THE WALK OF ABANDONMENT IV
I am willing to be completely honest and share my most intimate thoughts with you as a way of testifying, so that you can relate and feel that you are not alone. I am not going through a time of anxiety or depression but rather as Cheryl used this word the other night; we seem to be “disillusioned” with life. I thought about this word and looked up the definition; it means to “become awakened to reality”. An illusion is like a vivid dream, a mirage or believing in a fairy tail that is – untrue, even though it seems to be real. The “dis” means NOT (like in not connected) so in this context, to be “dis – illusioned” with life means that we are NO longer deceived by a fantasy but have been given insight to divine truth. To receive a revelation of something, we are allowed by God’s grace to see it spiritually “illuminated” and are forever enlightened with understanding. Evidently, it seems we were convinced that life was going to be happily ever after, that people were a certain way, work, church, retirement, our health, our wealth, our happiness, our respect, our nation, the world, family, friends and all that we “dreamed” would all turn out perfect. Nevertheless, unfortunately, not all the imaginations of our expectations to give us peace and contentment have turned out as we planned. Isn’t it amazing that what seemed important 20 years ago is now not a priority at all. Things that we believed would make us ecstatic with joy have been disappointing to say the least. Maybe we believed a “personal vision” because that was the way we wanted it to be, and if that is true then we are guilty of creating our own virtual reality. Can we agree that many people live in a matrix world of fiction because it is an environment that gives them SECURITY and the much-needed “comfort” that helps them maintain and survive? At times, people drift away on daydreams along with those “snuggly” expectations that everything is going to be all right. However, while the goose bumps might make us feel good, these carnal fantasies can actually become walls that hinder our spiritual growth process.
As we continue to think about how important it is to be on the same page as God, we must comprehend that our awareness of His presence is the way to be one with Him. The masses are sleep walking as they scratch and fight their way through life, like chickens pecking at the dirt but soon they will be rudely awakened when the anti-christ becomes president of the world. Will they have time to consider the consequences of taking the mark of the beast? Will they have the desire to repent of their sin and abandon their old nature? Will they have time to learn about forgiveness, faith, love and obedience? I believe world-changing events will happen quickly and many will be found in a lost condition, angry, defiant, rebellious, afraid, desperate, dazed, spiritually weak, in shock and confused. “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (I Thessalonians 5: 3,6) I believe God will use His children to reach out and help many in the days ahead. His remnant is being purified by the trying of fire right now so they will be ready to demonstrate their faith. An important part of this preparation is submitting to abandonment because as we let go, we lose the distractions that hinder our progress. We can only grow as strong as we are determined to be like Him.
Do we actually realize how powerful the mainstream media is to our senses? We listen and read about the daily events that happen all around us and in our response; we internalize and process the information into understanding. However, what most Christians are not considering is how much of the content is propaganda designed to deceive us! I am reminded of the early days of radio where people would gather around and be captivated by the words that were spoken. Likewise, I believe many will pay heed to the philosophy of the New World Order in the coming days that will sear the conscience and lead many astray. This global propaganda “beast” system will be the voice of its father – the devil. The saints must discern this satanic influence in their lives, and receive their truth and instructions directly from the leading of the Holy Spirit. How many remnant saints will choose to travel the wilderness path of abandonment that requires them to take up their cross and follow Christ? Who will surrender their lives so they can go wherever He would lead, even if it means traveling through barren places where trials and tests are common? The hour is near at hand when the called out ones who know His truth must decide if they are going or staying. Father has graciously prepared forerunners to encourage the saints, and to help guide them on their way but tragically, most Christians will be unwilling to leave the broad (normal, ordinary) path they have been on. Even when everything is crashing and grinding to a halt all around them, the broad path will appear more appealing to them than to venture off alone down a narrow path that they are unsure of. There will be some like the main character of Hannah Hurnard’s allegory “Hinds Feet on High Places”. They will be Much Afraid, but Jesus the Great Shepard will guide them with much tenderness and reassurance if they will only trust Him. He does not desire to lose any of those sheep whom His Father has given to Him. Are you spiritually prepared for what is coming? Now is the hour to allow Him to create in us a clean heart and a holy sensitivity that can only come from intimate prayer and worship. The overcomers are the ones that were not afraid to resist the mainstream’s call to worship the beast. Far away from what is politically correct and socially acceptable, you will find a remnant of saints that walk the narrow way that leads to life – and few there be that find it. “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, who are these which are arrayed in white robes and, where did they come from? And I said unto him, sir, you know. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.” I sense the Holy Spirit as I relay this scripture at this moment. I feel as if I have been on a long journey and I am homesick. The love of this world has no place in my heart for I can see the future in my spirit and my divine reality is in heaven, around God’s throne, saturated in His glory and the splendor of His presence. Listen to the rest of this passage, “They shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”. He is the purpose and reason for every heartbeat and breath. He is the reason we live, the focus of our love and worship now and forever, amen.
Some might only see the purpose of abandonment as a way of establishing a simplistic life or using poverty as a discipline to bring humility. These may be useful “side-effects” but let me say there is every reason to believe that if we can learn how to walk with God “HIS WAY” He might trust us with even more resources than ever. He is not opposed for His people to receive His miracles and then give them away. He owns everything and we must learn that we are His distributors! The things we do hold on to, we are actually just borrowing for we will not take any material possession out. We do not really own anything in this fleeting world because be are spiritual beings and our TRUE possessions are the spiritual, eternal realities of His Word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, because the Spirit (breath) of the Lord blows upon it: surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades: but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40: 7-8) If our heart and hands become willing to allow His blessings to flow through us, there is no limit as to how God will use us. It is when we begin to build barns to hoard and vaults to protect our treasures, that God’s flowing river becomes a stagnant lake of selfishness. Abandonment must become a state of mind where we filter all of our thoughts with a yielded, submitted will. We will never submit to abandonment until we understand the revelation of self-denial and repentance. Those who do not walk in the reverence and holiness of God’s presence will never desire the concept of abandonment. The opposite of abandonment is to cherish, maintain, embrace, uphold, support, occupy and retain. What are we holding on to? Simply put – it is our will to sin! It is exactly what Father is waiting for us all to let go of. Selah.
The late David Wilkerson had some very good insights about the deeper personal relationship with Christ and I believe it relates to the abandonment of our will. “Repentance means more than saying, “Lord, I am wrong.” It also means saying, “Lord, You are right! Repentance means facing the truth about your sin — the truth that it must end NOW! It is a crisis moment of truth, a place of recognition where you admit, “I cannot continue in my sin and have the Holy Ghost living in me. If I do, I will lose everything. Lord, you are right about sin bringing death upon me. I see that if I continue in it, it is going to destroy me and my family. God, I make no more excuses.” Simply put, repentance is a serious confrontation with your sin. The battle is fought before you get to the cross — it takes place as the Holy Spirit deals with you. The same is true of self-denial. In short, self-denial is a confrontation that says, “Sin ends now — at this point! Contrary to what many “comfort preachers” say, self-denial is not some heartache you have to bear, or some infirmity of your flesh. When Paul said, “I die daily,” he meant simply, “I have to deny that I can continue in sin and still have Christ’s favor. I do not have a special dispensation from God to hold on to a pet sin just because I do good works. No! I agree with the Word of God and I deny all my rights to continue in sin.” The glorious truth of the gospel is that if we die with Jesus, we also come into the glory of His resurrection and into newness of life. His cross is our cross, His death is our death, and His resurrection is our resurrection, through our identification and union with Him. That is the real cross we bear. Yet this is the cross that many so-called ministers of the gospel have done away with. The real cross is not about lovely words describing our Savior’s suffering and bleeding on Calvary. No, the true meaning of the cross is that Jesus bled and died to bring our sin-sick souls into glorious liberty and freedom — to break every chain of sin that binds us.” His blood gives us the grace and freedom to abandon our will to sin – so that we can live His will.
The real last move of God does not need a man to lead it, doesn’t need a band to hype it, doesn’t need a cathedral to harness it, doesn’t need a billboard to promote it and it doesn’t need to depend on intercessors to pray it in. God does not need more TV preachers that promise prosperity and happiness or Christian satellite networks filled with religious “fluff”. When will churches stop begging for millions to build huge luxury palaces that have sanctuaries like entertainment arenas? Sadly, the religious world will continue going in the same old dead direction of pleasing the flesh, but the bride will have the “ears to hear” the bridegroom. Again, we can hear Wilkerson’s heart, “The genuine, last hour move of God has already begun in the secret places of people’s hearts, those who rarely even know one another. They are called loners, misfits, rejects, and rebels, the independent disciples that have “hidden out” in Jesus, who are being quietly, super-naturally shaped into a mighty army of glorified saints. A few here and there are being knitted together in love and when these vessels of light cross paths, the holy presence of the Father multiplies into a holy furnace of passion, inspiration and determination to stand in faith. It is the light of commitment to follow God no matter the cost. The overcomers radiate God’s nature, His presence exposes the darkness and causes turmoil everywhere they go – unspoken, but spoken against; loving, but hated by the world; merciful, but treated unmercifully; strong but broken; powerful in weakness; mighty men of valor without guile or malice; obedient and powerful in the Lord without gender.” These have abandoned their love for this world and laid down their old will as they respond to the call of a heavenly destiny. The eyes of their heart have been opened to the divine realities of eternal truth. They have seen the revelation of Christ in their spirit and have known Him in the green pastures of peace and along the holy, still waters of trusting Him. They are ready to stand on the front-line through the tribulation, to humbly pay the price and “walk” God’s way.