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Thursday, 13 October 2011

...... And the word of their testimony

I have, like all Christians  many testimonies of the Lord speaking to me during my time of walking with Him.  I do not share them that others might do what the Lord has asked me to do.  Just as the Israelites had to pick up their own manna in the wilderness, I have to work out my own salvation and respond to the Lord's voice to me personally as I receive my daily bread from Him.  I share this testimony to glorify God and to encourage the reader to trust in the word that they believe to be from the Lord Jesus.

About twenty two years ago  I started having a problem with my throat.  I had eaten a fish meal and believe that a small bone from the fish lodged in my throat.  We had to cancel going out with friends that evening as the discomfort grew worse.  Over the next few days things deteriorated even more.  It felt as if an abcess had developed low down at the back of it, and the pain was almost unbearable.  At the time I had for some years been seeking the Lord about sickness and divine healing, and had felt that He had been teaching me to trust in His divine power to heal, which I had already experienced, but also to trust in what He was telling me to do no matter what.  When I sought the Lord over this particular situation, He spoke to me through several scriptures that I kept opening to.  He kept showing me Isaiah 31 v.1 'Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD', verse 3 says 'the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit'.  I felt as though the Lord was encouraging me not to rely on man and his physical ability, but to rely on God and His spiritual capability.  I coould not forget that I had asked Him to teach me about 'divine healing'.  He also spoke to me through 2 Chronicles ch.16 v.12, where Asa was diseased in his feet yet did not seek help  from the Lord but from the physicians.  Once again I felt that in this instance the Lord was telling me to rely on Him and not on man.  Shortly after this, my throat began to ease a little but a lump started to develope under my left arm.  Still the Lord spoke to me through the same scriptures when I sought Him and also through a poem which I had written.  In it I felt that I was being encouraged to listen to the words that the Lord was speaking to me, to take every thought into captivity and to recognize where the doubts were coming from.  I called it

Who Said?

Who said that I'll not heal you 
who told you child this lie
Who said that you will get much worse 
and points his finger to the curse?
My child .... It was not I

Who speaks new precious words of life 
to all who live in fear and strife
And says ' By faith shall live the just'
 if in their Lord they'll put their trust
For through God's word has been revealed 
that by my stripes you shall be healed
Who says your needs I'll satisfy
My precious child - was it not I ?

Beware the serpent oh so sly
to steal your blessing he will try
My child it still remains your choice 
the devil's hiss or the Master's voice
For even in this latter day 
Satan keeps asking 'Did God say?'
Still questioning God's Holy Word 
hoping you'll doubt what you have heard
Don't listen child each time he tries 
to win you with his evil lies
Tell him this time it's not the same 
this time you wear your Saviour's name
The name of Jesus Christ - God's Son 
by whom redemption has been won
And from the curse you've been reprieved 
if in my word you have believed
So stand within God's promise child 
by the devil's lies be not beguiled
And when he questions as you're led 
you say to him
'Yes God has said'

The Lord highlighted a scripture to me when I wrote the poem, it was from Revelation ch.12 v.11.  At that time the only part that spoke to me was 'and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb', but since I have started to write this testimony down, the other half of the scripture '... And by the word of their testimony' has been highlighted to me, and I believe the importance of testifying to one another about what the Lord is doing in our lives is being pointed out.  He also spoke to me through Psalm 116, a prayer of thanksgiving for recovery from illness.  One verse in particular stood out to me, it was 'I kept my faith, even when I said 'I am greatly afflicted'.  Over the next few years a lump appeared under my right arm, another appeared under my left foot, and several glands swelled up.  My throat sometimes felt better, other times it hurt a lot, and it felt like a lump was growing in it.  Yet still, when I doubted and sought the Lord, He highlighted the same scriptures to me, and many others.  The more symptoms that appeared in my body, the more thoughts of what these symptoms could mean according to the knowledge of man and the medical profession came into my mind, bringing with it fear.  A few years ago, during one of these fearful times of concentrating on the symptoms, the Lord spoke to me through another poem that I entitled.

'The Journal'
I looked into the medical journal 
to see if my sickness was there
Scanned pages from start to finish  
my symptoms and pain to compare
I found there all sorts of malignants 
from tumours to non - healing sores
Bone fractures, coughs, colds and contagious 
diseases were there in their scores
I didn't feel better for reading 
I have to admit I felt worse
For the words written there spoke no blessing 
only page after page of a curse
So I looked in another great journal 
this too spoke of symptoms and pain
The symptoms were those of rebellion and sin 
but the pain there was all for man's gain
Yes the symptoms were mine and the rest of mankind
They were sorrow and torment and loss
But the pain was my Lord's to redeem many souls
As He hung in our place on that cross
So I'll close the big book that speaks only of strife
Inflicted by Satan - the liar
And I'll open the book that brings blessing and life
The one written of Jesus - Messiah

And so I have continued, believing one hundred percent that the Lord has been encouraging me all this time to trust in Him for my healing.  I know that He can heal, and is capable of doing that which is not possible for man to do.  I know that He still heals today, because I have been healed solely by His divine power several times, but I have also been learning over the past twenty years to keep my faith in great affliction.
A few years ago a swelling that came up on my arm and an incident in another person's life caused more fears to creep into my mind, this time greater fears which wee pointing to the synptoms being life threatening.  Again I sought the Lord and again He gave me scripture to combat the carnal thoughts that were trying to rob me of God's promise to me.  He told me that His grace was sufficient for me and that His power is made perfect in weakness.  This scripture was a great comfort to me because it had already been used in my life preceding a healing.  The Lord also spoke to me through another poem which demonstrated to me the spiritual warfare that was going on in my mind and just who was the most powerful of the two opponents.  Through the scripture and the poem, I was being shown the enemy's tactics in causing fear in my mind, and being encouraged yet again to trust absolutely in the Lord's power and ability to defeat him.  This poem I called

An Enemy Stood At My Door

An enemy stood at my door - I recognized this foe
His tap was soft at first and he was calling out my name
He'd tried to rob mankind of truth a long, long time ago
And now he'd come to me to do the same
His knock grew louder with each strike - his voice began to rise
My heart was wildly beating and my mind was filled with fear
With curses pouring from his mouth he rent the air with lies
I froze at what I could not fail to hear
Within the door I looked around and sought a place to hide
A sanctuary of safety from the taunting and the jeers
The enemy like thunder now began to rage outside
With trembling hands I tried to block my ears
Then suddenly within the room a warrior appeared
His form was bathed in light and He was brandishing a sword
The power and the fury from the enemy I feared
Diminished as I recognized my Lord
'Don't be afraid child' Jesus said 'at all that you have heard
This foe will turn to ashes and his power fall as dust
Take refuge in my presence as I speak God's Holy word
Your peace will then return because you trust
The words that I shall speak to you are Spirit and are life
They bring into existence that which does not yet appear
And have a power of their own to banish all the strife
That's coming from this enemy you fear'
I looked into my Saviour's eyes and knew His words were true
That God had sent Him to my aid, this enemy to fight
He said 'My child just stay within the light surrounding you
Your foe dwells in the darkness of the night
And he will come to carnal mind to try to steal the seed
That I have planted in you as you seek me every day
Hold fast to all I've told you - to his threatening pay no heed
When dawn arrives the darkness must give way
For search within God's written word and you will surely see
That for this very purpose was made manifest God's Son
And how to me the Father granted all authority
To halt the workings of the evil one'
I listened to my Saviour and I spoke out what I heard
To counteract the curses of the foe outside the door
And marvelled when I realized the power of God's word
Commanded him to bother me no more
Then slowly, but with boldness now, I walked across the floor
And lifted latch with Jesus' words embedded in my mind
God's grace for me sufficient - When I opened up the door
No messenger of Satan could I find

After writing the poem, I wondered about the line 'this foe will turn to ashes and his power fall as dust', and thought 'Where did that come from?'.  A few days later I was reading the book of Job and came across verse twelve of chapter thirteen which reads 'Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay'  Job's friends were being told by Job that what they had spoken was of the earth, a fleshly wisdom.  Elihu later states that it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand, and offers revealed knowledge rather than the voice of human experience and tradition.  I realized that I was in danger of allowing man's wisdom and knowledge to overrule the much higher wisdom and knowledge of the creator Himself.  The enemy only had a power over me whilst I was believing in the worldly wisdom and knowledge that was filling my mind above God's word..  His ultimate weapon was fear.
Some weeks before I wrote 'An enemy stood at my door' I asked an elder of the church I was attending at the time if he would anoint me with oil and pray for me according to the instruction to the sick in the book of James.  He said he would ask another elder because the verse actually said 'elders' as opposed to 'elder'.  The following Saturday I felt the Lord was speaking ot me again concerning this.  I woke up feeling that there was a swelling and some pain in my throat, and the lump under my right arm was also painful.  I started praying to the Lord, using a verse from Psalm 119 to ask Him to remember His word to me in which He had caused me to hope, telling Him, as the psalmist did, that His word was my comfort in my affliction, and that His promise gave me life.  I then reminded Him of the scriptures He had given me, one by one, as I remembered them.  Suddenly a picture of a small bottle of oil that I had put in my cupboard weeks befor came into my mind as clear as if it was in front of my eyes.  I had been given it free with an olive tree I had bought.  I thought about the anointing of oil and the prayer not actually being done and wondered if God was trying to tell me something.  Later that morning, I noticed that the reading in the 'Daily Bread' devotional for that day was on the verse 'Blessed is the man whose confidence is in Him', and it spoke about obedience, and being faithful in the small things.  The following Friday moening I awoke feeling not very well and once again fear and doubt started creeping into my mind. I thought about how this particular sickness had been in my body for sixteen years at that time, far longer than anyt other sickness I's had, and appeared to be getting worse.  Even the act of anointing with oil seemed insignificant.  Suddenly the word 'faith' appeared in my mind as clearly as the bottle of oil had appeared.  Immediately, thoughts of my previous instances of divine healing filled my mind, and the anointing of oil seemed as significant and necessary as being baptized had been to me, and walking around Jericho sefven times, shouting had been to the Israilites all those years ago.  It was significant insomuch as it was an act of obedience to God's instruction.  Things that would appear foolishness to the world had to be obeyed with the unquestioning innocence of a child by the Christian.  Later that morning I read my UCB 'Word for today' reading for that day.  The scripture reading was Proverbs ch.3 v.5, 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding', and the first sentence of the accompanying commentary read 'Stop trying to figure out things that should be lift in God's hands. When you put something on the shelf and say you are going to trust God with it, don;t try to take it back because you don't like the way He's handling it, or the length of time He's taking'. 
Since then I have been avle to maintain my trust in the Lord and am learning that, although I hae experience the Lord's ability to both heal and perform a miracle, I am also learning that His grace is sufficient for me and that that grace can be used to increase my faith as He teaches me to be still and know that He is God.

Lord I thank You for what You have been teaching me.  I have learned, and am still learning, to take nothing for granted, to realize that things can be changed, but that Your perfect love is the engine that motivates change and that Your perfect peace is the feeling by which I recognize that change as having come from You.  Your Holy Spirit is teaching me that if I run from things that hurt or challenge, then it is for the very fact that these things hurt or challenge that You hafe brought them across my path.  If I run, hurt goes with me and challenge remains where I stood.
You have helped me, and are still helping me, to love not only those who love me, that is easy, but to love those who find it hard to love me, and to realize that no one sees the whole picture of another's life, and that there is a common enemy that would seek to separate.  You do not ask me to love, You command me to love, and I thank You Lord for Your patience with me as I learn to love others as You love me.
I have loved the song 'Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord', and know that it is a very true message.
You have continued to encourage me to take every thought into captivity and see if it lines up with Your word spoken to me, and You have strengthened me often to act upon that word, even though my carnal mind may be questioning it.  I have come to know that Your wisdom is far greater than my own, and You are bringing me more and more to put my trust in it.  You have strengthened me in the past and are still strengthening me to believe that Your word has the power to bring into existance that which does not exist.

Ecclesiasted ch.11v.7 says 'Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun'.  You are my heavenly warrior of light Lord, Faithful and true, that rides on a white horse, having king of kings and Lord of lords written upon Your rove and thigh, as You slay my spiritual enemies with Your sword of truth, and it is pleasant for my eyes to behold You.
Lord, I continue to say 'Not my will, but Your will.  Not my truth, but Your truth.  Not my love, but Your love, and continue to make these two prayers to You.

Examine my heart Lord, look to see
If what I see in others lies also in me
Examine my hands Lord see the work that I do
Does it say 'Look at me' or bring glory to You?
Examine my mind Lord and the thoughts deep within
Are they righteous and holy or tempered with sin?
Lord take from this vessel that You wish to mould
All that is clay and replace it with gold

Increase the 'You' in me Lord, increase the solid rock
Increase the strength the Father sent to protect from every knock
Increase the 'You' in me Lord when I try to stand alone
Remind me that I'm still a child, that in You I'm not yet grown
Increase the 'You' in me Lord, take all my foolish pride
Take the 'me' that still remains in me and place th 'You' inside
Increase the 'You' in me Lord, that when all is said and done
And people say 'Thank you, thank you', I'll say 'Not me ....God's Son'


Covnitkepr1 said...

Nice blog with really good posts.
I write and maintain a spiritual blog which I have titled “AccordingtotheBook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it.

Toyin O. said...

Amen, we should never listen to the lies of the enemy, thanks for sharing.

Solid Rock or Sinking Sand said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd