- Susan Shultz
Have Hope! God is Our Freedom.
Updated: Feb 22
("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 5)
Saturday afternoon, July 2nd, my mom mentioned that she had watched one of my videos, “The Word Made Flesh” for the first time. She even mentioned that she didn’t think that it was by accident that she happened to watch this video on this particular day. For, July 2nd is the day my dad passed away and this happens to be the message/video where God uses my dad’s leather rendition of Jesus as the Good Shepherd to talk about the need for His people to once again be the Word made flesh. Within this message, I talk about how God inspired my dad to use the last few years of his life to testify through his God-given gifts and talents in leatherwork.
That Saturday night, my family was also blessed as we were able to stand out on my mom’s driveway and look at a full rainbow, something I hadn’t seen in years. We were able to see the entire rainbow and as I looked at this beautiful site, God heavily brought something to my mind. It was an experience I had had right after my dad had died revolving around a rainbow. Having recorded my testimony for many years now, I knew I could go back and find this story. Here is what I found from 2013:
After asking God to give me a word for this year, He told me that I was going to have a “year of promise,” which I take to mean “hope.” God is timely because I NEED it. I could sure use some hope that He is truly working everything for my good and His glory; that He is actually aligning His Stars anyway. . .
Tuesdays are hard, especially this one. They are hard because my dad died on a Tuesday, so each passing Tuesday marks the anniversary.
Anyway, I lost my dad two weeks ago on this day. So, a little depressed, running an errand that I would have gone on with my dad, I was blessed to see a rainbow in the sky. As I paused to look at it, I heard God say so sweetly, "Susan, there is hope."
It was so beautiful, and from where my car sat, I had the perfect view. I just sat there and looked at it for a long time, reflecting upon Noah’s Ark and the first rainbow and about my own promises and the significance of this same story in my own life.
I began to pray to God for the hope that I could be changed; that I could become less selfish and better able to focus on others. I asked God to help me forgive myself for all the times that the enemy liked to remind me of when I wasn’t there for my dad or had failed to put him first, especially in those last days. I asked Him to help me know the love and forgiveness of a father.
God then brought to my heart that no one is perfect and that I needed to focus on the good things that I did do for my dad. I then began to envision my dad standing next to God and in that moment, God told me that He and my dad had forgiven me.
“Susan, there is hope.” There was that hope theme again, and with that it even hit me that my parents had been asked to speak about hope at church a few weeks before. Hope was the subject that was given to them. That may have been the last time I sat next to my dad at church, the Sunday that the congregation watched the video of my parent’s speak about hope. I loved hearing my dad share his conversion story.
There is always hope. The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness, a promise He made that He has been faithful to. God’s promises offer us hope.
The first thing God brought to my mind after going back and reading that is Tuesdays. Back then I hated those Tuesdays because they marked the days passing without my dad. I needed hope. Well, what has God been bringing forth almost every Tuesday this year? His unfolding message. Almost every Tuesday this year God has been offering us hope through His prophetic words to us. God brings life out of death. There is always hope.
My dad loved the 4th of July and I remember shooting off fireworks that year he died in his honor. I also have always known in my heart that it wasn’t by accident that my daughter was born in July a few years later. Her birthing process literally started on the same date that we buried my dad. Even in death comes new life. God was speaking even then. This is how our God is. He always brings new life. With Him there is always hope. With Him a promise is a sign of hope which is why when He told me that I was going to have a year of promise at the beginning of 2013 that “hope” came to my mind.
Like always, God had set the stage. For the next day, Sunday, July 3rd, God spoke. He said:
Susan, My love, write these powerful words down:
Believe My love that your time is now. You are no longer waiting for a ministry, it is now.
(Literally right at the end of writing that last sentence, my pastor stopped to talk to me. He told me that he wanted to make a slide to promote my website next week.)
It’s now Susan. Now. Not someday, but NOW! Rejoice for you are fully underway. One by one the doors will continue to open for you Susan . . .
Susan, things are happening. My Spirit is moving. Though things feel slow to you, I can assure you that I am on the move and that My Spirit is greatly at work. Freedom. It’s about freedom. My people need freedom, an unraveling of their minds and corrupt thinking. Renewing. Renewing of the mind. I will truly renew their minds. A cleansing. A cleansing of methods that haven’t worked. I am the only true solution. Many of My people have tried to come up with solutions toward the waywardness of the church but the only true solution is Me. I am the only source of true freedom. In Me is hope, love, and true renewal and rightful realignment. I can and WILL realign My people. I will turn the world upside down! I will get their attention for My Spirit never gives up. Never. Never. Never. I will NEVER stop seeking My people and offering them newness - renewal. Renewal is upon you, My people. I have heard your cries and I have seen your tears and I can assure you that My Spirit will go forth throughout the nations to bring this renewal, this revival. Hope is coming My people, a new day. Though I don’t promise a better world, I offer newness to My people, to My Kingdom within this world. Within a corrupt world that will get darker, you will arise like never before. Like fireworks within a dark sky, you will light this world with the TRUE light of Jesus Christ. Shine on oh Bride of Christ. Shine on! Flourish. You WILL flourish in this harsh world. I offer hope. I offer life. I offer freedom, ALWAYS! Do not be afraid. Never be afraid for I offer freedom, hope, and light always, always and forever. And I will sustain you. Though this world will grow darker, My Spirit will guide you and sustain you. You will thrive. You will flourish and most importantly you will shine. You will shine bright and I will use your collective light to be a great wooing light within the darkness. Woo My people. Woo with Christ’s light. Believe I am in control and that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is in My control. Oh what a day is before you, a day when My people are truly aligned with My will for them. I promise you will see such a day. As My early church accomplished this, SO WILL YOU! Believe. Believe and take possession of the promise I am making to you today: Renewal, life, and freedom, freedom in My Spirit. My people when I make a promise, it is, period.
(I tuned in to hear the worship song that was being sung, which said in that moment: “All your promises are yes and amen.”)
Yes and Amen. I have given you a promise and with it an Amen. Live with confidence. Live with hope. Brighter days ARE before you. I promise.
(I then tuned into hear these words being sung: “I will rest in your promises. My confidence in your faithfulness. In your freedom I will live.”)
What God then brought strongly to my mind is one of the first times He introduced this concept to me, that along with His promises He also gives an Amen. If you have journeyed with me, you know that God has given me many promises in the past. After having written hundreds of pages long ago, pages that I believed that God wanted to use someday, I printed them out at a copy shop one day for the first time, mainly so that I could have a tangible copy. Looking at this thick, and I mean thick, book I simply said to God, “I don’t understand. How is anyone ever going to read this?” He replied, “Susan, you don’t have to understand, just believe.” Shortly after this, still struggling with my lack of understanding but yet still filled with the hope in God’s promise that He did plan to use my testimony for ministry, I ended up getting a prophetic word through my Bible study leader. Stretching her thumb and index fingers as far apart as she could, she said she envisioned a bound book that big and then she said, “It is finished. Completed. AMEN! God told me to tell you ‘AMEN.’ He has given you an AMEN. You have your Amen.” I was amazed when I looked at her stretched out fingers because I hadn’t told her how much I had written or how big my book would end up being if in fact God did choose to publish it.
I will admit that it took me a lot longer to understand God’s prophetic words to me, enduring many more stories to understand this concept but I finally do understand. I have a story within my second book entitled “Believe and Take Possession.” This story talks about how God brought me to finally understand, mainly using Deuteronomy 4:38. Verses 37-38 NIV say, “Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.” That phrase “as it is today” stuck out to me big time back then. God had revealed that even though the Israelites had made it to the brink of the promised land and hadn’t yet gone in that it was still their promised inheritance “today.” But even though it was theirs, they still had to believe and take full possession of it, of God’s promise. Even though the promised land was theirs “today” God still made them wait for 40 more days so that they could spend time recounting all that God had done to bring them to that point in time. He used this season of testifying to prepare them, to prepare them for a battle, for the process of taking procession of it. For, even though the promise, or the promised land was theirs, even though they were given an Amen with the promise, they still had to go in and conquer it. In belief, they had to go in and defeat the giants that were in the land. GOD USES TESTIMONY TO PREPARE HIS PEOPLE FOR BATTLE, ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL.
My life has often resembled this journey, for although God has given me promises and an Amen to go with them, He has constantly told me to take steps of faith in belief, to take possession. Although I have always longed for that miraculous phone call from someone wanting to publish my book or just hand me a ministry, God always makes me do it. He continues to make me do the work. He isn’t going to just zap me to my finish line or my promised land. In faith, in belief of God’s promises, I have to go in and take possession. But, like God recently said to me, “With each step of faith the ground will soften.” And this is happening. After years and years of writing my testimony and experiencing God, I am actually starting to see physical manifestations of God’s promises.
My friends, I hope you see what God is pointing out, especially through His unfolding message. Just like the Israelites we have been given a promise, that of a new promised land, Heaven and the Kingdom of God. We can read the Book of Revelation and see this promised land and with it our Amen. We have been given our Amen with the promise. It is a done deal. Even if we do not see the tangible, physical manifestations right away, it is, period. However, just like the Israelites, we too still have to take possession of it. But even before that, we are going to have to stop and spend a season testifying in order to likewise gain the strength we need to proceed within the battle that lies before us.
That story revolving around my Bible study leader took place in my life in 2011, although my journey and writing began in 2006. But I since have had three books published from that big pile of pages and complete hope that God will publish the rest. As God said, my ministry is now, not someday, but NOW. Even though I still don’t see much of what I consider a “real” ministry, as God is pointing out, it is all a matter of perspective. (“A Matter of Perspective” is a previous message.)
Continuing on, as worship ended, my pastor brought up Ephesians 5 and when I went to it, verses 8-14 stuck out to me as confirmation as to what we are to be doing as the world gets darker around us:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Within his sermon, my pastor talked about “Three Declarations of Dependence.” The first one was that “True freedom is a gift from God.” All I could think about is that that is what God had just said to us.
Within John 8:31-36, Jesus says both “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” and “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
My pastor’s second point was that “Our unity is in Christ.” Using John 17:11-23, he talked about Christ’s final prayer for the future unity of God’s people. My pastor pointed out yet again that as believer’s having unity in diversity would be an amazing testimony. This is of course God’s Wonderful Web of Wonder – God’s people, His Stars, woven together, covered by the Blood of the Lamb, shining bright for the world to see. We are meant to be Christ’s final prayer, and you know what? We can be. We can be because God has promised we will be and therefore we have our Amen. We can now believe and take full possession of what is already ours.
My pastor’s final point was that we are to “Be salt and light in our culture,” based around Matthew 5:13-16. He went on to talk about how “The church has always been used by God to transform culture.” He gave many examples of this, one being slavery. He talked about Saint Augustine who had been quoted as saying something like “Just because the world is going one direction does not mean it’s the right way.” Back then the church led the way into a new mindset, toward anti-slavery.
All of this made me think of another message through my life, “A Counterculture Life.” Within this prophetic word, God talks about a great divide. He talks about His people being set apart within an ever-darkening, or the desert, so that we will then do what God wants His Wonderful Web of Wonder to do, shine! Shine so bright that those still in the desert, or Egypt will be wooed to that light, Christ’s light. Here is a portion of that prophetic word from “A Counterculture Life.” I encourage you to go and read/watch the whole message:
There will be a great parting, a great divide but this time the divide will be of people. As you choose to go against the flow, it will cause you My people to be set apart, once again a holy nation called by My Name. This nation - My Wonderful Web of Wonder will shine. You My Stars will shine so bright that darkness will have nowhere to hide. Such a revival will take place that many, and I mean MANY trapped in Egypt will escape and run full speed to the other side, to the seat of mercy. Oh, glorious day. Oh, glorious day. I long for such a day as My heart is TO SEEK and SAVE the LOST. My people many will be saved through you, through the Light of Christ that you will shine together. I will show up for you in ways beyond comprehension and the world WILL SEE. Shine Light of Christ, shine. Rise up and shine. It is time to rise and shine, to shine the Light of Christ for the world to see.
My pastor then talked about how we are “to be salt and light with balance.” He said, “The fruit of the Spirit is what everything should be filtered through.” He then brought conviction when he said that we often “want non-Christians to live like Christians without Jesus.” He then shared a story of how God had once convicted him of hate, of having the same hateful spirit as some of those that he disagreed with. This made me think of another message “Everything Lost Can Be Found; Everything Old Can Be Made New.” Here is a part of God’s prophetic word within this one:
EVERYTHING OLD CAN BE MADE NEW. Remember this. Nothing is too lost or too far gone. Stop hating, My people. Stop hating those I created. And stop judging them for their judgment belongs to Me. I created every living being. Who are you to write them out of My ever-unfolding story? They are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy and those he has deceived need your light, Christ’s light, not your condemnation. Whoa to you who judge outside your place. Are you judge? Will they someday stand before you? NO. A resounding no. Whoa to you. Whoa to you who place yourself as judge. My salvation was given to all. My Son came to seek and save the lost, the sick, the oppressed, the downtrodden. Instead of judge rise up and shine - Shine for the True Judge, the Righteous Living One.
God went on after those words to talk about the Apostle Paul and Zacchaeus, both examples of “hated people” that God transformed and used for His Kingdom. Again, I encourage you to go back and read/watch that message as well. God calls His prophetic word through my life “God’s Unfolding Message” for a reason. He builds upon His words so please God back if you have not done so. You will be blessed and likewise more thoroughly equipped for the battle, or the desert that God says is coming. (Again, God talks about this desert in previous messages.)
My pastor finished by saying, “You want the rapture to happen. Well, what happens then? Take out the salt and light and the world goes to hell in a handbasket.”
Amen! That’s the point. God doesn’t want anyone to perish. This is the real battle. Though Satan wants to put us out of commission, God alternatively is giving a commission, the Great Commission. It is time to arise. It is time to wake up sleepers. It is time to be God’s Wonderful Web of Wonder, Christ’s final prayer. For, Christ wants to continue to save the lost through us, through us now the ones who are “The Word Made Flesh.” We are now Christ’s hands and feet and voice, Christ’s light to a hurting world, an ever-darkening world. Our freedom comes from God, not this world, always! So, let’s use this freedom to impact this world like never before. Amen and a TRUE promised AMEN!