Snivel, whine, complain! Since the beginning of time people have complained, you know, expressed unhappiness. Some times God let it go and other times punishment was in order. There were severe consequences for the Israelites and they never seemed to learn to trust God. No matter what he did for them, how he rescued them, no matter what great signs and wonders they saw, whenever they become uncomfortable they complained. This did not make God happy, "And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled"; (Num 11:1f)
Sometimes I wonder if I am like the Israelites as I find myself wanting more, a two-bathroom home, enough money to pay my bills before they are late, new shoes for my family. I know I should only have one concern, to listen for his voice to give me direction, after all, who knows how much impact I will have on the local community because of my trusting him, especially during the difficult times? We know we trust him when we are in a peaceful state, rested because we are secure in his benevolence towards us.
Am I saying I have entered into his rest? Not if I am complaining. ONLY if, moment by moment, I stay seated in him, (seated implies at rest). The same was true when Stacy was so sick; I trusted our Father to do what was necessary in, with and through us. It was only when I reminded myself that he had all things in his control I found rest. It is always available when we do not allow fear to set in nor look at circumstances and we find rest when we remember that he is more than able to produce what is necessary for his Glory. (Although, sometimes, what we are going through does not seem very glorious!)
Am I in a good place? What can my answer be but "YES?" What else can we say when all else is sin? As long as I am in Him I am in a good place. Am I looking for something? YES! I am looking for his appearing, and I am not disappointed. I see him on a daily basis in others. Am I experiencing discomfort? Yes, as I am being stretched and pulled and matured, I am very discomforted, yet the outcome is peace. When the world seems to be falling apart before my very eyes, things happen which I felt assured in my spirit would NOT happen, it makes me question my ears, how much did I hear which was God speaking to me and how much did I wish was him? More so, if he told me to do it but it is not turning out how I expected, then does that imply I didn't hear him in the first place or just that he did not tell me the outcome? We could go on ad infinitum asking questions and guessing at the answers, but it is more important to trust. Simply trust him to do what is best for us and for all concerned in a matter.
The "Lords Prayer," tells us to ask, you know, "give us this day our daily bread," but perhaps we should read what Jesus said before and after the prayer to understand the context of what he is trying to get across. First he said, do not repeat your prayers, for your Father already knows what you need. He goes on to explain how God loves to take care of his creation, and we are so much more important, we should not doubt his desire to take care of us. (Mat 6:9-13). Then we have John 15:7 and John 16:23-24 which both say ask, but in both cases there was a spiritual application concerning knowledge. We will leave it up to the individual to read the full context of those scriptures.
Speaking of trust, the story of Adam & Eve is a good example of what happens when we do not trust God. There are at least two trains of thought, some believe Adam in the Garden of Eden is a metaphor and some believe it actually took place. Either way we can see the spiritual outcome of what happened in the Garden and we learn it is up to each individual to till the ground of their thinking, "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken," (Gen 3:23). We were taken from that place of all provision, Eden, and put outside the perfect rest and now it is up to us to dig until we find that place of perfect peace again. Remember, there are Cherubim and a flaming sword which keep the "way of the tree of life." (Gen 3:23) Note: It does not say to keep one from finding the tree of life, it says to keep the way. We know the way to life, it is beyond the flaming sword. Because the sword is a cutting instrument, we can well see how there is a cutting away which happens before we can get to the tree of life. (Deu 4:24 & Heb 12:29) It is up to each individual to search the Bible and to "dig," to find that life so we can bring forth the spirit.
On my way home today I started singing my praises and thanks to God for his goodness and this led to thoughts on how he has every hair on our head numbered and he knows every sparrow that falls. I noticed it was raining and I am sure he even knows where each rain drop will fall, what help or damage it might do and whether it will bring joy or sorrow. When Jesus told his disciples to take no thought for their life, what they would be eating nor to care what clothes they wore, he also told them that life is more than meat, and the body is more than clothes. If God feeds the birds how much more valuable is man? Since man cannot do a little thing like add any height to his stature why worry about anything else? God takes care of the flowers and the grass so how can we think he will not take care of us? After all God has done for us and shown us, are we really of such little faith? We are not to seek what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind. All the nations of the world care after those things but our Father knows what we have need of and we should rather seek after the kingdom of God. Then all these things shall be given to us and we are not to fear, it is our Father's good pleasure to provide for us. We only need to sell that we have, and give to the poor; provide bags which do not grow old, this will make us a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. (Luk 12:21-33)
I don't know about you but up to that last sentence I thought I had it made. Now I find I am required to DO something! How do I sell all I have? Upon reading just a little farther I find that Jesus goes on to talk about a servant taking care of his masters 'goods', so I am relieved to find that as long as what I have is God's I don't have to run right out and sell everything! BUT, if I have something that does not belong to God, then I am to let it go. For most of us, in this day and age, to sell everything and not have a home or even a car would lead to complete destruction, the welfare line, or total dependance on the good nature of others, (who should have sold all they had.....).
Our relationship with our Father and the Christ in others is all that should really matter. I still believe we should be responsible for that which Father places in our care, but if he says give up something, then we must immediately do so if we are to move into the Kingdom. When we let go of that which does not belong to God we will find ourselves walking in the Kingdom where there is no fear, jealousy, second guessing and all struggle is gone.
The thing about a struggle is that we struggle until we give up. What does "give up" mean? Well, for Christians it usually means that we give it over to God saying something like, "Ok God, it is in your hands now," and then we quit thinking about the problem. Only when we quit worrying about something can we truly rest, after all, if we give it to God it is his problem not ours. Obviously it is more than just saying the words, "I trust God." There has to be an action, the action of resting in the knowledge that everything is in his control and going to be ok. This 'action' is a choice, and we make the choice to believe God. Once we choose to believe everything he says is true; that he will take care of us, that everything is just the way our Father has planned for us, (things may be uncomfortable), there is perfect peace. We know that HE is the one leading us through troubled times. (It also helps me to think that everything, the problems, hurts, pains, financial difficulties, etc. are just experiences). This all will pass, it is just an experience, but choosing to trust God, now that is LIFE.
Do we let others know our "true" state of being? What is our "true" state, is it not what God says it is? Am I like the Israelites and find myself a grasshopper in my own sight or am I a son of God? No one really desires to examine the details because it forces us to face too many uncomfortable realities, most would rather turn away than acknowledge what is working beneath the surface. I find I am looking for answers, though not just for me, but for the body as I send out The Implanter. We still have quite a few on our postal mailing list and many on our email list who receive our writings and we all know the ripple effect. As each of us are touched by the Spirit, no matter what form he takes, we touch others who in turn.....
The real issue is trust. Do we trust God? We say we do, but when it comes right down to nitty gritty everyday things, are we living the life that proves we trust God as our loving Father or are we parroting words we learned in church? Truly, we only know for certain when we are going through the difficult times. Here is the KEY, the next time we are in a difficult place, will we fully trust him or will we, like the Israelites, start to complain and beg for deliverance? If we find we fall into the complainers catagory, let us not give up for it is when we are "lacking" that we have the opportunity to change our thinking! We can enter into the place of perfect peace where we trust HIM, moment by moment. I believe mankind is coming to a greater area of confidence in God's love than ever before experienced, as this is a must to enter into Kingdom living.
Our friend, Ruthie Nunn in Turlock, CA. said something about struggling that made perfect sense. When speaking to my sister about health issues she said, "Terrie if you need to rest, then rest!" "If God wants you to do something he will give the strength necessary." Upon hearing that Terrie realized that it was OK if she rested, the struggle was not hers. The same holds true about what God gives us to understand, we will have revelation when he gives it, but we are to relax in the knowledge he makes available to us. Nothing should make one feel like they are less important or smart or "christed," for in all these things we can be at peace, counting on him to make known the mystery of his will. (Eph 1:9; Phil 2:13; 2 Th 1:11)
I do not consider it complaining to occasionally ask for help. I am not one to ask for help, something in me just dislikes asking for or needing assistance. Being very self-supportive and independent it hurt my feelings when I was told I was dealing with pride, I know pride is not a good thing. (1Jn 2:16) This independence went so far as when Stacy and I first married I had a very difficult time with accepting offerings, love gifts, even dinners. It did not take long to learn it was because others shared with us we could work full-time sharing the good news of the happy God.
Just the other day my sister gave me $5.00 for lunch. Something in me welled up and wanted to say, "NO thank you, I don not need your money," but I knew that without that $5.00 I would not eat while we were spending the day away from home. Then recently there was another offer as I was walking down to the trash bins. I picked up my niece’s garbage on my way and found that it was a very heavy load. No problem, it’s good for me to exercise and I just stop and rest, but on this day a neighbor asked if he could help me! Usually I would say, "No, I can do it," but this time I said, "yes." He very nicely took two of my bags and carried them the couple hundred feet to the bins. Father spoke to my heart, "Help lightens the load." Because there are times when I really need help, here is my dilemma, how do I ask for help and yet tell others that I fully trust God? If someone asks how we are doing, when things are really difficult what answer do we give but not be a complainer?
I guess it all boils down to this, how will others know to help me or build me up if I never let anyone see I need help? Even Jesus asked his disciples to watch and pray for the end was near. I had a dream many years ago that was so vivid I still recall the impact it made on me when I awoke. To keep the story short it amounted to God's people in a very difficult time financial but when they pooled all their money together, as little as it seemed individually, all together, it was a fortune. His children are rich but only as a body not as individuals. Do you know that if each person on our mailing lists, (email and postal mail), sent $3.00 a month to Promised Seed Ministries we would not have any financial burdens? It has been difficult for me to mention this as most certainly there will be some who think my faith is not big enough nor do I trust God enough. Let me just say, I do not think it is complaining to share this information, for "Help lightens the load."
"I in Them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one... When The Father looks at me, He sees me as perfect. Not because I am, but because He sees His perfect Son in me. As long as Jesus lives in me, Father sees Him, and there is no sin in His Son. But before I found and understood this wonderful part of the scripture, I was still climbing up on the cross when I made mistakes. Till one day Father spoke to me and said "Terrie, get up and dust yourself off!! Quit climbing up on that cross because you’ll just fall off again. No one is going to nail you to it; it has already been done in MY Son, who lives in you. When I see you, I see Him. If you are going to climb; climb up on the mountain top where My blessings abound without measure or end. But stay off the cross. "Here, let me help you up." Been on any crosses lately?...
Terrie and I are doing well. Our health is good, we are happy to live close to our parents, brother, nieces and nephews, (all of which are also doing well). Sunny California is absolutely beautiful and wonderful. (We live on the biggest natural lake in California with huge surrounding mountains). Our little mobile home is fine except the people who sold it to me put in some new flooring and did not cut holes for the heater vents. You might guess that our heating bill is sky high due to also heating the great outdoors! Even with that problem, we are so happy in this little family park. God has made us content.
I am thrilled to say that I have received my ordination papers from our affiliate the Independent Assembly of God International and I can continue to run Promised Seed as a nonprofit ministry. With all the paper work done I now have NO reason I can't travel in ministry. I plan on being on the road by April first, doing what Stacy and I always did, travel and teach as Father sees fit. My sister, Terrie, will stay at the 'home front' taking care of those things which require such. I will be traveling alone, but look forward to that time of fellowship with our Father and trusting he will teach me much along the way. Be sure to send me an email or give me a phone call if you want me to stop by for a short visit. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone again after such a long absence. We covet your prayers in all these things, including my travel and Terries staying at home.
Stacy wrote the following and it explains why there is still...
One of the fundamentals of life is,"Nothing is free." The apostle Paul taught the "Principle of Exchange." He said, "Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." (Gal 6:6ff). That is, as one sows into the teaching he will harvest from the teaching. In equipping his disciples for ministry, Jesus taught a four-fold principle that they needed to put into practice, if they were to fully benefit from what he was teaching. The first axiom of discipleship is do not discriminate and you will not be discriminated against. Secondly, do not pronounce guilt and you will not be found guilty. Then, if you fully liberate you will become fully liberated. Finally, give and it will be given to you. It is to this final principle that he adds a further thought, by suggesting the value one places on his giving determines the value of the blessing that returns to him. That is, a good measure when giving out, guarantees the return will be poured into the givers lap, packed down, shaken together and overflowing. (Lk. 6:37-38).
The book of Proverbs records the principle of exchange that is practiced among teachers and their students in the eastern part of the world to this day. It simply is, to become a true partaker of what the teacher has to give, one must agree to "buy the truth and sell it not." (Pr. 23:23). That is, the student, not the teacher, must put a value on the truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding they receive. Yet, at the same time they need to learn not to merchandise anything they receive. By following this simple principle they show honor to the teacher.
Moreover, the Scripture’s teach that we are to "Honor the Lord with our substance, and with the first fruits of all our increase. In doing so our barns will become filled with plenty, and our presses will burst out with new wine." (Pr. 3:9). "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty." (Pr. 11:24). Thus, we have come to this conclusion. We do not put a price on God’s word. This is in keeping with biblical principles. We also believe God’s word is priceless. Moreover, we cannot place a set value on the teacher, because this will vary with every individual’s relationship and need. Therefore, we are asking you to help us defray the costs of this publication. if you find any value in the word, or the messenger, we ask that you will give "a love offering" to help in the support of this ministry. Remember, it is your continued faithful support that enables us to send these messages to shut-ins, prisoners, missionaries and to third world countries.
We do thank each and everyone for continued prayer and support of this ministry. The months to come promise great things in the Lord. Doors of ministry continue to open into areas of the church through the internet that we never imagined would open. Your prayerful support enables us to continue sharing the Good News of the Happy God, who is Savior of all and condemner of none. Terrie and I love and pray for you continually. May the Lord’s blessing continue to pour forth upon each of you, beyond all you could ask or think. (Eph. 3:20). You’re also welcome to add someone else if you think they would enjoy our materials.