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-- © GodSpeak International 1998 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <ts@godspeak.org> --

Miscellaneous testimonies (Nov 1996)

God's Protection through Obedience: (Wednesday, Nov 6, 1995)

Today I woke up about 5:25 AM (about 1/2 hour later than usual). I needed to be at work early this morning to kick off a build before I went to a conference. So, I was going to hop out of bed and rush to get ready for work and run out. But God spoke to me to spend some time in devotions first. Now, I did not really want to do devotions. I wanted to get to work. But I am trying to learn to be cheerfully obedient to whatever He tells me, so I went ahead and obeyed. Devotions were OK. Nothing spectular happened in them. They set me back about 30 minutes. I decided to flick on the TV to try and catch the election results just before I left the house. After a few seconds, the traffic news came on. They reported a multicar pile-up on 980, right along the stretch of road I drive every day to get to the BART station. They said the accident happened about 10 minutes ago, and involved a great number of cars. I did a quick mental calculation and realised that was precisely when I would have been hitting that stretch of road if I'd not stopped to have devotions. At worst, I would have been in that accident. At best I would have been sititng there stuck in traffic as the road was closed from the accident. So, God really protected me by having me stay home longer to do devotions and miss being in the location of the multi-car accident.

I wondered about this... Why did God just tell me to do devotions and not explain to me about how this would make me miss being in a car accident? He spoke to my heart and said, "Teresa, I am calling you to obey Me; not for what you get out of it but simply because I am God and deserve your unquestioning obedience. However, you can trust that I will continue to take care of you as you obey Me."

God does watch out for His children. He sure watched out for me this morning by keeping me out of the car accident.

Owing Him: (Monday, November 4, 1996)

Monday was my birthday. I've served the Lord faithfully for a number of years now. I made a phone call to a friend that morning and was very late leaving for work. Now, part of the reason I leave for work so early is that there is limited parking at the BART station (SF's rapid transit, sorta like a subway). If you get there after about 6:45 AM, you have to park on the streets because the parking lot fills up. There is not much close street parking... most of the streets around the BART station have a 2 hour parking limit. If you get there after 7:30 AM, you pretty much have to park at least half a mile away. If you get there after about 8:00 AM, you have to park about a mile away.

Now, it was about 8:30 AM. I was driving towards the BART station. When I got within about a mile of it, I considered pulling over and parking. I decided that since it was my birthday, maybe the Lord could skivy up a closer spot for me. So I drove past those spots and asked Him for to please provide a close spot for me. His answer really suprised me.

"Terera, you don't 'deserve' a close spot. Just because you are My child and walk in close relationship with Me, this does not mean that you can assume that I owe you any sort of special priviledges."

I wanted to say, 'but Lord, today's my birthday, can't You do something special for me?' But I figured that probably was not going to be convincing enough. So, I pulled out 'both barrels', so to speak:

"Lord, I've been faithfully serving You and walking in Your Lordship for several years now" (I'd been a christian for over 25 years, but had only learned about giving Jesus Lordship in my life about 6 or 7 years ago.) "I have been serving You, sharing Jesus, ministering to others..."

"Teresa," the Lord cut me off. "You've got it backwards. You don't get more priviledges for serving Me more. It does not work like that. In fact, the more I let you serve Me, the more you owe Me. The more I let you move in My power and authority, the greater degree of obedience and surrender of your personal rights I require from you.

"You see, Teresa, advancing My kingdom is very important to Me. You must learn to put aside your agenda for My agenda. It is a priviledge when I allow you to to partisipate with Me in furthering My kingdom. The more I give you this priviledge, the more I allow you to walk in My power and My authority and to be about My business; the more you owe Me for being allowed to do so. You owe Me alot because I am allowing you to partisipate with Me in important matters in My kingdom."

Gee, I'd never looked at it from that prospective before. I began to realize that God has a totally different prospective on kingdom matters than I do. No wonder my attitudes start to get in the way sometimes. I don't know if I will ever be able to see things from His prospective. God is constantly saying things to me that surprise me. I wonder how our limited human prospective on spiritual things ever wandered so far away from His prospective?

Well, I drove around sure enough, there were not any close spots, so I drove back to the available street parking (about a mile away) and walked to the BART station. I decided not to expect anything special for my brithday, but just to dedicate myself to serving and pleasing Him and being thankful that He'd ordained for me to be born.

However, God did pile a bunch of special things into my birthday, once I'd surrendered that attitude of feeling He owed me something special. A few of my co-workers somehow found out that it was my birthday and got me some lovely cut flowers. I had a special treat for lunch and my hubby (stictly a meat and potatoes type of man) took me out to a vegetarian restaurant which was really yummy. And the Lord continued to surround me with His peace, His presence and His love. In fact, He even arranged an unexpected ride back to my car from the BART station. He certainly showers good things on us, even when we don't 'deserve' them.

Surrendering Our Rights to Him: (Tuesday, Nov 5, 1996)

God continued on the topic of personal "rights" the following evening. I have a class at church on Tuesday evenings. After class, I happened to get into a coversation with one of the women there. She went through an ugly and unfair divorce less than a year ago, and is still hurting from it. She is a lovely and a mature christian, but this has been very difficult for her. She finds herself struggling with self pity alot, and feeling betrayed by God that He would let this happen to her. There was an unspoken expectation that God owed her protection from this sort of thing because she walks out His lordship in her life. That got me thinking about it as I drove home. Surely God loves us and wants to take care of us. When we give so much of ourselves to Him, don't we have some sort of right to His protection?

Suddenly, God began to speak to me. "Teresa, I am going to be raising you (and her and others) up to walk in a degree of power and authority that you don't even believe is possible right now. You" (plural) "are going to be used powerfully to advance My kingdom. But this is about Me and My kingdom, not about you. If you start to get in the way or if you start to take credit/glory for what I am about to do, then I will take you out of the picture, and will stop using you. I will continue to advance My kingdom. I must be the One to get the glory for what I am about to do. It is not about man, it is about Me and about what I am doing.

"I want you to understand that if you want to partisipate with Me in this, that you do not have any 'rights'. There will be a great enemy counter-attack and some of My children will suffer loss, but My kingdom will be advanced. If you want to walk with Me in this, you must not expect any right to protection from attack or from persecution or from hardship or from being treated unfairly. When a soldier goes into battle, they do not know if they will live or if they will die in that battle. You must not expect Me to keep you safe from all consequences of warfare, even through I am Sovereign. I sometimes choose to raise people up and prepare them and then to spend them as valuable resources on this world that I am fighting to reach. I may or may not call on you to be a resource that I spend on this world. But you must be ready and willing, in case I should choose to spend you as a valuable resource. Do not try to exercise your "rights" if I choose to spend you as a resource to further My kingdom. This is no different than what Jesus went through. Even though He was God and lived sinlessly, He was called on to surrender His rights for My greater purposes. I will also be calling on My children to surrender their rights to My purposes.

"In fact, you really don't have very many rights with God." (This was beginning to sound harsh to me, and I started to wonder if I was in trouble with Him about something.) He continued, "There is one right that you always have. It is a right that Jesus purchased for you on Calvary. If you ever sin or move out of a right relationship with Me, you always have the right to repent and to be restored to right relationship with Me. But that is just about the only right that you can be assured you can claim any time that you want to."

Oh my, this was beginning to sound sort orf harsh and scary. I felt myself starting to withdrawl from His presence. Does that mean that the more I try to serve Him, the more poorly He will allow me to be treated? That did not sound very safe to me, and I began to wonder if I was hearing right or if the enemy was trying to confuse me.

I was so used to seeing the loving Father side of God, not the purposeful warrior or the righteous Lord. I wanted Him to come and take me in His arms and tell me that He loves me and that everything will be OK, that it is safe to trust Him.

"Oh," He replied, "But it IS safe to trust me. I am good and I am loving. I just explained to you how you have very few rights with Me. But that does not change the fact that I am loving and merciful and good. You cannot trust in your rights, but you can trust in Me. You can trust in My grace and in My mercy.

"If you try to claim your rights with Me, you won't get very far, because you are trying to claim 'rights' that you don't really have. But if you throw yourself on My mercy and My grace, you will find yourself in a very good place. I do not promise you protection from hardship, but I do promise you that I will never leave or abandon you. I also promise you that My Spirit will be on you and that I will help and empower you with whatever I call you to. I will never abandon you, I will always be there with You. And I will work through all things to bring glory to My name as you make yourself available to Me as My servant."

-- © GodSpeak International 1998 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <ts@godspeak.org> --

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