This may speak to some of you. I know not everyone is experiencing a very difficult, challenging season right now, but some are, and it has been perplexing. Often in the past few weeks I have cried out, "What is this season, Father, and when will it be over?" Congregations are getting smaller and people are apathetic, or fed up, or distracted. For me it feels like a pit of discouragement.
And so I sat with the Lord for a long time this morning, asking questions, and finally I received breakthrough, and knew that I knew I had heard from the Spirit of God. He said, "The answer to your question is found in Deuteronomy 8:2."Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way into the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart..." Verse 3 goes on: "He humbled you, causing you to hunger..."
The revelation hit me profoundly and deeply. "The testing of a heart cannot be done while the person is operating in great success and provision. In those times we are self-satisfied, self-assured. We are not feeling desperate or asking questions. We are not hungering or thirsting. We are comfortable. THAT IS NOT A DESERT, IS IT?
This season is a heart-probe. A probe so deep that at times it aches. How deep am I willing to let you probe, in order to find those dark, hidden places?
I went to Psalm 139:23-24 and prayed that prayer again. And Father told me to have it continually on my lips. When someone around me irritates me or offends me, I am to pray, "Search me O God and examine ME. See if there is any offensive way in ME......(in how I'm reacting).
Once again I believe He has given us a vital key about the time we are in - and how to prepare for the much more difficult days ahead. Search me, O God, and examine me - tell me what You find in my heart. And when you show me what You have found, I pray that you will do as the old worship song says,
Change my heart O God
Make it ever true
Change my heart O God
May I be like YOU
I was awakened at exactly 3:00 a.m. Unable to sleep, I understood I was being awakened for the fourth watch, and my spirit was deeply quickened about the imminence of Tisha b'Av, the Ninth of Av, which marks on the Hebrew calendar the memory of so many atrocities and calamities in Israel's history. It is the time of the year when the enemy prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour the people of God and to wipe out His inheritance.
I came down to my "prayer closet, " but knew not what to pray. Scripture tells me that Israel has much more devastation yet ahead, so I cried out to Father, "Show me in Your Word what I should pray, so that I do not pray against your will!" The Spirit of the LORD took me directly to Micah Chapter 7 and I began to read it aloud in a prayer:
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them My wonders. Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens, they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of You.
Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgressor of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
It is a last-days picture of the nations who abandoned God. He will deal with them in whatever way will bring them to their knees in utter humility and wonder. They will become ashamed and their worldly power will be no more. And in the midst of them is this little "remnant of His inheritance," whom He preserves and forgives. Because of His unfathomable grace and mercy, He pardons our sins by putting them out of sight, out of mind, out of reach and out of existence!
Father, Your love astounds me. It is a wake-up call in the middle of the night. It is a shofar resounding through our spirits to remind us that we who have been utterly changed by the power of Your forgiveness through the shed blood of Yeshua on the Cross, MUST freely forgive all who have sinned against us.
I hear the LORD saying, "This is your work in this hour. Do not spend time fretting over the events in the world. Spend time preparing your hearts for all that is about to happen. Loose your regrets, your disappointments and your anger. Fly into the center of My heartbeat, which is Love. Take the sins of those who have wounded you and hurl them into the depths of the sea, even as I have done for you, little flock. I will be true to Jacob and show mercy to Abraham, as I pledged on oath to your fathers in days long ago."
Kelly Ferrari Mills