Luke 9:23-24 –
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.'” ~ ~ ~
Colossians 3:1-3 –
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
This is a Word that I received yesterday (Tuesday, 11-3-15) for myself and at least one other person who reads this post. I sense somebody is going through a challenging situation and needs me to share this with you, so you know you are not alone. You are going through a “refiner’s fire”. It’s painful. You don’t like it, but you are being prepared for the LORD’s purposes and what’s ahead for you, will NOT look like a “traditional” Christian life. Be at peace and trust the LORD Jesus; He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
All of us go through days where we feel challenged in one way or another. Yesterday (11-3-15) was such a day for me. I was reflecting on these past couple of years that have been a “refiner’s fire” for me, especially since leaving ALL that I knew to obey the LORD Jesus. I was particularly missing the professional career I had in the United States, the finances, the networking events, the professional attire and the independence I enjoyed. . . ALL GONE.
I’m now in another country, where the LORD has blocked employment for me. There is seclusion in this semi-rural area where we rent a small one bedroom apartment, in the lower level of a house. Efforts to volunteer at a local homeless shelter or a retirement community were blocked. It was and is a “dying to self” process, that allows me to feel the dependence I have on the LORD and not on myself . . . AND to continue in this “refiner’s fire” . . . OUCH!!! (and “Thank you Jesus”).
I struggled through the day, and felt this heaviness around me. I know I’m at where I need to be and doing what the LORD wants me to do, but still this deep sighing while dying was happening. The “refiner’s fire” is NOT fun, but I did pray for the LORD to keep me in it, so His will can be done. I tried to take a nap for a bit and awoke to the Holy Spirit saying to me:
“OTHERS CAN, BUT YOU CANNOT.”
I understood instantly that the LORD was letting me know that there are things other Christians are able to do. . .they are in His will doing these things, but it’s not for me. I was also reminded of a paper I have been carrying around since the 1990s. I don’t know where I got it or exactly when, but this is the message from that paper for me and for somebody else right now, who is reading this:
“Others May; You Cannot!”, by G.D. Watson
If God has called you to be really like Jesus,
He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility,
And put upon you such demands of obedience that you will not be able to follow other people.
You will not be able to measure yourself by other Christians.
In many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful,
may push themselves, pull wires, but you cannot do it.
If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the LORD
as to make you sorely penitent.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, or their success, of their writings,
but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing.
If you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification
that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
The LORD may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity,
because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory.
This can be produced only in the shade.
He may let others be great, but keep you small.
He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it,
but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing.
Then to make your work still more precious,
He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done;
and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love,
and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time,
which other Christians never seem distressed over.
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign,
and has a right to do as He pleases with His own.
He may not explain to you a thousand things . . .
which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you,
but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love-slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love,
and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit,
and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue,
or chaining your hand,
or closing your eyes,
in ways that He does not seem to use with others.
Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart,
pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private guardianship
and management of the Holy Spirit over your life,
you will have found the vestibule of heaven.
WHAT ABOUT TODAY?
For me. . . . I’m doing much better, because I continue to turn back to Jesus to renew me from day-to day and sometimes it has to be moment-to-moment. Yes, the spiritual warfare HAS increased against the body of Christ, so we MUST keep focusing on Jesus, reading the Bible and listening to/obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. These are the Scriptural Verses I was led to read this morning:
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
10-31-16 UPDATE: I have been back in the United States since March 2016, to be here to assist in the darkest days this planet has ever seen. Get ready folks, things are going to change “and suddenly”.
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