I need to share with you about a trial that I have been walking through for the past four years or so of my life. I have been thinking about the need for honesty and transparency in the body of Christ. How can we love one another and allow others to love us if we live in little shells and refuse to share what is really going on in our lives? Of course there is wisdom needed with knowing how much we should share, especially on a public platform like the internet. But there is still blessing found within transparency and admitting our needs to one another and humbling asking for prayer. I have seen many do that on this forum and perhaps there are still others out there like me who have been suffering silently and have proudly been bearing our own burdens and robbing the Body of Christ the opportunity to bear one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
One of my fears has been that in my suffering I would have a complaining and murmuring attitude over my situation. That fear of complaining or being perceived as complaining (pride, isnt it!) has kept my lips sealed. I would be grateful for prayer for the Lord to work humility in my heart in this area
for honesty and transparency without complaining.
Another thing has been that I long for Jesus Christ to be the focus and center of all I do and say. I do not want Joy to be one clamoring for attention, pity, etc., but for my clamor to be for Jesus to be magnified and worshiped for He is worthy. It isnt about us, about me, its all about HIM. I am not seeking for healing but for Jesus Christ to be glorified. The Lord has worked on me and changed my heart from that of desiring for health to that of desiring for more of Jesus. Within the past few days two precious friends have shared this wonderful hymn with me,
Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, now the mighty One;
Once for self I labored, now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, safe within the veil.
That phrase, once I sought for healing, now Himself alone, rings true in my heart. Whatever He desires to do with this frail earthly vessel I gladly accept. This life is not my own, it is His, bought with a price, with the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. And it is because of that, because I do not belong to myself, but to Him and as a part of His Body, I am sharing with you, the other parts of the Body of Christ who I have the privilege of knowing, that you might pray for me as He leads you to.
For the past four years I have had chronic daily (with a few exceptions) headaches and the source is unknown. I wont bore you with the details of the search for various treatments and methods to find the root of the problem that have been of little to no avail. But, I do want to testify that this has driven me to the place of desperate dependency on Christ for the strength to do what He has given me to do. And He has given me so much grace and help. He is so faithful and merciful. Im grateful for how He has used this trial to purify, purge and grow my life spiritually. I would be so poverty stricken without the lessons of these last few years. It may sounds strange to one who has never experienced the crucible of physical suffering, but I would not trade four years of health for the spiritual blessings I have found in Jesus Christ through my trials. Our heavenly Father is so wise in knowing what is needed in the lives of each of His children to bring them, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13; see also 1 Peter 1:3-9; 2 Corinthians 4:8-18; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
The Lord used the revival conference to bring further revelation of what He has been and is doing in my life through this trial. Here is something I wrote after the conference, I gained a new understanding of the purposes behind sorrow and pain. Brother David shared in his message on Tuesday, God uses sorrow to bring us to the death of our selves
Sometimes we want to push away the sorrow when God is saying to embrace the sorrow so you can go back to the place of prayer, power and praise. But it was Brother Alans message that turned on the light bulb and brought an understanding of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 that I have been praying and seeking for. 2 Peter 1:2. If your knowledge of Him is small then your capacity to receive of His grace and peace being multiplied unto you is limited
Endurance is the ability to stay under
Gods power is perfected in broken men
Do you think the Father likes to break us? The problem is our capacity level to receive, so He has to do what it takes to increase our capacity level. The word picture of a garden hose attempted to water all of Michigan with water from Lake Michigan enlarged my understanding of what the Lord has been doing in my life over the past four years. I have struggled with understanding how I can glory in my infirmities (one of which has been a physical affliction of this earthly flesh), but now I see that it isnt a matter of how I glory but why I glory in infirmities. Yes, it is as the passage states that the power of Christ might rest on me, but the only way that can happen is if my capacity level is enlarged so that I can increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and for grace and peace to be multiplied in my life! I see this now! And I am so grateful for those moments of weakness and inability to do what I wanted to do because it has made me so dependent on Jesus and it is a part of the Father working on me to increase my capacity level.
When we understand the workings of God in our lives through various trials and tribulations we can indeed rejoice in the Lord and what HE is doing for the glory of His Name! :-)
One last thing, this post is not a plea for prayer for healing. If God burdens you to pray for healing, then I thank Him for that. The only reason I desire health is so that I can serve my Lord Jesus Christ with greater energy and efficiency, and that is only if He wants me to have that resource. Health isnt for ourselves and our pleasure or benefit, it is for HIM. Life is too short to waste on ourselves when we have such a worthy and great Redeemer who will use those who are surrendered vessels to do whatsoever is pleasing to Jesus Christ. How true is C. T. Studds oft quoted phrase, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." And David Brainerd a young man who gave his all for Christ and paid the sacrifice of death at a young age said, As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worth having: but oh, how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I felt like the Lord wanted me to share this part of my life with you. I am needy of your prayers, prayer for the Lord to give the strength needed for what He wants me to do and most importantly for my eyes to be so fixed on Jesus Christ no matter what the circumstances of each day might be and for Him to be glorified in my life during this brief sojourn/pilgrimage of mine upon earth. What a glorious day it will be when we are all gloriously transformed and conformed into the express image of HIS Person! And we will have all eternity to sing His praises and give thanksgiving for His work in our lives while we lived on earth! What a day that will be when my Jesus I see! And whatever He gives me each day, whether it be health or pain, I will praise Him and seek to glorify Him, and love Him with all of my being.
"Saying with a loud voice, [b]Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing[/b]." Re 5:12
My heart is full of thanksgiving to our Abba Father for each of you who are a part of the precious Body of Jesus Christ, the Bride of Christ.
your sister in our beloved Lord Jesus Christ,
| 2009/6/20 18:24|
| Re: HIM|
I will be praying for you dear sister.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
| 2009/6/20 18:45||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
Thank you for sharing this, it will surely speak to other hearts and encourage and edify others in the body of Christ. May God touch and heal you when he is done the work through that infirmity and He will.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2009/6/20 18:51||Profile|
| Re: HIM|
Right this moment, now, I am going to praise and thank God for healing in your body! He is the Greatest Doctor of All, so that you will be fully equipped, 110% for Service in His Name and in His Ministry of The Atoning Blood of Messiah, the Ministry of Reconciliation, of man to God thru This Blood.
I pray healing over you in Jesus Name, and ask God, humbly, to demonstrate His Mercy, His Power by healing this affliction in your body, not only for the sake of your earthly existance, and shalom wholeness, but to demonstrate to those among us, who secretly have shreds of hidden doubt, that Jesus can't heal in the blink of an eye, that He is MORE than able.
and when He does, you can dance in a circle like they did in the Israeli film, "Ushpizin", and shout in Hebrew, "Nes!!! Ness!!!!! (miracle! miracle!) amen.
in Jesus love, neil
| 2009/6/20 18:52|
West Monroe, LA
| Re: |
Dear Sister Joy,
Brother Alan said something else at the conference that rings so very true. I do not know the exact words but it was the fact that we may be redeemed instantly but Christian maturity and production of the fruits of the Spirit are not instant. The hands of our Potter are gentle, but there is still pain in the process of shaping us and removing the flaws. I have often wondered, to be quite honest, how one so young could have come to such maturity and fruit bearing... this fills in a part of the mystery.
I will definitely be praying... to God be the glory for what He has done.
1 Peter 5:10-11 ( ESV )
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
| 2009/6/20 18:56||Profile|
| Re: |
. . . He is MORE than able.
Amen! Joining with you in prayer.
| 2009/6/20 18:58||Profile|
| Re: HIM|
A lady once said to my mother " I want what you have," and I remember thinking "hmmm, really?" My mother is one of those Christians who has an aura of peace about her. It has come from the furnaces of affliction, refined in the trials of life, and not a one time thing but a life-time. (you can hear some of her story on Barnsdall's website when I gave my testimony on the Sunday morning)
I have had chronic pain for 15 years. Three bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, arthritis in most of my joints. I have had some surgery but to no real avail. I would not swap my life for anything Joy. I also had pulmanory fibrosis which the Lord healed me of so I understand that we serve a supernatural miracle working God but I also know that we serve HIm at HIs good pleasure and He is totaly in charge of our lives. His grace, as I know you will know, is sufficiant for us. What I like best is that nobody knows :) Nobody would ever guess. No one knows my background unless I share it as a testimony. This not knowing by people is a testimony to His grace that sustains us and transforms us. I have been around you many times my wee sister in Christ, I would not have know about your headaches, thats a testimony to God's grace in your life. God alone knows how long you will have to deal with this, but there is great peace in Knowing that He knows. There is such a rest to be found in His grace and it is treasure from the fires of life, eternal treasures. It shapes us and molds us as the hammer and the chisel does its work in shaping us into perfect pieces. I know that the bedbound lady in the Island of Lewis was greatly used of God in prayer and the bringing about of revival. Wigglesworth, a man used in miracles, greatly suffered him-self for most of His life. He once said that it gave him greater empathy for those who suffered. Your joy and your love for HIm is a testimony to His worl in your life. And I have notice the increase in your sensitivity to HIm since Barnsdall, praise God. You truly qualify as a Scottish Warrior for Christ :) ........brother Frank
| 2009/6/20 20:07|
| Re: |
You are a blessing sister and greatly loved of the Lord.
Revelation 2:8-11 (KJV) 8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
| 2009/6/20 20:48||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you to each one of you for your encouragement, edifying words, Scriptures and prayers. I am so blessed in Christ to fellowship with each of you on these forums.
May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.
Brother Frank, thank you for your testimony and for mentioning your mother's life. I am planning to download the message you shared at Barnsdall and listen to it.
[i]1 ¶ Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
| 2009/6/20 21:44|
| Re:Enlarged by God |
I thank God for the unique spiritual truth given and received during Barnsdal and the difference it is making, and will make, in our life here and now, and in the overflow.
In addition, within your report of headaches, there is also a wonderful [u]physical[/u] parallel (in physical vascular headaches) to the message of enlarging the hose in order to water Michigan. "[i]For the past four years I have had chronic daily (with a few exceptions) headaches and the source is unknown .....The word picture of a garden hose attempted to water all of Michigan with water from Lake Michigan enlarged my understanding of what the Lord has been doing in my life over the past four years[/i]".
With respect to [u]capacity[/u],God definitely enlarges our new heart in revival, the capacity to love as He loves. I have felt as though I would die at times. Joy, your divine love in the Spirit, for God and the Body of Jesus Christ, is a blessing to witness and to receive. [u]So I cannot help but pray and desire[/u] that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (Col. 1: 9). And I am thanking God that He will work out what He has worked in you during Barnsdall. That is His way for sure. And we also know that divine wisdom comes down all the way into our mortal flesh; that the natural body is now related and effected by the spiritual body. All praise and Glory to Him. He does all things well.
In the Beloved
| 2009/6/21 0:29||Profile|