; this unrequited love wounded me beyond a measure I could overcome.  I subsequently pined away, losing all desire for any success in any endeavor.  Without heart, without the mainspring of motivation or ambition, I went along listlessly for more than a year.  Sadly, I often imbibed, got drunk, listened to sappy love songs and bemoaned an irredeemable situation.  How could I care about God’s plan when He seemed to never care about mine?—and He always seemed to disappoint me!  Many prophecies through the years had been spoken to me about my being prosperous and a giver to many, blah, blah, blah (or so I felt and little cared).    A trillion dollars could not have lifted the cloud off my heart; I had nothing to live for.
Amazingly though, God eventually broke through; the object of my desire had gotten married to another (even that did not matter for awhile) but God helped me by breaking the spell and I could now move on (making Him the object of my desire).  I even reaped such a wealth of sentiment and life from the dead that I became a ministry to others that were also overmuch sorrowful.  THEN—it happened again!  I am still somewhat in the throes of it now; and this new lady also just married another!  As she often says, with childlike incredulity: WOW!!!
Now that the backdrop has been painted, here are the recent events and occurrences that tie in with this initial fox/duck story.  I have been waiting on God to jumpstart me, my ministry and my vocation; I have been pleading with Him to jumpstart me because I am still a bit disheartened.  I want to be motivated, work hard and obey His voice instantly; in practice, however, it has been exceedingly difficult to find my lost mojo. To compound the issue, or to exacerbate my internal angst, the very one who married another (the second one) wants to be my friend and coworker.  She has heard my dreams and seen the desires of my heart—she has fed off me, personally, ministerially and professionally—and she does not want that to stop; of course, I had never wanted it to stop either (but I am not sure I can allow a married woman to be so intimate with me now).
I was willing to lay down my life for her and support her and I in a tremendous joint venture.  I cannot understand how she can have dreams about us together, could literally feel me when I said I loved her, and always seemed to be able to read my mind and heart—yet choose someone else not walking with God and someone so obviously not right for her.  She also had the temerity to claim she had obeyed God by doing certain things, one of which was marrying someone I had prophetically told her not to.  Because I knew she was mine, I kept myself at a distance, allowing love and God to prevail; I made sure I did not speak from what I knew could be construed as an ulterior motive.  Apparently she deluded herself by thinking that I only prophesied at a 90%/10% accuracy rate; this allowed her to rationalize away the Word of the Lord out of my mouth (and gave her the license to pick and choose what was accurate or not—not by the timbre of the word or by weighing if it had a divine origin or not—but by her own 90%/10% artificial construct of interpretation and deception that she had erected within her own mind for her own benefit).  Sadly to say, she was not able to overlook my weight issue (I am considerably overweight); she failed the test, failed me and failed God.
Surely, I have also failed however; I keep placing a demand to God for a wife before success in the field (business), which is not Scriptural (but seemingly impossible for me to surmount its delusional draw).  I can see me working hard for us, but not for me; I want to work hard for God in response to sheer obedience, but I can hardly know what that means (when all motivation has been cut out of my heart).  Nonetheless, she did not choose me—that is a fact—even though there was always such a transmission of life between us.  I have consequently been in much prayer and anguish over this; I love her mightily, more than a brother loves a sister.  Can I work with her day after day and not be distracted?  Can I endure a constant fire?  Our God is a consuming fire; is this how He relates to flesh and blood?  Is this fiery trial to test me ever going to cease while she is near?  A poem I wrote about her:

Ode to a Black Swan
(Aka  M. Antoinette)

She has a beauty all her own
Convention she beguiles
Beneath the world she is known
Like a mirror is to smiles

There upon the glass she glides
And in her wake a promise
Subtle as the sun it hides
Astride a doubting Thomas

Disilluding light is sure
The Land of Enchantment is
To think only white is pure
Is to narrow where she is

She has a beauty all her own
Convention she beguiles
Beneath the world she is known
Like a mirror is to smiles

My Professional SOS!
Well, I got this Real Estate listing yesterday that came out of nowhere.  The address of the listing—I can hardly believe it—is
!  Yes, a prophetic demonstration; it must be!  That fox that had been chewing on my duck—found at my doorstep—and that occurred right in my own front yard is dripping with irony and is thick with meaning—and I am still trying to interpret it properly.  This is just too coincidental; here are some of my initial and miscellaneous thoughts about this address: 411 used to be the number to call as a directory to find other numbers (a number that placed all other numbers at its disposal) and 4 is the world/city number—the creation number—while 11 is the number for sound, music and color.  Thus, the sound of a trumpet has sounded and its message is to converge at the doorway at the end of the hall of all His Creative Works; every number has been dialed, every residence summoned to a doorway in heaven!  Natural sight is now full; we have enjoyed His Creative Works—His material world—to its full; it is now the time for true spirituality.  A clarion sound, a musical note has been made throughout the city, at my very door! 
Being that this is the first listing under my new company, which is simply under my personal name, and knowing I am on the verge of breakthrough, I cannot allow the little foxes (you know who) to spoil the vine (my destiny).  A duck, according to an interpretation found online, “denotes a person of many resources.”  I must find them now!  A famous painter of the 1600’s was named Jacob Duck; he painted soldiers, taverns and used symbolism to convey morality.  I was a soldier, frequented many taverns, and I am now trying to convey morality.  Jacob, of course, was the supplanter –the deceiver –who wrestled with God and was renamed Israel, a prince with God, and the father of the children that eventually entered the Promised Land.  I too must wrestle and overcome/be overcome by God if I am to birth all of my spiritual children.  I must move on and continue to worship Him—with or without a limp.
Insertion (July 27, 2011):
But instead of breakthrough there is but breakdown and misery; yes, patience is the buzzword (I am learning to “suffer” graciously—thus I am genuinely learning to love).  Nevertheless, the past two years have been quite trying.  I am financially destitute, morally bankrupt, and socially a pariah; “unmitigated disaster” has been reached (as Oswald Chambers explains at the end of this article).  Psalm 31: 9-12 (Geneva Bible version) evokes the kind and type of pain I have been suffering these last two years; it reads:
 Have mercy upon me, O Lord: for I am in trouble:
mine eye, my soul and my belly are consumed with grief.
 For my life is wasted with heaviness, and my
years with mourning: my strength faileth for my
pain, and my bones are consumed.
I was a reproach among all mine enemies,
but specially among my neighbors: and a fear to
mine acquaintance, who seeing me in the street, fled from me.
 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

An Interesting SOS!
A famous playwright, a Norwegian named Henrik Ibsen, wrote a heavily symbolic play entitled “The Wild Duck.”  Here is a summary of that play:
The first act opens with a dinner party hosted by Hakon Werle, a wealthy merchant and industrialist. The gathering is attended by his son, Gregers Werle, who has just returned to his father's home following a self-imposed exile. There, he learns the fate of a former classmate of his, Hjalmar Ekdal. Hjalmar married Gina, a young servant woman in the Werle household. The elder Werle had arranged the match by providing Hjalmar with a home and a profession as a photographer. Gregers, whose mother died believing that Gina and her husband had carried on an affair, becomes enraged at the thought that his old friend is living a life built on a lie.
Guided by a fervent strain of idealism, Gregers endeavors to reveal the truth to Hjalmar, and thereby free him from the mendacity which surrounds him. To that end, Gregers takes up residence in the Ekdal Home.
He meddles in the affairs of a strange family, producing disastrous results. Figuratively speaking, he lives in a house whose closets are full of skeletons. Over the course of the play the many secrets that lie behind the Ekdals' apparently happy home are revealed to Gregers, who insists on pursuing the absolute truth, or the "Summons of the Ideal". This family has achieved a tolerable modus vivendi by ignoring the skeletons (among the secrets: Gregers' father impregnated his servant Gina then married her off to Hjalmar to legitimize the child, and Hjalmar's father has been disgraced and imprisoned for a crime the elder Werle committed.) and by permitting each member to live in a dreamworld of his own—the feckless father believing himself to be a great inventor, the grandfather dwelling on the past when he was a mighty sportsman, and little Hedvig, the child, centering her emotional life around an attic where a wounded wild duck leads a crippled existence in a make-believe forest.
To the idealist all this appears intolerable. To him as to other admirers of Ibsen it must seem that the whole family is leading a life "based on a lie"; all sorts of evils are "growing in the dark".  The remedy is obviously to face facts, to speak frankly, to let in the light. However, in this play the revelation of the truth is not a happy event because it rips up the foundation of the Ekdal family. When the skeletons are brought out of the closet, the whole dreamworld collapses; the weak husband thinks it is his duty to leave his wife, and the little girl, after trying to sacrifice her precious duck, shoots herself with the same gun. One of the famous quotes from the doctor Relling who built up and maintained the lies the family is founded on is "Deprive the average human being of his life-lie, and you rob him of his happiness.” "
Some more words and sentiments within Ibsen’s play were lines like, “How grief brought out what was best in him” and her “courageous spirit of sacrifice.”  The most telling though was “She did that, she always does that…wild ducks do.  Go plunging right to the bottom…as deep as they can get…hold on with their beaks to the weeds and stuff…all other mess they find down there.  Then they never come up again.”  If the dog had not gone down to the bottom of the lake, the wild duck would have surely drowned.  I am reminded of Caleb, that great warrior who had to wait 40 extra years to enter the Promised Land—not because of his own unbelief—but because of others; his name means “dog” and I suppose he has to come and get me, just as Dog the Bounty Hunter gets his man today.  I will drown in my sorrows if he does not; a dog is faithful, loyal and will come however—no doubt.
More Trumpets Declaring SOS!
On August 5, 2009 (the day I am completing this article) David Wilkerson sent me his Daily Devotional; amazingly enough, it is pertinent and timely.  The message, ironically, is tiled, GO AHEAD AND CRY!  Here it is:
When you hurt the worst, go to your secret prayer closet and weep out all your bitterness. Jesus wept. Peter carried with him the hurt of denying the very Son of God and he wept bitterly! He walked alone on the mountains, weeping in sorrow. Those bitter tears worked a sweet miracle in him and he came back to shake the kingdom of Satan.
Years ago a woman who had endured a mastectomy wrote a book entitled First You Cry. How true! Recently I talked with a friend who was just informed he had terminal cancer. “The first thing you do,” he said, “is cry until there are no more tears left. Then you begin to move closer to Jesus, until you know his arms are holding you tight.”

Jesus never looks away from a crying heart. He said, “A broken heart will I not despise” (see Psalm 51:17). Not once will the Lord say, “Get hold of yourself! Stand up and take your medicine! Grit your teeth and dry your tears.” No! Jesus bottles every tear in his eternal container.
Do you hurt? Then go ahead and cry. And keep on crying until the tears stop flowing. But let those tears originate only from hurt, not from unbelief or self-pity.

Encourage yourself in the Lord. When the fog surrounds you and you can’t see any way out of your dilemma, lie back in the arms of Jesus and simply trust him. He has to do it all! He wants your faith, your confidence. He wants you to cry aloud, “Jesus loves me! He is with me! He will not fail me! He is working it all out, right now! I will not be cast down! I will not be defeated! I will not become a victim of Satan! I will not lose my mind or my direction! God is on my side! I love him and he loves me!”

I also heard a strong trumpet blast today from a lady I highly respect named Sandie Freed.  I say trumpet blast because they are symbolic of warning and repositioning and because they can only be obeyed if heard in real time and space; they are prophetic, thus directional and time sensitive.  They MUST BE OBEYED IMMEDIATELY; ironically, Sandie put out this word (on the Elijah List) just moments ago (August 5, 2009).  Here it is in full (with an occasional insertion of mine, numbered):

"It's Time for A Violent Turn Toward God!"
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.—Joel  
Insertion #1: my Pastor, Fred Isaksen has been declaring this exact Scripture from Joel as of the last week or so within a prophetic vein; this, of course, helps confirm its timeliness and exactness of purpose for this exact hour.  TODAY if you hear His voice; it is decision day—will, or will you not go through that open door in heaven into TODAY’s revelation?
Believers, we are in a season which I refer to as a "Valley of Decision." So much is connected to this particular "valley experience." Allow me to explain just a little and then we can examine the need for a violent turn in the right direction. First of all, we need to understand that though we are in a season of making decisions—God is near! He is not far away, just a prayer away!
The Lord wants you to know right off the bat, that the way He has chosen for you is not too difficult. He could have taken you a different path in life, but He has led you by His Spirit. He says in Deuteronomy 30:11-15:
For this commandment which I command you this day is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. It is not [a secret laid up] in Heaven, that you should say, who shall go up for us to Heaven and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your mind and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil.
In my own words, let me encourage you! God says that what we are facing is not too difficult. But, we have decisions to make. There is a turning, a releasing of the old and a new narrow path for us. However, our answers are not "caught up" in Heaven or "across the seas." The answers are near us—in our mouths (declaring the Word), in our mind (continually developing the mind of Christ), and in our heart (knowing His love for us and His heart concerning our future). We simply have to choose to turn away from what is old, familiar and hindering us from walking forward in victory.
The Valley, the Multitudes and the Decision
Strong's defines the valley in Joel 3:14 as "to make deep, profound, or (have) depth." In this valley experience, the Lord wants to do something very profound. He is saying to us, "Deep calleth unto deep and there is a noise of water spouts—yet it will not overtake us." God is releasing a sound which we need to heed. He will turn our sorrow into laughter and joy. He desires to prove Himself in the midst of our tests and wilderness experiences.
Insertion #2: Indeed, “He will turn our sorrow into laughter and joy.” Does the fox have you down and out right in your own front yard in front of God and everybody?  Is it obvious to yourself and others that you are crippled and undone; that your wings are broken (you cannot fly), purposes undone (so you have left off sitting on your eggs of future promise realization) and that you are now waddling down the wrong road (reeling in pain, disoriented and discombobulated) to find an oasis—any little reprieve from all the harsh realities of this suffering life—while you await a permanent solution, a pond or natural habitat to drown yourself in a never-ending pity bath?  Well, as vivid as your imagination was in painting such a horrible picture of doom and gloom, let your reality be clarified by God showing up and setting you free from your captivity—vain imaginations overturned for a full and wonderful reality.  When He turns back our captivity (releases us from captivity) we will be LIKE them that dream (see Psalm 126); dreamers dream of better and future days and they actually experience them—foretaste them, so to speak—while in La-La Land.  Their supposed delusional state is itself a delusion, however, if God looks down, has compassion, and then decides to make their dreams come true—in spite of all their enemies and naysayers.  In Christ Jesus, this is exactly what God does!  He promises to wipe away every tear, but only after he measures them in a jar and rewards those who sow them with a wonderful harvest of joy.   
When studying the "multitudes in the valley" the word "multitude" actually translates as "abundance," but it is connected to a noise being made and a rumbling sound. And, even more interesting is that the Hebrew word "multitudes" is rooted in the words "to make an uproar, tumult, cry out, to disturb, destroy, crush, and (be) troubled and (to vex)." In other words, it is not simply a multitude of people in a valley making a decision; it is also a multitude of sounds being made while making the decision.
I believe the enemy has a sound—his sounds are destructive, non-productive and are in the form of lies and hope deferred. The sounds from God are based upon His Word and His desire to heal, restore and bless His people. The decision should be this: Choose to believe God!
Insertion #3: The deep calling to deep is the sound of the sea of God corresponding to the sound of the sea in us; His nature as a sonar and an emission of sound waves in water reaching out to those who have the same nature, thus the same appetite and desire for communication on the level of depth and intimacy. His voice is, therefore, always a test; like at Meribah, which has several meanings, God weighs our hearts in measure of discernment and obedience.  One meaning, “waters of contradiction” seems the most illuminating; other meanings, “waters of strife” or “chiding” only speak of different voices with different opinions, but the essence is this lack of unity or “contradiction.”  In other words, the chiding or strife simply arises out of voicing contradictory viewpoints.  God tests us here; His sheep hear His voice –will we?  His sheep parses the chatter and identifies His true voice from so much bleating.  Like as God tested Gideon’s army, incrementally whittling away those called but not chosen, so He is ever testing the mettle of His people, skimming away the dross of unbelief and removing the chaff of self reliance; this is done in the caldron of contradicting interpretations, ideologies and theologies.  We need to not be foolish but KNOW what the will of the Lord is; too many voices cause confusion and freezes initiative.  We must KNOW His voice!  He is always the source, but His voice is expressed from the lips of the saved and unsaved alike, learned and ignorant, young and old; even all of creation is telling of the Glory of God –so we are without excuse.  It is our responsibility alone to have ears to hear and eyes to see; a preconditioning and predisposition toward truth has already been implanted within every human heart.  We must overcome the noise—the clamoring elements—that try so desperately to distract us from our singleness of purpose with God.  If we are inclined to drown ourselves in any body of water—let us be wise—and drown ourselves in the depths of His living waters.
In my recent book: Conquering the Antichrist Spirit, Discerning and Defeating the Seducer That Binds Believers Today, I wrote concerning the spirit of Rahab, the dragon that rises up at the time of crossing over. Isaiah 51:9-10 discusses Rahab being the enemy who opposed Israel at the Red Sea. Believers, it is crossing over time and we are challenged to move forward, but the enemy desires to oppose us at every turn. We must decide to make a violent turn. Turn toward God with a violent war cry against our enemy! The violent will take the future by force.
I highly recommend that you read chapter 2 in my aforementioned book which discusses the Courts of Heaven and how the Ancient of Days has already declared your enemies guilty and the Lord has defeated them at the Cross. Daniel saw the saints of God being worn down by an antichrist system; however, because of the Blood of Christ, victory was given to the saints of God! Hallelujah!
Know that when making decisions in this season, there is an abundance of disturbance from the enemy. If not careful, we will murmur and complain rather than remain focused on God's Word. The Hebrew root word for "multitudes" is "hamown" or "hamon" This is really close to the name "Haman," the Amalekite, who set out to destroy Esther and an entire Jewish nation. (I have written about the Amalekites who steal destiny in one of my books, Destiny Thieves.) Esther was challenged with a death structure. She could have chosen to run in fear, yet she remained strong in her decisions to risk all and trust God.
Insertion#4: Haman, indeed, means “solitary” or “alone” and the close tie to the meaning of “multitudes” is very significant; remember, the nations are but a drop in the bucket to God, and we are no more than a vapor or a shadow past!  Amalekites are those “who lick up the dust” or “exhaust” His people; they rely altogether on their own carnality.  Though our Lord was tender toward the multitudes in His days upon the earth in human form, He said they only came for the perishable food.  Carnality will destroy us eventually; it will certainly rob us of our destiny.  We must fast and pray and breakthrough in this final push towards our new day and the actualization of our destiny.
Zechariah 3: Making a Violent Turn
A few days ago I heard the Lord speak to me concerning Zechariah 3. I could not get past the entire chapter. The chapter begins when an angel showed the prophet Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord and satan, the accuser standing next to him. I could only imagine what the accuser was saying to the priest. It must have been so accusing, so defiling, that the Lord Himself had to rebuke satan.
Think about this for a minute. We are all priests unto God, right? Therefore, the accuser is probably falsely accusing us also at times, right? I am reminded of how the accuser was allowed to "test" Job. Our accuser is satan, the devil himself, who is also known as "the accuser of the brethren." Our enemy accuses us before God, day and night (see Revelation ).
In Job 1:8-11, 2:3-5, he accused Job of apostasy (falling away from God). He sent many demonic attacks against Job and the Lord used it as a test. I believe Job may have considered it a valley also. I know that there are times when I am being falsely accused by the enemy, it feels as if I am in a deep, deep valley of despair.
Nehemiah went through his own trial or tests when rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and prevailed. Haggai pressed through his opposition and completed his assignment. Numerous others throughout the Bible have overcome the accuser who attempts to seduce us into relinquishing our assignments. Satan wants us to "come down from the wall." He will say things like, "Who do you think you are, building that church? Why do you feel God would ever use someone like you to preach the Gospel?" or "You're not worthy to be used by God."
How did Nehemiah, Haggai, Daniel, and so many others press through their trials and persecutions? I believe it was a "violent turning," a turning in such a way as to "focus" on only what God says concerning our lives, our families, our finances...everything! I have had to remain committed that I must turn away from old thoughts, previous patterns of thinking, religious mindsets as I make a radical, violent turn to Father God, His truth and His faithfulness.
In Zechariah 3:2, it says that the LORD Himself rebuked satan because of his false accusations of the high priest. Joshua, the high priest had been in the fire, becoming a "firebrand" during the "false accusation" period. I feel as if I've been there also, how about you? I've been stuck in the baptism of fire for a while now. Lord, use me as Your firebrand now!
God is determined to baptize us with His holy fire so that we can become a trustworthy priesthood, dressed for the Master's use. He is removing our old, filthy garments and replacing them with "rich" garments of His glory.
Notice in verse 5, Zechariah said to "put a clean turban on his (Joshua's) head." The Hebrew root word for "turban," or "mitre" in the King James, means "violently turn" (Strong's #6801). It implies wrapping and turning of a head turban, but spiritually it implies that our minds (heads) must make a violent turn toward the direction of the Lord. Since the turban wraps and turns around the head, I believe spiritually that God wants His Word wrapped tightly upon our minds—violent turns toward His truths and His directives.
This is a season that the violent rise up with radical warfare and take the Kingdom by force. And, our mindsets concerning the Kingdom principles need to turn in a violent way toward the truths of Christ Jesus! We cannot make radical, violent turns and keep looking over our shoulders to the past. Nor can we allow our past to influence our future. This is truly a time to leave the old behind and fully, 100% embrace the new.
Here is a key for making a violent turn: Verse 7 states that the Lord said to his priest: "If you will walk in My ways and keep My requirements, then you will govern My house and have charge of My courts..." Talk about ruling and reigning. God is saying that if we follow Him and remain obedient that He will give us "charge of His house and in His courts! Wow! We can shift our atmosphere with violent turns! Shifting government!
Remember Esther once more; she was given favor by the King and, therefore, not only destroyed Haman, but was given governmental authority to shift unrighteous decrees. Dear ones, we can do the same. Make a decision today to refuse to agree with the words of the accuser. Decide today to make a violent change, a turn, in the right direction the Lord has for you.
SOS!  My Final Cry
I would love to water down some of the suggestions made by both David Wilkerson and Sandie Freed or even from the Duck/Fox debacle and Henrik Ibsen’s play about the Wild Duck.  Because no matter how you slice it, to cry until you can cry no more is to leave off something you deeply love and can hardly let go of; and a violent turning of the mind and attitude is simply a painful and thoroughgoing repentance; and our Duck/Fox war is about leaving off the good for the best—a repentance not of evil, but of yesterday—which has its own pain; and a Wild Duck which makes mountains out of molehills  and flesh wounds into spiritual brokenness—exacerbating and magnifying pain out of all proportion to its real magnitude.  Such are the experiences of the average man; we must therefore transcend the average man!
Paul speaks of Christians not walking as mere men, and we must find a way to overcome our “life-lie;” mine that always looks to a woman to give me support and strength to accomplish my purpose before God, and yours?  This is my lie, and sadly, it transcends her lie.  I imagine her lack of sight prevents her from seeing our mutual potential—what we were meant to be—just as I cannot overlook my own entrenched delusions about what I think we already are.  You may think it obvious that I am still delusional; she did not, nor was she ever, going to choose me.  My delusion, however, differs from hers in a fundamental way; her delusion is thinking and being independent of the connection we were always meant to be in the ideal, whereas mine lies in maintaining and believing for the ideal while she is delusional.  She is therefore delusional to the core and I am even more delusional for not realizing it.  The duck survived the fox and the little girl’s gun, but at an enormous price.  Injured and delusional, the wild duck lives on; injured and bereft of  her children, my tame duck also lives on—both ducks suffering enormous and irredeemable losses.  Surely, I will again remove myself from the carnage, from the scene of so much, incessant and terrible sorrow.  I can no longer lick my wounds and bewail my losses, however; I have had enough of sorrow!   God promised me brighter and brighter days ahead but I guess I had more life lies than I initially realized.   Nevertheless, I have decided to obey Him and trust Him for those brighter days regardless of what my eyes are still telling me.  Violently I turn to you O’ my God!  Help Lord!  SOS!!!
SOS! A Final Word
Those that know me well know that Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite authors (actually ministers of the Gospel), and—wouldn’t you know it—his famous devotional: “My Utmost for His Highest” has an applicable word for today (August 5); in closing, it reads:
The baffling call of God

And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. . . . And they understood none of these things. Luke 18:31, 34.

God called Jesus Christ to what seemed unmitigated disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God’s. But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purpose, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.

If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say—‘Now why did God allow this and that?’ Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.” A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yonder Ponder

When the tide is high and lit
by the moon in a cloudless night;
when atmosphere breathes light,
and the flaring scent sees fit
to overwhelm this man with fright;

when all the world beneath the sea
is swollen covered in a wake;
when each star is wished and spake:
where then shall I be?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Prophetic Exegesis of 2 Chronicles 20

The Moabites and Ammonites (those morbid inward self-absorbed seekers representing Carnal Christianity) and Meunites (Arabic peoples—Ishmaelites—living with or near Edomites/Esau—a red man representing unregenerate first Adam—impetuous and utterly self-willed) rise up and congregate in an ecumenically plastic fashion in a common fleshly cause.  From beyond the Dead Sea—beyond the grave having no business being indulged—this alliance of flesh—from the waste plains of Sodom and Gomorrah—“doubly dead, uprooted,” (Jude 12) has the audacity to feign resurrection power.  Animated by the engine of carnality, empowered by fleshly designs, this caricaturized Christianity tries to assert its unregenerate agenda.
Like as the Lord will call everyone down to the valley of Megiddo in the end, so the Lord has inflamed their minds with His purpose—and to Jehoshaphat, meaning the Lord Judges is exactly where he brings them.  Originating from Syria/Aram, meaning high, elevated—PRIDE  he entices them to gather at Hazazon-tamar, a pruning of the palms, or Engedi, fountain of the kid where each individual is brought to the searching sword out of the Savior’s mouth that divides asunder and separates sin—which clings too close to them—from their souls.  The entire palm is edible—all is fair game—and leads to springs of everlasting water rising up through Christ within man after he breaches the meat of the palm (palms only grow near water).  In Megiddo, Hadad Rimmon, the bursting of the pomegranates (or the bursting of the hearts of men) God’s final judgment occurs; here the events prefigure it.  God is calling carnal Christians to wake up before it is too late! Galatians says it well:   But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.  The remedy follows (Galatians ):   “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Our flesh (with Satan opportunistically jumping on, making inroads, and always attempting to reach the inner sanctum—our hearts) has reigned too long; with a mighty hand God is going to judge Egypt right out of us and enable us to walk in the Spirit –thus enabling us to mortify its import.  Jehoshaphat is right—it is TOO STRONG for us…but our eyes are on you Lord.  We are waiting with little children and women (those even more unable than us) before our mighty God.  And as God foresaw this day, he sent a deliverer ahead of us—a Joseph company (and we are them).
In the midst of the assembly Jahaziel, He will be seen of God, son of Zechariah, Remembered of the Lord, son of Benaiah, Built up of the Lord, son of Jeiel, Hidden of God, son of Mattaniah, Gift of the Lord…a Levite (adhesion—to be joined), a son of Asaph (collector—gather up the rear) stands up and declares that this war is God’s and God’s alone.  This multitudinous fleshly intent—like the sins of the Amorites years before—have reached their fill; they will begin to bloom in all their idiocy as they ascend to Ziz (to flower—to flourish) from Jeruel (founded of God).  In other words, all flesh will putrefy upon the bone—will peak, flourish, bloom, in all its hideous death—and it is the Sovereign Lord’s doing from the foundation of the world that all flesh will be judged.
To reiterate: a Joseph arises (a spiritual man surrounded by brothers of flesh) and yet collects up the straggling little ones that can hardly walk this walk, then adheres them—joins them—cements them into a city compact together.  This “gift of the Lord” God has graciously hidden these many years where He built him up.  Just when it seemed He had forgotten His faithful Joseph within the constraining prison, the Lord remembers Him and places His eye back upon Him (and His grace is poured out).  Thus, this Jahaziel (a relative unknown) is appointed by God to declare that God alone will accomplish His salvation.
Early in the morning …in straightway obedience to God—they go out to the wilderness of Tekoa (that desert place—that lonely place—where each person stands alone and naked before God…it is here that each person’s tent is pitched and smitten—tested to see if it can endure hardship and rupture).  Jehoshaphat pleads with these people to obey His prophet, and to be established; to no longer look at the formidable gathering storm of the enemy, but rather to believe God’s prophets and their words.
We know the story—it took them three whole days to haul the spoils from their enemies; then, on the FOURTH day, they arose after they assembled in the valley of Beracah (blessing).  We have long talked about the third day, but it is the fourth day that truly enlightens.  The REALIZATION of third day events are manifested to the MIND on the fourth day; thus the fourth day His creation walks in resurrection life, whereas Jesus did so on the third day.  Four is only important after the third has occurred and been assimilated; manifesting Christ in mortal flesh is what God is all about—the third day arising to its zenith within the fourth day’s bosom.  The image of God restored to its proper place within the soul of man; the Trinity becoming one with its crowning creation—us!