On holiday, back in December 2010, I went to… “looks like Hell”, “smells like Hell”, “feels like Hell”, “hurts like Hell”. Yep… “This must be Hell”. It was no vacation and I did not even leave the area I live in. So where did I go?
Too close to the fire…
I heard a snap and everything that was, was gone. “Not another Word out of Your mouth, or another sight to ‘behold’, will I receive. It’s all been a lie! I have been deceived, once AGAIN! I am such a fool! What are You, the adult Santa Claus? It is the Christmas ‘holiday’, after all. Oh my God, if You are there, You better show Yourself. I won’t trust or believe another. If You are there, You will take me right now, and if You don’t… then I will say “see, You’re not real. Everything I know has been a lie.” They come after me with curses and You let them. Oh my God, did I not do all these things at Your Word? Did I not fix my eyes upon Your alter in hopeful expectation? Have I not praised You in the morning and rested my head upon Your Scriptures at night? Have I not gone where You said “Go” and stayed where You said “Stay”? Then, why have You left me here, ALONE? Hello… God are You there? Can You hear me? Are You sleeping? Oh, I get it… You’re not listening, because it’s me. … Well, if You’re not going to listen to me, then I am not going to listen to You [again].” [me… burning up.]
And I ran… Leaving one footprint in the sand, my own, so I thought. It was no picnic on this beach. Matter-of-fact… it was no beach at all, but a desert, a wilderness, a garden, where I cried out… in despair. All I knew and hoped in, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength… “was a lie”, or so I thought.
I will not give you details of whom it was or what was said that plotted my course. It was a ‘place’ I needed to go. I had to die to man’s religion, to live for God’s Spirit. God never wanted me [us] to put Him in a box. If we are taught to see the Lord between four walls, then what do we do when we need Him in the grocery store, our schools, our workplace, and, and, and? I was not created for a church, but a Kingdom. And in all my time in this place, the remnant of God was seen… as Jesus held me by one chord, as I dangled below.
I do believe I was in Hell. I could not and would not entertain God. It was my new understanding that, ‘God was a lie’. And with His absence, ‘that would be Hell’.
I must tell you, it was very liberating, so I thought. I would think… “Now I will get a job, and any job I want.” “I can and will tell all those in my life who have burned me with their lies and deceptions to… ‘Go to Hell’.” All those false gods who try to lord it over me, and their alters… “BURN”!
I would say [to the congregation]… “What am I, shy? Have we not talked? Have I been a ‘pew potato’? Have I not been here and there… everywhere, looking to sit and hear, at the Lord’s feet? Have I not been serving and visible, turning on the Light where ever I “GO”? Was it not my heart speaking, that sought the Lord early in the morning, and there remained my desire to praise Him, all the day long? Have I not made presentation to ‘what you see is what you get’… “Christian”?!”
Then I asked God… “Did I not seek You first and love You enough with all my heart, soul, mind & strength? I need to hear this from You, Lord. No more dreams, visions, and words of knowledge. No more people coming at me with ‘The Lord says this and that’. Just answer me Father ‘Why have You left me here, in this place?… with this ‘people’?’ Why don’t You just take me?”
And when no one was looking, I would lay back on the desert sand and I would dream to God…
“You see Lord, I don’t just need You to be real, I want You to be. If it were not for You, where would I be?
I know that it is tempting to look through the world’s binoculars and see where they prey:
Where there is no place…
…for God’s-sufficiency, God’s-righteousness, God’s-esteem, and God’s-help;
…to be held accountable in obeying His laws and commands;
…to stay focused on the only Way, Truth, Life;
…to awaken and answer His calls;
…to UPhold the Light and have no fellowship with the produce of ‘the darkside’;
…to turn and turn and turn the cheek [seventy times seventy];
…to love and forgive ‘even the unforgivable’,
…and the list goes on seemingly unto eternity.
And from here I would ponder… “Boy, could I sweep my house then, lay out the dirty laundry, take care of business, go where I want to go, do what I want to do, see who I want to see, and be what I want to be.” But… Somewhere [with Someone] deep inside, I knew this place to be WRONG. It did not match my heart, my soul, my mind… nor give me strength.
Then I realized… if I doomed them to Hell, they would still be with me, so I saw the choice the Lord was giving me… and I ran for cover on ‘higher ground’. The whole time, Jesus stood in the gap and prayed for my life. HE would say… “Father, this one is Mine!” And this is where He held me… for two weeks, so I thought.
What marked my return was His voice… “Read JOB”. Why it was then, that hour, I do not know. But it was at that time my heart began to soften, and I could now choose Him… by choice. And I did. I read JOB 1-42, without even looking back. And I praised the Lord for the lifeline.
During this same time frame, I found something I did not know I was looking for… a small book titled “The Prayer of Jabez, Breaking Through to the Blessed Life” (2000) by Bruce Wilkinson. It served to confirm, validate, bless, and revolutionarily change my life. I do not know where the book came from or who placed it among my possessions, but I am forever THANKFUL. I found it exactly the time I needed it most. And I went back…
Over a year prior to this trip, I saw in a night vision Hell. I saw people I loved and cared for in this bad place. And I cried out in prayer for them “Oh my God, how do I save them from this and what can I do?” At that moment, I realized that a huge weight had been placed on my head and I could not physically open my eyes. I thought I would die from the pressure, however, there was no pain. It was then I heard a request “Will you die for them, that they will live?” My thoughts raced… ‘I know that I belong to God, and it is He, who has “my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake”,’ so for them… “YES”, I will!
And then… during my stay ‘in the very warm place’ over a year later, I saw this request again and I cried… “Never”. Never again will I die in spirit for anyone other than Jesus. And He will never request that I do. This world can have my physical life, but as for my spirit, it is no longer mine to give [Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul… for keeps].
An excerpt from “Hold on”… Life after Death?” sums up my vacation. Picture this…
“My Lord, I pray for the BLINDS to open… I pray from a broken and contrite heart that we all get on our faces before You and tell You who it is that we love. I pray again… it is You! Not one of us were with You from the beginning, and not one of us can make claims on the end. My God may we have mercy before Your Court?”
God causes all things… to His good and His glory.
Strangely, I tell you now having overcome, that I was never more FREE to live, than at the very moment of death. There was Freedom, indeed! Freedom from the chains of religion. Freedom from the semantics of gender bias and eminency. Freedom from what man says “God says…” and what man demands “be done”. And free to leave the dust behind from my feet, as I ‘GO’, having never been received.
“Oh my God, my chains are gone. I’ve been set free. May I have a re-hearing, seeing… I am now undone? May You bless me, indeed, and enlarge my territory. Your hand, Lord, be with me and that You’d keep me from evil, that not by my hands, there’s pain.”
♪ “This is what it means… to be HELD. How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life… and you survive.” ♪
… HELD by Grace …
If you find yourself anywhere in my life or in my death… THANK YOU! I truly mean this. I had to walk through Hell, to make my path straight… toward Heaven. To gain strength for the battle ahead, I had to suffer weakness and defeat. To gain purpose for the mission, I had to humbly bow out… concede retreat.
By the grace held by God, go I… By not training me in the way I should go… God does. By not seeing my purpose for the kingdom… God uses. By not encouraging my passion… Jesus exhorts. By not seeing my ‘talents’… the Spirit deposits. By not giving attention to my childhood armor or lifetime arsenal… God highlights.
“Thank YOU Lord… I am free, indeed… To love You, without limits. To serve You, without barriers. To journey back from lifelessness… BY CHOICE! I choose You JESUS! I choose to so love You, serve You, and seek You… as long as the body endures. And I have faith that when I get to where I’m going, and I find myself at the end of me… there’s YOU! I know that You are for me!”
Again I say, Thank you to all who made this possible! I had to die to be freed [from the bondage of religion]. I had thought all along I was free, but wasn’t. I was enslaved. You can say “I hate religion” but find yourself still following it. I know this now, “I died it”.
The entire time of my newly found liberty, I saw but one thread, one cord [a lifeline] that hung between Jesus and I. I had felt death and yet I lived. I had experienced self-imposed separation from my Father and survived to tell about it. Jesus yanked my rope up at the very time I needed escape [I’m thinking my ‘get out of Hell free’ chord]. We know that “God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, those called according to His purpose.” [Romans 8:28] I also know that “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work [in me], will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” [Phil. 1:6] This is not the end of the story… but the beginning. I see purpose now in having come from where I’ve been. I am not going to tell you what that is, because God says “Let them be shown” and “Don’t tell them Julie, show them.”
I pray… “Lord, teach me to love them enough, to get out of Your way.”
For today, I know the TRUTH. I also know I have to be “on guard” in all things, in all places, and at all times… To be ready, ‘on duty’, and ‘dressed for success’ for Him, both in season and out.
Guard well what the Lord has given. There is an enemy [some with names and faces], who seek to rob, kill, and destroy what the Lord has made for you. And when they seek your spiritual life and utter curses, respond with “On Guard!”, making waves with the Sword of the Spirit… the Word of God! PRAY and “Fight with JESUS!”… Life, depends on it.
I know now that Jesus looks at me and says “I’ll race you to the hurting… Ready, Set, GO!”
I am completely thankful that my God has shown me… a place to pray for. If I had not gone there, I would not have known TRUE THIRST. I would not have known TRUE CHOICE. I would not have known Job and Jabez, or that HE [my Lord] and I, were of ONE CHORD.
“I know it was You who was with me… through the desert, through the wilderness, on the mountain top, and in the valley… through the shadows. I have testimonies too numerous to count reflecting Your lovingkindness and favor for me, even me. Because it’s me! And as I pray now in the desert, in the wilderness, and in the garden, I know… It was, it is, and it will always be… YOU God!”
“And as the prayer of Jabez brings a prayer home…
Oh that You would bless me indeed (more, more, more), and enlarge my territory (out of the box, through the walls, to where You say “Go”), that Your hand (both of them) would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil (all that is not necessary for my growth), that I may not cause pain (Lord take me first before I give a poor witness of You). 1 Chronicles 4:9-10″
“And through the spiritual pain, disillusionment, [& death], the insignificance, the distractions, the frustration, the “I”sight distortions, and the exhaustion of despair, I heard a Word…”
“It’s not about you. It’s about ME”. “I AM… Grace”.
So why do I tell you all these things? Because someone out there is in danger of Hell. And God said to me… “Go to them”.
Ready! Set! GO!
“On Guard” for Jesus!
WOW God… The above message theme was arrived at just prior to viewing my Daily Devotional Scriptures with Dr. Charles Stanley at InTouch Ministries. Again, I say “WOW GOD”! See for yourself…
The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
4 So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
7 For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
9 But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.
10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
Ready! Set! GO!