There were so many images of life ahead for Alan, there was so much encouragement from a vast network of believers who were praying, there was so much hope and confidence in the LORD, as I navigated through the time of Alan’s unconsciousness.
The steadfast prayers of the saints, some of whom I know — and many who got wind of Alan’s illness through that network and were praying through — these were such a huge support which kept me going. In fact, those who prayed for Alan have gone on to pray for us as a family since, and I find it absolutely remarkable how well we are doing in spite of Alan’s passing away.
I am aware of GOD’s presence and know the prayers of His faithful saints are making such an impact on an otherwise horrible situation.
On several occasions, two parallel paths presented themselves to me, and I always chose the one of life.
Dream: dressed in black
One morning I awoke from a dream in which I was wearing black — the quintessential funeral clothing. I prayed against anything that could be deemed an obvious interpretation.
I shared it with a prayer network as well, a group of fine prayerful folk, who also prayed against an outcome to Alan’s hospitalisation where I would be wearing black.
Although fleeting, two different paths that would lead from Alan’s intubation: one of death and one of life, came to mind from time to time. I don’t remember anything specific, just that there were two possibilities. I dismissed one.
I always chose to observe the thought, path, expectation that Alan would lived. I thought that was how the LORD was calling me to focus. In hindsight, perhaps he was letting me know it might go either way.
Release to the LORD
Three weeks after Alan regained consciousness, with steady improvement in fits and starts, and doctors at last expecting him to live, Alan was exhausted and asking when he could leave ICU.
I remember as I drove home from hospital the day Alan had stomach pain, the same day Dr M had begun the information sessions to give Alan context for his current situation (as mentioned in the last blog post), I remember distinctly passing the shops I have passed many times, and I said,
“LORD, you said Alan would recover, and I believe You. I turn it all over to you. Whatever outcome you decide, I surrender to…”
Hours later I would get a call to say Alan’s condition had worsened; the stomach pain had been a marker indicating some complications had arisen. Hours after that, I was invited in to hospital; moments after arrival, I was told Alan was not going to survive the night.
We must surrender
In all things, we must trust GOD. Did I give up on Alan? No! Did I give up on the power of GOD? No. What I did was give GOD the freedom to do as He knew best.
After Alan’s passing, one dear friend said the LORD had told him that… “Alan was tired and just wanted to come home.”
I believe that if my release on that drive home the day before Alan died had any effect, it was to release the LORD to give Alan an answer to his prayer — to be set free from exhaustion and pain.
I awoke this morning from a dream. The dream was a rendering of the chaotic. The message received, “there is a storm coming”.
The last time I had a dream like that, we had a family row that day following the dream.
Today I descended from my bedroom, looked at my emails to discover, my web host server company is closing down its service.
Storm? I’m prepared, or at least I have an attitude of preparedness. “God is in charge,” I wrote to the host of the website, “and we will seek and discover what God has in store for us all.”
So, change is coming. I don’t know the form it will take. Perhaps I’ll be posting at Soaring Post for the last time. Or perhaps I’ll find another way within the next two weeks to write a newsletter and get it out to you.
The storm as I see it, is not weather-related (although tell that to folks in Houston, The Gulf of Mexico, and most recently, Ireland), not even finance-related, but attitudinal.
If I have the attitude of hope and trust in the LORD’s sovereignty, I rest assured, what will come will be for the best.
If I have the attitude of self-determination, I may panic or hurry or fear.
If I have the attitude that I must follow God’s lead and know that step-by-step, He will reveal His strategy, I will be in the eye of the storm, not bearing the brunt of it.
So, I may cease to be an entity at http://laruspress.com or perhaps I can switch things quickly, carry over at an effective cost, and continue on.
Either way, I am open to work hard, pray hard and to follow. Either way, I simply want to be in my Father’s will.
When storms come, we must fight to overcome. But we must also surrender to the Master who allows the storm and trust He has a purpose for us in it.
Jesus calmed the storm,
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:35-41)
When he calmed the storm, he revealed God’s authority over the storm. We who have Jesus can do the same, whether it is a physical storm or a situational one.
But Jesus only did the will of his Father,
Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)
When we surrender our will to the Father’s, and trust in His authority, we can, like Jesus, perform His will. And we have perfect peace.
So I officially am now surrendering the fate of my website and this newsletter to Him. I am announcing to Him (as if He didn’t already know) that the service provider for my website is having to shut down… which will be a heartache to the provider…
And so I pray that all those who are hosted by him, will have peace and will find God’s way forward. And I ask that God continues to watch over the work of all parties involved and that we will better serve Jesus through this storm.
(Thanks to BibleGateway for the quick referencing)
I don’t write regularly because while I do enjoy it, I am attempting to write only what the LORD leads me to write, when He leads me.
I send out Soaring Post sparingly because, as there is so much that all of our email in-boxes are bombarded with, I aim to be read when I post, and not overlooked.
Today I’m posting and sending about the upcoming federal election in the United States of America. The presidency is at stake. Some say the leader of America is the leader of the free world. Certainly, the country is extremely influential globally in many spheres, namely: morally, financially, culturally. When America has preached righteousness, it has touched the world. When it has preached carnality, likewise it has influenced the world.
The current series I am writing for Larus Press is Preparing You for GOD’s Call.
So, how is the US federal election tied to readers, most of whom are probably not American and therefore, not eligible to vote in an American federal election? There is a vital connection, so I ask you to please bear with me as I explain my thinking…
Sometimes we are called to learn and to grow, while at other times we are called to application. Today, and over the next few days, we as a Nation of Believers in Jesus are called to pray; the days are short. In preparing you for God’s Call today, I am encouraging you to grow in your prayer life, and in particular, your intercessory prayer life. To pray for American and the voters there is the Call.
UNESCO – the world organisation that “encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations” (see: UNESCO) has just voted that The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is only an historic site for Muslims, not for Jews, nor for Christians. Perhaps their thinking is that if they grant Arab supremacy, the Muslims will be appeased.
But what does this UNESCO vote signify in the Spirit?
Time is short. Zechariah 12 speaks about the attempt that will come to sever Jerusalem from the Jews; it prophecies the rage and battles that will ensue as a result. We are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122). The war over Jerusalem is inevitable. I say time is short, because the signs that this war is coming sooner rather than later, are increasing.
How is the election in America hinged on the events in Jerusalem? They may or may not be directly connected… What is significant in this US election is that, because the days are short, the state of the nation now, perhaps more than ever before, is critical for its fate. Like the vote over Brexit* – which has touched the hearts of many of my readers as a significant number are British – I think this particular election in America is pivotal to the way GOD sees it: Will America, in these Last Days, be seen by GOD as a sheep nation or a goat nation? (Does this mean that Jesus will only look at the immediate and not at the history of a nation? I do not know. Witness the virgins and their lamps… Matthew 25)
As recorded in Matthew 25, in the Last Days, upon Jesus’ return to earth (to Jerusalem), he will judge the nations and separate those of his (sheep nations) from those who will go eternal punishment (goat nations). I believe the American election is significant to the judgment it will incur as a nation in GOD’s eyes.
So, it is important that we pray for those who must vote. And for those with the right to vote, I say it is important to vote, to vote the way the LORD leads you.
Now this election is very unusual, because both candidates are so appallingly unpopular. Neither is particularly moral, trustworthy or righteous; they do not seem to me even to be “nice people”.
Imagine standing in the polling booth and gazing at your ballot, marking the person you dislike the least. With the bizarre way the candidacies have developed, this is the situation many in the United States face on Tuesday 8th November.
To say the situation surrounding the main candidates in the upcoming US election is bizarre is an understatement. There are several candidates, although only the two main party candidates get national and international press and television coverage. Of the two candidates, one is bombastic, rude to the degree of almost lewd, a creator of a casino empire with multiple sins, yet who defends the rights of the unborn and stands for Christianity in a bold, unapologetic manner. The other is deceptive, sly, cunning – like a fox or snake, she is untrustworthy and is currently under FBI investigation – yet, she is an experienced politician, is cool under pressure, and extremely intelligent. Neither Hilary Clinton nor Donald Trump are particularly moral, though their weaknesses are different. It is almost unfathomable to think these are the choices out of 300 million people. And yet, doesn’t a nation get the government it deserves (French lawyer Joseph de Maistre, 1789, who opposed the bloody French Revolution)? Perhaps it is the American people, more that these two candidates, who are to be scrutinised for how the nation got to this point of amorality.
Now, while American voters must choose the path of their least resistance, the rest of the world awaits.
Perhaps it will be as a Believing American I spoke to recently said… that after the election, the winner will drop dead, or will step aside and a capable Vice President will step in. Nothing is impossible with GOD, and in these times in America, with this particular election, anything could happen!
The Brexit result came as a shock; even those who wanted to leave thought they’d lost before the ballot boxes closed. The election predictions for the US also are “too close to call” at this stage. We don’t know if there will be an acceleration of the liberalisation that Hilary Clinton heralds. Or, if Donald Trump wins, perhaps there will be a turn back to old standards, including both good and bad.
I believe, whichever the result, the LORD knows and has the result in the palm of His hand. But just as He wants that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), He wants us all to stand in the gap and call for His will to be done upon this once GOD-fearing nation, itself born to give liberty and freedom to all who come to its shores or are born into it.
We don’t know whom the LORD would choose to win this election. One might think to have a leader who wished to abolish abortion would be GOD’s choice (Trump). But perhaps this is not the mind of GOD. Perhaps he wishes Christianity to be persecuted, so that more would come to Christ. What I do believe is that a vote toward morality and truth, a vote that stands for the truth of Jesus, a vote away from selfish ambition and personal gain, could herald this nation as a “sheep nation” and so be saved at the coming of Jesus.
So, as I write to prepare you for GOD’s call, I encourage you to be as one who stands in the gap for the nations and the world. Let us pray for this nation of the United States, with its rich history of defending Christianity and God’s truth. Let us pray that the nation does not get “the government that it may deserve”, but a Godly government that will lead people back to Him. As the world stands on the brink of change, let us draw near to GOD, that He might rescue the nation of the United States from itself, and lead it – and all the nations – back to Himself.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. And everyone says…. Amen.
*Brexit is the nickname given by the British media and its citizens regarding the referendum held last June to determine whether the UK leaves or remains as a part of the European Union. The vote was in favour of leaving; therefore, steps have begun in the process for Britain the leave the EU. Personally, I believe the result of the vote also speaks spiritually, declaring that Britain is a sovereign nation. To make a long discussion short, for me, the result of the vote signifies (knowingly or unknowingly by the voters) a rejection of the worldly principles encapsulated in the EU, and that Britain now stands as a Godly nation – a “sheep” nation – before GOD.
Sometimes rotten things happen to us; but God is sovereign and He knows what we face. He’s here to comfort, to encourage and to help us overcome our obstacles .
When you put these these two ideas together: that God is sovereign and that rotten things can happen, that suggests that God allows rotten things to happen to us, right?
Theology can be argued in so many ways. But if you believe as I do, that God is God – all powerful and all knowing – that implies that He knows when we suffer. So, if He knows, why does He let it go on anyway?
In the past I’ve written that “without opposition, we don’t become strong.” I believe that to be true. Further, while God doesn’t orchestrate rotten things happening, sometimes He allows it, because that is the only/best way to ensure we learn and grow from where we are now, toward who He has created us to be.
When we pursue the Call of God, there will be challenges we must face. I think it’s very important that we don’t get tricked into thinking these obstacles must only be endured or fought. Rather, if we reckon they are for our good, they won’t seem so large, we get a head start on overcoming, and we use the opposition to hurl us forward. When we accept God is in all things, we are spurred on; when we embrace opposition, we discover what God has for us and grow.
Holiness is an old word and a new aim when we are seeking to live a surrendered life which will bring fulfilment, satisfaction in our life’s work, and internal peace – the peace that passes all understanding. As we live a life surrendered to God, we will encounter opposition. We can “do Spiritual Warfare”. But it’s important to note, I think, that before we battle the heavenly realms, we also recognise the LORD is trying to teach us something. If we only look at opposition as something to be fought, rather than something to learn from, we miss God’s reason for allowing the trouble in the first place. If we miss the point, we miss the lesson, and that is a pity. Further, like school, if we miss the lesson, we probably have to face it again, so that ultimately we can overcome.
I believe it is through overcoming, that we draw closer to fulfilling God’s Call in our lives.
How to beat fear in 3 steps: Most of us are afraid of something aren’t we, but it isn’t an enjoyable way to live.
Ready: Would you like to end fear creeping into your life forever? God’s love has already wiped it all away.
Set: The Bible says ‘fear not’ 365 times… that’s once for every day of the year. Why? Because it’s natural for us to fear. Except now that we are alive in Christ, we no longer have a reason to fear. We are supernatural beings! Fear is beneath us. How then, do we stay on top of fear? It’s through love… for when we experience perfect love there is no room for fear.
The opposite of fear is not courage; the opposite of fear is love. Fear can only get a grip on us when there is a lack of assurance that we are loved. The perfect antidote to fear is God’s love – because God is in charge of the universe and He has promised to bless any who make Him their God (Genesis 12, 17).
Steps to Beating Fear:
1. Acknowledge the Sovereignty of God: There is nothing that escapes God’s gaze or His power. All circumstances flow from his desire to bless His children.
2. Embrace the perfect love of God, who knows you intimately (Psalm 139:14) and will protect, defend, guide and teach you in all things, through the Holy Spirit.
3. Press forward, into God’s purposes. ‘Straining forward and focusing on what lies ahead’ enables us to overcome the temptation to fear.
Choose to walk in the knowledge that God loves you and is in charge. He knows the beginning from the end. There is nothing to fear.