This morning, the Lord Jesus reminded me of a writing he gave me in January of this year, so I went back and read it (1). It is called “Resting in Him,” and it is written mostly from personal experience, although it is also written from the knowledge of what others have shared with me about their experiences, too.
I truly sensed that this writing went perfectly with where I read for my devotional time with God this morning, which was in Philippians, chapter one. And, then I sensed that the Lord wanted me to paraphrase Philippians, chapter one, and to make it personal to my own life, so that is what I am going to do this afternoon, for this is where I am being led of the Lord.
Based off Philippians, chapter one
To my brothers and sisters by faith in Jesus Christ,
I thank the Lord for all of you, most of you whom I have never met in person, some of you with whom I have had conversations, and many of you whom I have never conversed with at all. Some of you I pray for by name, for your specific prayer requests, while others of you I pray for more generally, remembering you in my prayers for your encouragement and strengthening in the Lord. I pray, too, for your protection from the enemy.
Don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. If God is in you, he will help you through any and every situation which comes your way. Don’t let what others do to you or say about you make you feel less than who God has made you to be. Don’t let their opinions of you or their treatment of you get you down to where you are discouraged and God can’t use you, because you have been overcome by the enemy. Stand strong in your faith and in his mighty power and keep on keeping on, by his grace.
I am not speaking, though, to those who make sin their practice and then who use God and his grace as a cover-up for sin. For, God did not make you to justify or rationalize or excuse away your sin based on his grace and forgiveness. If believers in Jesus, one of whom you say you are, confront you with your sinful behaviors, because God is leading them to do so, this is not their opinion versus your opinion. So, don’t ignore what they are telling you, but take it to the Lord in prayer and deal with the sins at the cross.
But, all of you, whether you are Christians by practice or by profession only, I have you in my heart, and I pray for you, either for your strengthening in the Lord, or for you to come to your knees in humility before God and to repent of your sins and to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life.
I pray for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, too, as well as for myself, that you may grow in your knowledge and in your understanding of God’s love, and that more and more you will put his love into practice in your daily lives. I pray for you, as those who love God, that you will be obedient to Christ and to His Word, and that you will be faithful to Him in all things. And, I pray that you will love others with His love – a love which is based in purity, holiness, honesty, righteousness and integrity, and which does no harm to others. I pray that you will treat others like Jesus treats us.
The goal of all of this, though, is not just for our daily sanctification by the Word of Truth, by the Spirit, but in order to secure our eternal salvation and heaven as our eternal destiny. Yes, that is what I just said. For, the Bible says that over and over again. Even Paul said that we must run the race God has laid out for us in a way as to get the prize at the end of the race. He said that we do this to get a crown which will last forever. And, then he said that he disciplines himself spiritually so that after he has preached to others, he himself will not be disqualified for the prize. Amazing! (See 1 Co. 9:24-27).
On a more personal note
On a more personal note, now, I want you to be aware of my sufferings for the sake of the name of Jesus, and for the sake of the gospel of our salvation, so that you can join with me in praying for me, and in encouraging me, and in cheering me on in the race which God is having me to run. And, also that you might be encouraged by what God is doing in and through me for his glory on account of all that he has allowed me to suffer for his name.
As a child, I was abused by my father in many ways, including sexually, and I was emotionally neglected by my mother, although she took very good care of my physical needs. And, other men tried to abuse me, as well. But, I believed in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior about 60 years ago, and he is the one who sustained me through it all, who gave me regular comfort and encouragement, and who loved me in a way in which I never knew before.
Then, I met my husband, who was then not my husband, obviously, and we became fast friends. He made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And, I believed him. But, during our dating years he continually pressured me into sexually compromising situations, and then God would convict my heart, and then I would ask Rick not to go there, and I prayed that I would not go there, too, but time and time again that is where we ended up.
And, then we got married 46 years ago, and things did not get better. I was very determined to walk by faith in the Lord Jesus, but Rick was not. Even from before we were married he was already cheating on me with someone else, and that continued on and off again over the course of our marriage up until a few years ago. Plus, he had other extramarital affairs, and was involved in multiple sexual deviant behaviors, pornography addiction, masturbation addiction, lying, manipulating, abusing, bullying and using, etc. And, for a period of time, he dragged me down into the gutter with him, until the Lord lifted me out of that gutter. Praise His Name!
But, then he just got angry with me because I wouldn’t join him in his sexual perversions, and I said a final “NO!” to his attempts to get me back in sin along with him. And, then the abuse really got heaped on me big time! And, he began to strongly persecute me for my walk of faith with Jesus Christ and to try to discourage me, and to try to pull me away from my pure devotion to Christ, and to continually stomp on my heart all the while he continued to claim to be a follower of Christ.
But, fourteen years ago the Lord called me to this present ministry of writing out what he teaches me through his Word and to place it on the internet so that the internet (the herald) could “Run With It.” For 14 (+) years I have been faithful to that calling, and I have walked in purity, and I have not given in to my husband’s attempts to drag me back down with him, although he has certainly tried hard to get me back there.
And, the Lord then began to open up my eyes to who my husband really is, in character, and to many of the things he was doing against me when I was not looking. And, the Lord began to have me confront my husband, and sometimes he did confess, but the behavior patterns towards me continued, although he kept promising change. But, change never came, just more of the same, recycled over and over and over again. And, that is where we still are today, although he claims, again, to have surrendered to Jesus Christ.
For the greater progress of the gospel
The thing of it is, though, God is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made. He is still in control. And, one day I had to finally come to grips with that and to surrender to his sovereignty over my life, and that was a huge turning point in my life in the right direction. And, it was two years later that God called me to this present ministry, and I accepted that call on my life.
All of my life, though, whenever I was truly committed to Christ and to following him in truth, I faced much opposition, and much of that came from my husband or family members or church members or pastors. For, Satan was using them in my life to try to discourage me and to get me to fail and to give up. But, God was faithful, and he carried me through it all, and because of all that I went through, for the sake of the gospel, God made me stronger in him and even more determined to preach the gospel of our salvation far and wide so that many will be saved and have eternal life.
Because of all that I went through – the abuses of my father, the abuses of the church and church leaders on my life, and the abuses of my husband – I learned to rely on God and not on myself. Jesus became my husband and God the Father, my father. Thus, I became very passionate about holiness, truth, integrity, purity, righteousness, godliness, love, and faithfulness.
And, I felt much like Hosea, for God allowed this so that I would feel what he feels when his people turn against him and are not faithful to him but cheat on him with other lovers and follow after the lusts of their flesh and then lie about it. I know how God feels, because I experience that nearly every day. But, then I can communicate to others with the passion of Christ how God feels and I can passionately appeal to those walking in sin that you don’t want to go there, and to warn you of the consequences of continued disobedience, for I know about that, too, from personal experience.
So, my appeal to you today is that you not go where I went when under pressure, that you not cave to the temptations of the enemy, and that you not allow persecution to discourage and to dishearten you so that you don’t walk in obedience to your Lord. For, we were all called, not only to obedience to Christ and his Word, but also to suffer for him, that we might become more like him, and that he might use us for his glory and for his purposes to bring many people to faith in Jesus Christ before our Lord returns. So, don’t give up. Believe God! And, follow HIM always!
An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”
Sunday, September 30, 2018 –
(1) Resting in Him – https://walkingwounded.blog/2018/01/17/book-chapter-eight/