Saturday, February 24, 2018
There was a real atmosphere of excitement and anticipation at this church called Living Faith when we first began attending there. The praise and worship was fresh and heartfelt, and the teaching and preaching was challenging. There was an expectation that God was going to lead the body into ever increasing experiences of His presence, and into the blessings that come to those who walk by faith.
There was one minister at this body who received all of his financial support from the church, and there were a couple others who were bi-vocational, receiving a limited support for their ministry. There was much talk among them about walking by faith, and my hopes were exceedingly high that this church would succeed where the last one had failed.
The ministers would go off once a year with their wives to a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia to have a time of fellowship, prayer and sharing about God’s vision for the body. My family and I had been attending here for about six months when the ministers went off on one of their annual retreats. They asked me to preach while they were gone, and they had asked some of the young people to lead in the praise and worship.
The Spirit gave me as the subject of my first message at this church the matter of stepping out in faith, and I used the Scripture of the priests placing their feet in the water’s of the Jordan as my basic text. The time of praise and worship preceded the message, and the last song the youth led the congregation of believers in was “Step Into the Water.” This was not arranged between us, for we had not spoken to one another prior to this gathering, but it was a witness to me of God’s desire for this message to be preached, and for the people to walk in the reality of it.
When the ministers arrived back from their retreat they shared with me that the Spirit had revealed to them that I was to be ordained as a minister among them. As I shared previously, they also agreed to pay me $100 a week, and it was at this time that God indicated He would heal my son, and that I was to cancel all his government SSI benefits. I did not realize it at the time, but God had arranged for my first act as a minister at this body to be stepping into the waters myself, and to thereby provide an example of faith for other’s to follow.
God’s voice was rich to me at this time, and He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance. As I have already shared, He revealed that His names described the inheritance of the saints, for He is that good land of promise that is set before us. David understood this, and he wrote of it in one of his Psalms of praise and worship to Yahweh.
Yawheh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
David used an allegory that looked back to the time that the Israelites cast lots to see which tribe would receive the various portions of the land that had been surveyed. The lines had already been drawn up and a map made, and all that remained was to cast the lot to see what portion each family would receive. David, of course, had not been born when this event occurred, for it was hundreds of years earlier. Using a poetic allusion to this event, he said that when the lot was cast for him to receive his portion, that God supported his lot and gave him the very best part of all. God gave David Himself as his inheritance.
David actually describes the priestly inheritance that went to the Tribe of Levi, for God said they would not receive an inheritance of land, for God was their inheritance. David chose for himself this priestly inheritance, preferring God to all other worldly possessions.
As the Spirit spoke to me of this, He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance, and that He would do so one portion at a time. I was made to understand that at Living Faith the first two areas He would lead us in to possess were Yawheh Rophe - Yahweh our healer, and Yahweh Yireh - Yahweh our provider.
The way that God leads us into our inheritance is the same way He led the children of Israel into their possessions. We must do battle. There are enemies in the land, and they must be driven out. We must take a stand in this land of promise, and defend the plot of land. As Paul said:
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
God showed us as a family where He wanted us to stand, and the first place was to trust Him for Josiah’s healing. Before another six months went by, the Spirit was speaking to me of the next place He wanted us to stand. He wanted me to trust Him next for the health of my entire family. He spoke to me and said, “I have been your son’s source of healing, now I want you to trust Me for your entire family.” I was working at a local hospital at this time, and I had excellent health insurance at very affordable rates. We had used this insurance often, and now God was asking us to give it up and look to Him to be our source of health.
I understood that as a minister to the body of Christ that what God was asking me to do was to provide an example that others might follow Him wherever He would lead them. What He was requiring of us was not for our family alone, but for an example to the children of God. I shared with my wife what God was speaking to me by His Spirit, and she was not at all pleased with this. She had a lot of fear, and she expressed many worries about what we would do if someone in our family became sick or injured. My only reply was that we would have to trust God to meet every need.
I determined to cancel my health insurance, and Tony after a struggle agreed. When I went to the office at work where such matters are handled, I was told that there was only one opportunity a year to make changes to benefits, and it was in the month of December. December was several months away, so I told the Lord that when the date arrived I would do as He had instructed me.
As we walk with the Lord and see Him prove His faithfulness before us, He will ask us to do things that are progressively more challenging. God leads us on into ever increasing acts of trust and reliance upon Him, and He will allow the situations to become more difficult with each passing test. This increased difficulty is not given to torment us, but to produce a greater faith in us, which is a very precious thing in God’s sight.
I Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Yahshua the Messiah...
The Lord was to subject me to a more intense trial this time, that my faith might be purified further by the fire it was subjected to. As the date approached where I could cancel my health insurance, but was still a couple months away, I began to experience the symptoms of diabetes. I had constant thirst and frequent urination. My mouth felt dry and cottony, and at times I experienced blurred vision and even dizziness. These symptoms persisted and began to increase in their frequency and intensity.
One day while I was performing my job as the hospital’s personal computer manager, I was working on a system in the ER when I became very dizzy. I was forced to lean against a wall to keep from falling down. Since I was already in the emergency room, I thought that I had better get myself checked out to see what the problem was. Blood tests were run and they revealed that my blood sugar level was 370 when it should be no higher than 120. The ER doctor told me that I was diabetic and that I needed to go see a family physician and get started on a diabetic regimen.
It was now less than a month before the date when I could cancel my health insurance. I considered this matter, and it struck me as more than coincidental that I should experience this trial at this time. Yet, God allowed me to be tried further. Certain nurses, whom I knew at the hospital, who worked with diabetic patients, and were involved in diabetic education, had heard about my diagnosis. They began seeking me out and urging me to go see a doctor immediately. They told me horror stories of patients who had gone blind from this disease, and others who experienced organ failure and amputated limbs. They would place brochures in my hands that proclaimed this same fearful message. These nurses told me that they had patients in the hospital at that very moment whose blood sugar level was no higher than mine, and they were on intravenous insulin drips.
When my wife learned of my condition she was no longer desirous of canceling our health insurance. It seemed that on every front I was meeting resistance to this commitment I had made before the Lord. My symptoms persisted. I was accustomed to sleeping through the night without getting up a single time, but now I was getting up five or six times a night due to my frequent need to urinate, and I would then guzzle more water to slake my thirst. I was becoming somewhat rattled in my trial, and one day while driving with my family I pulled out in front of an oncoming car that I did not see. I only avoided a collision when my wife screamed, leading me to slam on the brakes. It may have been partly due to diabetes’ negative effect on peripheral vision that I did not see the car, but it was also partially due to my own anxious state.
I spent much time thinking about this matter of trusting God for our health, and I held off from going to see a family physician. Despite all the negative pressure I was receiving, and the report of my senses, I still had a witness in the spirit that God wanted me to trust Him and cancel health insurance on our family.
As I considered it, I could go to a doctor and begin treatment for diabetes, a treatment I would most likely be on for the rest of my life, or I could cast myself wholly over onto the Lord and trust Him to bring complete healing. The prospects of being healed, when compared to lifelong diabetic management, knowing that there is no medical cure for diabetes and the condition usually worsens with age, caused me to prefer entrusting myself to God with anticipation of complete healing.
Perhaps the greatest factor that weighed in my choice to trust God was that I considered what life would be like if God could not be trusted. I considered what the years ahead would hold if I devoted my life to serving a God who would not, or could not, meet my needs. The prospect was horrendous. I decided that I would rather die of diabetes than to spend the rest of my life not knowing whether God would be there for me in my hour of greatest need. Life to me was not worth living if God could not be trusted. The only fulfillment and satisfaction I could envision in life was in entrusting myself to a heavenly Father who genuinely cared for me and who would not abandon me when I placed my life in His hands. How unbearable it seemed to me to serve a God I could not trust.
The day arrived when I could cancel health insurance with my employer, and none of the pressures arrayed against me had been removed. In this instance God would once more require obedience before His provision would be manifested. I went to the office and filled out the paperwork to cancel health insurance on my entire family. In my soul I was still experiencing some trouble, but in my spirit there was peace. I knew no censure in my spirit from the Lord. I sensed not a hint of guilt, or conviction of disobedience. The peace of God was ruling within my spirit man and leading me to understand His will.
I was very overweight at this time, being nearly 280 pounds. I had tried on numerous occasions to lose weight without success, but after canceling my health insurance the pounds began melting away with little effort at all. Over the next few months my weight dropped to 235 and all the symptoms of diabetes disappeared. No longer was I constantly thirsty. I began sleeping through the night again. My blurred vision and dizziness went away. The Lord brought a complete healing to me from the disease of diabetes.
It was in December of 1998 that I canceled this health insurance, and my family and I have been relying upon God to be our health ever since. It is now over five years later and the symptoms of diabetes have not returned, nor have any of our family members needed a doctor’s care, or a hospital visit, in this time.
In the preceding chapter I spoke of God healing my son Josiah from Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Some time after we had taken this step of faith with my son, I went into his room and I noticed his name plaque hanging on the wall. We had bought this plaque many years before, but I had never noticed the meaning it attributed to the name Josiah. Directly underneath the name Josiah were the words, “Jehovah Heals.”
God has not only proven Himself to be the health and healing of my son, but of our entire family. God has led us into this part of our inheritance called “Yawheh Rophe” - Yahweh our Healer, and we have found that it is a good land. There were enemies that had to be driven out, but God promised to go before us, and He testified that the battle belonged to Him. We needed only to enter in by faith.
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