BEFORE AND AFTER AFFLICTION

 

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word” (Ps 119:67)

It is almost eight weeks since I fell and broke my ankle. I have to stay indoors with a cast on my leg. There are so many lessons that I needed to learn. To tell you the truth I was not even aware of my ignorance.  I really thank God for this time of resting. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul…” (Ps 23:1, 2). What a wonderful restoration! I continue to pray not just for my healing but that I may come closer to God. I pray for an increase of anointing in ministry! I want to find the purpose of this pain. I don’t want to waste it. Like with Job, this affliction must become worship!

 

One great lesson I am learning is the need for Patience. I walk with crutches. It is true that I am more skillful using them but I cannot run holding on my crutches.   This cast has slowed me down. God wants me to ‘go slow’, at least for now. It means that in the past I was too ‘fast’ or better said too impatient. I was not aware that I was deceived to enter the dangerous land of the proud and foolish, of them who have much religious zeal and too little knowledge. This combination produces a terrible ‘hasty spirit’ that leads the person astray (PV 19:2). Now that I am slower with my body, I have enough time to pray not only for zeal, but for the true knowledge of God’s will in every situation. I need more spiritual understanding and discernment. I need the wisdom necessary to move on in life. I need the prudence to avoid dangerous obstacles. More than ever I depend on God for His mercy and provision!

 

Looking back I see that God permitted the accident so that I re-evaluate my life and my ministry. I am seeing areas in which I should have done better. God is ‘fine-tuning’ my spirit, my marriage, my ministry. Only God can do that! Patience and joy are fruit of the Spirit. I almost lost them trying to do too much, too soon. To increase the prophetic anointing I need to practice faith and patience at a higher level than ever before. I am willing to pay the price for it!

 

We are commanded to be patient like Job and like the prophets (James 5:7-11). God called the prophets and warn them that they, and their words, shall be rejected by the majority of the people. Rejection is part of the ‘prophetic game’. The prophet must be faithful to speak God’s Word to others. He is not responsible for the people’s reaction to his words. God judges that! There is a temptation to become angry and impatient when your words are rejected when you suffer persecution because of the prophetic anointing. Jesus said that under the provocation of rejection, we should rejoice, we should be ‘exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven’ (Mt 5:11, 12). This command is hard to practice, even if you are a committed Christian. We all want to see some reward here in earth. It is hard to be patient waiting for your reward in heaven. But this is the Word of God. I should trust God for rewarding me in any place He wants to do it! I should be patient and wait without grumbling, without getting angry or trying to find another form of satisfaction here on earth. I must serve God from a pure heart of worship!

 

Dear children of God, if you suffer right now, please listen! There is a reason for your suffering. It is not easy but it is not in vain! God will show you the purpose of your pain. God the Father has the right to chastise you when you have a tendency to go astray. Please remember that it is a privilege to be chastised by the Father. It is a manifestation of His love. Only God’s children are chastised in this way. The unbelievers do not partake from this form of love. Suffering makes us strong. Suffering makes us patient. Patience produces character and hope (Rom 5:1, 2). When hope comes, you shall be glad!

 

This is my testimony: I cannot run (for now). My body has slowed down. But soon, I shall walk, run and dance to the glory of God! My spirit soars above the cares of this world, above the expectations of people who lust after prophetic words, above the intimidation of some who promise money for religious performance or ‘prophetic’ entertainment. For now, I need to rest my body and soul in the embrace of Him who died for me. Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Lord and my Lover!  He is the One who called me to service. He will perfect all that concerns me! No matter what people expect from me, I must be found faithful to Him who called me to Himself. I shall patiently wait for His strength to stand on my feet and walk again. My mouth shall open and God shall provide the words! Fearlessly I shall declare the mystery of the Gospel of Christ crucified! I fear not for my present in my future belongs to God! I have nothing to lose, for I abide in His presence where there is fullness of joy. I am grateful for these many lessons. The Holy Spirit is my Teacher. Let Him have His way in my life! In sickness and in health, in poverty or riches, let Christ be magnified in my life! It is well with my soul! Amen!

Psalm 23

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