Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank You Lord for the Cross!

Joseph Herrin (11-24-2010)

The sign pictured above was located right next to the motorhome the Father led Randy Simmons to purchase last year. The man selling the RV had a pest control business, and this was the message he had posted. The Father in numerous ways that day indicated to Randy that he was to purchase a vehicle designated as an ark. Randy was seeing images of doves with branches in their mouths all day, including a real one which flew directly in front of him as he was driving.

Randy’s motorhome has been a cross for him to bear. After purchasing it, and being assured by the owner that it was driveable, it died on him numerous times before it had moved ten feet. The owner ended up putting another battery in it for Randy, and he began to drive it home as I followed in his pick-up truck. The RV went a few hundred yards and the engine cut off. After sitting a few minutes he was able to crank it again and drive a few hundred more yards. This process was repeated a half dozen times, at times requiring me to get out in the road and direct traffic around the stalled motorhome.

Being frustrated, and not knowing the problem, Randy ended up leaving the motorhome beside the road that night. The next day his uncle Alan helped him get it to Randy’s mother’s home so he could begin work on it. It turned out that there was trash in the fuel tanks, and the motion of driving was stirring up the sediment, blocking the fuel line, and causing it to cut off. Randy had to pull the tanks and take them into town to get them cleaned and the insides re-coated. Performing this work he got soaked by gasoline numerous times.

Randy was told the RV had new brakes. It turned out to have one new brake pad. The brakes pulled terribly to one side and needed work. He discovered  numerous serious electrical problems almost immediately. When his uncle flipped one switch in the motorhome it shorted out an expensive battery, actually melting the post off the side of it.

The power distribution box inside the motorhome did not work. None of the 12 volt systems in the motorhome worked. The generator fuel pump was non-functional. The starter on the engine needed to be replaced several times. Randy thought the problem might be with the flywheel, so he replaced it which required dropping the transmission, which is a major job. The roof had leaks, so he patched it thoroughly last year. He discovered on our return from our four month journey on the road that the roof had been leaking despite being patched and the ceiling was sagging in places.

This is not an exhaustive list of the problems with the motorhome, but it will suffice to demonstrate the types of experiences Yahweh will lead His sons into when they are yielded to be led of His Spirit. It was very evident that Yahweh had chosen this specific motorhome for Randy. Getting it into functional condition would indeed present Randy with an afflicted path that would try his soul, and lead him to question why the Father had given him a vehicle that required so much work when He could have given him something much better.

I have shared with Randy that the path we walk is as important as the destination we are seeking to arrive at. The Father will appoint to each of His sons and daughters a path that is designed for maximum spiritual growth. We only have opportunity to increase in patience when we are brought to the end of our natural patience. The same is true regarding gentleness. It is exercised when we are provoked to anger. Longsuffering is developed only as we suffer for a long time. Faith is exercised in the face of unbelief. Humility is given opportunity to arise when pride rears its head.

I have written of Randy’s experience because of the sign that was present when he bought the RV. I knew it was symbolic, which is why I took a picture of it last year. This RV would lead Randy to a cross. Randy’s experience is not unique. It is common to ALL who will submit to be led where the Spirit leads them.

When we yield ourselves to the leading of the Spirit, He will direct our steps with great purpose. Where we would like a quick and painless solution to our needs and desires, the Father’s thoughts toward us are much different. He does not often give us that which our soul would choose for itself. He will bring us to experiences designed to promote spiritual growth. The afflicted path He appoints for His sons will disclose their shortcomings.

Consider the Israelites who were led by the Father out of Egypt. Yahweh promised them that He would bring them to a land promised as an inheritance. It would be a land flowing with milk and honey. He said He would give them houses they did not build, and vineyards they did not plant. These things sound wonderful to the soul of man, and indeed they are great blessings.

What the Israelites did not count on was the path that Yahweh would lead them down to arrive at their inheritance. Yahweh chose a path through a barren wilderness. They would be tried with hunger, thirst, heat, and serpents. They would be faced with enemy armies mightier than themselves, and even have to do battle with giants. Every deficiency within the people of God was exposed by these experiences.

Deuteronomy 8:2
And you shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Anger, pride, impatience, dissatisfaction, grumbling, complaint, self-seeking, covetousness, idolatry and many other things were exposed through the experiences Yahweh led His people to. Their experiences were not unique to them. They were written for the church to learn from that they might not respond in similar ways. We too risk being disqualified from being partakers of the good things the Father has set before His people.

1 Corinthians 10:1-12
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Listed here are some of the same responses that will keep the saints of God today from entering into their inheritance. Idolatry - loving the world and the things in it; Sensuality - living an unrestrained life that indulges the flesh;  Murmuring and complaint - finding fault with the Father’s will and ways as He directs our steps; all these things and more are common reflex responses of the Adamic man. The Father will appoint experiences for each of His sons to show reveal what is in their hearts.

This reveals one important point. Although the Israelites could truly say they were being led of Yahweh, for they were following the pillar of fire and the cloud, they could not boast of walking as overcomers. It is not enough to follow. We must follow while overcoming the passions and desires of the flesh. Our Father is patient. We may not get it right the first time. He will lead us around the mountain again. This is for our benefit. He wants us to recognize where we failed previously that we might pass the test.

What we discover as Yahweh directs our steps is not pretty. We inherited a deep root of self-love, self-seeking, pride, and rebellion from our forefather Adam. Yet, it is the love of God that He would reveal to us this blackness within. He wants us to see it, to mourn over our condition, that we might yield to the process of transformation into sons of light. The old man must die that a new creation might come forth.

Last year at this season the Father appointed for me to spend sixty days in jail. I would not have chosen this course for myself anymore than the Israelites would choose to endure the wilderness. Yet, by accepting the Father’s path, even expressing thanksgiving for it, I was able to pass through the experience successfully as an overcomer. My experience would have been exceedingly bitter had I gone through it with a spirit of complaint, protesting the injustice of it all. Instead, I found springs in the valleys and water from the barren rock.

Are you yielded to go wherever the Father will lead you, and to do whatever He will require? You must be if you would be a disciple of Christ, for no disciple is greater than His master. If Christ had a cross to bear, then so too will all who follow in His steps. There are humble circumstances, trying experiences, difficulties, sorrow and loss that we must all pass through. As we do we are given opportunity to decrease in our Adamic nature and increase in conformity to Christ.

There is nothing more beneficial in the life of any saint than the cross the Father would lead them to. Those experiences that provoke the flesh and upset the soul of man are Yahweh’s best and highest will for His sons.  It is in dying to natural reason and all fleshly response, allowing the meek, gentle, forgiving and overcoming nature of Christ to be revealed that we are transformed and made worthy to rule and reign with Christ in the ages to come.

If the Father is leading you to some trial, some humiliation, some unjust experience, some provocation, loss, or sorrow, can you express thanksgiving for it? Only those who accept the wisdom and ways of God, leaning not on their own understanding and Adamic wisdom, will be enabled to do so.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares Yahweh. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

The past eleven years of my life have been ones of affliction, loss, and sorrow. This describes the way of the disciple of Christ, the way of the cross. The Father has shown me that my experiences have been that which a great many more will now be required to be led through. Are you willing? Will you pass through the wilderness victoriously as did Joshua and Caleb? Or will you be as that much greater number who murmured and complained bitterly against the path the Father chose for them? Will you embrace the difficulties the Father appoints for you, or seek to return to Egypt?

This Thanksgiving, let your heart choose to accept the cross with thanksgiving. It is Yahweh’s instrument to cause you to come forth as a spiritual creation in His own image. The path is not easy, but if it is embraced with thanks it will lead to life and blessings that far exceed any trouble we will have to endure for a season.

I believe the Father would have me to share these things with you at this time, for the coming year will be one in which many will find that their path is the way of the cross. Even now some see it looming before them. Will you embrace it? Will you go forward, entrusting your soul to a faithful Father despite the fears within and the conflicts without? Great grace awaits those who will accept the cross prepared for them. Such ones will never walk alone. Christ walks with them.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063


Angela said...

Thank you, Yahweh and thank you, Joseph. He must love me to continue this training and doesn't want me to miss out on the prize. You are his faithful messanger. I will continue to listen and learn. I do wish that I wasn't such a slow learner, though.

Anonymous said...

I can certainly identify with the issues concerning the bus. The home we purchased 6 years ago has been a complete disaster. We have practically rebuilt it from the ground up. What a time of testing!

Patience and waiting upoon the Lord and it almost put back together. Praise the Lord.

Happy thanksgiving and may God bless you.


Sandy H. said...

What a timely message that witnesses to my spirit. It puts our focus on the goal...... to become an overcomer. How easy it is to forget in the business of the American life. Thank you Holy Spirit!
I am going to copy this message and keep it in my Bible and refer to it often this coming year. I read
something recently that stayed with me.... "you will perform in a day of distress according to how you trained for it!" How profound! Your timely message buried deep in our soul will help us overcome daily trials which in turn will cause us to be ready to meet our Bridegroom. Praise Yah!