Spring's Coming; Foreword, Pt. 1

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Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The following is Part One of the Foreword of my first non-fiction Christian book, written to help Christians overcome long-term or severe illness through the application of Scripture. Long-suffering can sometimes tempt us to become afraid of the God we serve, particularly if the trial is intense and we cannot understand what is meant by it from God's point of view.

Modernity doesn’t teach the fear of God, but the mockery of it via ignorance of hardship. What this “fear of God” is, is balance of His Good Character and a fuller knowing of Him. It is respectful in nature. It is something shared in the body of Christ. It is spiritually taught in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire and it results in practical obedience—a thing so often prayed for. Experientially, it must be something wrought within the individual by the Holy Spirit because it is a most delicate work for a soul to come into a serious faith within love, rather than terror. Although there may be points of terror for us during testing phases in life, God’s ultimate will is the fine luxury of calmness and trust over all. His arms are pleasant. This “fear of God” segment of Holy Ghost teaching can be mentioned in the church as a process of His, so when it happens to us, we recognize it is our turn to face what all true Christians will likely be asked to face at some point. People sitting week after week in a pew should not be so broadsided if we can help it. Affliction in the modern world is still affliction. After centuries of it, we should understand its spiritual use a bit more.

Our culture today doesn’t seem to want to admit grave difficulties occur. There is a glossing effect, an anesthetization and callousness to suffering in the world; there is impatience regarding long-suffering, and a disposable mentality regarding people. This continues to taint our attitudes until our own circumstances are directly touched in a serious way, for a lengthy time. When this happens, there is almost a shunning effect around us, even in the church. But we are to sympathize and support one another if at all possible during these trials—for the duration of them. Who can hurry up God and why would we want to? He must do His work.

What can this “work” look like? Illness, for one thing. Suffering. Abandonment. All mannerisms of senseless evil—for a time.

For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim, He will be wrathful as in the Valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work, and bring to pass His act, His strange act.

The above passage is from Isaiah 28:21 (AMPC). The word Perazim means “a breach”, a state of being broken, to be parted by violence, the loss of a friend, the non-fulfillment of a contract or covenant, a violation of peace—and this can seemingly happen in our relationship with God Himself. But Isaiah calls this “rising up”! And Gibeon is the place where Solomon had his unforgettable dream where God came to him and essentially said, “What do you want?” (Note the order: breach, then dreams come true.) So Solomon asked God, “Give me a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” And since Solomon didn’t ask God for anything for himself, but for discernment in administering true justice for other people, God told him, “I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you (before), nor will there ever be (after). I will give you what you did not ask for—both wealth and honor. You will have no equal.” (Paraphrase, mine. See 1 Kings 3:5-15, NIV.) We typically associate mountaintops with victory and valleys with challenge, but in Isaiah we encounter a tide or table that turns when our world is upside down. But if we give the Lord His time, it may come to pass that the breach was indeed the highest Victory in our life so far because of the dream that is answered through God’s “wrath”—the things that God allows that really do not make sense to us. He walks through those things like an open door--keep watch. Note also that God answers Solomon’s dream Eternally. What reads like a grammatical error is a mystery in time—there will never have been… That’s also what He does with our pain. We won’t remember it. But we will always have the beautiful result that He meant by it. God can say to you today of your suffering that you will arrive inside an answered dream where that illness will never have been. Only God can say something like that. But that breach is a giant gap to fill. It is an invasion upon royal and kingly power. And it must be walked through as if it is real, before the dream comes true.

Where there is comfort extended, or true courage mustered, there cannot also be denial. When our life is threatened, we have to look at it. It's hard. It's life or death. David wouldn’t have defeated Goliath if he denied that giants existed! This giant was invading David’s realm. Others presented David excuse after excuse to quit and give up. David wouldn’t have downed that giant if he refused to face him, for one thing, or stuck to convention, for another. God is unconventional because He wants your particular attention right in the middle of your unique case. Miracles are things no one has "ever seen before". That's what they look like. Same as the difficulty they come to cure. The Bible doesn’t call for cowardice just because something is bizarre and the odds are stacked against us. We can get no man to agree to help us--it is just us and God and a few strange, smooth stones. Use your slingshot (whatever it is that God gives you). What does your giant look like? Aim. For David, the result of this strange battle was victory, personal growth and a far more serious, applicable sort of faith which prepared him for something greater. He used what little provision and experience he had in God’s Name and it was enough, after which he became God's appointed king, an anointed king. We are sufficient in Christ’s Sufficiency! The thing much larger than our current giant is God’s Will—His Plan. Whatever you are going through, He will make greater use of it. You’ll see. Giants represent ugly interruptions. They produce massive amounts of fear and pressure. But God is a God of beauty in all creation and He will win in it because it is His--and that includes your body. He is Healer.

When we learn the fear of God, the other fears of survival will die. Suffering is the gateway of this knowledge and freedom. God has a larger task in front of you, more than you can imagine, or there would be no need to purify you for it.

Saints serve. That's what they do. A working understanding of the fear of God is a precursor to a Christian saint. It brings the learner to a far more accurate concept of God’s omnipotence. Who is man to fear when one experiences the Power of God? Who is the Enemy? What is death? What does any of it matter when God is in control? Just do good and trust Him. The Mercy of God (His right hand) and the Judgment of God (His left) is an open-armed spectrum of Life which leads to a beautiful rest and trust in the truth that He is Father, that in everything His heart is open towards us. He has us. He wants us to serve! He will continually move us toward His right hand if we are willing to follow Him and accept His methods—this is purification. The trials CANNOT last forever. Victory does. The crosses of affliction solidify our faith; our crosses turn into our backbone. The fear of God results in steadfast security in His love; it is the other foot of Christian stability which provides us the will to Stand. We are not as strong without it. This is a founding Peace only given through Jesus Christ and it comes right when we need it--when times get very hard, we learn it. As He finishes our faith, He makes it rock solid, just as He is. Earthbound souls are to believe God is Providential…that He is in control. If we disbelieve this, frankly we will go mad to some degree because all we can see is injustice. "I the Lord love Justice." This word is capitalized because Justice is a Name; Justice is Jesus and we are taught the meaning of this particular Name of His when we watch what He does with injustice and unfairness and unspeakable evils. We watch that power take over and help us through our complete helplessness. We are to put all of our freewill faculties in support of His governance and we will because He helps us see it. His will becomes our own. That’s what faith is…and it must be made whole, like Salvation. When we see His Strength, we understand that providence comes easy for Him. It takes us time to unlearn all the things that are not Him. God is Vast, Intricate, Internal. God is All. Everywhere. And He is into Resurrection--the thing that cannot happen without a death to make a mockery of. God likes to conquer all the things that are wrong.

We serve a God that loves to prove death is a lie. Your illness is not "too much" for Him to handle. Even in dire suffering, let Him make use of it. And He will. His right hand is a lifting hand. With every ounce of our human force, we do not ever hold to Him as much as He holds us. Those arms of His absorb every conceivable cross and then promote us. His strength is given us during our slaying. The fear of God comes from witnessing His Resurrection Power for ourselves. We lose control and He steps up and handles it for us, to show us Who He Is. Beyond the shadow of doubt, or the valley of the shadow of death, or the mount of breach—He is God and He will come to you as in a dream and ask you what you want Him to do for you. Amazing. He is Life and He will give it. And He is Faithful to lift us up, again and again. By the end of the matter, we certainly know Who to bow down to.

I Am the Lord. There is no one else.

Holy Ghost is Teacher.



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