This is a part of a series
In the “4000 prayers” post above I wrote “Tonight is a sad night for me. Shortly I may have to come to terms with the truth that not everyone in Heb 11 got what God promised to them.”
Indeed that “4000 prayers” post and the other post which encourages me to forgive myself… they came true on Thursday 21st Nov 2013. And its been a busy time since then. This is a part of the story, recorded here for posterity, as an altar to an important moment in my journey.
In the three weeks before the 21st God showed me a countdown in a vision. The countdown was for the 21st. I had it clearly in my mind that I had been like Moses or Abraham. God told Moses to step aside as He deals with the Jews, but Moses in his role as pastor defended them, extending their lives. Abraham pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah… what if you find 50? What if you find 10? Abraham was trying to save them and extend their lives.
I had been pleading for time. But I knew time was up. It happens or it doesn’t. No more. This was the countdown and it would not go beyond this date. On the night of the 21st I was there. Hopeful, but tired of the long 11 year journey.
The message was by a man from Bethel Church and he said these words “you know what must happen tonight. you know what you have to do. if you don’t then deliverance will come from another source” which was a reference to…
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere – Esther 4:14
Time was up. No more delays. If this door won’t open, another door will open.
At the end of the evening I was talking to a lady and my face screwed up as if I was in pain, but I felt absolutely no pain. It was gone. Over.
Friday went by without any emotions other than tiredness from a long journey. Saturday morning was a wonderful experience of God’s Presence and still without any emotional drama.
Then sat night, overnight, something profound happened. My faith was sifted.
Previously I wrote about sifting in these posts..
Sifted – when God goes silent (and things go nutty)
Surviving sifting and returning with a stronger faith – ready for ministry
Sifting the wheat
During that sat night… the 11 years came up in my thinking… I don’t know if I slept at all that night… somehow the failure of those 11 years combined with ALL OF ME to condemn all of my faith and all of my choices. It was so difficult. I was laying there in bed feeling as if God had failed to do what He said, it seemed that God had abandoned me, it seemed that my life long commitment to faith was wrong, wasted, misled, foolish, embarrassing… and waste of my life.
Its hard to explain what sifting feels like, until you have felt it. Its like Jesus Christ said in Matt 7:24-27 that if we build our house on anything other than the rock WHEN (not if) the rain. floods and wind blows then the house falls.
That night all of me except for my will turned against me. The enemy somehow even managed to bring up memories from my teenage years to show me that I was a vessel that God had created for dishonor.
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? – Rom 9:21
Then I saw a vision of who I could be if I turned against God… the enemy presented it as if this was God’s will… a vessel for dishonorable use. The enemy was twisting everything around, making light into dark, dark into light.
I knew that was wrong. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I refused to be moved.
As I lay there I felt so alone, it felt like my own body and my past and even God had left me. It felt like the 11 years were evidence that I was wrong in my faith. It felt like I stood completely alone, facing the accuser of the brethren…
In Revelation 12:10 Satan is referred to as “the accuser of our brethren.” The word “accuse” is defined, “(1) to charge with, or declare to have committed a crime, (2) to find at fault; to blame . . .” (Webster 14). Sometimes a person is justly accused. However, that is not what is spoken of here. Do we have any examples of Satan accusing “our brethren before God” (Rev. 12:10)? Yes, we find such in Job 1:6-11; 2:1-6. Job was a good man! God himself testified to this fact. However, it did not matter to Satan. He accused Job anyway. – Source: Truth Magazine
I cannot express how abandoned I felt. My confidence was gone. My reasoning and logic was not speaking up. My faith seemed missing. I clung onto what I believed… but I hardly knew what I believed, because it seemed that I was so obviously wrong.
It was as if I looked at my life long journey of faith had achieved so very little or even nothing tt all. It all seemed like failure. I felt foolish. I felt like I had wasted my life.
I just lay there, clinging to what I thought was true but now seemed totally absent. What could I do? I just stood…
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Eph 6:13
I was in that “day of evil” I guess. And I could only stand. No… I could hardly stand. No… I couldn’t stand.
And then some words came to me and I said them… I said them in defiance of what the enemy showed me, in defiance of what he was offering me, in defiance of what had happened, in defiance of how I felt, in defiance of how everything looked… the words that came to me were these “I am a son of God!”
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – John 1:12
I said those words, despite everything, and immediately the enemy lost. Normal life returned. My normal feelings returned. My awareness of myself returned. My faith returned. What I believe returned.
This was a hard sifting experience. The enemy must have been given permission to challenge my faith… and he did so! And somehow God gave me those words and against everything I said them and it ended.
And in the morning and ever since I feel a son of God. I knew I was a son of God before then, but now I feel it, now I can enter into it.
The next morning, the sunday morning, I was led to this passage…
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. – Rev 21:7
The one who conquers… I had overcome, I had conquered… I am an overcomer!
My faith is different now. And my deliverance from sin and the awful effects of sin over my lifetime has been accelerated.
When I pray for people now there is far more power. My perception of what God is doing and how He sees them is far clearer.
A few nights later I said to God “I need to be with my family”… meaning God my Father and Jesus Christ my elder Brother. And God’s Presence was in my room all night long. Every time I turned over I could see His light and feel His Presence.
On the sunday morning it was a normal day just like the friday and saturday had been. I was me. My faith was the same. But my experience of God is now so different.
Before that sifting I didn’t know that when I prayed I was praying to a “word” called God or Jesus Christ. Now I feel like Im praying to GOD and to JESUS CHRIST the actual Being. Previously when I asked or prayed I was repeating words, but now Im talking to Someone about real things.
Before, when I believed His words, that was what they were… words. But now when I believe His words, I see Him and Im saying to Him… I believe Your words. Its so much more personal now. Im not pointing to Someone out there who I believe exists, instead Im talking to Someone Who is right in front of me.
Let me describe it this way… when I went to Jerusalem and Israel I walked around and saw the actual places. Before I went there I knew about the places and I believed that those places were there because I had seen pictures or because I had read about them in the bible many times.
But when I actually WENT THERE I saw the places themselves, I stood on the mountains, I prayed in the fields, I walked the roads… I remember wondering at the time how anyone who has not been to Israel ever manages to believe at all?
And that’s what it is like now. Before I was believing about Someone Who I was absolutely sure was there. And yes I have been very privileged to have occasionally seen Him, seen His glory, seen Heaven, visited there, been face to face with Jesus Christ and talked to Him… but now… its different.
Everything was stripped away, all of my faith, my knowledge, my courage, my logic, my memories, my past experiences… and confronted with accusations of failure and abandonment… and I was shown who I could be if I would turn… and PRAISE GOD He sustained me and He gave me those words… I am a son of God.
Writing this post has almost brought me to tears 4 times. I hope it has touched you too. Our journey is one of faith.
God bless you mark Wilson for shareing your touching experience. yes you are indeed a child if God. I would love to have you pray and share more insight with me on my own joinery with Christ.
I really loved how you said, that now you feel as if you are talking dirictly with God and not just a name or word.. I will keep you in my prayers.
Is there any way I can email you? I’d like to share my story with you. I need fellowship , prayer and witnessing. As I am alone in my journey.
You are welcome to share with me. Im not online every day, but we can chat anyway.
God bless you, Mark.