Sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board and wipe the slate clean and start over. It’s a hard process but necessary and has always been extremely fruitful for me. Anytime I have done this in the past and told the Holy Spirit, “I am determined to know nothing, only what You show me. No preconceived ideas or mixture of my own desires, just You.” He always rushes in like a flood of new, fresh, sweet Wisdom that is peaceable and full of goodness.
This is a hard thing because there are very real promises that God has given us and how can it be right to let go of something that He has given? Hold on in faith right? To the end! And yet we are to hold on to nothing except Jesus, so where is the dividing line? You are supposed to hold on to God’s promises, they are not supposed to hold on to you. That is where the line is drawn. You can always tell when it is out of alignment because God’s people will be burdened down with sorrow holding on so tightly to things. Trust me, I understand. We rationalize it out in our minds, “How can it be wrong? I never even wanted it until You showed it to me God!?” No desires supersede Him and at any moment He should be able to require it and You should be just fine without it. You argue that you would be fine, but only God truly knows. That’s why I always cry for truth in the inward parts, only He really knows what’s there.
I’ve heard often, God’s love is unconditional, but promises are conditional. This is true, without a doubt. God is both kind and severe and requires obedience. However, I don’t know if some people understand the vastness of God’s love and I think this saying can often cause God’s people to give up. Who said it was over? So you messed up, are you dead yet? You’re mistake probably caused some delay and made things a bit harder, but you’re alive and so is Jesus. Those are good odds. The only time something is over, is when you quit. I learned this the day my son died. I don’t usually talk about it but there is a lesson in it if you want to hear.
I picked my son up out of his crib, fear paralyzed me as I felt rigamortis set into his little 3 month old body. He felt like a stiff little cabbage patch doll. I literally felt death in the hallway as I laid him on the floor. My first response was to cry out for Jesus to show up. As I was screaming for Him, I realized that there was no hope or faith in me, just fear. So I really could not blame Jesus for not showing up. Even though I knew he was past saving medically, I did CPR until EMS came and they looked at his white face and blue lips and said, “Oh no Heather, he is gone.” They gave me time alone with him. This will probably be more than most people can handle, but it’s what happened. I have gone through a lot of hard things in my life and I often hear things audibly or see things with my natural or spiritual eyes and it can be a good gift or not so good. At this time, it was not so good but I learned something. Not until this moment, when I couldn’t look at his body anymore, I didn’t want to remember him that way. I turned and placed my head on the floor to cry, and I gave up. It was in this moment that I heard laughing, like reveling, going on around me. It would pass by my right ear and then my left in a repeated circular motion so that I knew that they were dancing in victory around me. It was devils. I threw my fists down on the floor, so angry, and said, “Stop! What do you want!?” Immediately they stopped. Suddenly I discerned him, I think it was death, come close to my right ear and say, “I stole your baby and your marriage is next.” And it was true, my marriage suffered an onslaught afterwards that I never could have imagined. What I did not expect is that the attack would come through me. I somehow assumed it would be the other person, aren’t we laughable? The devil is smart with tactics but he is so stupid. What he didn’t know is that God didn’t want me in an abusive marriage anyway and the destruction would end up being a wonderful deliverance. But the whole point of the story was this; Eli had already passed sometime during the night. One might argue that was the moment the battle was over? Or perhaps the moment I found him? No. When did hell begin to revel in victory? The moment I gave up. I beat myself up a lot that I was not able to raise Eli from the dead, but the harsh truth is that I could have. It did not have to be over. Reality is only those things that you accept. I’ll never get to go back and re-do that; the night I laid him down or the morning that I found him. So going forward I am simply determined that I won’t quit, even at death, until I am dead.
God requires obedience, yet remember, all of God’s promises are accessed by faith, not works. Don’t give up if you have messed up. The blood of Jesus is adequate to cover our mistakes as if they never even happened. And while promises are conditional, faith can move ANY mountain. When Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it; I wonder if he could have had faith and went to God like he did in the past, “God if I have found any favor in Your sight”, and entreated on God’s faithfulness. If he fought, I wonder if God would have let him in the promise land. Maybe, we will never know now. Would Eli have come back to life? Maybe, we will never know now. No one dared to cry restore.
“But his people were [robbed and plundered] trapped and imprisoned in holes with no one to rescue them. All they owned had been taken, [they are a prey, a spoil] and no one was willing to shout, “Give it back! Restore!” Isaiah 42:22
In Exodus 17 God told Moses to strike the rock. This was a picture of Jesus our Redeemer being broken for us. Then in Numbers 20 God told Moses to speak to the rock. This was supposed to be a picture of continued pull upon the Rock of our Salvation. We do not crucify Him again, but Moses messed up but struck the rock so God said they will not enter the promise land. Had he understood, obviously he would have done things differently. Harsh, but necessary to paint the picture for many future generations of Christ’s redemption. I wonder though, if Moses fought for God’s faithfulness and if God’s mercies could have been entreated so that the picture of Christ was preserved AND His great mercies were displayed. I think it is very possible. Maybe he did, it doesn’t say.
“God’s wrath only lasts for a moment but His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“When God turned the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.”
Sarah wept for 25 years. Joseph’s dream held for a long time. Israel was in bondage for 430 years. David was denied the throne for some time. But to each one, their captivity was turned around, sorrow into joy, struggle became breakthrough.
I don’t believe God would show me such amazing promises for me to get to the end and miss out on them because of a failure. He knows that I of all people, am the most frail. I am the most unlearned and unwise. I am the most weak. I depend on Him, literally, more than any person that ever was created. He would not have chosen to show me a promise that He did not provide super abundant grace for. I call it “the Heather grace” because I am the most needy person on the planet.
“So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Who are you, Oh great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone with shouts, crying “Grace, grace to it!” Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” Zechariah 4:6-10
The same grace and favor that He gave to begin a good work is the same grace and favor that will complete it (Phillipians 1:6). He chooses the weakest of things to display His might in the greatest of light. Bobby Connor says, “God knew all about ya but He still chose ya. Why did He have to stoop so low?”