Wilderness, Weakness and the Work of God

Publican and the Pharisee

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (2 Corinthians 4:7-8 KJ2000)

We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 CEV)

 Have you ever had times when the Lord has just poured His thoughts into you like a river and then for no reason at all they just stop? I know that I have. The last three weeks has been one of those times.

We just got back from a nine day trip to South Africa. It was a great time of fellowship with Andre and Mia DeVries, yet I came home with a blank mind and feeling no inspiration from the Lord. Back about 1979, I prayed with all sincerity that the Lord would so cleanse me of self that I would become like His Son, only speaking the words that He wanted me to say and only doing the works that He wanted me to do. Those of you who know my testimony know that He answered my prayer by putting me through 14 years of wilderness. I could not perceive His voice or presence in any way during that time. This was not what I thought I would get when I prayed that prayer.

I can look back now and see that He was treating me as if I were in an alcoholic rehab center and my drink or “drug of choice” had been the religion I built up around myself and my relationship with Him. In short, God was drying me out! By 1994 He brought me back online, so to speak, in a wonderfully personal way, with this promise, “You have not been this way before.” He let me know that what I was going to be walking in was not at all like what I had before He cut me off. I could not have conceived of such a walk as I have now in my former high flying days of being “God’s prophet” and “man of the hour” (in my own “humble” opinion).

Yes, this walk since 1994 has proven another word I got from the Lord at the end of that wilderness period, “You will boldly go where no man has gone before.” This was part of the opening monologue on the “Star Trek” TV series. It was the assignment given to the captain and crew of the Starship Enterprise. The funny thing is, unknown to the sister who gave me this word, I spent nine months cruising around the world on the USS Enterprise while in the US Navy.

I should have got the hint from these two words that from then on out it was going to be a lonely walk. My experience with the wilderness is that it never really completely ends. It is a place in which God provides, but He makes Himself known to us in a whole new way and often that includes seemingly being left all alone without a visit from Him for weeks at a time. Alcohol rehab centers put you through an intensive period of being cut off from your former life as a drunk, and then require a few two day follow-ups to keep you on track and it seems that God does the same with those who are being exercised by the work of His wilderness in their lives.

In this place He uses both His light and His darkness to manifest Himself to us! Where we once relied on things that titillated our five senses, now He weans us off those overt methods of communicating with us and forces us to walk by faith alone, thus building up our faith within us even in darkness. David wrote,

 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you. (Psalms 139:11-12 KJ2000)

On the day that Israel finally left the wilderness and crossed over the Jordon while He held back the river’s flood waters, God gave them a commandment on what it would be like.

 Yet there shall be a space between you and it [the Ark of the Covenant], about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way before. (Joshua 3:4 KJ2000)

“Come not near unto it, that you might know the way you should go.” What a curious phrase this is! There was a time when I relied on being close to God, His nearly audible voice, and my feelings that I interpreted as coming from Him. It was a real rush to be so closely involved with Him, touched by His presence, and communicated with on a daily basis. But He started to wean me off being such a senses-driven person and made me walk much more by faith and not by sight or sound or feelings. I could once get close to Him at will. But now it would be different!

I truly had not been this way before. The ark was now kept at a great distance from me as I walked across the Jordon during its season of flooding! Now I have to write and act by faith that what is on my heart is really from Him and not my imagination. It is unnerving most of the time. I never know how people will react to the things I share, where before in my “Thus saith the Lord” days, I was so sure of myself. And what was the fruit of such confidence? Pride, and pride came before my fall. Now I have no such assurances that what I write or do will ring true with anyone at all.

God seems to put a great premium on walking by faith and serving Him from a place of weakness. Paul wrote about this.

 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 KJ2000)

He went on to expound on how He found Christ as His total sufficiency:

 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size–abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 MSG)

Weakness, need, handicap! This how God equips those He would use, not by puffing them up with degrees in theology and working miraculous signs and wonders through them all the time. Paul had been used to heal many, but he couldn’t heal himself. His sufficiency was not of himself, but of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians he wrote:

 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. But we speak wisdom among them that are mature: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:1-8 KJ2000)

Weakness in and of ourselves! This is the way God prepares His workers to do His kingdom work. How opposite His ways are from our ways! This is the wisdom of God Paul spoke from, not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, an ability to expound with three part sermons, and a generous sprinkling of humor to hold the attention of the faithful. It was through weakness that Christ was crucified and it was in this weakness that He overcame the Wicked One. Weakness in ourselves and His treasure contrasting with our ugly and common clay pots that hold it is the wisdom of God. Coming as a lowly Servant in all weakness was how God chose to defeat the enemy of our souls. This is how we will also stand against him in this final hour of history–not with any sufficiency of ourselves, but having our total sufficiency in Christ and in Him alone!

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17 comments on “Wilderness, Weakness and the Work of God

  1. kenneth dawson says:

    yea as I read your article it scares me but I know its true because I have been on that wilderness path for the last 13 or 14 years myself–it is truly a lonesome walk but so needed.God is a wise father taming down this former wild child.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ken Burgess says:

    AMEN! Michael. For quite some time I have felt forsaken, alone and cast off. But then I began to trust, by faith. See, by faith. Hear, by faith. Love, by faith. Pray, by faith. The interesting thing is that the less I trust in my sensory abilities the weaker I become and the stronger HE becomes to me. Someone once used the analogy of a roasted marshmallow to make this point. When he took the marshie off the fire he believed it was hot, but when he took a bite of it and it burned his tongue he went from believing to knowing. That’s where Dad wants us to get to. Or at least where HE wants me to get to. Paul said, ” I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that HE is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto HiM unto that day.”

    I’m so glad you and Dorothy were able to go to S. Africa. Welcome home.
    I love you my brother.
    In HiM,
    CHRkenIST

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Hi Ken, good to hear from you again, my brother, and that you have been in a similar place as I. This is an interesting time we are in. We are watching the world fall apart all around us and at the same time we are watching our own “perceived” world in Christ being shaken as well. Well, He DID warn us that it would not be an easy road, but He also promised that when the enemy comes in like a flood that HE would raise up a standard and THAT Standard is Christ IN US… the hope of glory.
      Love you IN the Son,
      Michael

      Like

  3. Michael, Kenneth, and Ken,

    I do admit that it can be a lonely walk at times, particularly when apparently no one around us understands what we are going through. Nonetheless, God does not want to see His children suffer due to their loneliness, Either He comforts us Himself or He provides edifying spiritual fellowship with our brothers and sisters, so that such loneliness does not turn into a permanent condition. Jesus said,

    “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (Jn 14:18 KJV)

    He comes to us through the Holy Spirit in order to really be WITH and, finally, even IN us (Jn 14:17). When we have received the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we are able to comfort our brothers and sisters as Jesus does. Every other fellowship that is not (yet) spiritual – a normal friendship, so to say – cannot offer God’s provision of unconditional love and spiritual discernment of what the brother or sister might need in their particular situation. So let’s

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2 ESV)

    As we know, the law of Christ is LOVE. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, Thanks for your comment. As I read it I found myself partly disagreeing at first with this statement, “God does not want to see His children suffer due to their loneliness, Either He comforts us Himself or He provides edifying spiritual fellowship with our brothers and sisters, so that such loneliness does not turn into a permanent condition.”

      My experience was that for most of 14 years, no matter who I was in touch with or what I did, I was cut-off and isolated as I died inside of the need to have humans fill the gap in my life that HE alone wanted to fill. He wanted me to know JESUS alone as my total sufficiency in all things and to be established in me as my All in all. He showed me that I was this spiritual infant in diapers running around with my umbilical cord in my hand seeking some “holy man” to plug into that I might find spiritual nourishment (with an underlying motive of becoming someone great in the church myself if I could just hitch my star to their wagon!).

      I think you will agree that this was NOT a healthy situation to be in. It opened me up to all manner of abusive relationships in which men took advantage of my need for approval and to have a human in the place that only belongs to Christ. I wanted a “Jesus with skin on,” walking by sight and NOT by faith. Did I suffer during this extensive drying out period, as I call it? YES! But it was my fleshly way of connecting with other Christians and needing them in the wrong way that was suffering and being brought to death. In the long run, my spirit and soul were being given new life even though it felt like death, because my NEW Life was totally being found IN Christ and not in people.

      It was then that I finally was able to have fellowship with the saints once again and it was a fellowship that was sent to me from heaven and not one of a religious nature any longer. So, it was after 14 years of death that this part of your statement became truth IN me, “Either He comforts us Himself or He provides edifying spiritual fellowship with our brothers and sisters.” The fellowship I now have with the saints, which keeps Christ as the center of that fellowship, is far sweeter and more edifying to my eternal relationship with Him and His body than it ever was before, and the loneliness I once felt did NOT become a permanent condition. Do I still feel lonely at times? Yes, but I know that it is only a passing thing for He never has left me alone, though it felt like it when I was living by sight and not by faith. As soon as I return to walking by faith and totally put my trust IN Him, the loneliness leaves.

      So, dear sister, we are once again in agreement even though at first it looked like we were not. I thank God that not all His saints have to got through what I did and not all of them are so needy for the approval of men as I once was.
      Love you dearly in the Son, Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Pat Orr says:

    I thank you for the writing. It is encouraging. I don’t really know how to express what I sense in my spirit, but I will try. At some point in the past, I fleetingly was arrested with the thought that our experiences are training for beyond this present time(life). Even though Jesus was God, He came to earth to do a work here, but it( his work here) has an eternal weigh of glory. As I read this blog, I again sense that we should not look upon our journey as only preparation for sonship and service here in this time, but an eternal reward and fellowship is also involved. I am not offended if this does not bear witness with your spirit. In fact I welcome correction.

    Seeking Him, and so appreciative of you,

    Pat Orr

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Pat, Correction for what you wrote??? NO WAY!!! You are right on track, my dear sister. Part of our growing into full sonship in Christ is to be made ready for an everlasting life in the next. God is perfecting us for THAT life with HIM! One time I was complaining to the Lord about how this life down her just doesn’t make since in and of itself. I prayed, “Father this system of your sucks! By the time I have learned enough about raising kids to do it right, they will be out the door. And by the time I have learned enough to know how this life should be lived, I will be 70 and it will be time to leave!” To this He said, “Son, I am not preparing you to spend eternity on THIS earth!”

      Pat, this life is just a flash in the pan or as Peter put it, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness, Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:11-13 KJ2000)

      Good to hear from you again, Pat, and know that I appreciate you and your comments very much, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pat Orr says:

    Bro. Michael, thank you for your reply. The scripture that you printed from 2 Peter really lives in your message. I thank God that He is not preparing us to spend eternity on THIS earth.

    I pray, ” Lord, let us live with eternity in our hearts according to Your truth”.

    Love in Him,
    Pat Orr

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Scarlett says:

    This was a very timely word Brother Michael, in that it resonates in my spirit touching on some of the issues I have struggled with personally. For example, as a new Christian, I automatically, almost like clockwork, lost many of my old friends from the world. This was a bit painful at first, because of the rejection factor, but it was replaced by the joy of having like minded brethren and “fellowship” in the “church” who understood and accepted me in the Lord, Or so I thought. Then as I learned from the scriptures I could begin to see there was yet another difference, (chasm, if you will), between them and me.
    Then the inevitable happened and I felt the Lord gave me this in explanation to my distress, why these things were almost a natural response to the dynamics between the “church” and me;

    The watchmen who went about the city found me.
    They struck me, they wounded me;
    The keepers of the walls
    Took my veil away from me.SOS 5:7-8

    The church began to reject me as well. I was no longer one of them; no longer like minded or in perfect harmony. I was a now considered a Black Sheep, a Pariah, an outcast. This turned out to be one of the most painful things I’d ever gone through. I was caught between two worlds; the Lord wouldn’t allow me to go back into the church system, and I couldn’t go back into the world, nor did I want to go back to either, not for the sake of friendship of the world…or, the false fellowship of the church. I was indeed considered an apostate and backslider.

    I remember once, I felt a tremendous and painful rush of loneliness that came upon me suddenly. Immediately I rushed to my prayer closet and fell before the Lord in agonizing prayer. Almost as suddenly as it had come on me, the Lord lifted it, and gathered me peacefully in His embrace. I have never felt that overwhelming loneliness since then.

    Since that time, I have indeed lived a very isolated life, depending how one looks at it. To be sure, I have questioned the Lord as to why this should be so. All I can say is that I do see how seemingly lonely the prophets were out there in the wilderness, being misunderstood, and rejected by all. I am no prophet, but I am a sheep in the Shepherds pasture, so who am I to question why He does the things He does? There is always a greater purpose beyond our human reasoning….and He doesn’t always spell it out for us.

    I have been greatly criticized by some that I seem to have no way to obey to the letter the admonition “not to forsake the assembling together, as some do”, etc. Would that I could, but it is simply not my choice. For some reason, beyond my understanding, this has not been the case. I have been told by sincere Christians that I will never be able to make it without their fellowship, but I have not found this to be so. In Christ, and Him alone, I CAN make it. The Body of Christ is ordained by Him, but it didn’t die for me. Jesus did.

    So, that said, for almost 15 years. I have walked alone, or so it seems, albeit with lots of ups and downs, trials and tribulations. But the blessed thing is that it doesn’t upset me, because I have learned to be at peace with this, in trusting the Lord, even to the point of resenting any intrusions by the world. Am I a recluse? Well, not deliberately.but I do admit that I am jealous of my relationship with the Lord,

    God bless you dear brother Michael, for loving and reaching out, in the sharing of your own struggles and burdens. I am blessed and inspired by your words.

    ~Scarlett

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Scarlett, thank you so much for sharing your heart felt experience with us. I know that we are not alone in this matter of coming to Christ only to find that our friends in the world leave us and then as soon as we start growing in HIM, and sharing what the Spirit is saying to us, we find ourselves shunned by the worldly church that tends to follow the teachings and direction of men instead of the wind of the Spirit and the guidance of the Good Shepherd. Yet, it was Jesus who said that HIS sheep follow Him and that they will not follow the voice of strangers! I guess it took me quite a long time to learn the difference myself and to understand where all this rejection was coming from. At one point I asked the Lord, “Aren’t I a Christian?” And He said, “Yes, you are.” I then asked, “Then if they are rejecting me, what are they?” No answer.

      Then as I continued to grow in Christ and press into Him, one day I was sitting in church enduring another boring sermon that did not speak to my spirit when I heard Him say to me, “How long will you continue to seek the LIVING among the dead?” Now THAT got my attention! It was not long after that that I, like Moses, chose to suffer among the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of Egypt any longer. It was then that other verses started to speak to me in the scriptures about the nature of our out-calling… scriptures like, “For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.” (Hebrews 13:11-14 RSVA).

      Scarlett, you wrote, “I have been greatly criticized by some that I seem to have no way to obey to the letter the admonition ‘not to forsake the assembling together, as some do…’” Yes, I have heard this over and over, myself. I finally looked at the context of this verse in Hebrews chapter ten and guess what? It is not talking about being gathered together in some church building at the same time every week!

      I used to work in a small engine repair shop. Sometimes we would get a person who would bring in a lawnmower of something that they had tried to fix themselves and it would still be in pieces. We called it a “box job.” All the pieces had been carefully gathered up and put in a box for us to put back together and make it work after the disassembled it. They had ASSEMBLED IT in a box, but not according to a manufacturers knowledge and skill! You couldn’t mow the lawn with it! It takes the skill of the Father and the Spirit to bring us together around Christ as our Center, not the hand and mind of some carnal, unyielded, self-seeking church leader who has made himself the church’s center. This is why you, I and thousands of others find ourselves outside the camps of the churches in Christendom, dear sister… we are assembled around our Beloved Christ, not some human idol (for more on this subject see our blog article https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/just-who-is-really-forsaking-the-assembling/).

      Scarlett, it is a blessing to be seeking Him with you and other precious saints like yourself. Oh, what sweet fellowship we have in the Spirit of Christ as we are truly assembled in Spirit unto HIM!

      God bless and keep you IN the Beloved, dear sister.
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Scarlett and Michael, what encouraging comments you have both written; ALL TRUE. I know this has been a couple of months back.

      Scarlett, it is amazing to me how each of us,different miles away, strangers to each other, go through EXACTLY the same wilderness feelings. May be different experiences but we all can relate to the moral of the story and the feelings of one another and the best thing; the LOVE and LEADERSHIP of our Lord and Saviour Jesus.

      I am currently going through what you did. I had just wrote about it in this post “Called out of religion” on my blog.

      The ones who endure to the end shall be saved-Matthew 24:13.

      Dear brother Michael, I, too, hear all the time the “don’t neglect the assembling….” as Scarlett wrote. It is like a clanging bell from them.

      One thing I know is: I know my Father’s Voice and I am learning to hear Him more clearly everyday.

      May He give us the strength to continue marching forward in obedience to HIM.
      I know I want no other way, no other one but Him.

      Always blessed by your writings.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Dear Ngozi,
        Thank you for all the “Likes” from you as you have read what I and the other dear saints here in our little fellowship on this blog have been sharing from our hearts. YES, we are on the same journey as we have heard Jesus call us out to Him alone. I am so glad that you have come outside the camp with us unto the Tent of Meeting. When Israel started out God had the tent of meeting right in the midst of the 12 tribes; 3 each to the north, south, east and west. But as they murmured and complained and sinned against Him He had Moses move the tent outside the camp and they all would stand in the door of their tents and watch him go outside the camp to meet with the Lord in the Tent of Meeting, but only Joshua and Caleb would join Moses out there. It is a lonely walk with “few be they who find it.” But being with Jesus wherever He leads us eventually is all we want. We find HIM as our sufficiency. Amen! Thanks again for joining us with Him, dear sister.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan Dailey says:

    There’s much being said here of the wilderness experience and the loneliness it can hold. I can identify and agree wholeheartedly with all of that. It is the most bittersweet experience of my life to date to be stripped away from the thing I loved but shown how it had come to stand in place for the God I should love.

    But rather than add my voice to that part of the conversation I wanted to chime in on another theme Michael touched on: operating when you aren’t clearly hearing God’s voice.

    I think the metaphor of an ambassador is a fantastic one. When a foreign ambassador enters a land not his own he acts with authority invested in him by the country he represents. This authority is not his own and comes with the limitation that he act in accordance with the express wishes of his homeland. An ambassador doesn’t “phone home” for every single decision to be made, either. It is his job to know the will of the country he represents and act toward that goal. More than that, however, a good ambassador will also understand the “character” of the country he represents so that he faces situations that don’t quite go according to plan and there are no express orders on a matter he will be capable of acting in a way that lines up with what he knows his authorities would want.

    Similarly, we act as ambassadors while walking the earth and are charged not only with obedience to God’s express wishes, but to seek to constantly better know him personally so that we can recognize what things are or are not in line with his character. Certainly God could easily give us an audible word on every single situation to guide us, but clearly has chosen not to. I believe this forces us to seek him out, and in the seeking to better know him. Time spent in prayer and reading the word is time invested in better knowing HIM; his heart, his character, and his will.

    If someone came to me and told me that my wife said such-and-such, there’s a pretty good chance I’d have a sense of whether or not that’s something she actually said simply because my time spent with her has given me an intimate knowledge of who she is, how she behaves, what she likes and dislikes, etc. The longer I’m married to her and thus the more time I spend getting to know her, the better equipped I am to not only discern whether or not something sounds like it may have been said or done by her, but I’m also better equipped to anticipate what her thinking on a matter would be without having to even call her and get her opinion.

    Not to say at all that we shouldn’t be quick to “phone home” to God, but there are certainly seasons where we struggle to hear God’s express will in a moment. I think in those times (and not ALWAYS – there are situations where it’s wiser to wait for the answer), however, we still can know instinctively whether a matter is in line with his character IF we are spending time getting to know his character.

    I’m concerned that sometimes christians are too quick to interpret every whim as the voice of God without really spending the time to know the heart of God. As one that grew up in Pentecostal circles and exposed to many revival meetings and various claimed signs/wonders and self-proclaimed prophets, I have a certain level of skepticism I’ve built over the past few years to the tingling-neck-hair voice of God. I’ve known far too many people to interpret every funny feeling or selfish desire as the voice of God. Heck, I’ve been that person myself more often than I’d care to admit.

    So the short of it is that there are things we can know about God: he is forgiving and merciful, he is patient, he alone may exact vengeance, he opposes the proud… these are things that we should be deeply convinced of and that should drive our day to day decision making without needing a fresh word from God. In addition to that, then, he also guides and directs us by his Spirit and we are to be sensitive and obedient to that leading, but always mindful that our flesh is prone to interpret a lot of silliness as the leading of the Spirit. We must seek to know him intimately so that we can discern the difference, especially in the times where he seems silent and our desperation to hear him can make us more vulnerable to deception.

    Great post, Michael. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dan, thanks for your treatise on learning the heart as well as the voice of our Father… well said, my brother!!! You covered some important points that needed covering. It is also good to read the whole Bible and get a feel of the “full counsel of God” that way, too. The Spirit often speaks a verse to me in connection with what some church teacher, preacher, evangelist or Bible expositor is saying and often when He does it is in contrast to what is being said… showing their errors. But like you said, as we get to know Jesus in a most intimate way, we get to know the heart of the Father as well. Our salvation from delusion is by abiding IN HIM for it is “In Him we live and move and have our being,” or at least it should be, not in the teachings of some man. My trusting in the teachings of a man has cost me a lot of trouble over the years and it is good that we do as the psalmist said, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalms 118:8-9 KJ2000). As for all the Penticostal hype and hyperbola… I also have seen these excesses and was seduced for a short season by them, myself. I like your phrase, “the tingling-neck-hair voice of God.” We have watched these things degenerate downward in three stages as James so well described them, “But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.”(James 3:14-15 KJ2000). First they are earthly pertaining to things that appeal to the flesh, then they become sensual (sexually driven lusts), and then they progressed into flat out demonic manifestations and pursuits as we have seen in Brownsville, Toronto, and the Bill Johnson cult in California.
      Thanks for your comments, my brother. May we truly live and move and have our being IN Jesus Christ alone and let the cross fully deal with our flesh.
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Russ C says:

    This is a quote by Andrew Murray from his book “Humility”.

    “God wanted one thing when He created the universe: to show in it the glory of His love, wisdom, and power. He meant for human beings to share in His perfection and blessedness as part of that creation.

    God wanted to reveal Himself in and through created beings by filling them to the brim with His own goodness and glory. But God did not give Adam and Eve some independent goodness for them to claim as their own apart from Him. No way! God is ever living, ever present, and ever active. He upholds all things with His powerful Word. All things exist in Him. So the relationship of man to God could only be through continual, absolute, total dependence.

    God created by His power, and He must hold His creation together by that same power. We only have to look back to our origin to realize we owe everything to God. Our main goal, our highest good, and our only happiness—now and forever—is to offer ourselves to God as empty vessels that He can fill, to show His power and goodness.

    God doesn’t give us life once and for all, and then leave. He gives us life moment by moment, with a constant working of His mighty power. Humility—the place of total dependence on God—is our primary duty and highest
    good. That’s just how the universe is put together!”

    I think in the wilderness I leaned two things expressed in the quotation above. The glory of God is everything and I can’t truly reveal his glory without him.

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    • Michael says:

      Russ, You and our brother Andrew have said it so well (with God’s help). Jesus, the Word of God who created all things, put it this way, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Thanks for contributing this great quote from Andrew Murray. BTW, we just got back from his home country, South Africa where we had a wonderful visit with two precious saints of the Lord, Mia and Andre DeVries.
      Michael

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