Just typing these words, “When I Quit God”, brings me to tears. That’s why I know this is the correct title for this blog. You see, I’ve been trying to write this blog for a few months now. And over the months, it took on several twists and turns, along with my life, my faith and my beliefs, where the title changed several times depending on where I was spiritually.
For quite some time, the Lord has promised breakthrough in certain areas of our life. And I’m sure many of you reading this, who are waiting for your promises to manifest, know that it takes strength, courage, prayer, and faith to keep standing on those promises, especially when they seem to elude us over and over again. It’s one thing to quote, Isaiah 55:11, that God’s word doesn’t return to void, but accomplishes what He pleases and prospers. It’s another thing to believe it daily and live with the hope that it will happen no matter how much it looks like, through natural eyes, that you got it wrong.
In the beginning of January, I had one of the most powerful, encounters with God that I can ever remember in the past 20 years! I was completely overwhelmed by His presence. I never cried so much trying to journal as He spoke to me. There were times I couldn’t even breathe and only a squeak came out of me as I trembled and my heart pounded as His rhema words rose out of me. When it was over, I was exhausted, yet full of vigor too. I felt like I could face any trial, scale any wall; I almost felt invincible, totally protected in the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91:4)
Over the next few weeks, God confirmed His promises and that I heard Him correctly. He did this through reading the Bible, songs, sermons, prophetic words, and even a woman who felt so compelled by the Holy Spirit, that she couldn’t leave the Walmart until she found me to give me His word and then prayed over me and my family. Although the initial spiritual high from my encounter only lasted a few days, God continued encouraging me to stand strong and remain steadfast on His promises.
The more I prayed and declared and quoted Scripture like, “Let us hold firmly to the hope we confessed, because we can trust God to do what He promised” (Hebrews 10:23), the easier it was to stand strong against the ever increasing attacks of the enemy.
As a very defined date approached, a date I believed was crucial for our breakthrough timing, I would get anxious but encourage myself in the Lord (like one of my favorite Bible heroes, David). I reread my journal passages and Scriptures that the Holy Spirit led me to and I would boldly decree and declare His promises over us! The day came…and went…The promised breakthrough never came! Shock followed by fear followed by anger rose up in me and I found myself at a crossroad, a place I haven’t stood at in about 10 years. Either God doesn’t keep His promises or I don’t hear His voice. Either one was a deadly road to travel.
From the time of my encounter to that moment, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. Joy, distress, courage, anxiousness, steadfastness, hope, doubt, expectancy. And each up and down emotion found me at the foot of Jesus…except when I became indifferent, standing at a crossroad in my faith, listening to the enemy taunt me, should I stay or should I go…
My family was used to me being the spiritual rock. And now they watched me unravel, questioning everything I stood on…everything I believed…everything I witnessed to others by our testimony and life lived. I could sense the Holy Spirit waiting for me to reach out to Him, to soothe me and help me understand why I was feeling forsaken. But I pushed Him away. I didn’t want to talk to Him because my head and heart were reeling with uncertainty, hurt, anger, and fear. I wish I could say it took minutes before coming to my senses, but it didn’t.
The very next day, I went with my family to our church’s Night of Worship, normally one of my favorite things to do each month. I came numb, offering a fake smile to those around me. During worship, I felt like my words had no weight…no depth. They were simply lyrics to a song with no impact to me. My indifference grew so much that by the 3rd song, I just wanted to run out of the room but didn’t want my family or friends chasing after me to make sure I was ok. I didn’t want to interfere with their time of praise, so I stayed.
As I stood there, battling the enemy and my own thoughts, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I often share with others regarding the cross: “If God never did another thing for you, wouldn’t it be enough? Praise Him anyway.” Was that just a cliche or did I really mean that for myself…especially now?
At that very moment, the worship band began singing, “What A Beautiful Name” by Hillsong…the song my little girl, Caitlyn, sang over and over again ever since she learned it to perform in the Children’s Christmas Choir. She grabbed my hand and with a precious smile, filled with the love of Christ, she sang her heart out! And something broke in me and I began singing with a heart of praise to the One who deserves nothing less! I chose to praise Him anyway!
A few days later, I set aside some much needed time to sit uninterrupted with my Father. My wonderful family came to my aid to make this happen. I didn’t even know where to begin; emotions were still reeling around me. As I listened to my playlist called “I’m Rising”, I did just that! I began to rise back up! The Holy Spirit began speaking to me and leading me. It didn’t come together like a pretty, little package; it was more like a crazy treasure hunt, leading me down different paths. One moment I was in Scripture, next a song, next passages in a book, next a prophetic word from Elijah List, Lana Vawser and Faith Tabernacle. I think about 5 hours passed by in what felt like minutes. I was rising higher and higher!!
When dealing with disappointment, I’m always trying to avoid asking “why did this happen?” Instead, I try to just “let it go” or ask “what’s next?” as if no other question is allowed. But that day, I felt God prompt me to ask the questions burning inside me. And immediately I cried out, “I was in intimate fellowship with You…standing so strong! You just gave me the most intimate encounter a few weeks earlier and then just days before this attack, You gave me two new names: Deeply Rooted and Steadfast Disciple. So how can I have been attacked like that? How could I have fallen to despair, confusion, and doubt like that and question where You were? Don’t You promise never to abandon me and that You words never return void?”
Holy Spirit led me to a passage in “Visions from Heaven” by Wendy Alec:
“Because you greatly love Me – like many others reading these words, and have been chosen before your conception, like all my sons and daughters, to have intimate fellowship with Me – My enemies have become your enemies.”
“There are many at this moment who are facing trials that are direct warfare and easily discerned. There are others who are experiencing attack, through unhealed wounds and through areas of vulnerability, where the enemy has found access. But there is yet a third group in this hour. Those of My children, who have been sifted, not by My hand. But by the enemy’s hand.”
“All those [Dread Champions known and unknown] that Satan and his principalities and powers recognized My mantle upon – the reason for the season of violent assault upon My Church. Satan himself is terrified. He fears these ones and the next great move of My Spirit greatly. He fears these, My servants, because Heaven is about to invade Earth. Because there is about to come the greatest move of My Spirit released upon the Earth that has ever been known. So Satan sued for many of those who are called to take up position in this outpouring. To launch such cruel attacks that their faith and trust will be totally shaken. Like a heat-seeking missile. Yes. The heat – the very fire of My call, My favor. My mark upon My sons and daughters in this season caught the enemy’s full attention.”
“Satan was sifted eons ago and his heart fell to pride and he failed the sifting process. Now his demand in this season, is as it was with Job – that My champions – those who profess to love Me more than their own lives, who move in greatest intimacy with me. Those who have been given the mantle to demolish the kingdoms of darkness are sifted even as Job and Peter…and Satan himself.”
I never really liked reading the Book of Job in the Bible. Yet, as I began reading it again, I found much comfort in those Scriptures and many more.
Since that week, much has been revealed to me. Over the years, as the enemy sued for me like Job, God reminded me that I always ran back to the foot of Jesus, each and every time…driving my roots deeper into His fertile soil. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8) And like a redwood tree, I’ve intertwined my roots with others with similar hunger for His will and purposes in their life, thus supporting each other in our pursuit. “He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1)
When Satan whispered I was weak, the Holy Spirit reminded me “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
When Satan whispered I didn’t hear God, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
When Satan whispered I was abandoned, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Cor. 4:8-10)
When Satan whispered that my life didn’t matter much to God as I was just a pawn on His giant chess board, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you…you are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)
Friends…we have a great calling. We are the sons and daughters of the King of Kings and are commissioned to bring Heaven to earth. There is a great move of the Spirit among us. The enemy fears what we will do when we actually realize the power in us to do greater works than Jesus.
Remain steadfast. Drive your roots deeper into His fertile soil so when the storms blow at you, you will not break!
Be encouraged my friends!
I’ve read the end of the book.