Joseph Herrin (06-16-2013)
I Peter 4:17-19
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
A brother in Christ shared with me a remarkable experience that I believe contains a message for the people of God. I have shared previously some of the experiences of this brother and his family. They were raised in the Pentecostal Church, and suffered terrible abuse at the hands of evil ministers and wicked servants of God. You can read about these experiences in the post at the link below:
Jeff lives in Idaho and drives a truck for a living in the oil boom area of North Dakota. He travels to North Dakota to work for a couple weeks, then returns to Idaho to spend time with his wife and three teenage daughters who remain at home. A number of Jeff’s children have already married, or moved off to pursue careers and education.
I have had the privilege of corresponding regularly with Jeff for the past year and a half. I have observed in him a heart that is humble and is yearning to walk in a manner that is pleasing to the Father. Jeff’s father was a United Pentecostal Minister, albeit a very corrupt one. The influence and doctrines of the Pentecostal church have been hard for Jeff and his family to cast off.
Many readers of this blog have discerned the corruption of the Christian religious system in this hour. They have heard the call of the Holy Spirit to “Come out of her, My people, lest you participate in her sins and partake of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). One thing that is drummed into the minds of Christians is that they must be in attendance at a local church. The UPC churches have made this a point of great emphasis. Not only are church members told they must be in attendance at all church meetings to be a good Christian, but they are indoctrinated to believe that only members of UPC churches will be saved.
For those who have never entered the doorway of a United Pentecostal Church, such claims may appear ridiculous, but those who have been raised in these churches find that breaking free from a slavish subservience to a denomination and all of its dogma can be a daunting task. I have spoken to others from various denominations who have experienced similar difficulty leaving churches that had departed from truth and righteousness. Many struggle with feelings of guilt, or simply feel that something is missing from their lives when they are not in regular attendance at a local fellowship of believers.
I share this because Jeff and his family have wrestled much with becoming free of religious bondage to serve the living God as they walk according to the Spirit. They have made much progress during the past 2½ years since they left the UPC churches , but the mental and emotional pressure still asserts itself as they have at times been tempted to find a church somewhere to be a part of, though the Spirit of Christ is not leading them back into the Christian religious system. A sign related to this issue will be brought up as I relate the unusual experience that Jeff recently went through.
Jeff wrote to me a few weeks back and told me that his grandmother had died. Jeff was close to his mother’s parents, and was grieved when his grandfather passed some time back. Now his grandmother had also died, and he desired to be present for her funeral. Jeff was in North Dakota at the time, and the funeral would be in Texas.
Things have been financially tight for Jeff and his family. Jeff has been taking the train from Idaho to North Dakota where he keeps a 32 year old Honda for local transportation while he is working. The car has some mechanical issues, but Jeff prayed and sensed that he was to make the drive to Texas for his grandmother’s funeral in Houston.
Minot, North Dakota to Houston, Texas
Jeff stopped in Minot and put two new tires on the Honda. One of the tires he replaced was still good, but it was a studded tire for driving in snow and ice. Jeff kept this tire, putting it in the trunk of the Honda as he thought he could use it next winter. Jeff wrote out an account of his trip for me. I will share it in his own words, interjecting some images and comments. Jeff’s words will be in italics.
I traveled down from North Dakota through Oklahoma on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 14-15). When I got to Ardmore I ran into a supercell storm that it was quite obvious contained tornadoes. I called a friend of mine and stayed at his house and let it pass. The storm crossed over into Texas and Louisiana and spawned 10 tornadoes, one of which killed 9 people in Granbury, Texas. I saw evidence of twister damage the next day as I traveled.
Point A is Ardmore, Oklahoma. Point B is Granbury, Texas
Granbury, Texas After Tornado
Destruction from Granbury Tornado
I believe there is some significance to the fact that Jeff was driving to Texas to bury his granny when he encountered a storm that spawned tornadoes, resulting in the deaths of 9 people in Granbury, Texas. That nine people perished in this tornado is equally significant. E.W. Bullinger shares the following about the number nine.
The number nine is a most remarkable number in many respects. It is held in great reverence by all who study the occult sciences; and in mathematical science it possesses properties and powers which are found in no other number.
It is the last of the digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter.
It is akin to the number six, six being the sum of its factors (3×3=9, and 3+3=6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man’s works. Nine is, therefore, THE NUMBER OF FINALITY OR JUDGMENT…
The significance of this number is closely related to the fact that Jeff was on his way to a funeral, which also “marks the end,” and is “the conclusion of a matter.” As the Scriptures declare, “It is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgment.”
Without going into too much detail, I will share that Jeff found it very difficult to be present for the funeral and the family gatherings associated with it. His father continues to act very wickedly, though he is a Pentecostal minister. Jeff’s mother’s parents were quite wealthy, and Jeff’s father has coveted their money. He has acted in highly deceptive and manipulative ways over the years to get all the money and property he could from them. They were aware of his greed and deception, and gave him a piece of property with a small lake house, while the majority of their possessions and money went to other family members.
During the funeral and family gatherings, Jeff’s father was going about trying to turn various family members against one another, all with the intent of getting his hands on more of the inheritance. Though his efforts have proven futile, the image of a minister driven by covetousness, paints a poignant picture of the condition of the church today in America.
Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says Yahweh God, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill, and My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth; and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’” Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: “As I live,” declares Yahweh God, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: ‘Thus says Yahweh God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I shall demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I shall deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.”’”
There is a great judgment coming to those ministers of the body of Christ who have ravished the flock of Christ. The wrath of Yahweh burns against them. He will contend with them, and they will be broken.
Jeff continued his narrative, and made mention of a visit with a young man he mentored while he was involved with a prison ministry. I found the testimony remarkable, so I will include it.
I went to Monroe, Louisiana and visited my son Ryan, then went to Houston for the viewing and funeral for my grandmother. I stayed one night… I left out on Sunday, and stopped in Dallas to visit with Guillermo Quiones, the young man I have been mentoring since I taught in the prison where he was incarcerated. He has been out for several months now, and is walking with God.
Guillermo was agonizing over a decision as to whether to quit his job, he felt like God had told him to quit it, but he was worried about what people would think. I know that Guillermo hears clearly from the Lord, much clearer than most, so I encouraged him to step out in faith if he was certain that was what God wanted him to do. He made up his mind to quit the next morning, Monday. Monday morning he called me all beside himself! He said he went in determined to obey God and quit, and when he got to work, his boss said they had lost their lease on the building and that he was going to have to let him go.
I spent Sunday night at my friends house in Durant, OK. When I got up on Monday, my friend urged me to do some maintenance on my little ’81 Honda Civic I was driving, so I decided to do so. About the time I got done, my friend told me I couldn’t leave, he was fixing me a ribeye steak on the grill, so I stayed a little longer. Finally, I was ready to go. I had intended on going to Ardmore, then going straight up I-35 through Oklahoma City and on north back to North Dakota.
I decided to check the weather before leaving, so I turned on my friends TV to the weather channel and to my dismay I saw that there was a tornado either on the ground headed for Moore, OK, or had just hit Moore, it was current breaking news. Initial reports were saying it was an EF4.
Point A is Durant, Oklahoma where Jeff spent the night with a friend.
Point B is Moore, Oklahoma that was struck by a devastating tornado.
You can see that if Jeff had gone up I-35 it would have led right through Moore. Parts of I-35 were shut down due to the tornado, so it would have been difficult, or impossible, for Jeff to travel this route. If Jeff had not been delayed by his friend, he could well have run right into the path of this massive tornado. The tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th has been categorized as an EF5, the strongest category of tornado. Following is a summary of the destruction from Wikipedia.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reports 24 people killed, 1,150 homes destroyed, and $2 billion in damages. The number of injured was 377. Most areas in the path of the storm suffered catastrophic damage. Entire subdivisions were obliterated, and houses were flattened in a large swath of the city. The majority of a neighborhood just west of the Moore Medical Center was destroyed. Witnesses said the tornado more closely resembled “a giant black wall of destruction” than a typical twister. Among the hardest hit areas were two public schools: Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School. At the latter school, 75 children and staff were present when the tornado struck. Seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Moore Medical Center was heavily damaged, but no injuries were caused. Staff had to relocate 30 patients to a hospital in Norman and another hospital. Part of Interstate 35 was shut down due to debris that had been thrown onto the freeway. On May 21, Moore still did not have running water. There were more than 61,500 power outages related to the tornado. More than 100 people were rescued from the rubble on May 20. The Oklahoma Department of Insurance said the insurance claims for damage would likely be more than $1 billion. A family farm and training center for horses took a direct hit and numerous horses were killed. Some meteorologists estimated that the energy released by the storm could have been from eight to more than 600 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Damage
I knew I couldn’t go north, then, so I decided to go west to Lawton, OK, then head north on the western side of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and end up in North Dakota, where I would take a train home.
I prayed and asked the Lord to give me perfect timing the same as he had done when we moved in the snow storms when we moved to Idaho. I headed out then, under clear skies on highway 70. I went through the little town of Kingston, then Ardmore, headed west. I got on the other side of Ardmore and my GPS told me to turn north, to jump up to another highway that would take me over to Lawton.
I made the turn, went about a hundred yards, then I felt an overwhelming urge to turn around and go back to highway 70, so I did, and continued west. A short time later, a state trooper came flying past with his lights and siren going, then two miles down the road there were 3 state troopers and a deputy sheriff all standing beside their cars looking down the road.
I don’t know why it didn’t register to me that they were looking for tornadoes, I was completely puzzled as to what they were doing. I got to a little town, I don’t remember the name, at the intersection of highway 70 and 89. It was a very small town without even a stop light. Right as I got on the other side of the town, a sheriff truck came to meet me with lights and siren on. I was still puzzled. I hadn’t seen an accident, what were all the police cars about?
Right after he passed me, he turned down a city street, lights and siren still going. I was watching in my mirror, and slowed down trying to figure out what was going on. All at once, the sheriff came back down the street and turned down the next one. At that point it dawned on me! There had been a tornado sighted and it was about to hit!
I was out in the open, no cover in sight, so I spun the car around and ran back to town and pulled under a carwash as it had started hailing. I knew the car wash would not provide any protection from a tornado, so I quickly drove across the street and ran the car up as close to a big church building as I could, threw on the emergency brake, and jumped out and ran up to the front doors under a carport.
The church was locked, and a nice car was sitting under the carport, but at least I had the whole length of the big church building in between me and the storm. As soon as I got under the carport, the tornado came over. It was in the air and I could not see it, all I could see was the circular motion of the rain on the ground, probably a 200-300′ diameter circle. The corner of the church building turned black as it came over, and the winds picked up tremendously. I held on to the church doors as the winds buffeted me for a few seconds.
All at once, it became very calm, and I felt a wave of relief! I made it! Then all at once I realized: I’m in the eye of the tornado, the wind is about to come back the opposite way! I ducked down behind the car, and moments later, here came the wind again from the opposite way. It was also carrying marble size hail with it. It lasted only for a few moments, which seemed like an eternity, then it was gone.
I would like to interject here some thoughts on what Jeff experienced. I believe his entire trip foreshadows storms ahead not only for his family, but also for the body of Christ at large. Yahweh has taken me through experiences where I passed through severe storms of the weather kind that were followed quickly by trials and difficulties that could aptly be described as storms. These latter storms had spiritual implications for I was tested in them to see whether I would respond according to the Spirit’s direction, or choose a path that my soul dictated.
I believe that in Jeff burying his grandmother, it is being signified that Yahweh is bringing an end to the old system of religion in America. Many of Jeff’s relatives at the funeral were members of the Pentecostal Church. Jeff shared later that he felt a sense of closure occurred during his grandmother’s funeral. The closure related to his attachment to the UPC church. Jeff was able to feel sadness for those relatives remaining in the Pentecostal church, but he had no desire to be a part of it any longer.
During the funeral gathering there was a wicked minister (Jeff’s father) and apostate Christians gathered for the funeral, along with one son of God who was seeking to walk in obedience to Him. Jeff was the exception in that he has begun following the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than being directed by men and religious institutions. So too is the Christian religious system comprised of many wicked ministers and apostate members. There is a remnant, small in number, who are heeding the call to come out of Babylon and to yield their lives to the direction of the Spirit of Christ.
The Granbury tornado, along with the burial of Jeff’s grandmother, signified that Yahweh is bringing to an end this old religious system. The feminine aspect of this funeral was emphasized in that this was Jeff’s grandmother, and also his mother’s mother, who was being buried. The feminine signifies the soul. The church has become quite soulish. This soulish influence has led to the church becoming materially wealthy (Jeff’s grandparents were millionaires), at the expense of being spiritually impoverished. That Jeff had a fond affection for his mother’s parents parallels the experience of many Christians who were raised in churches under the influence of the soul. It is easy to form bonds and attachments to these organizations that have served as spiritual parents, and whom the Christian has looked to for nurturing and guidance. Yet it is time for a remnant to come out of Babylon, symbolically burying that which God has judged to be dead. It is time to break off the attachment to a materially focused, apostate religious system, and yield oneself to be led of the Spirit in order to advance to spiritual maturity.
A further point affirming this call to maturity is that since Jeff left the UPC church he has begun to grow his beard. Beards are forbidden in many Pentecostal churches. Jeff spoke with an uncle while at the funeral for his grandmother. The uncle stated that although he knew of nothing in the Bible forbidding the wearing of a beard, Jeff would not be welcomed at his church as long as he had one.
The beard is a mark of maturity. Adolescent and pre-pubescent males cannot grow a beard. Only mature males can grow a beard. In the writing The Significance of the Beard I have shared the spiritual symbolism of the beard of the man.
That the Pentecostal Church forbids male members to wear a beard is a parable of the influence of this apostate church in keeping the members from advancing to spiritual maturity. They engender a dependence upon the Pastor who becomes a substitute for the Holy Spirit in a man’s life. Rather than living a life directed by the Spirit, men are subjected to the rule of a man, and this effectually prevents them from advancing to spiritual maturity.
The manner in which Christians handle the destruction of the old system will vary. After the Granbury tornado and the funeral of his grandmother, Jeff did a very wise thing by inviting Yahweh to guide him as he sought to make his way back home. Our true home is with God in the heavens. To get there we must navigate through some perilous terrain. Jeff knew that he needed divine guidance and protection. He had seen Yahweh supernaturally order his steps in the past when traveling through dangerous weather. He trusted Yahweh to direct him again.
Jeff manifested a sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit when he turned off of highway 70 to go toward Lawton, but the Spirit directed him immediately to turn around and get back on highway 70. The name Lawton means “Law town.” Many Christians believe that turning toward the Law is a very attractive prospect. Many are turning aside out of the path the Spirit has them on to turn toward the Law. They are becoming “Torah Observant” and embracing “Hebrew Roots” movements. These things appear to lead them where they want to go, but they lead away from a Spirit led life and toward ultimate loss and ruin. To understand the mind of Christ as it pertains to this very important topic, I recommend the book Laying Down the Law.
Jeff was able to escape this snare (both in the natural and spirit realms) by paying attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jeff then reached a small town whose name he could not remember. It was a seemingly insignificant town. Jeff arrived there about the same time a tornado arrived. Having escaped numerous tornadoes already (Granbury, Moore, and the peril of Lawton) there were still more storms to be faced. This will be the condition of the days ahead. Men will pass through one storm only to find that there are more ahead.
What Jeff did in this small town is significant. It began to hail, so he sought cover in a car wash. Vehicles represent ministries, and also our lives. A car wash is a good place to be, for it represents cleansing. Yahweh will use the ensuing storms to cleanse many people.
Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
Jeff, however, felt unprotected at the car wash. Many who surrender their lives to the leading of the Spirit will also feel exposed and vulnerable. They will seek something that seems more substantial, something that appears to offer more shelter. That Jeff left the car wash and drove to a church is symbolic of the actions many will take in coming days as the storms of life descend. They will believe that the Christian religious system will offer them safety. This is a mistake.
The church was not a UPC church, which is in keeping with the closure Jeff experienced at his grandmother’s funeral. Yet many who come out of one denomination believe that another one might be better. Jeff found a nice (expensive) car outside the church. This reveals an emphasis on mammon. There was very little difference in this church and the UPC ones he had left behind. Jeff, in contrast was driving a 32 year old Honda Civic. Those who yield their lives to the direction of the Spirit will be viewed as very humble and lowly in comparison to those Christians who are joined to soulish churches. Yahshua was humble, and lived as a homeless man during his years of ministry. There was nothing in His appearance to cause men to be attracted to Him, nor to envy Him. Similarly, there are few Christians who would envy the 32 year old car God gave Jeff to drive.
Brothers and sisters, do not anticipate that Yahweh will give you a shiny new ministry that is the envy of others when you yield your life to follow Him. It is far more probable that He will place you in a ministry that appears humble and undesirable to others, and may even appear detestable to yourself. Jeff has some insightful testimony of old cars that Yahweh provided for him that had many problems. At times Jeff has complained about these vehicles resulting in them being taken from him. During these times Jeff learned to appreciate even that which is humble and lowly, and to give thanks to Yahweh for whatever He chooses for us. We too might be tempted to murmur about the lowly, or difficult ministry Yahweh has appointed to us. Yet His choice is always optimal for our advancement to maturity. The problems and difficulties, even the reproach and disdain of other believers, provide opportunities for us to exercise the fruit of the Spirit and to grow in the grace of our Lord.
Jeff sought cover under the carport at the front of the building, but he did not drive his car there. He left his vehicle alongside the building. This signifies that the humble appearing ministry of the obedient sons of God will not be joined to the more glorious appearance of those who guard the entrance to the churches.
Jeff was unable to find sanctuary inside for the doors of the church were locked. Even so, the overcoming sons of God will find that the doors to the denominational churches and Christian religious system are shut tightly before them. This is of God. He is calling His sons out of Babylon and does not want them to return. If they return, they will be judged along with Babylon.
When Jeff sought refuge at the church, he placed himself directly in harm’s way. He reported that the tornado passed directly over the church so that he actually passed through its eye. The Babylonian, apostate churches of America will be directly targeted by Yahweh. He has declared that “judgment must begin at the house of God.” The prudent will not seek refuge in houses of prosperity where the leaders and members are not walking by the Spirit.
Jeff has shared with me over the past year and a half that this habit of seeking refuge in the Christian religious system has been a difficult thing to overcome. Both he and his wife Mary have had to resist the powerful urging of their souls to join themselves to another apostate religious group. In a moment of panic, when the storm was pressing down, Jeff symbolically resorted to old habits that are deeply ingrained. I suspected that the carwash came through the tornado unscathed, due to what it symbolized. Jeff affirmed this fact when I commented on it. He said the carwash was not struck by the tornado, while the church was directly targeted.
As I have read accounts of tornadoes, severe storms, and even earthquakes, striking in recent years, one of the common sights has been of churches that have been damaged or destroyed. The judgment of Yahweh will fall upon these apostate religious structures. Let the disciple of Christ beware that they do not seek refuge in the very places that Yahweh is judging.
Jeff received grace, and neither he nor his car were damaged in this tornado. Nevertheless, there was no sanctuary to be found in the church. The doors were solidly locked. Jeff then proceeded back on his journey.
I immediately jumped in my car and took off, heading west. I thought that perhaps I would turn north when I got to I-40 or highway 183, I wasn’t sure at that point, I was just running. When I got to I-40, I saw a Suburban on the side of the road with it’s gas cap open, and a man walking down the road. I pulled over and offered to go get them some gas at the next town.
When I got back with the gas, I realized then that the Suburban was full of adults. They said they were from Chickasha north of there, and that they saw on the Doppler radar that there were 12 tornadoes around them so they jumped in the Suburban and drove until they ran out of gas. They also told me that the tornado that had come over me had touched down on highway 70 five miles the other side of that little town, and that also on highway 70 a tornado had touched down in Ardmore and in Kingston.
I decided I’d better not turn north then, so I went to 183 and turned south to Vernon, TX, then headed west on 287 towards Amarillo. I was running and running, trying to outrun the storm. The storm was both on my left and my right, but I was traveling under clear skies. Finally, 68 miles from Amarillo I came to a rest area. I had finally outrun the storms and the skies were clear. I pulled in to the rest area, and used my phone to check the weather. It said clear skies for the next two days.
I went to sleep. At about 4 A.M., I woke up with alarm bells going off in my head. I looked out the window and all I saw were clear skies and stars, but something was telling me to run, so I fired up and took off. As I was driving it got daylight and I could see ominous clouds off to the left, south of me, approaching. Much farther north of me, I could also see clouds. Over me were clear skies.
I continued on 287 through Amarillo, headed for New Mexico. I didn’t have much of a plan, I just wanted to outrun these storms! As I approached the New Mexico line, the clouds to the North disappeared, but the ones to the South approached faster and faster and they were looking worse and worse. I debated every time I crossed a bridge whether I should just stop and take cover, but I decided to keep running.
Finally, I outran the storm and got ahead of it. About maybe 5 miles later, I saw in my rear view mirror that the storm crossed 287 behind me.
By this time I was in New Mexico, so I got on I-25 headed north… I continued on through southern Colorado, across into Utah, then up through southern Idaho into Montana. When I crossed into Montana, I had a blowout, so I stopped and put on my spare. I traveled probably 25 miles and I came to a rest area and decided to stop and take a short nap. When I awoke, I took off and immediately realized I had another flat!
The second tire was also ruined and I had no spare on a rim. On top of that, it started snowing really heavy. I decided to spend the night there and just sleep. The next morning I awoke to everything covered in white. We had gotten several inches of snow! This was really late in the year for this.
Jeff’s Car with Snow in Late May
I decided to pull the tire off the rim and put the other tire (remember my snow tire I had saved in Minot that was off the rim?) on to the rim and see if I could air it up with a can of fix a flat I had. I laid the first tire and rim down under the car, and used my scissor jack to jack up the car on top of the tire, breaking the bead.
A young couple came over and offered to help, and they had a hydraulic jack which made things easier. I got the tire broke off the bead on both sides, then borrowed a screw driver from the couple to use along with my screw driver to walk the tire off the rim. I put the other tire back on the rim the same way. Now I had to figure out how to seat it on the bead without losing any of the air in my fix a flat can as I knew it would be just enough to air up the tire.
I found a can of starting fluid (ether) in the car, and I also had a propane torch. I lit the torch to have it ready, then sprayed the ether in the tire and lit it with the torch. It popped the bead on the tire. I then aired up the tire with the fix a flat. I made it to the next town and finished airing it up.
As I continued on my way in Montana, I then saw why the Lord had delayed me. There were numerous wrecks along the way, for the road had iced during the night. The ice had just melted before I got there. It would have been very treacherous for me to have attempted it during the night.
I made it the rest of the way home without further incident. I was home for 4 days, then headed back to North Dakota for two weeks.
I have to laugh as I read Jeff’s words, “I made it the rest of the way home without further incident.” He had plenty of incidents to satisfy the most intrepid soul. A remarkable thing to me is that Jeff did not murmur or complain when he continued to encounter difficulties. Many saints would have grumbled to God if they were following His direction and then consequently ran into numerous storms and problems. The Scriptures reveal, however, that those who are led of the Spirit can anticipate such things. Yahweh does not keep His people from the storms of life, but He carries them through the storms.
An example I often share with others is when Yahshua directed His disciples on two occasions to get into the boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. On two occasions recorded in the Gospels, the disciples obeyed and then encountered fierce storms. On one occasion Christ was in the boat with them, sleeping, while they were filled with panic. On the other occasion they were toiling away, making no headway against the storm, when they spied Christ walking on the waves. When Yahshua entered the boat they found that they were immediately at the shore that was their destination.
What is noteworthy in both of these experiences is that the disciples of Christ encountered storms while following Yahshua’s direction. Similarly, Jeff had prayed about traveling to Texas to attend the funeral of his grandmother and Yahweh had affirmed it to be His will. By yielding your life to follow Christ, embracing a Spirit directed life, you are not assured of escaping the storms of life. Quite the contrary. You will be brought to pass through many storms. Our confidence and peace are due to the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. He is always with us. We do not go through the storms alone.
I would also comment on the fact that despite the numerous storms Jeff was passing through, and his eagerness to reach a place of safety, he stopped to help others who were stranded. There is a temptation to become self-absorbed, focused on one’s own trials and difficulties, and to ignore the plight of others when we are faced with various distresses. It is the will of Yahshua that we do not give into the temptation to save ourselves and let others fend for themselves. Love is selfless. Love considers the needs of others of greater importance than one’s own needs. We do not want to be like the Priest and Pharisee who passed by the injured Samaritan without rendering aid. We need to be ever alert to the opportunities Yahweh sets before us to minister the love of Christ to others. Will Yahweh honor us with safety and security if we carelessly disregard the needs of others?
“Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy…
Although Jeff stopping to help some motorists who had run out of gas may seem to be a minor detail in the midst of a very eventful trip, it is actually one of the more important aspects of the entire experience. I am sure there were many Christians who drove by these stranded motorists in their expensive vehicles, and did not bother to stop. Jeff shared with me that the adults in the Suburban were rather rough in appearance. They sported many tattoos, and Jeff stated that “they were a little scary looking.” Yet these scary looking people were themselves scared. They were fleeing the storms.
As we navigate through the storms that are gathering even now, let us remember to show regard for the needs of others. Yahweh will take note, and He will send us aid in our time of need if we have rendered aid to those who are in need.
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
At the end of Jeff’s trip he experienced a profound manifestation of Yahweh’s grace. Yahweh gives back to us “pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” We cannot out-give Yaweh.
If you read this account and are daunted at the prospect of passing through such things yourself, keep in mind that our individual experiences are designed by Yahweh specifically for us. What may seem to be an insoluble problem to one person, may not cause another to wring his hands in despair.
Jeff is a very experienced auto mechanic, so car troubles do not cause him to panic. His MacGyver type solution for changing the flat tire on his Honda reveals both his resourcefulness and experience. Also, having labored for long months in the bitter winters of North Dakota, the sudden snow storm in Montana was not something Jeff was unaccustomed to. Nevertheless, Jeff did well to take the opportunity to get some sleep, and then to look at the situation the next day when he was rested. His patience bore fruit as he came to understand that Yahweh had delayed him with the flat tire to keep him off of roads made treacherous by ice.
I want to conclude this narrative by recounting something that Jeff experienced over the last few days. Jeff has been living in rental homes in Idaho for some time, and has desired to have a place of his own in preparation for the civil unrest and troublous days that are very evidently in the near future for America. Yahweh’s direction and provision for His people varies widely. Yahweh has given me a bus converted to a motorhome, for which I am very thankful. I have a mobile habitation, and I anticipate that in the future it will prove valuable for me to be able to relocate as the circumstances demand and the Spirit leads. Others are being led to a wide array of actions to prepare for troublous days.
Jeff has been praying about, and inquiring into, various solutions for what he anticipates to be his family’s needs. The Spirit has not opened any doors before this brother. He has considered various plots of land, or homes to buy, but the Spirit has not revealed these things to be His will. Jeff has looked at other possible accommodations, even looking into a bus that had been converted that was similar to my own, but again the door was shut. He has been limited by a lack of financial resources from pursuing various opportunities in regard to provision for his family, but this has been from the Father.
At the same time, Yahweh has led Jeff to make himself more dependent upon Him. Jeff had worked as a carpet cleaner in the past, and at times made very good money in this occupation. When Jeff moved to Idaho, he brought some of his carpet cleaning equipment with him. Jeff viewed this equipment as a “Plan B” fallback measure should other employment fail to meet the needs of his family. Yahweh had indicated to Jeff that he was to put the carpet cleaning business behind him, and to trust Him. Yet, Jeff found it hard to let go of this equipment. He rented a storage building to keep it, but a few months back he shared with me that he had finally released it all at the urging of the Spirit. Jeff sold all the carpet cleaning equipment he had. This effectually made Jeff more vulnerable to financial lack, as he was giving away what had been a reliable source of income.
In order to see Yahweh reveal Himself in extraordinary way as our provider and protector, we need to trust Him with our lives. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Many Christians never see Yahweh do extraordinary things on their behalf because they refuse to make themselves vulnerable by obeying Him and stepping out in faith in some area. Fear and unbelief must be conquered if we are to begin walking in the realm of supernatural provision.
Just recently, Jeff was able to make a down payment on a small piece of land in Idaho. He wanted to move his family there and begin building on the land. This would save them much on rent, so he began looking at trailers, RV’s and similar things, but every door had been shut. After his trip to Texas, and passing through all the storms along the way, Jeff finally reached home. While there he found an ad on Craigslist for a trailer that an owner said was free to anyone who wanted to come get it. Jeff figured that since it was free, it must be in terrible condition, but he decided to check into it.
The trailer had been kept under a shelter, and the exterior was in good condition. It is a 40′ Aljo Skyline trailer, and has two flip outs (as opposed to slide-outs) that give it more interior space. The interior needs some cleaning, but this is something Jeff has much experience at.
Jeff contacted the owner and took two of his daughters out yesterday to remove the building that had been constructed over the trailer, so that it could be removed. A friend with a 4 wheel drive truck also assisted and was able to pull the trailer to Jeff’s property.
The Trailer Under a Shelter
Jeff had to basically tear down the shelter built around the trailer to get it out. After they had the trailer pulled free, they witnessed one of the most beautiful rainbows he had ever seen.
This rainbow seemed very appropriate considering the storms Jeff had passed through. Even as Noah passed through a great flood and was preserved, this seemed to be a testimony of Yahweh’s care and provision for Jeff and his family as they follow Him in the days ahead.
The trailer is a 1991 model 40′ Skyline and Jeff is receiving clear title to it. He testified that he had never seen another offer similar to it and is rejoicing at the Father’s provision. (For those who are becoming sensitive to the meaning of numbers, you may already have noted that the trailer is 22 years old (Flesh Cutting) and the length of 40′ is related to the wilderness which is a place of trials and testing.)
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063