First let me say, thank you for your prayers and letters of comfort and encouragement regarding the fire that occurred at my house November 25. Everything is back to normal but that isn’t entirely true. Things have changed – I’ve changed. I have learned so much through this “trial by fire” and am still learning what the Lord was teaching me through it.
There were a crew of people who worked for a fire restoration company who cleaned every item in my home. Everything had been removed offsite. I found out that I didn’t miss all my “stuff” that much and that I could live on the bare necessities and be content in Jesus. Many of you have already learned this valuable lesson.
I don’t think I am a materialistic person, but I am sentimental and have antiques and china my mother had left me. I think some of that earthly sentimentalism is not as strong in me as before. I am more detached from the things of this earth. The cleaning crew were meticulous in removing soot from every item in my home including books, etc. When things were returned they were in better shape than before.
I could tell the crew that worked on my home took every care to do an excellent job and their “carefulness” over my things was far greater than even I cared for them. I actually learned something from them. Although we are admonished in scripture not to be “careful for anything” yet I think that is referring to anxiety, rather than not being good stewards over the things and people that the Lord has put in our life. I am more careful than before and that is a good thing. I prayed for every person who walked through my home – the cleaning crew, the demolition crew, the contractors, the movers, etc. That’s a lot of people who would never have been exposed to more of Jesus if it hadn’t been for this fire. I did my best to witness to everyone. I could tell by the favor of the Lord that was granted that the entire experience was impacting lives that perhaps would not have been otherwise. To God be the glory!
At the beginning of the trial I had purposed in my heart that I was going to give God the glory through it, and be thankful no matter what I was going through. Just this morning I discovered a scripture that leaped from the page, “Glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel….” Isaiah 24:15.
It is so beautiful that with every experience we have in this life, the scriptures will open up to us in a deeper dimension. God has designed it this way.
Have you ever just thanked the Lord that you have time every day to study the Word of God? Most people are so caught up with the cares of this life that they don’t take the time to read the Bible anymore. That is a dangerous situation, because I believe it is setting a snare to be deceived. Our minds need to be transformed by the Word of God. Subjective experience alone, no matter how spectacular and revelatory, can never replace the Word of God. The Lord has designed it to be His way of communicating with us and if we don’t spend time listening to Him through His Word then we will end up leaning on our own understanding and not knowing the mind of the Lord.
Regarding the fire, I am amazed how the Lord had put it in my heart to get that extra 5 gallons of water for my cooler. It was amazing to hear the fireman say that the water quenched the flames and is what kept my house from even more damage. Praise the Lord!
One of my heart’s desires in this day is to see the Word come alive and not just be something written on a page.
When I read of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews Chapter 11, I am awed at what our forefathers went through, and they didn’t even have the promise of the Holy Ghost as we have today, but their faith and love for God was so strong they were able to endure anything.
Regarding these heroes, we are told “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Hebrews 11:33-34
Just when I think life will not get any more exciting, the Lord brings something else across my path. I was not too happy about a Walmart built across the street from where I live. It has only been open a few months and one of the first events was a disgruntled employee took a box cutter and slashed a customer who had to be air evacuated. The store shut down for a while, but eventually was up and running again. Then about 3 weeks ago, a man walked into Walmart with a gallon jug of gasoline, went to the jean department and started a fire. They caught it all on video camera. It caused a lot of damage and panic, and it has taken a few weeks to get things back. I am praying for the curse over Walmart to be broken.
Since Walmart was giving me the creeps, I decided to go to another grocery store in a neighboring city last week. There weren’t many people there, but suddenly a man entered the store with a crazed look, wild hair, swinging his arms and rapping in a very loud voice. When I saw him the first thought was that he was high on drugs and probably demon possessed. He was a very scary individual. He didn’t go into the store to buy anything, but only to bring chaos and fear. People began to leave the store as he was going up and down the aisles, wildly swinging his arms and shouting profanities and vulgar words that were blood curdling. I was tempted to fear but refused and began to pray. Even the store staff were afraid of the man and no one attempted to stop him. This went on for about 5 minutes and then I saw him coming towards my cart. I started saying under my breath, “The blood is against you Satan. In the name of Jesus stop the mouth of this lion.” As he got closer to my cart I became bolder and began to speak out loudly, “In the name of Jesus!” And then the most amazing thing happened. He walked around my cart and shut up. He never said another word and within a few minutes was out of the store. I don’t know why we should be surprised when God does what we ask of Him. The Lord has given us all power over the enemy and put Him under our feet, but only IF we exercise the authority He has already given us.
I was thinking how we don’t see as many healings today as in previous times. Supposedly there is more prayer going forth in America than ever before but with few results. I’ve noticed when people pray they turn to heaven and say “Jesus, if it be your will, please heal this person”, or “Jesus, bless so and so.”
When Jesus was walking this earth, He had 70 disciples, not just the original 12. He gave them power to go into cities and heal the sick there. He transferred His authority and power to them and they didn’t question it. They knew that whoever they laid their hands on would receive healing. And to think this was before the Holy Ghost had been poured out for Jesus had not yet been crucified and resurrected so He could pour out of His Spirit the wonderful Holy Ghost.
We need to enter the realm of expectation and realizing that some things we don’t have to pray about, because they have already been given to us. I know this may sound very strange, but is it possible sometimes we may use prayer because we lack the faith to realize what God has already placed within us by His Spirit? Just saying! I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this.
There are just too many hurting people in this world and we need to reach them. Those of you in prison are surrounded by them every day. We need more of the love of God to flow through us to others. “Will the Son of Man find faith in the earth when He returns?”
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