Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Silence in the Darkness

In Times of Silence
We serve a mighty God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge, and knowledge of the holy is understanding. [Prov 9:10] To come before Him humbly, with awe, reverence, utmost adoration and respect, is to acknowledge His sovereignty, power, undeniable authority and absolute purity and holiness.
It seems that there are many that are experiencing again a 'dark night of the soul'. During these times, there is a great upheaval within, and great discouragement, despair and even, confusion. If the Lord is silent, the burden seems even heavier, yet many of God's most beloved people experienced His silence. This is the time to wait on the Lord (patience). This is the time to trust.
Elijah went "many days" of not hearing from the Lord. In fact, it is written that in the "third year", the Lord came to Elijah and spoke to him. The prophet had already announced the coming famine and drought to Ahab. He had been already prophesied to the widow and had been fed a small cake by her, made from her last bit of oil and flour. 

After time passed, and after giving her all obediently to the prophet, the widow's young son died, but God used Elijah to bring life back to the lad. However, despite the fact that Elijah was a prophet who walked with God, it is written that many days went by, and that it was well into the third year of the famine/drought before the Lord spoke to him. Elijah experienced a season of God's silence. [1Kings 18:1]
There are other examples of God's silence with those who were close to Him, such as David, who felt that the Lord had abandoned him. [Ps 13] Job surely went through  emotions such as anger, doubt and confusion, when his great trial was upon him.  Yet all of these men held fast to their faith. 
Even today is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. [Job 23:2-4]
Even when Job wonders why God is silent, he states: But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. [verse 10]
Was God angry at these men? Was that the reason for His silence? No. Elijah seemed to take the quietude in stride, until Jezebel threatened him, at which time the godly man ran for fear of his life. After a long journey, he finally halted and protested, insisting that it (all) was enough. He even asked God to take his life, as he felt he was no better than his forefathers.
Job struggled with God's silence, even though he knew God was with him. He was understandably emotional as he suffered physically, mentally and spiritually, yet part of him (as seen in his words above) seemed to know he was being tried.
David, who loved the Lord with all his heart, also grappled emotionally and spiritually when God was silent. Yet, God was not angry with any of them at the time. Nevertheless, these men of God were disturbed by His silence.
I have been going through a time of silence for the most part myself, and have wrestled and grappled emotionally. Yes, I know the Lord is with me, and if He is angry with me, I cannot see why (and no, I have not "arrived" at sinless perfection, but I am not aware of any area that I am not in His will at this time).
Even in times of prayer and confusion (at His silence), questioning things whilst searching my soul, even knowing He is with me as surely as Job knew, I still find that His silence is deafening. When a loved one is silent, it can be very unsettling, even frustrating, but when that loved one is Jesus, there are no words to describe it. To me, it is better not to have been born at all than to be without God's direction, counsel, guidance.  Is that how Jesus felt upon the cross when He was aware of the silence of the Father?
Yet, deep within, it is understood that He is not angry or displeased with me, but I long for that intimacy, the comfort that comes from hearing His voice deep within my spirit. I believe that it is all part of the trying of our faith. God knows where we stand as far as faith is concerned, but we need to know.
I hunger more for His word in these times of silence, hunger more for deeper intimacy, long even more to hear His voice. So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [Rom 10:17]
In part, from what I am hearing, this is what some of the brethren are experiencing at this time in their lives - a silence from the Shepherd. It is troubling them, as it would any child of light. Others are going through tough trials, relationships is a big one at this time (spouse (marriage), family, friends, neighbours, fellow believers etc).
Many are confused in wondering if the strain or severing of a relationship is a dividing or separating by God, or if it is the enemy seeking to steal, kill and destroy, or if it is a result of the sinful nature? Confusion and chaos is their portion.  This is the time to seek God because He alone is the one who knows each situation. He alone has the correct answers. 
Health, finances, employment, housing, direction, the evil days we are in, the sins of mankind and the effect on each of us; all of these things are in the hands of Jesus. He promised that He would direct our steps if we did not lean on our own understanding, but waited upon Him, trusting Him to lead. He promised that he would never leave or forsake us. [Deut 31:6; Heb 13:5, 6]  Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do in our walk with the Lord because it requires patience, trust and faith.

The Closer to Jesus, The Narrower the Path
About six weeks ago, I had to confront a couple who are church leaders who are in error and need to repent and forgive. [2Chron 7:14, 15] They need deliverance and healing. In another instance, there was what I consider to be compromise with the world from another pastor, in doing what Constantine did - mixing Christianity with paganism, in order to "please the people" (aka 'being cool'). Many today bring mixture into their faith walk, and that is not right.
Another believer does not see the situation in the same way that I do, but I cannot shake the conviction of it. I plan to write about it, and would like very much to hear what other believers think. If I am wrong, so be it, and I will acknowledge it. However, as it stands right now, I believe that I am beginning to clearly see the difference between the broad and the narrow paths.
The times we are in are very dark. Jesus warned that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived, so all of us need to be on guard, no matter how intelligent and discerning we think we are. We need to go forward only in the direction of the Lord, and we need the Holy Spirit and Jesus in us more than ever. We simply cannot proceed full-steam ahead without our King and Lord.
Jesus/Yeshua did say that the path to destruction is broad, but the path is narrow and the gate straight which leads to life, and few there are that find it. [Mat 7:13, 14] It seems that many pastors are involving their congregation in "fun activities" on holidays celebrated by the world, showing no difference between pagan and Christian, but instead blending it all together in order to please the masses. The 'game' does not cause one to look to Christ, but rather, places focus on the flesh. Ah, but for now I digress, until I write about it in the next article.
In the past week, I have been sorting out information about idols of the past that are just as prevalent today, pagan beliefs and celebrated feast days (or holidays as we call them now), witchcraft, sorcery, the agenda of globalists, lawlessness, signs of the Antichrist system, "frequencies", dimensions and so much more. 
All of the studying, plus going over past material I have written about, is due to what I personally see as gross error, what the Bible calls the "spirit of error", "doctrines of devils", "paganism" and worse in many churches and within the Christian community. We are wanting to be "cool", and not "old school", but at what cost? The right way is the ancient path, that which our Lord Jesus walked and taught. He led by example, but it is becoming less and less desired, even by those who call themselves by His name. 
The Fear of the Lord
So that is why I have not posted as soon as I had planned. The rabbit holes and tunnels are deep and far-reaching. The days are grossly dark and getting darker. Yet, even in the mess of it all, even if God is silent for some, Jesus is ever our hope - Christ in us, the hope of glory. [Col 1:27] Jesus the Messiah is our constant; He is our balance; He is our first love; He is our everything!
He is the only one before whom we must bow in all humility, respect, honour, praise and love. Great is our Creator, and none compares. Jesus/Yeshua is hope for the hopeless, courage to the discouraged, strength to the weak, love for the loveless, confidence to the outcast and rejected, Captain of the heavenly forces, King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lamb slain, Warrior King soon returning. 
No matter what we are going through, He is with us and He will bring us through, even if He has to carry us. Let us not faint, but allow our heart to be broken and contrite, and faith to be proven. We can be confident that God is doing a good work in us and He will see it through to the day of Jesus Christ. [Phil 1:6]
Wait - simply put - wait, as hard as it is; patiently wait for the Lord.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen, O God, beside you, what He has prepared for him that waits for Him. [Is 64:4]
Below is an article from 2012 that I had posted called, Dark Night of the Soul. It seems appropriate to repost it at this time. 
Dark Night of the Soul
As in the processes of dying and birthing, a paradigm shift is occurring, from that which was, to that which must be. It begins in your own garden of Gethsemane. Here is where great darkness falls upon the soul and spirit and the travailing begins. The flesh cries out, not desiring to suffer and die. 
This is the point where many give up; they will only go so far, for as the rich man who could not part with his riches, so there are things that many of My people refuse to surrender. Therefore, in love and mercy, I send forth chastisement, to see if they will endure correction. Yet again, I shall purge My people and prune away many branches, to see if fruit will come forth in a new season.

This is where everything and everyone will seem to be against you; and things only seem to get worse – and darker; like a horrible pit full of miry (swampy) clay. This is where you will either cry out to Me, or turn away. Press in, endure, keep in the race, cling to Me, for I AM with you.
Immovable Faith

You will feel shaken, horribly shaken, but fear not. Have I not said that all that can be shaken will be shaken? Yes, you have heard this and you have read it in My word.

This is a good work, if you understand the purpose. The dross must be shaken loose, so it will surface, for dross is skimmed as it surfaces. Your faith must be immovable. Labor and travail, for it shall not be in vain. Let your labor be done in fear and trembling. Trust Me. 
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 

And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain

To those whose house is built upon the rock, though the winds blow and the house is shaken, it shall not fall. Remain steadfast and unmovable in faith. Lo, I am doing a good work. 
[Pro 25:4; Heb 12:27; Mat 7:25]
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [1Cor 15:58; Phil 2:28]

Who has not gone through these dark times? All My people have gone through great darkness; yet in great travailing, weeping and praying, they persevere and go through. In the shaking, your eyes shall be opened and you shall see all that is not of Me. Will you trust Me through it all?

All that is not of Me shall surface and nothing shall remain secret. Let it go in repentance and believe in Me. Submit yourself to Me, resist the enemy who seeks to keep you in bondage and he must flee. I have chosen this furnace of affliction for you, yet it is for good, as you cling to Me and follow the leading of My holy Spirit in you. Submit My child to the work I AM doing and fear not.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. [Eccl 12:14; Mk 4:22]

Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. 
Cry out to Me and I hear you. My hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor is My ear heavy that it cannot hear. [Is 48:10; 59:1]

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in him:[…] [Jam 4:7; Job 13:15]

Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness, and has no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. [Is 50:10]

Forgiveness is Crucial

Let no bitterness, no strife, no hatred, no anger, no jealousy, no envying, let nothing that is not of Me be found in you. Let forgiveness pour out from your heart, for it shall be a healing balm to you. Think upon Saul and David. Even when David knew he was anointed to be king and Saul sought to kill David, did My servant David rise up in pride? Did he kill Saul when he had the chance?

No, he cut a piece of Saul’s robe one time, to let Saul know that he had the opportunity to kill him, but did not. He submitted himself to Saul, who was still king and trusted Me to work things out.
David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. (submission) [1Sam 24:8]

Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered you today into my hand in the cave: and some bade (told) me kill you: but my eye spared you; and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed. [1Sam 24:10]

And he (Saul) said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil.  And you have shown this day how that you have dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into your hand, you killed me not. [1Sam 24: 17,18]

Though he spoke fair words and understood the mercy David showed him, Saul did not genuinely repent. Therefore, I say unto you, do not be as Saul. Genuinely repent and believe, forgive and die to self; then shall you be raised up and become the new man. I shall have a holy people, without spot or blemish. Yea and if you fall, I say rise up, rise up again, and cry out to Me.
For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. [Prov 24: 16]

Do Not Fear the Darkness

When the darkness comes upon you, as you go through the dark season, I shall shine My light upon your heart and reveal the secret things that you have not known are there. Fear not; neither be dismayed or confounded. Be strong and of good courage. I work in the darkness; I work in ways you cannot see.

Your emotional condition is not necessarily your heart condition. Allow this piercing of the heart, for out of the wound shall pour forth all that festers and infects you. Surrender it into My hands with genuine repentance, believe and I shall heal you; you shall have a new heart. I shall shine My light into the darkness, and shall shine light upon your heart. Then shall you see clearly; then shall you know my glory in the face of My Son.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. [1Cor 4:6]

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you. 
[Is 60:2]

My people must go through these dark times. Many have despaired, been troubled, perplexed, cast down and cried out to Me. Those whom I have raised up mightily went through the darkness that came upon them. They cried out to Me, yet felt so helpless, alone and abandoned, not understanding the times of My silence. If you fall, rise back up again. Repent and believe and let your faith hold fast to Me.

Think upon My friend Abraham, after I told him about the son that he would have, and that he would be the father of many nations. What happened?
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. [Gen 15:12]

Did Moses fear the darkness or did he know that even in the darkness, he would find Me?
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. [Ex 20:21]

And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.  These words the LORD spoke unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. [Deut 4:11; 5:22]

Think upon the apple of My eye, David. Did he not travail in times of the darkness that came upon his soul? Did he not feel so alone?

O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless (Ps 88:14,15)

Then said Solomon, The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. [2Chron 6:1]

He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and He has set darkness in my paths. [Job 19:8]

You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Lover and friend have you put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.  [Ps 88:6, 18]

Two godly men who feared and obeyed God wrote about their dark time - their dark night of the soul. Oswald Chambers wrote a poem called, ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, in his book, ‘Abandoned by God’.
Cut it off. My heart is bleeding,
And my spirit’s wrung in pain,
Yet I hear my Jesus pleading,
Cut it off or all is vain.

So I’ve stopped my ears in terror
Lest self-pity make me quail,
Lest at last I take the error
And God’s purpose thwart and fail.

I am bowed to death in sadness,
For the pain is all too great,
But the dear Lord must find pleasure
In the way He maketh straight.

In the late 1600s, François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, often called Francois Fenelon was a French Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer. He wrote: His [God’s] transformation is done on the cross in darkness, poverty and death.

Think upon Elijah, Job, Moses and Paul. Have you felt as they did? Have you wanted Me to take you away from the earth? Have you despaired desperately? Yes, you have. Lo, I AM with you.
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. [1Kings19: 4]

What happened? A paradigm shift… An angel came, touched him and Elijah went on his journey with new strength (new hope) after eating ‘meat’ that I sent.
And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for you.  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. [1King 19: 7, 8]

Moses, who was faithful and meek, despaired over the constant complaining and bitterness of the people. Now the Israelites were not satisfied with manna anymore; they wanted meat. It seemed more than Moses could bear because the people never seemed satisfied and were angry with him. He wanted to die.
I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if you deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. [Num11: 14,15]

What happened? A paradigm shift… I commanded Moses to gather seventy men of the elders of Israel, and I put the spirit (holy Spirit) that had been upon Moses upon them, so that Moses should not bear the burden of the people alone, and the seventy prophesied throughout the camp. Then I answered his prayer and sent meat to the people, but the lust of their flesh did anger me. [
Num 11:25, 31- 33]

Even the apostles despaired at times and desired to leave this life.
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 
[2Cor2:8; 4:8,9]

Yet again, a paradigm shift took place, as once again My people were strengthened…

But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [2Cor 15: 57]

So shall it be with My people who persevere, who go through the dark seasons, who cry out in repentance, if there be need in any area for repentance. Yea, cry out to Me and I shall strengthen you as you go through purging and purification.

for His glory