Joseph Herrin (06-03-2010)
Important Note: The Hemphill, Texas meetings begin Friday night (June 4th) and run through Sunday morning. My next stop is Fort Worth, Texas. Roger Norman will be hosting meetings June 10-12 at his home. Please contact Roger for directions, or to let him know you are coming, at 817-909-0648. Following are the meeting details:
3204 Sweetbriar Lane
Fort Worth, TX 76109
June 10th (Thursday) - Beginning at 6:30 P.M.
June 11th (Friday) - Beginning at 6:30 P.M.
June 12th (Saturday) - 1 P.M.
On the Road with the Holy Spirit - Part Four
I shared previously concerning some of the difficulties that have arisen as Randy and I have journeyed forth on this trek the Spirit has sent us on. I am reminded of the missionary journeys of Paul, who first set out with Barnabas.
And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
A very key part of any successful ministry trip is knowing that it is initiated and directed by the Spirit of Christ. Having the assurance of being sent becomes all the more necessary as one encounters trials, obstacles, and difficulties along the way. In the previous post titled Crossing the Stormy Sea it was revealed that Christ repeatedly instructed His disciples to go places only to have some storm arise that made their journey difficult, and at times perilous. The same could certainly be testified of Paul’s missionary journeys.
It is apparent in the passage above that it was the Spirit of Christ that initiated the journey for Paul and Barnabas. The many persecutions, distresses, and difficulties encountered were not the result of being out of the Father’s will. From the beginning of Paul’s conversion it was testified that it was appointed to him to suffer.
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
Back in 1999 the Spirit spoke to me while I was waiting upon Him to discern His will for my life. He said that He had called me to be “a cutter of grass, for all flesh is as grass.”
A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of Yahweh blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
He then testified that I must permit Him to cut the grass in my life before He could use me to cut the grass in other people’s lives. I have submitted to this flesh cutting process during the last decade. At this time He is sending me out to encourage others to submit to this necessary flesh cutting in their lives. Although I am being sent out with this message, the process of reducing my flesh continues. It will not be complete until I lay aside this mortal body.
The Father has been testifying to Randy and I through a number of parables. I have shared previously how greatly the Father used the story Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard to speak to me. This book presents an allegory of the afflicted path that all of God’s children must walk if they are to attain to spiritual life. The book begins with Much Afraid dwelling much as a settler in the town of Fearing. The Shepherd calls Much Afraid to venture forth despite tremendous fear in her life.
The book employs the imagery of deer learning to walk over difficult places as a metaphor for the Christian. The main character begins the journey with crippled feet, and stumbles badly. Because she cannot walk with much grace, her way is exceedingly bitter. Over the course of time she grows more sure in her walk, and obstacles and difficulties are passed over much more easily.
Christians who accept the call to discipleship experience very similar things. It is necessary to embrace the walk appointed to by God, accepting it rather than choosing to complain bitterly, or murmur as did the Israelites in the wilderness. As we surrender willingly to Yahweh’s course, we grow in our ability to overcome difficulties. We learn to lean heavily upon our Savior, placing no trust in our human abilities.
As Randy and I have traveled, we have repeatedly observed highway crews, campground personnel, and home and business owners out cutting grass. The unique thing is that our attention is repeatedly drawn to people cutting grass using John Deere mowers of all types and descriptions.
John Deere Mower at Campground
Another John Deere Mower
In the book by Hannah Hurnard, the main character makes it to her destination in the mountains of the Lord. She is then sent back to help others to make the same journey. What I have discerned the Spirit to be signifying through these John Deere mowers cutting grass is that He has led me through an afflicted path, just like Much Afraid, the main character of Hannah Hurnard’s book. He is now sending me forth as one who has some experience in the journey to lead others to embrace the path that will result in their flesh being reduced and a spiritual creation arising.
At the same time, there continue to be obstacles in my path for me to surmount. Those who direct others to the narrow path to life must continue to walk it themselves. Randy and I have received many testimonies to this fact.
When we arrived in Spring, Texas after having passed through numerous difficulties, I was led to a specific campground. I had no idea until I registered that the campground had the word Trinity in its name. It was called Trinity Spring Oaks RV park. Below is a picture of the office.
Note the address next to the door. 22 is a number denoting flesh cutting. 14 is a number signifying transition into a new experience with God. I have written of the symbolism of these numbers elsewhere, and how the Father used them profoundly in my life to testify to these very things.
While in Spring, I was ministering to a group of saints in the home of Matthew Washington and his wife Tonetta.
Matthew Washington - Our Host in Spring, Texas
We had wonderful meetings there, with a good number in attendance. The message was consistently that there is an appointed path for each individual. Only as we walk the path the Father has chosen for us can we encounter the experiences necessary to conform us to the image of Christ. Only as we take up OUR CROSS daily and follow Christ can we experience those perfectly tailored events that will lead us to crucify the flesh, crush the soul, and allow a spiritual creation to arise. The Spirit was inviting all present to transition into a complete surrender to the path Yahweh has determined for their life.
Another metaphor the Father has been speaking through is that of pioneers. Randy and I have been encountering pioneer symbolism everywhere we go. While holding meetings in Columbia, Missouri, I was struck by all the books on the pioneers that our hosts had on their shelves.
A small sampling of the many books they had on Pioneers
While staying with David and Donna Miller in Columbia, they took us to a nearby town, and I observed markers for the Lewis and Clark Trail. The Father is calling His people to embrace a pioneering spirit. It is necessary to cast away the security the soul seeks in order to follow the path the Father appoints to us. We must be like Abram and Sarai who accepted the invitation of Yahweh to leave home, family, and all that was familiar, to go to a destination chosen by God.
Matthew Washington has four precious sons whose names are Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke. Mark is eight years old, and immediately befriended Randy and me. One of the last things spoken to me in Spring was by Mark. He said that he thought Randy and I were like Lewis and Clark. I asked him which one of us was whom. He thought for a moment and said to me, “You are Lewis, for he was the one who started first.”
Such statements seem random. It was an unusual comment to come from an 8 year old boy. When Randy and I arrived at our campsite outside Hemphill, Texas the very next day, the comment Mark made came back to me. Our sites were side by side at the junction of two roads on the campground property.
Lewis and Lunker Lanes
A lunker is a large fish, such as a trophy bass. Randy is an avid fisherman, and I have no doubt that this natural affinity has a fulfillment in his spiritual call. The campground has great fishing, and it was the first thing the owners told us about.
Before passing on to other things, I want to share some of the testimonies of grace we have received amidst our trials. When we were driving into Spring, Texas and my oil pressure gauge dropped to the bottom, I stopped and had the oil changed and a thicker oil added, as well as some oil stabilizer. The bill came to $55.50. The three fives in the cost are a testimony to a fulness of grace. Although my gauge continued to drop after this, I knew the grace of the Father was with us.
While staying in Spring I was seeking the Father to know what I should do regarding this issue. One mechanic had already told me that it might require the engine to be rebuilt to correct the low oil pressure problem. I was led to call a Christian brother I had met at the meetings in Helen, Georgia. Marc Lieberman is a skilled mechanic, and he told me more than once before he left that if I needed anything done to my van that he wished to help me.
I called Marc and described the problem. He shared that because I was not hearing any clanging and tapping when the oil pressure gauge bottomed out that he would advise me to first look at the gauge as it might be defective. I purchased a mechanical oil pressure gauge, which are more reliable than electronic ones, and installed it that day. I then took the van out onto the Interstate around Houston to see what oil pressure readings I would get. Immediately as I got onto the Interstate I looked in front of me and saw the following site:
GRACE Tanker Truck
I am not sure what type of truck this was, but it struck me as an oil truck. To see the word GRACE spelled in large letters as I was seeking the Father on this situation was a great encouragement.
I ran the van up and down the Interstate and the oil pressure, although somewhat low (about 32 PSI at cruising speeds), was not critically low. I felt that it was OK to continue to drive the van onto my next destination. In my van I have a small model ship made of metal with the following inscription below it:
“The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
Randy and I drove nearly two hundred miles yesterday with outside temperatures in East Texas of 98 degrees, and even pulling a trailer my van did well. The oil pressure remained steady and the van never ran hot.
There is a vulnerability in a natural sense in following the path the Father appoints to us, but we are ever secure when we stand upon the Rock who goes with us.
Christ Yahshua is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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