Joseph Herrin (07-24-09)
I have been kept busy with various tasks related to getting buses and motorhomes ready for different people this past week. This is the reason there have been no posts to the Parables Blog. My inbox is also full of unanswered e-mail. If you have written to me, I want you to know that I am not ignoring your letter, I simply have not had the time to attend to my e-mail.
I received some wonderfully encouraging letters from readers of the Parables Blog in response to the last post. There are some who look regularly, even daily, to see if something new has been posted. In my soul I desire to not disappoint. It is natural to want to please those who think well of you. We want to retain the high regard of those who esteem us. I would like to post something for people to read every day, but I have learned over the years that I cannot be led by my soul. I must be led of the Spirit of Christ in all that I do.
On days when I am spending much time doing physical labor as I have been doing lately, I at times wonder if I should not be writing and sharing some exhortation with the saints of God instead. I realize, however, that it is not for me to question God, or to even understand all things. We are called to not lean upon our own understanding, but in all our ways to acknowledge God. He has prepared works for us from before the foundation of the world. Yahweh’s Spirit is able to communicate to us daily those things He has determined for us.
It serves to keep me properly aligned to my heavenly Father when I am submissive and freely willing to do whatever He brings to me that day, without question. He desires that we all walk humbly before Him. Should I say that I am a minister, and called to write and teach, therefore I will not do manual tasks such as laying carpet in a bus or working on the battery system of a motorhome, I would be walking in pride. It should truly not matter to me how my Father chooses to employ me, for I am not my own possession. I have been bought with a price.
These lessons have been learned over many years. Up until 17 months ago I was employed by a local Rescue Mission as a manager at their Thrift store. This was a very humble job, and one which held little attraction to my soul. It also did not pay much, and there were many aspects of the job that were unpleasant. The Lord had me at the Mission for a little over three years, and He kept me there to humble me and to see if I would be content to do whatever He asked me to do.
I had hoped for a job at the Mission as a counselor to the men. Yet such a position never materialized, though it was promised. In previous years I had worked as a computer professional making a good income. I also had experience as a minister. When God led me to the Macon rescue Mission, my soul immediately cast up thoughts in my mind about how I might be best employed there for the good of the men and the advancement of the kingdom of God. Such thoughts were truly an example of how divergent man’s ways can be from God’s. He had something else in mind.
It is difficult to comprehend why Yahweh would call us to “waste our talents.” Yet there truly is no waste, other than in our own Adamic thinking. My mind could have reasoned that I could make far more money in the computer field, so why not pursue such a job and use the money to help others? I could have reasoned that I had experience as a minister and had things to offer to men struggling with addictions, so why not press the staff at the Mission to fully utilize those abilities?
Day after day, for several years, the Lord kept me toiling at tasks not of my choosing. He did not ask me what I wanted to do. He simply made known to me His will. I sought to do whatever He directed me to with integrity and a spirit of excellence. I knew that there were things being accomplished in me that could be worked out in no other way. Truly our Father has all wisdom and understanding and He appoints for His sons and daughters that which is best for them. Many who lean upon their own understanding, and who determine to choose what they believe best, forfeit the benefit they can gain no other way than being surrendered to the will of the Father.
The Father has at regular intervals tested me in these things. In 1999 He directed me to leave my job as a computer professional and embark upon a ministry of writing. It was at that time I began writing books and articles which I shared freely on the Heart4God website. This continued until 2004. I had a growing mailing list and was given progressively more understanding of God’s kingdom and His ways. The revelations I was given were precious things, and much needed by the body of Christ, yet in 2004 the Lord directed me to lay it all down. He had me sell my computer, quit writing, and for the next four years He led me down many paths, through many trials, and I found myself laboring at a rescue mission thrift store.
Day after day I would walk up the hill from the small house on the Mission’s property that I shared with another man. I would pick-up those Mission residents who were assigned to work at the thrift store that day, and I would drive them to work. I supervised the men as they received donations, sorted out and prepared goods for sale. I drove a forklift to move thousand pound bales of clothing that I arranged to be shipped to an international seller. I swept floors, stocked shelves, made sure the men had food to eat and drinks to keep them hydrated. I settled disputes and took care of a multitude of tasks that are concomitant with managing a thrift store.
God did give me many opportunities to speak to men about Christ, to offer a word of counsel or encouragement. I volunteered to preach at chapel services at the Mission a few times every month. Yet all was done “unofficially.” I had no position as counselor, or chaplain. I did not write any new books or post new writings for over three years. I accepted the humble and often unpleasant circumstances God had chosen for me. As I waited patiently on Him, I sought to perform all tasks with an excellent spirit.
It was helpful that I saw the same pattern in the lives of others of God’s sons over the years. Joseph, the son of Jacob, was the favorite son of a wealthy father. He was a rising star in his father’s household, and his father was entrusting him with increasing responsibility. He placed the long sleeved tunic upon Joseph, a symbol of inheritance. As Joseph was rising in this pleasant and responsible condition, Yahweh changed everything. Joseph was sold into slavery. Later he was falsely charged and placed in prison.
What a waste of talent for this young man who had so much potential. The Scriptures declare, and in ensuing years Joseph understood, that this abrupt change of course, this descent into very humble circumstances, was ordained of God. It was Yahweh who ordered Joseph’s every step.
And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God…
Joseph may not have had liberty to choose another course. As a slave and a prisoner, he was greatly restrained. It is different for the children of God in this age. God makes known to us His will, but we can choose to obey His counsel, or to choose our own path. Most choose their own way. Few are the saints of God today who allow God to direct their steps in all things.
The church teaches Christians today to operate by common sense and logic. The church has despised the disciples’ cross, and this is reflected in their lives and their doctrines. The “Purpose Driven” lie is a mature manifestation of this deceit. This false doctrine instructs the saints to envision some purpose in their soul, some great work they can do for God, and then pursue it. What is absent from this teaching is any emphasis upon being directed by the Spirit in all things. There is no comprehension that God would have us to die to the counsel of our soul that we might walk by the Spirit at all times.
For more on this subject, I recommend the book Sabbath:
Yahweh will not lead men and women to great works who have not demonstrated first a complete surrender to His will and pleasure. If you will not accept the lowly and difficult path He has chosen for you, He will not entrust you with power and authority. If you seek things for self, even a ministry to others when God asks you to lay it down, then you will disqualify yourself for future advancement and usefulness in God’s house.
Understanding these things, I am content when God directs me to lay carpet in a bus for a sister in Christ, or to spend the day working on a brother’s motorhome. It is not for me to reason that my time could be better spent. When God reveals His desire, then it would be a manifestation of pride to think that I know better. He has not called me to employ logic, or the reasoning of my soul, to determine how I should spend my day. He has directed me to be led of His Spirit in all things.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Yahweh spoke to Joseph through dreams when he was only 17 years old. He showed Joseph that promotion was coming to him. This promotion did not come immediately. What came immediately was demotion.
The Spirit is proclaiming that a day of promotion is at hand for a remnant of the people of God. Joseph is a type of those who will be promoted. Joseph’s brothers were shepherds, caring for their father’s sheep. Do you see the parable in this? As they were caring for the sheep, Joseph brought back a bad report of their behavior to their father. Joseph’s brothers hated him because of this.
Joseph walked in integrity. He took his responsibility in overseeing his father’s sheep seriously. He refused to participate in the evil behavior of his brothers. Much could be said about the evil behavior of ministers today. Many are hirelings. Many see their calling as shepherds to the flock of Christ as an opportunity for financial gain, as an opportunity to draw away sheep after themselves. Many are leading the sheep down paths that will result in great harm, and which will prevent them from attaining to Yahweh’s desire for them. Truly, an evil report has arisen in this hour, and those rare saints who refuse to participate in this evil evoke the wrath of their brothers.
The natural mind might think that those who are faithful after the pattern of Joseph would receive promotion from their Father. Indeed, they will. But first they will experience much worse things than their brothers. While their brothers are living large, enjoying wealth and liberty, those who are after the pattern of Joseph will find themselves humbled, placed in very restrictive settings, and experiencing many lowly circumstances.
If you will not drink from the cup of suffering presented to you by the Father; if you demand that you remain in a recognized place of ministry that is ever growing and increasing; if you will not lay it all down when the Father asks it of you, then you will fail to be qualified for promotion.
There will be very few saints who enter into places of promotion in coming days because they have refused to accept the low and humble path. Many have tasted what it was to have some success in ministry. They have begun to exercise spiritual gifting. When God’s Spirit then directed them to lay it down they were unwilling. Such thoughts did not make sense to them. They reasoned that they should always exercise their gifts to their fullest extent. Surely they should continue to labor where the need seemed great. And with such thoughts they have spurned the voice of the Spirit that was directing them to a low and humble place that appeared undesirable to the soul.
I can attest to the fact that Yahweh is not as concerned about the value of the things we know as He is with the characteristic of humility being found within us. We can know all mysteries and possess all knowledge and apart from a humble heart our words will be merely as a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal. Yahweh does not need our talents, and our knowledge. He can instruct prophets through the mouths of donkeys if He chooses. But He will not promote those who lack humility. He will not entrust power and authority to those who refuse the low position and the servant’s heart.
The world is at the precipice. The day of the Lord is at hand. Christ is coming for His overcoming, victorious ones. The signs of great upheaval are all around. A myriad of signs, prophecies and dreams have been given to reveal the lateness of the hour. There is only a brief season to get all things in readiness. God is moving upon His people. He is exposing areas that need quick attention. If they respond with corrected lives, with humility and the fear of God, they will ascend to the Lord in a day very close at hand.
Only those who walk with a humble heart before God and man will receive promotion. Do not let sensuality, pride, ambition, fear, covetousness, or any other thing keep you from the prize that awaits the overcomers. A separation is soon to be revealed among God’s people. Those who are approved and those who are not will soon become evident.
Pay close attention to what the Spirit is speaking. Do not delay in acting upon what He reveals. Die further to the Adamic life. Sink lower in humility. We must decrease that He might increase in us. Only those who are exceedingly humble will be separated unto the Lord as His own peculiar possession. Only those who live for Yahweh’s pleasure will ascend to the throne of God.
“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063