I have a few books left to revise before embarking on the next work the Father has for me. Yesterday I began the revision work on Sarah's Children. There are sections that need to be re-written before I can post the book on Amazon to be read with the Kindle reader. In the previous edition of this book I had quoted some long passages from a writing by Watchman Nee. In order to avoid any violation of copyright on that material I will have to omit, or revise it.
This gives me the opportunity to add additional material to the book, and to re-state some things in a manner that might prove helpful to understanding. This morning I completed an Author's Statement which will appear at the front of the book. It follows below:
I first penned this book back in February of 2002 when I was forty years old. It is now late in the year 2011 and I have passed my fiftieth birthday. Much has transpired in the intervening decade.
In October of 1999 the Father directed me to leave my employment as a computer manager at a county hospital and begin a ministry of writing. Accompanying me on this journey were my wife Tony and my children, Kristin and Josiah. My heavenly Father made it known that He would provide for all of our needs as we obeyed Him, following where He led, and doing whatever He required.
In significant ways, the journey was difficult for all of us. We had no savings in the bank to rely upon, no church supporting us, nor any other tangible resources to rely upon. I did not sell my books, but gave them away freely, using the Internet as the primary means of distribution. We were cast upon the Father, looking to Him for every need, while trusting Him to guide and direct our way.
In some ways this walk reminds me of a high-wire acrobat walking a tightrope without a safety net below him. We had God to stand upon, while being directed to make no provision for God failing us. We had no credit cards, no health insurance, no line of credit with the bank. Yahweh had directed us to embrace a very vulnerable life where if He did not come through we would be met with disaster.
The purpose behind such a walk is now obvious to me. When there is a significant element of personal risk, we become more careful in our walk. Like a man on a tightrope, we dare not deviate to the left, or to the right. We must walk very circumspectly. I was daily cast upon the Father, looking to Him as our source of provision, of health, of security. I feared to sin willfully and incur His wrath. I considered my ways much more carefully than in previous days when we seemed less vulnerable.
Yahweh also wanted to prove to us that those who follow where He leads can trust in Him. This does not imply that those who yield to be led of the Spirit will not know trials. Quite the contrary. Christ has declared that the way will be one of affliction, of sorrow and suffering. The invitation is to “take up your cross” and follow Christ.
As one who has been called to teach the crucified life of the disciples of Christ, I was required to walk the path. My experiences became a rich training ground to understand the ways of God and His kingdom. I was better enabled to teach others about faith, obedience, and the cost of discipleship, as I was led through a journey of many trials and afflictions.
Before I wrote this book in 2002, I had completed and published another book titled Sabbath. As Sarah’s Children focuses upon the call of women to submit to Yahweh’s governmental order, the book Sabbath focused on the parallel role of man as he yields to the lordship of Christ. The apostle Paul sets forth the governmental order of God succinctly in the following words.
I Corinthians 11:3
I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Headship is a very important matter in the kingdom of God. To take another as head, we must remove our own head. This is where the cost of discipleship comes in. Christ is our pattern. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just prior to His crucifixion, Yahshua prayed to His Father.
"Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."
Christ took the Father as Head. He therefore had to remove His own head. Rather than doing His own will, Christ chose to submit to the will of Another. The immediate result was suffering and affliction, but the lasting result is glory and honor. This is the pattern set before all who would follow in Christ’s footsteps.
Before honor comes humility...
Having taken Christ as my Head, I have been led down paths that I would not have chosen for myself. I have had to choose Christ’s will over my own. Following Christ has caused me to pass through many humbling experiences. There have been reproaches, shame, and many weary circumstances out of which my flesh has yearned to be delivered. Yet, I know that to be Christ’s disciple I cannot shrink back. I have to accept what Christ chooses for me. Other men might be experiencing honor, material prosperity, and ease, but I have been called to accept with contentment lesser things that the natural man despises.
This same pattern continues, being observed in the relationship of the woman to the man. Man’s relationship to Christ is given as the pattern for woman’s relationship to man.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church...
It is rare in this hour to find a man who has gone beyond confession to make Christ Lord of his life in practice. The majority of Christian men are being directed by their own souls. Their heads are still very much intact, being the source of rule and direction for their lives. The same is true of women. It is the rarest of God’s daughters who have accepted Yahweh’s governmental order for their lives. Accepting God’s will leads women to a cross. They must die to their own will and desires to live for the will and pleasure of another. Few are willing to do so.
God’s word is inviolable. His kingdom principles will not be set aside. Humility must come before honor. Those who refuse to humble themselves now are forfeiting great honor in the coming ages. They will not hear the Father say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Instead, they will be met with the indignation of Christ, “Depart from me you lawless ones. I never knew you.” Having failed to obtain conformity to the life of Christ, they will receive reproof instead of honor.
There are a great many books written today for Christian women. The vast majority are written from the perspective of those who have rejected the suffering of the cross. There are legions of writers and teachers who will proclaim what the flesh wants to hear. A message of ease, prosperity, and personal pride has saturated the body of Christ. Women are encouraged to assert themselves, to stand up for their rights, and to pursue the life their soul desires. This is not the example found in Christ, nor the counsel He speaks through those who would teach truth.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
For even Christ did not please Himself...
Since this book was first made public a decade ago I have found that there are many who object to its message. Nevertheless, there is a remnant among women who have received what is written. The cross divides the carnal from the spiritual; it separates the lovers of Christ from the lovers of self. When the preaching of the Kingdom is sounded forth accurately, the disciple’s cross must be included in the message. To many the message will appear as death, but a few will perceive life in it. The apostle Paul described this phenomena in the following manner.
II Corinthians 2:15-17
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
I offer here once again that which I have discerned to be the mind of Christ for those women who aspire to godliness. Do not anticipate having much company if you follow where Christ would lead. He has stated plainly that there are few who find the path to life. There is One, however, who will walk with you. This One is the Son of God. He is a companion to the humble, a helper to the weak, and a source of encouragement to those who are faint of heart. There is a “fellowship” in Christ’s sufferings. He is seeking those who will follow Him down the path of life. I pray that YOU might accept His invitation.
Joseph Herrin (12-19-2011)
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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