Joseph Herrin (07-31-09)
I received permission from a sister in Christ to share a testimony that she sent to me a few days ago. I am very much encouraged to observe how God is moving upon various of His sons and daughters to position them and to prepare them for days of distress which the Spirit testifies are just ahead.
I would like to say to those who are not hearing the Lord direct them to specific preparations, to not despair. I have continually counseled all who ask me what they should be doing at this hour to simply obey the Father. His direction and His provision is not the same for all of His children.
Our safety is always in the Lord. He is our fortress and strong tower. We will find shelter under the shadow of His wings. It will avail you nothing to flee to the most impregnable fortress stocked with many years worth of supplies if Yahweh has not directed you to do so. On the other hand, you can walk through the valley of the shadow of death having no possessions and no provision, and you will lack for no good thing and suffer no lasting harm if you are following the Shepherd of your soul.
The common denominator among all who will walk as overcomers in coming days is that they are being led of the Spirit of Christ in all that they do. The intent of true disciples of Christ is not to preserve the natural life, but to do the will and pleasure of the One who purchased them with His own blood.
I am persuaded that in coming days all who would be accounted as overcomers will be brought repeatedly to choose obedience to God over a desire to preserve their own lives. If we do not place a commitment to obedience to God above self-protection, we will surely fail to be pleasing to the Father. The wilderness will avail nothing to those who place self-interest above the interests of their heavenly Father. I have been brought to this test on a number of occasions already. I have faced death and great personal loss, the threat of imprisonment, and my wife and children being taken from me, and the Spirit strengthened me at every trial that I might choose obedience, leaving the outcome in the Father’s hands. The Spirit testifies that these same experiences are coming to all who will pass through the wilderness in coming days.
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
It may seem to be a contradiction that the overcomers must not seek to save their own lives, yet the Spirit clearly is directing many to make provisions to survive in the days ahead. Christ gave the same counsel to His disciples 2,000 years ago.
"And you will be hated by all on account of My name..., But whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next...”
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance...”
God does not require that His people foolishly throw their lives away. We read over and over that Christ was avoiding certain areas where men were seeking His life.
And after these things Yahshua was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.
Do not misunderstand. The Scriptures are not stating that Christ was fearful for His life, or that He ever acted out of some soulish motive. He was always doing the will of the Father. So too must we. There was a day when the Father instructed His Son to lay His life down, and that day will come also for many of the sons and daughters of God. On that day we must do as we are instructed to every day. We must be led of the Spirit, surrendered to God’s will.
At this time the Spirit is directing many to prepare to flee in coming days, for it is not yet their hour to be offered up unto God. God is not seeking to encourage a motive of self-seeking, or fear in His people. He is simply directing them that they might be perfectly positioned for those experiences they must pass through. There will be plenty of trials for all. There will be perils, and difficulties, and our Father will use all of them to purge, purify and refine His people.
I was blessed by the testimony that follows, for it reveals a willingness to come out of the world, letting go of that which many people will foolishly try to hold onto in days ahead. Their refusal to let go of the world and all that is in it will prove very costly.
This testimony also includes a trial of obedience and integrity. This sister was pressured to commit fraud by an employer, and many Christians would have gone along to preserve their job and continue to live prosperously. I do not doubt that the outcome for this sister and her family would have been much different had she chosen differently.
We all need much grace in these days. One failing of the church is that they judge as did the Laodiceans. They equate material success with spiritual success. Many would lament leaving behind a nice home in a gated community to live in a fifth wheel trailer in a rural location. Yet I perceive the hand of God and great grace in what has transpired. Sodom was a comfortable and affluent place to reside, but not on the day that fire fell from heaven. Those who dwelt in a cave in the hills were in a more favorable place on that day.
Following is the testimony of this sister in Christ. I have edited it slightly for posting to the Parables Blog.
I have been reading your parablesblog for close to a year now. I enjoy receiving them via email. I am in agreement with so much of what you are posting.
My family was in attendance at the Lakeland Revival with Todd Bentley last May/June. We were attending a large Assembly of God church. We felt something was wrong with us as we were not manifesting the things others were. We saw false signs and wonders in the sky. We even believed to have seen miracles. Somehow I knew something was missing. I bought the Todd Bentley CD about soaking in the presence of God. As I listened to this CD I knew it was a spirit, but not that of our Lord. We renounced the Revival and I cried out to the Lord for truth.
Last July, he answered my prayer and very quickly. We were living in a beautiful 3 bedroom home in a gated community in Florida. I had moved there as a Regional Director for the business office of the SE division of a large Assisted Living Company in Aug 2006. I was making quite good money and believed the Lord had blessed us.
Last year, as I was putting a screened lanai on the back and front of the house ( I had wanted this for 2 years), I felt the Lord telling us to move. Then a few weeks later I felt him telling me “RV.” I was asking him... “are you sure?”
By this time I had left the Assisted Living position and taken another, but was fired for not committing medicaid fraud. A few months after that I was hired as director over 2 thrift stores for a homeless ministry. Like you, I worked with some wonderful men in the program and thought much higher of what I was going to do for the Lord than I believe he had planned for me. I was laid off 11 months later.
We sold much of our furniture, had many yard sales, and purchased a 5th wheel trailer. We bought 1.8 acres in the mountains of Tennessee and here we are. We have had much trial and tribulation.
Upon moving into the trailer we found a mold problem. It took 3 months for the dealer to fix it so we were in a small cabin. We had no septic, or water on our property we bought. Praise the Lord, He provided $6,000 for us upon arriving that paid for the septic, well, and temporary electric.
We moved onto the property on March 8, 2009. Our water is not filtered yet, so we buy water at the store, but have some for bathing and dishes. I am still out of work....70+ resumes later. I have had some breaks in the unemployment, so we are really learning to appreciate the necessities in life.
We now use the Laundromat for 4 of us, and only have a small refrigerator that doesn't freeze right most of the time. (Borrowed a small dorm size also from friends.) So we have had a huge change of life. However, I am content with what we are going through.
Some tried to tell us it was the enemy, but I have been at peace with what I believe the Lord is allowing in order for us to be changed and humbled. We want to be overcomers and there is no alternative for us but to allow the Spirit of the Lord and for God to have his way in our lives. Your posts have been a tremendous comfort for what we are walking through.
My husband did receive employment about 2-3 weeks after we arrived in November, but it is only at $9.50 per hour. So we truly have had to change our lifestyles and are so grateful to be here in this place. The Lord has truly answered our prayers and we are grateful even as it has been a difficult challenge for us.
We have two boys ages 12 and 15 and they have accepted the change very well. We have been planting fruit trees and our first garden! Our boys have had the opportunity to attend a Christian School here that is a minsitry and doesn't charge tuition. I Praise the Lord for this opportunity for them. They love their new school and classmates. May the Lord continue to sound the alarm for the remnant to awaken out of their slumber and come to the place He is calling them. Please keep up the work you are doing for the Lord. It is a blessing to us out here in the wilderness.
Love In Christ,
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063