("The Unveiling" Series 3, Post 12)
In church on Sunday, God spoke. He said:
It’s time to believe. I am calling you to believe. My daughter what more can I give you? You have all you need. Though you desire more, nothing more is required. It is all a matter of perspective and choosing to go back and reflect. I know this will be time consuming but DO IT. Susan, this is what is done at the brink, a season of reflection. As you know, this will empower you and equip you for entering the promise, the promised land. And you ARE at the brink Susan. I promise. Believe Susan. Believe. Believe and rejoice. I command you to reflect, reflect and be filled, be empowered, and you will be equipped. . . Let your testimony defeat the enemy. It’s time. . . I am calling you to believe, to stop wavering within your faith. I will reward your belief. I operate in belief Susan. . .
I exist without your belief but do not operate outside of it. This is My will. This is how I coexist with My children. Look at My Word, mostly named after My children, book after book. Nothing was recorded outside of their belief. They believed therefore I moved and acted. This was My chosen plan and method for existence. I don’t need anything, including people, but I choose to use them, always have and always will, but those I use the most, have used the most, are those of great faith and strong, unwavering belief. This doesn’t mean they didn’t sin, or ever struggle with belief, it means that they reached a point of true surrender, enough to become the very Word of God. . . The key is belief.
My people, what are you waiting for? Have I not given you all you need to succeed, to find victory? It is all a matter of belief, for the battle is already won, victory is already yours. You just have to believe and then live as though what you believe is true. Reflect, remember, recount all that I have done. Let the Word of your testimony wash over you and then believe again. This is how the enemy is defeated. This is how the true battles are won.
How easily you forget all I have done for you. You are like the man who looked at himself in the mirror and then turned around and forgot what he saw. Do you know what truly made David great, a man after My own heart? He didn’t forget all I had done for him, for he recorded it. He wrote it all down. He put it to music and sang it as praise and then encouraged others to do so as well, to sing along. What preceded My people entering their promised land? It was a season of testifying. They stood at the brink of their promise and they recounted for 40 days all that I had done to bring them to this place, that moment. I proclaim to you right now that you, My people, are in the same season. Your promised land is before you but I still require the same season of testifying, recounting what I have done, not only in your individual lives but in your lives as a whole. It’s that time again My people. Time to testify. Time to prepare for the battles ahead, to defeat the greatest enemy that you will encounter in the land, Satan. But he will be defeated by this testifying for he will be overcome by the Word of your testimony. Revelation 12:11. Believe. Believe. Believe. It’s time to believe. Amen and amen.
I began to think about how long the Israelites stood at the brink of the promised land. They were there for 40 days, recounting all that God had done to bring them to that point. Through Moses, God repeated what He has already taught. This is what the book of Deuteronomy is all about. “Deutero” means “second” and “Nomos” means “law.” Deuteronomy is a second hearing of the law.
After that thought my pastor began to talk about Jesus appearing after His resurrection, stating that He appeared to and taught the disciples for 40 days before returning to Heaven. History repeated itself. The disciples were also at the brink, not only of their true calling but also of that which would empower their calling, the Holy Spirit. Their true calling was likewise preceded by 40 days of a second hearing. It was time meant to prepare them for battle, the Great Commission. For during that time, Jesus recounted and restated for the disciples what He had taught them, what they had experienced as they walked with Him.
My pastor’s sermon was on Thomas, lessons that we can learn from him. He said, “I don’t want to be a ‘Doubting Thomas.’” I also don’t want to be a doubter, but as you can see, I can be, which is why God wants to address this in my life. This is why, as I stand at the brink of some of God’s promises to me, that He wants me to recall my testimony. He wants me to have that all important second hearing. But, in defense of Thomas, like my pastor said regarding him, “The Bible didn’t give him this nickname, we, the modern church, did.” My pastor then gave a great sermon on all of the verses that pointed out Thomas’ strengths and these verses in and of themselves spoke to me.
John 11:14-16 says, “So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” Here we see Thomas being courageous, willing to go to his death with Jesus. But what I also gleaned from this section is when my pastor talked about how Jesus had purposely delayed when it came to Lazarus. It’s important to point out that Jesus said that it had to do with belief. He said, “I call them divine delays.” I have definitely experienced these in my life, feeling like God has been purposely delaying my true calling, almost to the point of feeling forgotten. Whenever we experience what feels like delay, we have to remember that God has a reason and that it will always have to do with timing that gives Him the most glory.
If you recall, for I have shared this story before, but in waiting on my promise that God would return my bridegroom to me, I asked God in anger “What are You waiting for?” In His mercy He answered me saying, “For the moment when My glory will be best revealed.” I do remember that statement and every time I have that same feeling well up within me as I wait on this other promise, wanting to ask that same question of God, I know that I don’t even need Him to answer because I can look back on that answer and really believe that He would give me the same one. It is all about His glory. We don’t understand His timing but it is perfect.
My pastor then talked about how Thomas was curious and that because of some of his questions, we get some of the most important verses in the Bible. John 14:1-7 is such an example, for after a question from Thomas, Jesus states that He is the way, the truth, and the life. God welcomes questions. Jesus welcomed questions and even often answered questions with questions. He will never deny a true seeker. In Proverbs 2:2-6 even Solomon encourages us to cry out to God for knowledge and understanding.
In John 20:26-27 we see that Thomas finally gets to see Jesus for himself, to see and touch His scars. After reading that verse, I said, “Lord, I need that moment.” He replied, “Susan, I’m giving you that moment. Believe.” I have to believe God’s words here, especially if I do recount my testimony, for I have proof that God eventually brought tangible evidence to two different promises in my life. The first one was His promise that He would bring my bridegroom back to me. Along with that promise a journey through the desert ensued along with a battle to believe. It really became an issue of belief. My journey through the desert was a journey to believe in God’s promise. That is all God really wanted. He was kind of just waiting on me, waiting on me to truly believe His promise. He taught me a lot during this season about how Abraham was right with God by believing. I did eventually reach a place of relinquishment. I remember the exact moment when I knew in my heart that I had to choose to believe God's promise, that He was calling me to finally fully believe. After that, when I finally did find myself at the brink, the edge of fulfillment, guess what God called to me to do there? Write my testimony. He called me to write a book, and all before the promise had even happened. But what a step of faith. For to be willing to write a book and put it out there before fulfillment did take great faith. It meant that I fully believed, which is what God desired. For this belief proved inward change, which is what it is really all about anyway, transforming us into the image of His Son. But, as I did recall and recount because of God’s call to write, remembering all that God had done to bring me to that moment, that brink of fulfillment, I had a second hearing which only led to solidifying my belief even more. And after I did, God was faithful and tangible proof came, and in more ways than one. But the greatest was that I entered the promised land and got married!
The second promise was that I would have a child by my own body, a promise given after I thought adoption would be my only choice. Again, with that promise another journey through the desert ensued along with a battle to believe. And then you guessed it, at the brink a second hearing took place, and this time God called me to start a blog. My first post revolved around this promise of a child. God then gave my husband a vision of a Star in my belly, and shortly after, I got pregnant with a little girl whose middle name is my middle name which means Star. God is faithful and at His appointed times does bring the tangible, does bring fulfillment that you can see and touch.
Oh, me of little faith, why do I doubt that God will be any less faithful to this third promise in my life? Because I often fail to remember, to go back and recall all that God has done for me in the past. I doubt because of timing. It is Satan’s favorite tactic. I doubt this last one because I have been waiting on it the longest. For, as we wait, it just gives way for doubt and more doubt and more doubt, which needs to be defeated. But it is still one that can be easily defeated if only I would engage in that second hearing once again! And once again that is what God is calling me to do, to tap into my reservoir of faith (my stored up recorded testimony).
I appreciated my pastor saying something I have said many times before. I didn’t even know that someone else could understand this concept. He said that “It’s possible to believe and not believe at the same time.” I completely know what that feels like. I literally say that all the time to God. My pastor then read Mark 9:23-24 which speaks of this concept. It says, “‘If you can’? said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” This man believed enough to ask Jesus for help, but still asked Him to help him with his unbelief.
Lord, help my unbelief!
Mark 9 is an amazing example of what God said earlier, “I exist without your belief but do not operate outside of it. . . They believed therefore I moved and acted. This was My chosen plan and method for existence. I don’t need anything, including people, but I choose to use them.” Jesus didn’t need this man’s belief to operate but He chose to move and act because of it. God chooses to work in and through us, our belief. We are His co-heirs and co-laborers. His chosen plan and method for existence includes us. He never intended for us to just sit by and watch everything like watching a movie. He wants us to be key players, especially at the very end. He just needs us to believe and He knows that this belief will come more easily and strongly by having a second hearing.
My pastor ended by reading John 20:30-31 which says, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
These were written (recounted and recorded) that you may believe. It is all about belief. The entire Bible is a giant testimony. They are accounts written by humans who were inspired by God, encountered God, experienced God, and walked alongside Him. And every time we go to the Word, we glean a second hearing. It is important to read about how other’s that went before experienced God, but don’t neglect your own story as well for God has and will do new things in your life too worth talking about, worth recording and recounting. I can attest to how God will also use this to defeat Satan and every tactic that he will throw against you, whether timing or fear or anything else. We will overcome him by the Word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11), our individual testimonies and our collective ones.
My testimony is for you, or God wouldn’t call me to share it, whether through book or blog. Likewise. yours is for me. We can be empowered not only by our own testimony but the testimonies of others. We will need them all to defeat the enemy.
We are at the brink my friends. Our promised land is before us. So, let’s equip ourselves like never before so that together we can proclaim with the Apostle John “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-3).”
History is repeating itself and God has a story for all of us. God wants us to continue, like John, to write, recount, and record all that God has done for us. This will not only be for us, but also for our future generations. For, they may enter a time, a battle, when they will need our testimonies even more than we do. Our God is a generational God that prepares and equips. So, join me. Let’s start finding our story and then testifying to the Lord Jesus Christ.