A Time of Preparation
Joseph Herrin (5-8-08)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Holy Spirit has been indicating for some time that a season of preparation would precede His full release into ministry. I have understood these words to have personal application to my own life, but I believe they may have application to others as well. For this reason, I desire to share with you that which I have received from the Spirit.
On January 30th of this year I sent out a message titled A Time of Release. In it I spoke of Yahweh making His will known to me that it was time for me to leave my employment at the rescue mission I had been with for the prior three years. The Spirit indicated that it was time to enter into the ministry for which He had been preparing me.
Around this time the Spirit spoke to me through a Scripture that was cited on the devotional calendar on my dresser. It read:
For ye shall not go out with haste...
I mentioned this Scripture to my brother Randy Simmons. I shared that I sensed the Spirit was declaring that after calling us out from our places of employment that there would be a season where we were able to make preparation for that which we would be entering into. We would not immediately enter into ministry, but would be provided a time to get all things in order.
The Spirit has been confirming this to me through many means. The Spirit wonderfully provided a time where Randy and I were able to go camping (for nearly the entire month of April) and I was shown many things by the Spirit of Christ concerning the character of coming days and the ministry to be fulfilled. Most of you are familiar with these writings concerning the call of a group of forerunners who will serve as guides in coming days to lead their brothers and sisters through a time of fiery preparation that Christ might have a Bride prepared for His return.
During this month camping, I felt like the Spirit was revealing to me the big picture of what He would do through those He had appointed to this ministry, yet I was not shown anything specific at that time. Since returning from camping the Spirit has begun revealing things of a more specific nature in order that I might make preparation.
I believe the Spirit is indicating that there will come a release into ministry in August of this year. I have mentioned before the significance of Yahweh calling His people into new things during 2008, for 8 is the number of new beginnings. August is also the 8th month, and it provides a double witness of this release into new things.
While I was camping on Jekyll Island I received an e-mail from a very spiritually minded brother in Indiana. He told me about a discipleship program that they were pushing forward on, and he said that if the Lord set His approval upon this discipleship school and all went forward as they hoped, that they would like to invite me to come teach for a week at the beginning of August. I considered that during a season of seeking to know the will of the Father for days ahead that this invitation should arrive at this time. I believe this served as a further witness that the time of release into an active teaching ministry will arrive in August.
On returning to Middle Georgia, I was met with a very generous offer from Randy Simmon’s grandfather. Mr. Stanfield shared that he had been praying that morning and sensed that the Lord would have him invite Randy and I to stay with him until the promised ministry should open up. He did not know of any time frame relating to what the Lord had promised, so he simply made his invitation open ended. I was blessed to see how the Father had moved upon his heart to make this provision. Mr. Stanfield has a home situated on 28 acres with a fishing pond, and it is a very beautiful place to stay at. It is also convenient, being just outside of Macon and close to those things I need access to at this time.
For the past several months, ever since I experienced a heart attack, the Spirit has been directing me to get refocused on the goal He set for me of attaining a weight of 165. Being overweight has been a part of my life since childhood, and I had many bad eating habits. My weight was exacerbated by the hereditary bone disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease) which led to my breaking multiple bones as a child growing up. Due to this condition I was never allowed to participate in sports, and often was not allowed to even take Physical Education courses in school. I never developed the muscle tone of other boys my age, and a persons caloric burn rate is directly related to the amount of muscle in their body. Therefore, when I ate, the calories were stored as fat.
This is not to deny that I also had poor eating habits. Fruits and vegetables were not something I gravitated toward, preferring meats and sweets. For years the Spirit brought conviction to me of this, especially as my weight ballooned. During the years I worked as a computer professional, which was a very sedentary job, my weight got as high as 280 pounds. After receiving some discipline from the Lord in this area in the form of experiencing symptoms of diabetes, I was enabled to lose weight down to 235 pounds and all the symptoms went away. This was back in 1998.
For years I was stuck at this weight. Ten months ago, I began feeling poorly in my body, and the Spirit convicted me that it was time to gain complete control of this area of my life. He directed me to set a goal of getting down to 165 by my birthday, which was yesterday. This would have been a weight loss of 7 pounds a month, a very workable goal. The first 20 pounds came off easily, and then I hit another plateau. Feeling better, I eased up in my pursuit of this goal and remained at 215 for a number of months. It was then that I experienced a heart attack.
The Lord had spoken to me, and confirmed it to Randy, that the Lord would release many things in my life after I attained my weight goal. This included a release into ministry. Yahweh is very serious about His children bringing every area of the flesh under the rule of the Spirit. He showed me just how serious He was when He brought this discipline to me. Suffering a heart attack put the fear of God into my life ( a good thing), and it also served to renew my hope in conquering this stronghold that had resisted all assaults during the 46 years of my life. I knew that the Father would not discipline me in this way if He was not fully committed to bringing me to victory over it.
Since the heart attack I have begun exercising daily, and I am being much more careful about the foods I eat. I eat little meat, and fruits and vegetables have now become the staple portion of my diet, and I enjoy them very much. God has truly changed my appetites. I am now under 200 pounds, and I am feeling better than I have for many years. The month I spent camping was utilized in this regard, as I was daily going hiking or biking.
Since returning to Middle Georgia, the Spirit put it upon my heart to join a local gym. Most of my weight loss had thus far been through a reduced diet and fasting. I was beginning to look gaunt, as I had ever developed good muscle mass. I felt the leading of the Spirit to begin working out that my weight goal would not merely be attended by loss of fat, but by a gain of muscle.
In many ways this experience is prophetic. The Lord spoke to me some years ago that He had called me to be a cutter of grass (all flesh is as grass). He told me that first He would have to cut the grass (flesh) in my life, for only those who had their flesh dealt with could serve in this capacity with others. My physical condition has mirrored the spiritual condition of my being throughout my life. There was much physical flesh, and there were many unconquered passions and desires in my flesh man. It is therefore appropriate that before I am released into this ministry that I will have conquered this stronghold and brought this area into submission to the leading of the Spirit.
I have felt like the Spirit is indicating that by August, as I continue to go to the gym daily and work out, that I will have attained the goal He set for me. This is one further witness that I am in a time of preparation and the release into ministry will be in August.
As I have contemplated that which needs to be prepared for the days ahead, the thought has repeatedly come to mind that it would be beneficial in fulfilling a teaching ministry in coming days to have the books the Spirit has led me to write printed professionally. I have made this a matter of prayer, asking the Spirit to manifest His provision if this should be His desire. I had checked into a couple of print on demand services, and I found that it normally takes close to 90 days from the time a book is submitted until it is ready and copies are in hand. Knowing this, and sensing that there would be a release in August, I began to pray more fervently regarding the Lord making His provision known in this if it should be His will.
I have shared with a number of people that I felt that May 5th would be a significant day relating to the Lord’s provision. Over two years ago I rented a post office box in Macon. The number assigned to me was 5546. Immediately, when I was assigned this number I felt that my 46th year would be a year of much grace. (Five is the number of grace, and there is a double witness of this here.) 46 is also 2 times 23, and the Lord has often used the number 23 to indicate His provision. He has reminded me of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack).”
Since the beginning of this year I have had a growing anticipation for May 5th. This is the only 5/5 date in which I would be 46 years old, and it would fall two days before my birthday. I was not disappointed. This entire month so far has been a manifestation of great grace in the area of provision. April ended with trials (4 being the number of humility), but May opened with blessing.
On May first I received two gifts totaling $2,200 dollars. This number 22 had been much in focus as most of you know, it is the number relating to the ministry of flesh cutting. These generous gifts enabled me to catch up on all of my financial obligations. Since then I have received further gifts nearly every day of May. On May 5th I received further large gifts and I was able to deposit $1,100 on that day. Eleven is a number pertaining to Joseph, for he was the 11th son of Jacob and he lived to the age of 110.
Having received these gifts, I still did not sense a release to begin getting the books printed. So I continued to wait and pray. On my birthday, May 7th, as I was on my way to meet my son and daughter for lunch, I felt the Spirit indicating that I should stop and check my mail box. When I did I found a single letter in there, and in it was another gift for $1,000. The note from this Christian brother merely said, “I sensed the Lord telling me I was to send this to you.” The check was written on May 5th.
After receiving this gift I felt a release to begin sending out my books for printing. I had been drawn to a particular company (Xlibris), and last night I went to their website. I had anticipated that each book would cost about $800-$900 a piece to get them into publication. I found that the less expensive “Basic Package” would actually fulfill my needs and it is only $500 per book. On top of this, there was a notice on their website stating that during the entire month of May (grace) that all authors who paid for a book to be published would be allowed to publish an additional book at no charge. Hallelujah!
With the money I have on hand right now, I anticipate that I can easily get at least six of the books submitted for publication right now, and I am assured that the Lord will provide the means to fully get all that He desires prepared in readiness for the days ahead. What an extraordinary God we have. He directs things with precise detail. I had begun praying for this provision as soon as I knew I would be leaving the rescue mission. The Lord waited until the precise date that would correspond with the testimony of 5546, and He had the gift arrive on my birthday, as a testimony that He is a Father who delights to give good gifts to His children. This was prophesied to me through my daughter six years ago. When Kristin was 14 years old God gave her a tremendous prophetic word that included the following:
I am a Father who loves to give good gifts to His children. Trust My timing.
His timing is perfect. He does all things with great precision.
Having now experienced this release to begin printing these books, I find that they serve as one more witness that a release into ministry will occur in August, for it will take that long for the books to be ready. I wanted to share these things with you that you might also seek to understand the season the Father has you in at this time. I know that there are others who receive these writings who are also anticipating a release. I believe many are in a season of preparation where all things will be set in order that they might soon be released into those calls that have been placed upon their lives.
It is upon my heart o say something to those who have sent financial gifts recently. The gifts have been of different sizes, and I do not want any who have sent smaller gifts to think that what they have offered is less appreciated than the large gifts. We must remember that Yahweh always looks upon the heart of the giver. He knows the love and compassion behind the gift, and He knows what it costs each individual.
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on. "
I believe all who have given recently have done so sacrificially. I have discerned a tremendous sympathy and compassion in those things written by those who have contributed to my needs. I am blessed, and I know the Father is as well. I have a very small mailing list, with little more than a hundred recipients, yet there are more giving people on this small list than on those of people who have ten thousand people to whom they mail out. I take this to be symbolic of the fact that those who are attracted to these writings are peculiarly devoted to God and surrendered to the Spirit. Truly this will be the character of the purified church in coming days. They will each one esteem the needs of another more highly than themselves. They will share all things in common and no one will claim that anything they possess belongs to them personally, but they will hold all things in common. Such was the grace manifested in the early church in Jerusalem, and such it will be again.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.