I haven’t been totally honest with all of you and I’d like to begin by apologizing. I haven’t posted in 3 months because my family has been going through intense fire and times of testing and I’ve been doing everything I could to keep my head above the water. Well, I guess not everything!
I’m a pretty private person and only share my struggles with those very close to me. However, for several months the Lord has had a word on my heart to release to all of you and I hadn’t done it yet because I was trying to get “to the other side of it” before posting…a place of understanding, or knowledge, or victory. Basically, NOT from a place of struggle while working through it. And for that, I ask that you please forgive me.
A few years ago the Lord spoke to me about Him “shaking the foundation to leave His Remnant people standing.” And I believe we have all seen various, visible signs of this. But in mid-April, the Lord spoke to me about a different type of shaking…a personal one of His Remnant People.
[Daughter – you are to share this in your blog — I am also bringing you a prophetic word to speak to My Remnant People — for I am shaking them too — because I love them and want what’s best and not what’s good — I am causing the dross to rise and will remove it to leave you purified and prepared for promotion. Yes Promotion!
I have declared many of My Disciples – My Remnant People who have felt the shaking of their foundation for sometime, are now feeling it again in a more personal way of cleansing and purifying — This is not a punishment but preparation for promotion. Yes — I declare My steadfast disciples are being prepared for greater promotion!
Allow Me to cleanse from you, all impurities that hinder you in your calling. We are in crucial times and the kairos moments should not be taken lightly. Therefore, My Remnant Children — Come! Come boldly…come humbly and come surrendered before Me and receive your assignments for the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.
It is time My Remnant Children arise and take hold of their mantle. Do not delay!]
I’m sure many of you reading this right now have been waiting for breakthrough. You may have believed the Lord promised you this breakthrough and over time have doubted that you heard Him correctly or perhaps even doubted that God keeps His promises. I certainly have! And this is part of our “shaking”.
I’m the kind of person who rips the bandage off in one quick swoop and tend to take revelation from the Holy Spirit the same way. When He reveals something to me, I look at it as, “Great! Check! That one is off my list. Next!” And I think it’s finished, forgetting there’s a process. And after waiting for what seems like eternity for our promised breakthrough, any process is too much for me to handle lately.
Some time ago I got in a heated discussion with someone close to me and in frustration, I blurted out, “The problem is that you’re never satisfied. I’m only as good as the last job I did for you!” As I walked away, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart and I realized this is EXACTLY how I was seeing God! I immediately repented but later found out that this was only a layer of dross rising to the top to be removed and there was much more to come.
I realized that as things don’t turn out as expected, as our promises seem delayed or getting my hopes up only to be let down again, I turn to striving for perfection for God because I act as if I am only as good as the last job I did for Him. ( I have an image of God holding out a stick and asking me to jump and then saying, “Sorry. You didn’t jump high enough. Next time!” and therefore holds back His promises.) If I think this way and act this way, how then could I ever truly rest in Him? Rest has been exactly what God told me to do every time I come to Him asking what more do I have to do in order to bring His promised breakthrough.
A friend shared a clip from the Ragamuffin movie with me where preacher Brennan Manning gave a sermon. He said that all too often in churches all over the world, he finds Christians with a very small God because we make God in our own image and He winds up being as fussy and rude and narrow minded and judgmental and legalistic and unloving and unforgiving as we are. The Lord Jesus will ask 1 question on Judgment Day, “Did you believe that I loved you? That I desired you? That I waited for you day after day. That I longed to hear the sound of your voice?” “I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin and shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now, I know shallow faith, your feeble prayer life and your inconsistent discipleship and My word to you is this: I dare you to trust that I love you, just as you are, not as you should be.”
Yes! The Lord is shaking us, removing what is not healthy or necessary, removing the dross, the wrong belief systems, etc to prepare us for promotion! Although the end goal sounds great, getting there really stinks. It feels lonely and it hurts! Doubts, fears, abandonment, depression, condemnation come up to the surface…sometimes on the same day!
And for me, I think God is helping me with striving…AGAIN! Because for me, when things don’t go as I feel I’ve heard Him tell me, I’m left to question IF I heard Him correctly or IF He keeps His promises. Both of these are scary roads to travel. My default is to strive for Him. Lately, if not striving, I have a few moments of peace or go to the opposite end and become indifferent (and that’s the worst place to be with God!) I despise “lukewarm”. Because the BIG thing is…it makes me question the depths of His love and attachment to performance. And THAT comes from my past! I thought all this was done, but I have heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me that many, many layers are gone, but what’s been left has been hidden so deeply, that I didn’t know it was there…but He knows! And God wants me healed and whole!
TRUTH: I fear I have seen God through my own image as judgmental, legalistic, demanding perfection…basically unloving. I fear I have made Him very small in my life and I cannot believe I did this.
I later had a conversation with God where I told Him how much I feel I’ve seen Him as a big God as I have prayed and believed in Him multiplying time, delivering our suddenlies, our breakthrough in a moment. But then I stopped talking about how good I was doing and got off my pedestal. I asked God where I have made Him small. God told me it is in believing the love that He has for me has limits and are attached to my performance. Oh my! My heart sunk in the pit of my stomach! Where did this skewed belief come from and how do I fix it??
I am often reminded of 1 Peter 1:7 – “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
I believe part of the fire we’re walking through is to remove the dross of our skewed views of Him. As the Master Silversmith, He removes the dross until the metal is pure and shows the reflection of the Master. I admit, the fire hurts but I know it’s worth the reward…as I keep telling myself! I also realize that this process cannot be completed by me working harder or perfecting my works for Him. I simply need to humble myself and come surrendered. Because I simply do not have the strength to do it myself.
And the truth is, I want more than that! I want to come to tears of joy when I talk about God, when I think of Him, when I meet with Him. When I share of His love and goodness, I want it to knock someone over!!! But there is a process in this…not the quick rip off the bandage approach, so it will be long lasting. And the only way to get there is through brokenness!
Getting real with you now: Last month has felt like the fire was turned up higher. My journal passages seem like a roller-coaster ride of faith and emotions. In the beginning of June, I wrote:
I’m exhausted — battle weary and wonder if we’ll ever get our breakthrough — the one You promised was already here now. I feel so alone, fighting bouts of hopelessness and being depressed by our circumstances. I know we could have it worse, but what we do have is bad for us. I feel like You’re teaching me so much — really unraveling me so much. I know my heart’s desire is to be less of me and more of You…to be that light — to cause people to feel Your overwhelming Presence when I’m with them because I’m carrying Your Presence. What I think I’m realizing is that I can’t perform my way to this goal. It’s not in doing everything and everything right. But instead, it’s in the surrender, the dying to myself daily. I feel so broken and want so much more.
Later I journaled:
We feel so beaten down. Every option we believe You’re asking us to take, brings us to a dead end! You know that we’re desperately seeking You and are obeying You but are constantly falling backwards. Opportunities seem to constantly elude us. What now Lord?? What now? Where are You for us?? Aren’t You our Daddy too?
All of those promises…prophetic words that we’ve declared and stood on seem to elude us. It’s as if our receiving them does nothing except get my hopes up for a brief moment only to have it stolen again. Did we do something so wrong that You’re punishing us?? We’ve repented of doubt and prayed for faith and strength and eyes to see. And then after a very short reprieve, we get hit by another blow to our hearts — knocking us down once again — making it harder to get back up.
Father, can’t You see how desperate we are to have a WIN already?? To enjoy life a little bit with our kids? I’ve lost so much hope. I watch everyone around me enjoying the fruits of their labor and we just keep sinking further and further. Where are Your promises?”
Lord, please forgive me for the ugly words I spoke to YOU and for my frustration. We feel so lost and confused and unsure of what we’re hearing and doing. We feel like we’re suffocating and can’t breathe. It has left us to believe that our promises will always elude us. That You will always cause us to walk the hardest road and not receive the blessings like the carrot in front of the donkey. That the blessings and rewards are for Your other children but not us and that our reward will come in eternity but receive very little now. That we must be perfect and make no mistakes…to walk a very tight rope in order to receive Your promises.
It seems harder and harder to sit quietly and be still with You to press in to hear Your sweet, gentle voice speak to my heart. Lately, all I’ve done is plead and beg or yell, cry & accuse. I’m so sorry! I feel like a huge failure to You!! I’ve doubted Your love and faithfulness and discovered how imperfect I really am. How can people say I have great faith when I doubt You like this? When I question Your heart and motives?
And here is what God spoke to my heart:
[Precious One – The difference between great faith and little faith is not in the absence of wavering but in the presence of getting back up, repenting, coming before Me with an open and humble heart to grow and thus driving your roots deeper into My fertile ground. I have never asked you to be perfect. Even My perfect Son, in despair on the cross, cried out, “My God, My God. Why have You forsaken Me?”
Charlotte, I’m calling you to cease striving and rest in Me. Hold tightly to Me and let Me guide you. I don’t want your perfection. I want your brokenness. It is only in brokenness that I can do My greatest work in and through you.
You are My Shining Star and in your strength and striving, your light can only shine so far. But in brokenness, it is My Light that shines and it is far reaching and penetrating to the very heart of people.]
So friends, this is where we I’m at and I’m believing and have actually been told by many of you, that you are feeling the fire yourself in your own personal areas. In my greatest moments of doubt, lately, all I can say repeatedly is: “I trust You. I trust You” over and over again. I wish I had the answer for you…to be able to tell you exactly when your answered prayers will manifest here in the land of the living. I wish I could offer you a great word that doesn’t sound cliche. I personally cannot stand receiving a cliche word from someone. It only makes me feel like they delivered it to make themselves feel good about themselves and not that they’ve come alongside me in my time of despair or anguish to get down in the trenches with me and help me out of the pit!
Walking in this brokenness is not easy and walking it out publicly is definitely NOT in my comfort zone. Brokenness and Humility are not easy to walk in. But I believe strongly that this is exactly what God is asking me to do with you through my blogging. Even if it means I’ll have to stick my head out of the foxhole and risk taking shots, it’s the only way I can get in the trenches with YOU and perhaps we can help each other out of the pit.
In brokenness and humility,
See 1 Peter 1:7; Matthew 11:12; Isaiah 55:1; Hebrews 10:23; Isaiah 43:1-4; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 27:13