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September 29, 2016

May the mercy of God guard our lives, dear Heartdwellers.

We all sometimes fail to deliver a word exactly as the Lord gives it, because we are human with human emotions. Yesterday I was thrown off course by a word that suggested God would no longer come to my aid if I did not conquer my pride and wasn't obedient.

In other words, He'd give me over to the will of my enemies and let me die.

That whole concept struck me to the heart. How do I know when I am acting in pride, if the Lord doesn't show me? How can I know I am obedient? And for this He would abandon me into the hands of my enemies to kill me?

And I was being told this at a time when I have spent much time on my knees in prayer longing to be rid of my pride, which I rarely recognize. It was like telling a man, "I know you're doing your best, but it isn't good enough, you're fired." There's just no place to go with something like that but right into despair.

And that's exactly what stopped me dead in my tracks.

That's why you didn't get the message earlier yesterday. I was repenting for any disobedience and pride on my part. And I did find room for improvement and I found guilt, but I must say I know I am a work in progress and the set of my heart is to be humble and obey, yet I wrestle sometimes with what to obey. There's nothing quite as frustrating than not knowing God's will, yet the worst is still knowing His will for and NOT obeying.

This word suggested that, if I were dying, the Lord would let me die. And it just didn't seem to be His heart at all. I mean, it was really out of character for Him. So, I got together with a couple of other discerners and we decided that it really was out of character and that it wasn't quite right. But I have to say that I did a lot of soul searching. I have to be quick to look at myself before I look at any errors that might come from someone else. So, that's what I did.

I know I can't fill that bill of being perfectly obedient. I can try. I can work in that direction, but who knows the little things that offend God. We don't know everything that we do. And yet, I don't feel that we're accountable so much for the things that we don't know are wrong. The Lord looks at the intention of our heart.

So, I spent the evening and today repenting and begging for mercy.

The Lord made Himself visible to me in the Spirit and began speaking. This is what He said:

"I will NEVER, EVER give you over to the will of your enemies. Period.

"There are consequences to disobedience, that is why I am training you in obedience. If you stay obedient to Me and follow that still small voice inside of you, you will avoid a LOT of heart aches. I cannot spare you of those, Clare, when you don't listen to Me.

"But I will never, ever give you over to the will of your enemies. Ever. They are detestable to Me and what they stand for is detestable. Yet, if I could redeem their souls, I would be so very happy. That is why I ask you to pray for them.

"Come, My children, let us reason together. Some of you I have called up higher, very much higher and there is a price. If the longing of your soul is such and you have made that inner commitment not to back out or give up, totally trusting Me that I will equip you for every situation. If you are of this heart and mindset, I must tell you, there is a price. It is painful to the flesh, but delightful to the spirit."

And when He said that, I thought to myself, 'Okay. I'm familiar with the painful part. Ummm...which one is the delightful part?' And I didn't want to interrupt Him, so I didn't say anything.

But He said, "Go ahead, Clare, say what is on your heart."

Lord, where is the delightful part?

And He answered, "It is in knowing that I am profoundly grateful for your gift to Me.

"Clare, when you saw the life draining out of your husband, where was your heart?"

I'm not sure, Lord, can You help me there?

"You wanted to stop it, but there was an even deeper resolution in your heart, 'If this is what you require of me, so be it, I'm in Your hands Lord.' Truly, that was your inner conviction."

Lord, it was hard for me to contemplate that because of the promises You've made to me and the thousand times over You have told me, "That which I have said, I will accomplish." And my understanding was that it was going to be a joint endeavor with him.

"When I said, 'It is in knowing that I am profoundly grateful for your gift to Me.' I was bringing you to the very heart of your walk with Me; our love relationship. And this is why you are so vehemently attacked. This relationship, when authentic and deep, will cause a person to do anything for the Beloved - just like a love for fame, money, power, jealousy, and hatred will motivate one to do evil to obtain it.

"But back to your motives. You have followed Me everywhere I have led you, because of your love for Me and My love for you. Haven't I always stood up to the challenges and delivered you from evil?"

Yes, Lord. You have.

"Then what could be different about the future? Is it not My character to be faithful? You may have to suffer. Indeed, there is always suffering attached to genuine love, always. My people, when have you ever loved someone and not suffered for them? Love and suffering are synonymous; you cannot have one without the other. Life presents opportunities daily, challenges, that require effort and sacrifice.

"Nothing of any importance ever happens without sacrifice and difficulty. In fact, the more it is going to impact and influence people, the more resistance you'll get. That's why so few people ever make substantial contributions that are lasting. The opposition can be horrendous. If you look at the percentage of people that have done something extraordinary with their lives, you will find it to be less than a half of one percent of the world population. It is a very tiny segment. Perhaps 10% have done something out of the ordinary with their lives, 30% have left some kind of impression. The rest of humanity is but a shadow in history.

"This is the world's view, not how I see people - but the concept applies spiritually as well. Clare, the opposition to doing something good or great, even with My empowerment is still monumental. But nothing I cannot overcome if you are willing to go there with me. Just be informed; sacrifice and suffering is a given. Just a glance at the Cross, should tell you just how costly it is to do what is right and good.

"You will never suffer what I suffered on the Cross. What you saw was only a portion of what I suffered. Nevertheless, you will never suffer in the same way. But according to your love and devotion to Me, sacrifices will be required of you. Your best posture is one of resolution, that nothing in this world means as much to you as I do, and as much as satisfying My will for you. If you can find your rest in this place, you will be spared much torment.

"Most of what My children suffer when they come to serve Me is loss of something dear to them. So, if you are of the conviction that only I am dear to you, only pleasing Me is dear to you, you will suffer far less than having many things in your life, people included, that are dear to you."

And then this Scripture came to mind:

Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

And Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life." Luke 18:28-29

Jesus continued, "Yet I am not saying to isolate yourselves from love. On the contrary, I am calling you to live love and bring My love to all. If you are detached from the results of your endeavors, you will even find more freedom from suffering. I suffer when My children suffer, so never am I isolated from others. Rather I am totally immersed in their affairs and their sufferings. I feel their disappointments and losses keenly. Did I not cry when Lazarus died? Yes, indeed, My heart was rent in two for this precious soul whom I loved dearly and for the whole family who were the heart of My heart.

"So, there is no way to avoid suffering. Even when you came from Heaven and could return there at any time, even if you have a glorified body, your connection with humanity is so ingrained that you cannot help feeling their joys and sorrows most keenly. That is also why I promised you that I would wipe away every tear from your eyes. Every last tear would someday be gone. Oh, I do hope you hold onto this My Love. Grasp this firmly and never let it go, it is your hope.

"So, now My Precious Heartdwellers, we have come to the place where the rubber meets the road. This is it. This is the very crux of your lives. If you want to take My hand and step into unimaginable glory, you must also be ready to be stripped of everything dear to you.

"I am not asking you to strip your lives, I am asking you to be ready to suffer anything for the love of Me. Not anything of your choosing, but what I choose for you. If you were to make your own choices, they would be the wrong ones. Wait for Me. Wait for Me to show you what is no longer necessary in your lives. Do not second guess Me. Rather, wait on Me and I will reveal it to you."

And again, this Scripture came to mind: "...Join me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. A soldier refrains from entangling himself in civilian affairs, in order to please the one who enlisted him." 2 Timothy 2:3-4

"And remember the sacrifice of Abraham," Jesus continued. "I tested his love for Me, yet I did not take his free will offering. I provided instead, My own. Remember that as you face challenges to let go. I am refining your love for Me. What I am looking for is your 100% commitment to Me, not necessarily what you think I am asking for."

And again, this Scripture came to mind: He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (And this was God speaking to Abraham when he went to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son under obedience. It's in Genesis 22.) Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Genesis 22:12-13

So, in this case, the Lord didn't take his son. He was acting under obedience. He didn't take his son, He provided a sacrifice. But if you hear a voice telling you to do something like that, I'm sure it will not be the Lord. So, don't take it that far!

This is the posture of a heart that Abraham had. And this was necessary for us to follow the Lord without any reservations, or things holding us back.

I don't know how you feel about this message, Heartdwellers. But I know that I've had a very close brush with death. It's something that I'm really, really pondering and examining my heart to see where I'm at. And I'm having to make a leap in faith with the Lord, that whatever He allows in our lives, I'll be willing to give up.

We're on this journey together, dear Heartdwellers. Let's all lift one another up in prayer. And you know that I'll come back and share my heart with you, once the Lord has illuminated it further. And I hope you'll share your heart with me in the comments.

Thank you for your prayers and your support of our ministry. It means so much to us. Thank you.

Let His mercy be your hope.