Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Follow Your Dreams

Once Yahweh begins to lead us into the land of our inheritance, the road leads ever onward. We must go from faith to faith, ever trusting the Lord for a further victory until all the enemies are driven out and we are dwelling securely in the land of promise. Though God may give us a time of respite, He will not allow us to sit upon our lees for long. He declares “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion.” God did not allow us to become too comfortable in the land we had already taken possession of, the land of Yahweh Rophe, before He began calling us to go in and possess the next portion of our inheritance. The next area in which God wanted to prove Himself to us was the area of financial provision.

I had been working at the Houston Healthcare Complex in Warner Robins, Georgia for fourteen years. I had worked my way into a very good position, which was a dream job for me. I had been fascinated by computers since the early 1980's, and I had for some time wanted a job working with PC’s. God provided this job for me by having a position created where none had existed before. I had been hesitant to take the job, for as much as I desired to work with PC’s, I was intimidated by the demands and responsibilities of such a position. The Spirit led me to take the job, however, and after I had been in it for some time the Spirit spoke to me.

I had arrived early at work this day and was sitting at my desk. I heard the voice of the Spirit ask me, “You really wanted to work with PC’s, didn’t you?” I replied, “Yes Lord, I did.” The Spirit continued, “Although you were worried about your ability to handle this job, I have made you adequate in every situation, haven’t I?” I answered “Yes,” for this was certainly true. On numerous occasions when some PC problem had stumped me, I would be led of the Spirit to do a certain thing and the problem would be corrected. This made me look very good and competent in the eyes of others, but it was actually God solving the problem, and not me.

The Spirit then asked me, “As much as you wanted to work with PC’s, this really has not been your greatest desire, has it?” I paused for a moment and thought, then I answered, “No Lord. From my youth on up I have wanted to be a minister, but I have felt even more inadequate for that calling than for the job I am doing now.” The Spirit then said, “This job has merely been preparation for a higher calling. I wanted to show you that when I call you to do something, I will be your adequacy, giving you what you need to stand in every situation.” The Spirit ended the conversation by speaking to me two things that were not found in Scripture, but coming from the Spirit they became truth in my heart. The first thing was a slogan that was popular at the time which states, “Do not let your fears keep you from your dreams.” The second was an ancient oriental proverb, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

The conversation then ended, and I was left to my thoughts. I had already been ordained as a minister, and was serving the body of Christ on a part-time basis. I was still going out to the church building and praying regularly, and I was preaching and teaching when I was given opportunities. Yet I had never given myself to ministry full-time, and this is what I understood the Spirit to be speaking about.

Over the next weeks I began to experience a restlessness within me regarding my current job. What had been a dream job was beginning to seem less appealing to me. At the same time I began to experience a greater yearning to enter into ministry to the body of Christ in a fuller way than I had known. God was once more leading me by changing my desires. He was working within me “both to will and to do, His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

As I was making the rounds of my job in the weeks that followed, I found the Lord ordering my steps to bring me into conversations with people about the topic of pursuing our dreams. I was reminded of a saying by Henry David Thoreau that I had heard years earlier while still in my pre-High School days. Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

I believe I was only in the seventh or eighth grade when I heard this quotation, but I understood the heart of it immediately. Many men have a dream in their heart. Perhaps one man dreams of being an artist, another man a writer. Another man may dream of being a great architect, or an explorer. Yet these same men look at the risks, and the chance of failing to attain to their dream, so they choose another course that seems less risky, but which is also lacking the fulfillment they could have known. A man may take a factory job, or a bank position, or something similar, yet day by day there is inside of them a quiet desperation caused by their dream lying dormant and unfulfilled.

It is true that many men’s dreams are selfish, but God also places dreams in the hearts of His children. We see David being anointed by the prophet Samuel when he was still a youth, and being told that he would be king one day. We see Joseph being given dreams of ruling and reigning when he was also a youth. Both of these men were to know many long years of trials, rejection, and suffering before they were to see the dreams realized. Yet after a very long journey that began with a single step, they both saw their dreams come true.

Each time I had this conversation with a person at work the desire within me to pursue the dream of my heart grew stronger. I realized that I did not want to spend my life working on computers. I wanted to be a minister of God. Despite my feelings of inadequacy, and in spite of my fears, I wanted to pursue this calling that God had set before me.

I began to sense that God would soon call me out from working at the Houston Healthcare Complex, and this would be the beginning of a new phase in my life. In my naivete I thought God would have my calling recognized by man, and that some wonderful opportunity to minister among the body of Christ would soon open up to me. I did not understand that I was only at the beginning of the journey, and that the goal lay many years ahead of me.

God did call me out from my job, and the training for ministry began in earnest. At the same time God was calling me to enter into the land of Yahweh Yireh - Yahweh my provider. He called me out from wage earning that I should trust Him for all of our provision. He confirmed this to me in ways that were remarkable.

As I was considering leaving my employer and stepping out in faith, I walked through the kitchen in our home and I glanced over at the little flip calendar located near the sink. The Scripture for the day was Exodus 14:14, and it said, “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

I was at first struck by the double occurrence of the number fourteen. I had been at my employer for fourteen years, and I was reminded of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph said that Pharaoh’s dreams were repeated to indicate that what was being revealed was settled before God, and it would quickly come to pass. Later I was made aware of the significance of the book this Scripture was found in. Exodus means “going out, or forth,” and God was calling me to journey out from my present job and to begin a new experience.

I shared with my wife what the Lord was speaking to me, but she was filled with terror. Although we had already been called to steps of faith and had seen God’s faithfulness, each new leading from God was calling us to deeper and deeper waters. At this time it had been nine months since we had canceled our health insurance, and God had proven Himself by healing me from diabetes and keeping us all in good health. It had also been about fifteen months since we had canceled SSI benefits on Josiah, and he had not broken another bone. I had been able to persuade Tony to willingly follow in these past steps of faith, but I could not move her on this matter of trusting God for our finances.

I knew there would be great difficulty if I followed God down this path, so I asked Him for further confirmation of His will. The Holy Spirit spoke to me again while I was at home and told me to look up the first occurrence of the word “fourteen” in Scripture. I sat down at my Bible program and did a search on this word. My Bible program lists each occurrence in order and gives a snippet from each verse where the word is found. The very first Scripture in which fourteen is found is Genesis 31:41, and this is what I saw, “I have worked for you fourteen years.”

I was shouting when I got up from my chair, for I knew the Lord was telling me that I was to leave my employer, and I was excited about pursuing the greater dream the Lord had placed in my heart. I decided to check the first occurrence of this number in the New Testament as well, and I found it in the very first chapter of Matthew.

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

I saw in this that the number fourteen is used by God to denote transition, for each of these occurrences marked a definite transition point in God’s dealings with His chosen people. A transition was coming in my life as well, and God had been preparing my heart for it ever since the morning He spoke to me at work. I was convinced in my heart that this was what I was to do, and I expressed this to Tony, but she was not moved. She became very emotional, and then threatening, and indicated that she would not go along with me in this step of faith.

God had been preparing the hearts of the ministers at Living Faith to follow Him wherever He would lead, and had been speaking much about trusting Him for health and provision. One of the elders had met Charles and Nancy Newbold from Tennessee, and had invited them to the church. The Newbolds told this elder about a couple they knew who lived near them. This couple is Bob and Peggy Hughey. The Hugheys had been living a life of complete trust in God for all of their provision for a couple decades, and God had taken them all around the world to minister. They had a biographical book out about their experiences titled A Lifestyle of Light.

The Newbolds invited this elder they had first met, and Richard, to come up and visit with them, and while they were in Tennessee they introduced them to the Hugheys. Richard came back excited about what he had heard concerning the experiences of the Hughey’s, and he brought each one of the ministers at Living Faith a copy of their book. I was tremendously encouraged and challenged in reading about their lives, and I was equally excited that the other ministers were beginning to talk about trusting God for real practical things in their own lives.

One day Richard shared with me about a time a few years earlier when he had been led by God to take his wife and two sons to Colorado. God said He would take care of them, and they went without any money on hand, needing to see God come through for them immediately. They stayed in Colorado for four months, and God would not allow Richard to work. Richard was a bundle of fears, yet God had taken care of them faithfully and at the end of four months he brought them back to Georgia. Richard and I talked about the great challenges of such a walk of faith, but also the rich benefits of a greater fellowship and intimacy with God as the desperation of the circumstances would drive the individual to press into the presence of God daily.

With all of this preparation God had been doing in our midst, I had hoped that the other ministers would be supportive when I shared with them what God was leading me to do. They had been witnesses of Josiah’s healing, and they had seen God take care of our family’s health, even healing me of diabetes, when I had been led to cancel our health insurance. What God was requiring now was just one more step in this process of leading us forward into greater realms of faith. The church was even named Living Faith, so I had hopes that the ministers would understand what God was doing.

I should have realized that one man’s faith does not translate over to another man unless they also have a desire and a willingness to walk in faith. During one of our ministers’ meetings, I shared how God had confirmed His leading to me, and I informed them that I was going to leave my employment in the computer field and trust God for our provision. As a minister there was much precedence for this, and Paul even devoted the majority of I Corinthians chapter 9 to this topic.

I asked my wife before we went to the meeting what she was going to share, and she told me that the Lord had spoken to her, telling her she was not to say anything. After I shared, the elders and their wives asked Tony what she thought about the matter. Tony changed her mind about being silent. She became very emotional and expressed all of her fears and said she did not agree with this thing I was doing. The elders and their wives, moved by Tony’s emotions and fears, then expressed their opinion to me that I should not do this thing since my wife did not agree with me. They told me that I was prohibited by God from taking such a step if my wife was not in agreement.

It is not my desire to get into a discussion of headship, and the governmental order of God, in this book, for I have already addressed these topics at length in other writings. If any should have a desire to read further on this topic I would refer them to the book Sarah’s Children, which can be read, or downloaded freely, from the Heart4God website. It is necessary, however, to mention the struggle that was present in our home that further things which will be shared should be understood.

Tony truly had not heard God speak that her husband was in error, nor had the Spirit told her that she was to resist my leadership and advocate that we go another way. In fact, God had spoken something to her that was quite the opposite. A few months prior to these events a couple from another town attended a Sunday morning gathering of saints at Living Faith, and it was known that the woman was a prophetess. Toward the end of the meeting Richard asked this woman, whose name is Judith, if she had a word for the body. She responded affirmatively, but added that the word was for the leadership and she would like to share with the ministers after the service ended.

When the ministers had gathered together, and a couple of their wives, Judith said that the Lord had given her a message for the ministers, and then added that it was specifically for one of us. She pointed straight at me, and said “God says promotion is coming to you.” I was stunned to have been so singled out among the ministers, and I wondered what the word might mean. I did not know Judith, having only seen her once or twice before, and never having fellowshipped with her or her husband.

My wife was not present when Judith spoke this word, but after a few minutes I noticed that Judith had found my wife and it was apparent she wanted to speak something to us. Tony and I stood shoulder to shoulder facing Judith, and Judith then spoke to Tony saying, “God says you are to get behind your husband.” Judith then began praying for Tony and she prayed against a spirit of divorce.

Tony and I had struggled some over our previous steps of faith, and on the last one, when it was known that I was diabetic and God was pressing me to cast myself over into His hands to trust Him for healing, Tony had threatened to divorce me if I went through with canceling our insurance, but it did not seem to me that she was very serious about her threat. I appreciated the prophetic word spoken to Tony, and the prayer, very much, and later when things were to get very difficult in our home I was much consoled that God had already sent His messenger and declared His will.

Fear is a terrible taskmaster, and I had endured much torment from fear during my life, and I would experience more. I could empathize with others who were also being terrorized by this demonic spirit. The Scriptures command men to live with their wives in an understanding way, knowing that they are weaker vessels (I Peter 3:7), and one of the ways in which they are weaker is in their susceptibility to fear. The verse preceding the one just mentioned speaks the following:

I Peter 3:6
Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

Fear was the real issue that Tony was dealing with. She had not received a word from God saying that I was to continue working as a PC manager, nor had she heard His voice saying I was not to pursue full-time ministry. She was merely being terrorized by her fears, and this fear was evident every time she spoke. God instructed me to be patient and gentle with my wife, but at the same time He would not allow me to bow to the pressure she was using to try to manipulate my actions. In my obedience to God I was led to be as hard as adamant, yet in my conduct with my wife I was instructed to manifest much patience, mercy and forgiveness. The journey had begun, and I was not to allow my fears, or the fears of others, to keep me from the dreams God had set before me.

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

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Failure of Faith

At the same time that Yahweh was leading our family to steps of faith, and proving Himself to be a faithful Father, He was bringing many others in this body at Living Faith to face similar challenges. Health problems abounded in this church, and each crisis of health was an opportunity to press into the Lord. The saints must hear from Him in order to know what He requires, that the victory might be attained and the good land possessed.

The head pastor at this fellowship of believers was named Richard, and he began setting aside a time during each service to call all those who were sick, or injured, to come forward for prayer. On some days half the congregation would come forward, and Richard himself was seeking the Lord for healing from a chronic back problem that robbed him of strength and severely limited his activities. There was a real sense among the leadership of the church that God wanted to reveal Himself as healer to the body. Perhaps the most common work ascribed to Yahshua in the gospels is healing. He also bestowed authority upon His disciples that they might heal.

Richard shared that he was having his wife lay hands on his back every day and pray for healing, and they were both patiently looking to the Lord in this matter. Every Sunday he was also calling all who were sick to come to the front of the church to receive prayer. This continued for about two months. Then Richard announced to some members of the church that he had heard of a new therapy offered by some doctors in Illinois for people who had physical problems similar to his. The way he had heard about this new treatment seemed unusual to him, and he took this as a sign that God wanted him to check into this procedure.

I did not say anything immediately to Richard about this, but I felt a great concern in my spirit. I had recently done a study on the medical profession, focusing on the symbol of the medical staff, or caduceus, which is pictured as a rod with entwined serpents upon it. I traced this symbol back to ancient Egypt, and I found many things that were impure relating to the medical profession and its practices. What was most troubling, however, was that so many men and women placed such trust in man’s resources for healing, while not even considering that God could, or would heal them. A very large percentage of those who professed faith in Christ would not even consult with God to find out what His will was for them when they experienced injury or sickness. The Spirit led me to the following passage of Scripture.

II Chronicles 16:12
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Yahweh, but the physicians.

There is a judgment in these words. King Asa acted foolishly by not seeking Yahweh. If you read the entire story of Asa’s life you will find that he began in faith. Early on he trusted God and saw God deliver him from his enemies with a great and spectacular victory. At some point, however, Asa began to trust in that which his eyes could see. Years later when he was faced with another enemy, he hired the sword of foreigners to provide him protection and deliverance. God sent a prophet to rebuke him for not trusting Him as he had done previously, yet Asa rejected the prophet’s words and mistreated him. The Scriptures record the following concerning this event:

II Chronicles 16:9-10
"For the eyes of Yahweh move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars." Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him for this.

At the end of his life Asa still was looking to the hand of man for all of his needs, and preferred to trust in physicians rather than to seek God for healing. Asa did not turn to God even when the physicians could not heal him.

I know I must be very plain in what I say here, lest some twist and distort my meaning. I am not saying that God will never use physicians as a source of healing in our lives, nor was Asa criticized by God because he obtained the services of a physician. The error manifested by Asa, and by a multitude of saints, is that he failed to seek God in the matter. Asa never even considered that God might heal him, so He never sought out God to know His mind.

Many saints today never give a thought to God’s ability, or willingness, to heal them. When they are faced with an injury or sickness they run immediately to the arms of the physicians. Some men and women trust the physicians so completely that they will allow them to cut off a limb, fill their body with toxic chemicals, bombard them with deadly radiation, operate on, or remove, some part of a major organ, or perform some other risky and potentially life threatening procedure, without ever seeking a witness from God.

Is it not a great sign of unbelief that Christian’s will not seek God when they are met with a physical trial? The prophet declared that King Asa was acting in unbelief, and was dishonoring Yahweh by completely bypassing Him as a source of deliverance and healing, while preferring to trust in man. The words of the prophet have become a theme in my life that I have quoted many times, and have often recited them to God in prayer.

“The eyes of Yahweh move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

Oftentimes when I discerned that the Spirit would have me cast myself wholly over into God’s care, and there was some great risk involved, I would meditate on these words and I would be comforted in knowing that Yahweh was searching earnestly for those who would give their hearts completely to Him.

I was very concerned when I first heard that Richard was going to seek the physicians. I knew he had grown impatient in waiting upon God, and his confidence that God would do anything for him was weak. Richard shared more about this matter when he was gathered together with the other ministers and their wives in my home. He told us, that as a minister, he could receive this medical treatment free, and that the physicians performing this procedure had set-up a clinic in the basement of a church. He told us this clinic was located in Thebes, Illinois.

When Richard mentioned Thebes, the Spirit quickened me to go get my dictionary and look up the name of this town. My dictionary gave the following definition, “The capital of ancient Egypt in the period of its greatest glory.” I had previously shared my study on the medical profession, and the caduceus, with Richard and the other ministers, and they understood Egypt’s link to both the Caduceus, as well as its Biblical typology of representing the systems of man and all those who rely upon the arm of the flesh.

I shared with these men that I did not believe this was God’s provision for Richard’s healing, but that it was a test to see whether Richard would continue to wait upon God. I was reminded of the tests that God brought before David when he was being pursued by King Saul. Twice God delivered Saul into David’s hands where he would only have to reach out and strike his enemy and the kingdom could have been his. David’s men looked at the incredible way in which Saul had been delivered into David’s hands, and they told David, “Surely this must be the hand of God, and it must be God’s will for you to strike Saul.” David knew this was not the way God would provide his deliverance, and he refused to be drawn into such an action.

I Samuel 24:3-6
He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. The men of David said to him, "Behold, this is the day of which Yahweh said to you, "Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you...'" So he said to his men, "Far be it from me because of Yahweh that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed."

I Samuel 26:8-9
Then Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time." But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be without guilt?"

The Spirit of God taught me a valuable lesson through these accounts of David’s life. He revealed to me that not all things that appear as a supernatural ordering of our steps are an indication of God’s will. Twice God had very remarkably placed Saul into David’s hands to see what David would do. David’s men rightly observed that God had done this, but they wrongly concluded that it was God’s will for David to do that which unbelief would tempt him to do.

In the same way, the Spirit bore witness that this opportunity set before Richard had been orchestrated by God, but it was merely to test his heart. Like myself, Richard was a minister to the body, and as such God looked to him to set an example to the rest of the church. The very name of this fellowship was Living Faith, and God had spoken to Richard and the rest of the ministers that He desired to lead us into our inheritance in Christ by faith. He had revealed that health and provision were the two areas He would begin to bring us into by faith, and now Richard was being tempted to quit looking to God, and to return to the provision of man.

I shared these things with Richard, but he would not change his mind. I was concerned that as soon as Richard quit waiting upon God that he would also quit urging the body to do the same. Sure enough, the very next Sunday was the first Sunday in nearly two months that he did not ask those who needed healing to come forward for prayer. He has since led other members of this body to go with him to receive treatments. His attitude changed from encouraging the saints to look to God for healing, to leading men and women to lean upon the same source of healing that he had placed his trust in.

It has been over four years since God led us out from this fellowship of Christians. Last year I heard that Richard was still going for treatments and had not yet been cured of his chronic back problems. It amazed me that he could not wait upon God for two months, yet he was continuing to wait upon man’s healing after several years of treatment.

The Holy Spirit inspired men to record the lives of Asa and David for the benefit of the saints today. We are to learn from their successes and failures. The Scriptures declare that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” The need to walk by faith is just as much a requirement for the children of God today as it was for the patriarchs, prophets, kings, and priests of old. Only those who walk by faith will enter into the good land before them. Those who refuse to walk by faith will perish in the wilderness.

I have great empathy for those who struggle with fears and worries and unbelief, for these have also been my enemies. I have found God to be greater than all these things, and His grace has been sufficient to allow us to remain standing when many enemies have gathered around us. Sadly, like King Asa, the response of many who have received reproof, correction, or admonition from those whom God has sent to direct them back to a path of faith, has been to become angry and to act violently toward the messenger. Ultimately, I was to be cast out from my place of ministry among this body due to my unwillingness to turn aside from the path of obedience God had set before me.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Saturday, February 24, 2018

God is Our Health

There was a real atmosphere of excitement and anticipation at this church called Living Faith when we first began attending there. The praise and worship was fresh and heartfelt, and the teaching and preaching was challenging. There was an expectation that God was going to lead the body into ever increasing experiences of His presence, and into the blessings that come to those who walk by faith.

There was one minister at this body who received all of his financial support from the church, and there were a couple others who were bi-vocational, receiving a limited support for their ministry. There was much talk among them about walking by faith, and my hopes were exceedingly high that this church would succeed where the last one had failed.

The ministers would go off once a year with their wives to a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia to have a time of fellowship, prayer and sharing about God’s vision for the body. My family and I had been attending here for about six months when the ministers went off on one of their annual retreats. They asked me to preach while they were gone, and they had asked some of the young people to lead in the praise and worship.

The Spirit gave me as the subject of my first message at this church the matter of stepping out in faith, and I used the Scripture of the priests placing their feet in the water’s of the Jordan as my basic text. The time of praise and worship preceded the message, and the last song the youth led the congregation of believers in was “Step Into the Water.” This was not arranged between us, for we had not spoken to one another prior to this gathering, but it was a witness to me of God’s desire for this message to be preached, and for the people to walk in the reality of it.

When the ministers arrived back from their retreat they shared with me that the Spirit had revealed to them that I was to be ordained as a minister among them. As I shared previously, they also agreed to pay me $100 a week, and it was at this time that God indicated He would heal my son, and that I was to cancel all his government SSI benefits. I did not realize it at the time, but God had arranged for my first act as a minister at this body to be stepping into the waters myself, and to thereby provide an example of faith for other’s to follow.

God’s voice was rich to me at this time, and He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance. As I have already shared, He revealed that His names described the inheritance of the saints, for He is that good land of promise that is set before us. David understood this, and he wrote of it in one of his Psalms of praise and worship to Yahweh.

Psalms 16:5-6
Yawheh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

David used an allegory that looked back to the time that the Israelites cast lots to see which tribe would receive the various portions of the land that had been surveyed. The lines had already been drawn up and a map made, and all that remained was to cast the lot to see what portion each family would receive. David, of course, had not been born when this event occurred, for it was hundreds of years earlier. Using a poetic allusion to this event, he said that when the lot was cast for him to receive his portion, that God supported his lot and gave him the very best part of all. God gave David Himself as his inheritance.

David actually describes the priestly inheritance that went to the Tribe of Levi, for God said they would not receive an inheritance of land, for God was their inheritance. David chose for himself this priestly inheritance, preferring God to all other worldly possessions.

As the Spirit spoke to me of this, He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance, and that He would do so one portion at a time. I was made to understand that at Living Faith the first two areas He would lead us in to possess were Yawheh Rophe - Yahweh our healer, and Yahweh Yireh - Yahweh our provider.

The way that God leads us into our inheritance is the same way He led the children of Israel into their possessions. We must do battle. There are enemies in the land, and they must be driven out. We must take a stand in this land of promise, and defend the plot of land. As Paul said:

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

God showed us as a family where He wanted us to stand, and the first place was to trust Him for Josiah’s healing. Before another six months went by, the Spirit was speaking to me of the next place He wanted us to stand. He wanted me to trust Him next for the health of my entire family. He spoke to me and said, “I have been your son’s source of healing, now I want you to trust Me for your entire family.” I was working at a local hospital at this time, and I had excellent health insurance at very affordable rates. We had used this insurance often, and now God was asking us to give it up and look to Him to be our source of health.

I understood that as a minister to the body of Christ that what God was asking me to do was to provide an example that others might follow Him wherever He would lead them. What He was requiring of us was not for our family alone, but for an example to the children of God. I shared with my wife what God was speaking to me by His Spirit, and she was not at all pleased with this. She had a lot of fear, and she expressed many worries about what we would do if someone in our family became sick or injured. My only reply was that we would have to trust God to meet every need.

I determined to cancel my health insurance, and Tony after a struggle agreed. When I went to the office at work where such matters are handled, I was told that there was only one opportunity a year to make changes to benefits, and it was in the month of December. December was several months away, so I told the Lord that when the date arrived I would do as He had instructed me.

As we walk with the Lord and see Him prove His faithfulness before us, He will ask us to do things that are progressively more challenging. God leads us on into ever increasing acts of trust and reliance upon Him, and He will allow the situations to become more difficult with each passing test. This increased difficulty is not given to torment us, but to produce a greater faith in us, which is a very precious thing in God’s sight.

I Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Yahshua the Messiah...

The Lord was to subject me to a more intense trial this time, that my faith might be purified further by the fire it was subjected to. As the date approached where I could cancel my health insurance, but was still a couple months away, I began to experience the symptoms of diabetes. I had constant thirst and frequent urination. My mouth felt dry and cottony, and at times I experienced blurred vision and even dizziness. These symptoms persisted and began to increase in their frequency and intensity.

One day while I was performing my job as the hospital’s personal computer manager, I was working on a system in the ER when I became very dizzy. I was forced to lean against a wall to keep from falling down. Since I was already in the emergency room, I thought that I had better get myself checked out to see what the problem was. Blood tests were run and they revealed that my blood sugar level was 370 when it should be no higher than 120. The ER doctor told me that I was diabetic and that I needed to go see a family physician and get started on a diabetic regimen.

It was now less than a month before the date when I could cancel my health insurance. I considered this matter, and it struck me as more than coincidental that I should experience this trial at this time. Yet, God allowed me to be tried further. Certain nurses, whom I knew at the hospital, who worked with diabetic patients, and were involved in diabetic education, had heard about my diagnosis. They began seeking me out and urging me to go see a doctor immediately. They told me horror stories of patients who had gone blind from this disease, and others who experienced organ failure and amputated limbs. They would place brochures in my hands that proclaimed this same fearful message. These nurses told me that they had patients in the hospital at that very moment whose blood sugar level was no higher than mine, and they were on intravenous insulin drips.

When my wife learned of my condition she was no longer desirous of canceling our health insurance. It seemed that on every front I was meeting resistance to this commitment I had made before the Lord. My symptoms persisted. I was accustomed to sleeping through the night without getting up a single time, but now I was getting up five or six times a night due to my frequent need to urinate, and I would then guzzle more water to slake my thirst. I was becoming somewhat rattled in my trial, and one day while driving with my family I pulled out in front of an oncoming car that I did not see. I only avoided a collision when my wife screamed, leading me to slam on the brakes. It may have been partly due to diabetes’ negative effect on peripheral vision that I did not see the car, but it was also partially due to my own anxious state.

I spent much time thinking about this matter of trusting God for our health, and I held off from going to see a family physician. Despite all the negative pressure I was receiving, and the report of my senses, I still had a witness in the spirit that God wanted me to trust Him and cancel health insurance on our family.

As I considered it, I could go to a doctor and begin treatment for diabetes, a treatment I would most likely be on for the rest of my life, or I could cast myself wholly over onto the Lord and trust Him to bring complete healing. The prospects of being healed, when compared to lifelong diabetic management, knowing that there is no medical cure for diabetes and the condition usually worsens with age, caused me to prefer entrusting myself to God with anticipation of complete healing.

Perhaps the greatest factor that weighed in my choice to trust God was that I considered what life would be like if God could not be trusted. I considered what the years ahead would hold if I devoted my life to serving a God who would not, or could not, meet my needs. The prospect was horrendous. I decided that I would rather die of diabetes than to spend the rest of my life not knowing whether God would be there for me in my hour of greatest need. Life to me was not worth living if God could not be trusted. The only fulfillment and satisfaction I could envision in life was in entrusting myself to a heavenly Father who genuinely cared for me and who would not abandon me when I placed my life in His hands. How unbearable it seemed to me to serve a God I could not trust.

The day arrived when I could cancel health insurance with my employer, and none of the pressures arrayed against me had been removed. In this instance God would once more require obedience before His provision would be manifested. I went to the office and filled out the paperwork to cancel health insurance on my entire family. In my soul I was still experiencing some trouble, but in my spirit there was peace. I knew no censure in my spirit from the Lord. I sensed not a hint of guilt, or conviction of disobedience. The peace of God was ruling within my spirit man and leading me to understand His will.

I was very overweight at this time, being nearly 280 pounds. I had tried on numerous occasions to lose weight without success, but after canceling my health insurance the pounds began melting away with little effort at all. Over the next few months my weight dropped to 235 and all the symptoms of diabetes disappeared. No longer was I constantly thirsty. I began sleeping through the night again. My blurred vision and dizziness went away. The Lord brought a complete healing to me from the disease of diabetes.

It was in December of 1998 that I canceled this health insurance, and my family and I have been relying upon God to be our health ever since. It is now over five years later and the symptoms of diabetes have not returned, nor have any of our family members needed a doctor’s care, or a hospital visit, in this time.

In the preceding chapter I spoke of God healing my son Josiah from Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Some time after we had taken this step of faith with my son, I went into his room and I noticed his name plaque hanging on the wall. We had bought this plaque many years before, but I had never noticed the meaning it attributed to the name Josiah. Directly underneath the name Josiah were the words, “Jehovah Heals.”

God has not only proven Himself to be the health and healing of my son, but of our entire family. God has led us into this part of our inheritance called “Yawheh Rophe”  - Yahweh our Healer, and we have found that it is a good land. There were enemies that had to be driven out, but God promised to go before us, and He testified that the battle belonged to Him. We needed only to enter in by faith.

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Joseph Herrin
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Father, Will You Heal My Son?

I was perplexed, and somewhat distraught, when I discerned that God had determined to remove the candlestick of the church I spoke of in the previous chapter. I had spent many years in this place, and had prayed and interceded fervently that the Father would raise up a people for His praise. I had expected that He would do so, and that He would use the people from this body of believers as a part of this work. The Holy Spirit led me to the following verse, which I often used as a basis for my prayers:

Isaiah 62:6-7
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind Yahweh, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Jerusalem is a type of the church, and I felt called as a watchman to cry out to Yahweh and to ask Him to make the church beautiful once more. The church had become as Jerusalem in her ruin.

Isaiah 64:10-11
Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, has been burned by fire; and all our precious things have become a ruin.

As I observed the church at large I saw that she had fallen from a great height. Her walls had been broken down, and the world was trampling her courts and filling her streets with much impurity and wickedness. The glory of the Lord had departed, and there was little faith evidenced anywhere. Few could be found who truly gave themselves to a pursuit of God. Yet I believed that Yahweh would have a righteous remnant prepared for the return of His Son, a Bride prepared without spot, or blemish. I wanted to see this people raised up, according to the words of Isaiah:

Isaiah 61:4
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

I had seen one people fail due to a lack of faith. I had been ordained as an elder at this church just a few months before the end of her existence. Yet God had confirmed to me that my ordination was from Him and not from man. When I left this church God spoke to me and declared that His gifts and callings were without repentance. The Holy Spirit bore witness that I was still a minister to the body of Christ, and would remain so.

I was excited when God immediately showed us where we were to go next. He led us to a non-denominational body of believers in a nearby town. The name of this fellowship was “Living Faith,” and this was particularly encouraging to me, because I knew it would take a living faith to enter into the promises of God. While we were here God began leading our family further into the inheritance He had for us. We had already trusted Him to be our security, and now He wanted to prove Himself as our Healer.

Both my son Josiah and my daughter Kristin were born with a hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which simply means “imperfect bone formation.” The common name for this disorder is “Brittle Bone Disease.” Kristin was born first, and she entered this world already having suffered a fracture of the thigh while in the womb. This fracture had healed by the time of her birth. She then broke three more bones by the age of two, and at one time she had both legs in a cast simultaneously. Josiah was born two years after Kristin, and he also experienced a broken bone when he was only a year old.

When our children were at this early age, someone suggested to my wife and I that we should apply for government SSI benefits for children with disabilities. We were told that these benefits would pay for all medical expenses, as well as providing a monthly stipend for the child’s support. I did not seek God’s mind on this matter. The money and the free medical care both sounded appealing, so we applied for these benefits on both of our children. Remarkably, Kristin was turned down although she had already experienced four fractures. Josiah, who had only one fracture at this time, was accepted.

God was about to demonstrate something to me through this peculiar set of circumstances. Over the course of the next six years Josiah was to break eleven more bones, and have surgery twice to put a bone in place. Kristin, who had been turned down for these government benefits, never suffered another fracture. By the age of seven Tony and I had been in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices regularly. We were continually taking Josiah to receive medical care for his many broken bones. The knowledge that I was not having to pay a dime for Josiah’s medical care provided little consolation to me, neither did the fact that I was getting three to four hundred dollars a month for his support. My heart was burdened for my son.

It does not take much for a child with this disease to injure himself. On one occasion, when Josiah was about three or four years old, he was in the doctor’s office and had just gotten a cast off of his leg. When the doctor stepped out of the room for a minute, Josiah got up to walk over to a nearby trash can, and he fell down right before he got there. Tony recognized the tone of Josiah’s crying and knew that he had broken another bone. The doctor came back in and she told him what had happened. He agreed to x-ray him, and he found that he had fractured the same leg in a different location. The doctor was amazed, saying that he had never had a patient break a bone while in the office.

Seeing my son endure so many injuries was tearing at my heart. I knew that every time Josiah was in a cast that his muscles would grow weaker and this would compound the problem, for the muscles provided support to the bones. If both the muscles and bones were weak he would injure himself much more.

Josiah was seven years old when we began fellowshipping at Living Faith. I had often prayed for my son before, but on one particular day I really poured my heart out. I told God that I wanted my son to be able to play like other boys. I wanted him to be able to ride bikes, and play on trampolines, and play ball without breaking his bones. I wanted him to be able to have fun with the other young boys, and not have to hobble along on crutches, looking at the others play while he stood watching. God spoke to me on this day and He said, “I will heal your son, but you will have to trust me completely and not lean on any other for His healing.”

A number of thoughts began to come to my mind. I was reminded that since my daughter had been turned down for SSI benefits that she had not broken another bone, but Josiah, having the benefits, continued breaking multiple bones each year. Now, I suppose some could have looked at this and said, “See, God knew which child would break the bones, so He gave you medical benefits for that child.” This, however, was not what I was discerning in the spirit. I believed God had orchestrated this matter to demonstrate to me that when we lean on the arm of man we will have to depend upon that which we place our trust in. He was speaking to me that if I would cancel all SSI health benefits on my son that He would become his source of health, and He would heal Josiah even as He had healed my daughter.

Man offered no cure for this bone disease. All man could do was patch my son up every time he hurt himself. I much preferred that God should heal Josiah, than that I should receive free medical care every time he injured himself. To the natural mind what God was asking us to do seemed like pure folly. Josiah was freshly out of a cast, and had experienced two fractures that year. These government SSI benefits were hard to get, and many people employed the use of lawyers to attain them. Yet we were to cancel our benefits on Josiah and then trust God to heal him.

I knew this was the way God worked, for He had already revealed to me the principle of placing your feet firmly in the water before seeing His provision. God gave us one more encouragement in this matter. Our finances were fairly tight, and I would be losing about $400 a month in income. At this time the ministers of Living Faith had come to me and said that the Spirit had indicated that they were to ordain me as an elder and pastor among them, and they offered to pay me $100 dollars a week.

I really did not struggle much in making this decision, for I had a strong witness of what God had spoken to me. When I shared these things with Tony she also was willing, so we took the step of calling the SSI offices and canceling Josiah’s benefits. The SSI staff could not understand why we would turn down these coveted benefits, and they tried to talk Tony and I into delaying our decision. We were adamant, however, knowing what God required of us. We terminated benefits on our son.

When I was praying about this matter, the Lord told me that I would not need to baby my son. I felt that I was to instruct Josiah to ride bikes, play on trampolines, roughhouse with the boys, and play ball, while trusting God to protect him. I had to coax my wife some in this, for she was still leery of his injuring himself, but I believed God would prove Himself faithful in what He had spoken to me. I had asked Him to let my son play as other young boys did, and I trusted Him to keep Josiah safe in all of these activities.

Josiah is now fourteen years old, and he has not broken another bone. Kristin also has remained break free during this time. I have seen Josiah take some terrible spills on bicycles, which would have certainly resulted in fractures before, but he has come away with only scrapes and bruises. When I think of what God has done for my son my eyes well up with tears. Our Father in heaven is so merciful and compassionate to us. When we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone. When we ask for a fish, He will not give us a serpent.

God will ask us to do things that appear risky, or even downright foolish, to the natural mind. He has always done so with His children. He requires faith to be manifested on our part before He will reveal His provision. Great are the rewards for those who believe. It was not to be long before God would lead us to a greater dependence upon Him in the area of health, and we would once more see Him do awesome things.


This writing is from the book Evidence of Things Unseen:

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Joseph Herrin
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Monday, February 19, 2018

17 Killed in Mass Shooting at High School in Parkland, Florida

Joseph Herrin (02-19-2018)

Another shooting. The question for Americans is whom should they place the blame on? They are given no time to consider for the corporate media is quick to tell them. They are told via the corporate media to place the blame upon gun laws that allowed Nikolas Cruz, a 19 year old, mentally handicapped, youth to purchase an AR-15 style assault weapon. Mr. Cruz is stated to be mentally handicapped, a truth that is made evident by his casual slaughter of students and teachers at the High School, and his undisturbed appearance at his arrest. Of course he is not the one who shot the students. The true shooter was a professional who works for the government and who is hidden by the media.

Let us look at a few aspects of this shooting which tell the truth. Nikolas Cruz is said to have escaped the scene by ditching his gun and vest and mixing in with the High School students.

He eventually discarded the rifle, a vest and ammunition in a stairwell, blended in with fleeing students and got away, the authorities said.

After leaving the school it was as if he forgot about what he had just done and he went and visited a store and some restaurants. Then he went on a walk through a residential neighborhood where he was subsequently arrested.

After leaving the school, Mr. Cruz walked to a Walmart, and bought a drink at a Subway. He also stopped at a McDonald’s. He was arrested by the police without incident as he walked down a residential street at 3:41 p.m.

“He looked like a typical high school student, and for a quick moment I thought, could this be the person who I need to stop?” said Officer Michael Leonard.

Nikolas Cruz

For a mentally disturbed person this 19 year old acted both extremely savvy and ridiculously obtuse. Why discard the rifle, vest, and ammunition if you are going to go to a Walmart, a Subway, and a McDonalds, and then walk through a neighborhood like a normal High School student? Plus, none of the students at the school recognized him, and every person that had a chance to see him was killed. The long and short of it was that this 19 year old man they arrested was not the shooter. He was merely a good patsy for this latest shooting in America. It is not the first time a mentally disturbed person was chosen for the scapegoat in a shooting.

James Holmes - Supposed Batman Shooter

James Holmes was a similar person. Despite the fact that many people in the theater said they saw multiple shooters, the police arrested this guy who was left outside the emergency exit of the theater.

Another thing is that the High School students are being trotted out as anti-gun advocates. This is again in keeping with the political will of those who have been calling for further restrictions upon gun rights. As a Christian I have no personal ambitions for guns. I am aware of the Scripture that states, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

For those who are interested, I have a series of three teachings on the Christians attitude toward weapons. They are:

Grab Your Gun Jesus

Gun Ownership and the Mind of Christ

Waco, Texas and The Weapons of Our Warfare

Another telltale sign concerning this event is that the supposed shooter’s mother died this past year. As a result he was staying with a family by the name of the Snead’s. The papers reported the following.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cruz and the Sneads’ son were texting until 2:18 p.m., Mr. Lewis said — about five minutes before the first 911 calls about the shooting. “But there was nothing crazy in the texts,” Mr. Lewis said.

So, five minutes before the shooting Nikolas Cruz, the supposed shooter, is carrying on normal text
with his friend. The conversation is said to be normal. There is no mention of guns, or shooting, or anger. The news has the following statement by the Snead family.

The Sneads said that Cruz seemed depressed, but they did not sense, as others have said, that Cruz was someone likely to be a school shooter.

"Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know," James Snead told the Sun Sentinel. "It's as simple as that."

When Cruz moved into their home they had to teach him basic needs, including how to cook, use the microwave, do laundry and pick up after himself, the Sneads said...

The Sneads allowed Cruz to bring his firearms into the home, but they made him buy a locking gun safe, they told the Sun Sentinel. James Snead thought he had the only key to the safe, but he now believes Cruz kept one for himself, he told the paper.

They said they told Cruz he needed to ask permission to take out the guns.

"This family did what they thought was right, which was take in a troubled kid and try to help him, and that doesn't mean he can't bring his stuff into their house," Lewis, their attorney, told CNN.

"They had it locked up and believed that that was going to be sufficient, that there wasn't going to be a problem," Lewis added. "Nobody saw this kind of aggression or motive in this kid, that he would ever do anything like this."

One thing that is a similarity to the Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas is that the shootings took place from outside the classrooms, but the students were inside the classrooms. None of the students ever came face to face with the shooter.

Government Massacre in Sutherland Springs

Finally, the comments of Sheriff Israel when talking about the shooting is a plea for the ability to detain (arrest) people over social media posts. They want to give the people into the hands of psychiatrists who will determine their ability to be out in public.

Consequently, what you have seen in Parkland, Florida is another government frame-up of a low IQ person. The government, with the assistance of the mainstream media, is deceiving the people. It is my hope that you will walk with your eyes open, knowing that we have an adversary who deceives the people of the whole world.

Revelation 12:9
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.

Remember, the two sources quoted for information on the Parkland shooting are The New York Times and CNN. There are no less dependable news sources available today.

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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vulnerability Salesman

It is the will of God that all of His children should live their lives being led by the Spirit, rather than by their senses and natural reason. The apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Our senses and our rational mind will not lead us to the will of God. They stand as an obstacle to a true walk of faith, in most instances. It was in 1996 that we moved to the house in Fort Valley with the security system. We were still attending the Southern Baptist church where I first heard the message of grace, but the pastor who had been instrumental in teaching this message had recently left this church to pursue other ministry. This church went through a period of about two years when they had no pastor, although God had sent the man whom He desired to step into this role before Mac Goddard had even left.

Leon Nelson was a godly minister, passionate about God, and a man of faith. He also happened to be black. Mac Goddard had invited him to come preach to the body on several occasions before he left, and his messages were very challenging, for he proclaimed a message of a vital faith that would make a difference in the saints’ daily lives. Leon was asked to come and preach regularly at the Sunday evening services, and, after Mac Goddard departed from this church, the elders decided to continue the invitation for Leon to do so.

The elders began looking for a minister to replace Mac Goddard immediately, and Leon Nelson’s name was brought up for consideration. It was difficult not to consider him, for the timing of his appearance, and the departure of Mac Goddard, seemed more than coincidental. This church, however, was almost completely composed of white members, and in the state of Georgia many people are not indifferent to the color of another man’s skin. Although such things as race should make absolutely no difference in the consideration of a man’s suitability for ministry (there are NO Scriptures that list being a member of a particular race as a qualification for ministry), we would be very naive to believe that prejudices do not exist within the church.

At one time I was naive to such things. I do not ever remember my parents speaking a word of prejudice about a man’s skin color while I was growing up. I was raised in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, and I had almost no exposure to people who were colored. In my freshman year of high school I attended one of the largest schools in Oregon, which at one time had nearly 4,000 students. During my freshman year there were only four black students in the entire school. Race simply wasn’t an issue in the area in which we lived, or in our home, so when we moved the next year to Georgia I had no anticipation that others would feel differently.

I noticed almost immediately upon arriving in Georgia that there were some people who expressed deep racial prejudices. Yet, for a time I thought it was lost people, who were strangers to the love of Christ, who alone were prejudiced, and I did not expect to find this same bias in the church. During my senior year in High School we were attending the First Baptist Church in the Georgia town we lived in, and there was a traditionally black college in the town. The assistant pastor of this church was a young man, and perhaps he was a bit naive at the time as well. He began visiting with some foreign students at this college and asked them if they would like to attend Sunday School at the church. A couple of young black men from Nigeria declared that they would like to do so.

I went with this assistant pastor to pick up these students a couple of times, and then he asked me if I would do so by myself, saying that he had some other things he must do. I remember the first time I pulled into the church parking lot at this white Baptist church, and got out of my car with these two young men. Other church members stared at us, and some even pointed. I did not understand why they were doing so. During the church service I sat on a pew with these two men, and nobody else in the church would sit with us.

I did not realize that there was a reason for this the first time it happened. When it happened again the next Sunday understanding began to dawn upon me. The pew we were sitting in was right in the middle of the sanctuary, and the pews all around us were filled, but here we were sitting on one end of our pew, taking up perhaps one fifth of its space, and the other four fifths were vacant. Only then did the thought come to me that there were some in this church who did not like the fact that there were blacks present. My eyes were opened to the fact that professing Christians could be just as prejudiced as those outside the church.

What a shame this seemed to me, for I truly enjoyed fellowship with these young men I was bringing to church. They seemed to have a real sincere love for the Lord. I saw no basis for a child of God to be entertaining any thoughts of racial prejudice. It seemed to me to be absolutely absurd. One might just as well reject another man based upon their shoe size as their skin color.

That such prejudices exist in the church strikes me as one of the greatest failings in this hour of apostasy. It was many years later when I met Leon Nelson, and I was immediately challenged by this man’s zeal for the Lord, and in my spirit I felt a kinship. His Sunday evening messages were something I looked forward to greatly. I am convinced that God brought Leon to this church to step into the role vacated by Mac Goddard. Mac had taught the church a message of grace that led them from the bondage of Egypt into the wilderness, and Leon was God’s chosen servant to lead them through the wilderness and into the land of their inheritance.

Leon lived a life of faith, and faith is necessary to enter into one’s inheritance in Christ. Without faith the saints will perish in desert places. The church searched and searched for a replacement minister, and all the time God had placed him right under their noses. No one could be found to step into this role, and they would not ask Leon to do it. Leon was allowed to preach on Sunday nights, but it was as if there was some unwritten code that prevented him from being asked to preach during the morning service.

To be sure, Leon’s race was not the only thing that kept him from being considered for the role of pastor for this body. His message of faith, and his sober words calling the saints to walk with integrity before God, hearing from the Spirit and doing exactly what the Spirit commanded, were intimidating to many in the congregation. There were many among this body who simply recoiled at the thought of following God wherever He would lead them. Like the Israelites who were daunted by the giants in the land, by the walled cities and the many strongholds, so too did many in this body shrink back from the command to go in and take possession of the land.

I Corinthians 10:1-6
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...

Hebrews 10:38
But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

For the space of two years the leaders of this church looked for a replacement minister without any success, and for this same two years they would not recognize the minister God had brought to them. God is patient with us, and bears long with us, but when we are determined to have our way instead of His, eventually He will relent.

Psalms 106:13-15
They did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. He gave them their desire, but sent leanness into their soul.

This body of believers wanted a minister who was more like them. Even as the Israelites rebelled against Moses, the man whom God had selected, and put forth Korah and Dathan and Abiram to lead them, this body of believers was eventually given a man to lead them who would not challenge them in the way Leon had, nor firmly admonish them for their failures.

After two years of searching, this body found a man to their liking. This man’s first name was Steve. The Lord allowed me to have a close relationship with this man, and, after he had been at this church for about a year, he asked me to accompany him on an overnight trip. We shared a room together and were able to express things that were on our hearts.

Steve had a wife and three children, and they were all living in small rented quarters. He shared with me that he had a desire to purchase a house in Fort Valley, which was closer to the church, but he had been holding off because he was unsure of his future, and the future of the church. His decision to remain in his small rented quarters was arrived at by examining things with his senses and making a rational decision that he felt was the safe course.

The Spirit strongly convicted me that Steve’s decision was carnal, and that if he did not have faith for God to do a work through this body of believers, that as a shepherd of the people he would be unable to lead them into the things God had for them. The Spirit showed me that the issue of the house that Steve desired, but would not purchase, was something God had brought before him in order to reveal the unbelief in his heart. If he could not trust God to work through this people, and this lack of trust was keeping him from purchasing the home he desired, then his unbelief would have a disastrous effect upon his ministry to the body. He would be halted between two opinions, never willing to place both feet in the water while looking to God to do the miraculous.

The Spirit led me to share with Steve concerning these things, and Steve began to feel the conviction of the Spirit. Not long afterwards he came to me and shared that the Spirit had convicted him in this matter, and that he had decided, as an act of faith in God’s desire and willingness to work through this people, to buy a house in the community. He was excited about this decision because it was a desire of his heart to have a home, and he felt keenly that the Spirit had indicated this to be His will.

The Spirit led him to a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood. The house was a dream home to him, far beyond what he had expected to find. I was myself amazed at the house and the yard, for it was very scenic with ancient oaks on the property, and in a quiet neighborhood. As he spoke to the realtor, the owners, and the bank, Steve found that he had just enough money to close on the house and take possession of it. However, God had a test for him before he was able to do so.

On the day before he was to meet with the bank and close on the house, the realtor called Steve and told him that a mistake had been made on the paperwork, and he would have to come up with several thousand more dollars than he had been told. Steve did not have the money, having already pledged all that he had available. He was brought to a crisis of faith. Would he be daunted by the obstacle that his senses were reporting to him, or would he believe the witness of the Spirit, that God had called him to purchase this house and would go before Him?

Steve was not accustomed to walking by faith, and his confidence in God’s love and character were weak. He shared with me that he drove out to the church that evening, which was out in the countryside, and he parked there and got out of his car and began to rail against God. He accused God of deceiving him, of bringing him to a place of having his hopes built up, only to dash them at the end. He shouted out many words of unbelief and shook his fist at the heavens. Steve shared with me that he was tempted to get in his car and drive away, leaving behind the church, his calling as a pastor, and his confession of God.

The next day Steve went to the closing at the appointed time, expecting to be given the news that he could not take possession of the house. However, God worked it out where the owners and realtor absorbed part of the extra cost, and Steve was able to sign the papers on the house and move in. God had already determined how He would work things out and fulfill His words to this pastor, yet he failed to trust God. As God does with His children, time after time, He brought Steve to a test to reveal what was in his heart.

When I heard the account of what had happened I was reminded of the Israelites at the Red Sea, and how they had brought a reproach against God by asking, “Did you bring us out here to kill us because there were not enough graves in Egypt?” Great was God’s displeasure over this pastor’s lack of faith in His character. The Spirit spoke to me and told me that He had rejected Steve as the one to lead His people into the plans He had for them, and it was not long afterwards that God removed him.

I felt much grief in my heart when I learned of Steve’s charges against God, and of his great failure of faith. Such things do not happen in a moment of time, but they are the fruit of a life that consistently fails to trust God in one matter after another. God will test all of His children in the wilderness that He might see what is in their hearts.

Deuteronomy 8:2
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...

I lost track of Steve for a number of years after he left this church, though I had heard that he had gotten a pastor’s position in another town and had eventually moved there. He has since left there also, and about a year ago I ran into him again. Steve stopped by our home one day, but not to visit, for he had no idea it was our house he was at. He had taken a job selling home security systems, and he knocked on our door to see if he could sell us one.

I found it ironic that a man who had been called as a minister of God would fall so far from a walk of faith that he was now making a living by convincing others that they could find security in the arm of the flesh. When he had been called to lead men and women to trust God in their daily lives, declaring to them that God was a present help in time of trouble, a refuge and a strong tower in time of need, he had now given up any pretense of leading others to manifest such a faith in God. He was going door to door with his message of trust in the security man offered.

Recently, God has shown me that my calling is the opposite of being a security salesman. He has called me to be a vulnerability salesman. I am to urge men and women to follow the Spirit into areas of great risk in the natural. I am to exhort them to cast all upon God, and to lean entirely upon Him in times of need. The call of a minister is to lead the saints to a walk of faith, where they trust in the words of an invisible God more than they trust in the report of their senses.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
(Amplified Bible)

God has set a good and pleasant land before each of His children. He must take us through the wilderness to arrive there. He will test our hearts to see whether we will trust in Him. If He finds faith in our hearts, even as He did in the hearts of Caleb and Joshua, then He will certainly bring us into this good land. Even if the generation around us perishes, those who trust God will enter into the promises of God by faith.

God has told us in His Word what this land before us is. He is Himself our inheritance. His names describe the land before us. He is Yahweh Yireh, Yahweh our provider and source of provision. He is Yahweh Rophe, Yahweh our healer and fountain of health. He is Yahweh Shalom, Yahweh our peace. He is also salvation, and righteousness, and He invites all of His children to know Him in fulness. He invites us to enter into the land before us, but it can only be possessed by those who walk by faith, and who do not shrink back from the giants in the land.
Many saints have viewed this land from a distance, but have not yet begun to enter in. Many will not enter in because of unbelief. As the Psalmist stated:

Psalms 106:24-26
Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe in His word, but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Therefore He swore to them that He would cast them down in the wilderness...

The church of which I spoke that would not accept God’s minister and leadership for them, but chose instead a man who would not lead them in the way of faith, is no longer in existence. In the space of a few short years it went from around one hundred and fifty in attendance to twenty. Ichabod (the glory has departed) was written by the Spirit over its doors, and its candlestick was removed. Before it closed God spoke to me and said, “Any who desire to go on with Me, by faith, into the land before them will be permitted to do so. I will not disqualify any person due to the unbelief of others.” In the following chapters you will read of our next steps as we were led forth of the Spirit to enter into the good land before us.
Chapter from Evidence of Things Unseen

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