Ezekiel 22:30-31 (NIV):
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.
31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
It is so important to hold on to your vision because when we lose sight of it, we lose direction, the purpose of God`s calling, and a reason for our circumstances. It took me some time in the past month, while going through different struggles, to recapture the essence of my vision that God showed me in the scripture. I vowed to God and pleaded with Him awhile back (many years ago) to use me for His glory, to use me to stand in the gap for those who are lacking forgiveness and deserve His wrath. I had to go back to my vision and start praying even harder for God to pour out His mercy and bring my husband to repentance, so He would not pour out His wrath on him and other people who did a lot of evil to me.
I know it`s been awhile since I`ve last written, but I promised myself and to God that I would not be using this blog for nonsense or self-praise writing. As a matter of fact, I never liked writing, but last summer God told me very clearly to write down everything that`s going on, so it would be for His glory, so I`m finishing up my second volume of diary (my daily devotionals with revelations, testimonies, and events that take place on a daily basis, which has been a great blessing to me). Sometimes I look back for scriptures that He game a month ago or a year ago, and it serves the purpose of reminding me of how much He loves me that He continues to guide me and to sustain me throughout all my life. These writings have been constant reminder to me of endless amount of miracles that I`ve experienced with the Lord being my Shepherd. I am grateful that He`s been strengthening me in documenting all my events. It serves as a great testimony primarily for me to see His hand on me in so many ways that I praise Him even more.
Before I go any further, I`d like to share some testimonies that took place in the last month:
First of all, I had my daughter with me almost entire month since my husband went on a 2 week vacation, and then he decided to go for his first season`s football game to his alma mater school. That huge testimony in itself is a result of my yet another sacrifice and act of obedience that I had to take. God tests our hearts to reveal what`s in them, and I`ve grown to appreciate that and to thank Him for it.
In the beginning of August, Holy Spirit convicted my heart that I have been spending my time with my daughter in a Sunday school instead of sitting in the service to listen to the sermon. As much as I tried to reason with God that since I don`t get to see her all that much, I take every opportunity I get, but I had to remind myself that it`s useless arguing with God especially when He comes back with the scripture. He reminded me of what Jesus told to the Pharisees in Mark 12:17 (NIV):
17Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
I couldn`t argue with that, so I committed my daughter once again to Him, and left her in a Sunday school while I myself went to listen the sermon. I prayed like Anna did when she prayed for a child, and God gave her Samuel (the last Judge before Israel appointed a first King-Saul). Anna prayed a prayer of promise to God that she would devote her child to the Lord, if He gave her a son, and God was faithful to fulfill His promise. He gave her a son right the next year (1 Samuel 1:11, 21). I prayed the same prayer to the Lord, that I devote her to His ministry and service, if only He would return her to me, and I devote all the church time to Him. I did that for both morning and for a night service.
On Monday morning, right the next day, I received an email from my husband letting me know that he was planning on going to Florida with his friends on vacation, and asking me whether I wanted to keep our daughter. I was in awe as to how fast God rewarded my obedience and sacrifice by giving up couple of hours in one day. IN return, I got a whole month with her. God is good to those who act in faith and in obedience.
Right couple of days before my husband was supposed to take off for vacation (because initially he asked me if I wanted him to take our daughter on vacation with him or if I wanted her to stay with me where I naturally replied that I wanted her to stay with me). So on Wednesday, right before he was supposed to leave, God asked me to allow him to take our daughter on vacation with him. I couldn`t believe this request. Not only did He asked me that, but He literally gave me a few scriptures from the old and new testaments about Abraham being faithful to God by bringing Isaac on the altar assuming that God was almighty to raise him from the dead in confirmation that it was in fact God Himself asking me to do that and not just my mind.
There was no doubting in Abraham`s mind that God was going to provide a way when there was no way; all he had to do was perform an act of faith (Genesis 23). The same was required of me- I had to perform an act of faith by calling my husband and asking him whether he wanted to take our daughter with him on vacation. I was on my knees weeping the night before I called him, pleading with God to pass this cup from me just like Jesus was praying in the Gethsemane Garden before His crucifiction, but so not my will, but His will would happen (Matthew 26:39).
When God asks us to do something, He doesn`t change His mind because He has only the best in His heart for us, and although He was testing me, but He had in His mind to bless me. I went through endless amount of scriptures not to lose heart and my mind, and the next morning before I called my husband, I decided to read my devotionals first (only to open the same scriptures from Romans 4:20-22 (NIV) that He showed me as one of the scriptures the night before when He asked me to contact my husband:
20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
After I saw this scripture yet for another time (God doesn`t have coincidences), I praised Him, prayed and dialed my husband. I tried to keep my emotions as neutral and my voice as even as possible when I asked him whether he would like to take our daughter on vacation with him. Although he was surprised to hear me saying those words, he declined my offer by saying that his plans have already been finalized, and he would not be able to take her with him on vacation this time around. After one more question of small talk, I finalized our conversation and hung up the telephone.
I was shaking from what just took place as I knew God was faithful to provide a way when there was no other way for me just like He did with Abraham. He recompensed my time with my daughter and left her with me, but I was still in disbelief of what took place. Like in Abraham`s case, when the ram got stuck in the bushes, and he was able to sacrifice him instead of Isaac his only son, God provided a way for me that my husband already made other plans for vacation and they didn`t have a place for our daughter. This is what I call God`s faithfulness and response to the act of faith. He rewards and respects those who choose to be obedient to Him. He rewarded me with a whole month with my daughter seeing how restless and weary I was growing from waiting for my custody hearing. Out of 3 months waiting period before the hearing, he gave me a break of one full month with my daughter. It happened at the right time, and it bore fruit for His glory. I could never stop thanking Him enough for being so patient with me and so rewarding.
During the month of August, I realized that I started to lose my vision of His plan for my life. I made a decision and committed “to stand in the gap” for my husband and for my family. I have to continue to pray for him and for our marriage to reconcile, so God`s glory would be manifested through this. I had to reject all the doubting thoughts that so unnoticeably started to crawl in while thinking about all the dirty possible things my husband was doing while on his vacation in Florida, that I realized I started to lose my fire and heart for God. I immediately repented and asked God to renew my fire, fill me up afresh with the Holy Spirit, and show me specifically what is it that I needed to do.
God doesn`t like mysteries, and what`s more, He is more than willing to guide us when we seek Him with our whole heart. He showed me a sermon by David Wilkerson while he was on a conference in Ukraine in 2003, and that sermon was on renewing a fire and praying. The sermon was about going up on the mountain to seek God face to face and to have communion with Him face to face like Moses did. Wilkerson reminded in his sermon that many of us place a camp half way to the mountain as a rest stop when we get either distracted with the daily problems or temptations, and we never make it to the mountain. I realized that I got stuck somewhere in a limbo camping somewhere before I reached the mountain for my daily communion with the Lord, and I needed to start fervently praying even more. I have to assure you that when God sees the desire and willingness, He responds immediately.
What started to happen to me is doubts started to creep in that God may judge my husband while he is on vacation, and something bad might happen, so I wouldn`t even have to go to court because He would resolve everything prior to that with some kind of a cataclysmic event. I was checking weather forecast for an upcoming storm Isaac that was predicted to hit Tampa and possible the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico, and I thought to myself, maybe this is it. He was right there with his friends, and maybe God was going to judge them. These were thoughts straight from Satan because they contradict God`s word. God is hungry to pour out His mercy and He seeks a willing heart to stand in a gap for those lost souls. I had to repent of those thoughts and start praying that nothing bad would happen to my husband or his friends. Few days later my husband contacted me letting me know that he returned earlier than what was initially planned for and he wanted to see our daughter. I let him visit her and see her while she continued to stay with me during that month.
God is faithful to answer our prayers when they are within His will. Don`t pray for things that contradict His word just like James warns us in his chapter 4:2-3 (NIV):
…You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
I had to reason with my heart and mind what I was praying for and how I was praying for to get back on track with my vision. When praying and reasoning regarding my circumstances, I told myself that I am still a married woman, and whatever God joined together, let no man separate (Mark 10:9). I also had to reason that since I`m still married to my husband, I have a duty to pray for him and for our family regardless of circumstances. Than I had to reason that since God is almighty, and His will is to save every living soul, it is my responsibility to continue praying for my husband and expect God`s miracle since He promised that if one person gets saved, the entire household would get saved (Acts 16:31). I reasoned that since God showed me the ministry, I cannot do that without my husband being saved, and God would not contradict His word in regards to me divorcing my husband in order to pursue the ministry that He showed me we would do, so He will have to touch my husband`s heart first, if He wants my family to serve Him in the ministry that He showed me.
Do you see how important it is to know the scripture and being able to withstand Satan with the scripture? Remember when Satan came to tempt Jesus in the desert at the end of His 40 day fasting, Jesus was using scriptures, and He replied to Satan with the scriptures because word of God is the ultimate authority in the spiritual realm (Matthew 4:1-11). God`s scripture must be our daily bread, so we could resist the temptations, so we could withstand the fiery arrows from Satan. Without God`s word, we become susceptible to failures and backsliding.
Right after I listened to David Wilkerson`s sermon, I decided to watch a movie based on his book called “The Sword and The Switchblade” about his calling to go to the worst gangs of New York in late 50-s and preach the gospel to them. God used David to get Nicky Cruz saved who is now serving the Lord. Back in those days Nicky was a president and then a vice-president of one of the worst gangs of New York called Mau Mau. In his book called Run, Baby, Run, Nicky describes all the horrific things he’s done and the kind of violence that was experienced in those days in New York. God used this one man- David Wilkerson, to stand in the gap for the “lost youth”that society called them cast outs- “animals”. The only way to survive they knew was by killing, robbing, and fighting for their turf (their territories). God used one man to reach out to many souls to get them saved.
After I watched the movie, God reminded me to go right back to standing in the gap for my husband, and although he deserves God`s wrath, like any of us do, God is seeking someone to stand in the gap to pray. Jesus reminded me that if He was capable to save one of the worst leaders of the cold bloodied murderers, He is more than capable to save my husband.
Here is the link to the David Wilkerson`s book called The Sword and the Switchblade and a link to the movie:
One of the main reasons why Israelites kept murmuring and disobeying the Lord was their lack of vision. Their trust was in Moses (because they could see him), and not in God. When Moses went on the mountain to get the law written out, they grew tired of waiting for him and decided to make a golden calf. Why? Because they wanted something visual to remind them of what they are doing in the desert and where they are headed. They didn`t know God personally face to face like Moses did, and that was their problem.
When we don`t know God personally face to face, we lose the vision of what He called each one of us to do. My vision is to get my husband saved, to get my family reconciled, and to serve the Lord with my family. My vision is to glorify Him in everything I do. I can only stick to that vision by dwelling in His word and prayer abundantly. Not 5 minutes per day/week/ month, etc., but abundantly and daily. The day I slow down, I start experiencing fiery arrows of temptations from Satan who whispers on my ear to put a halt to my wacky illusions of my family ever getting back together or having my husband repented and broken down for the Lord. I know God`s scripture says the opposite, and I have to dwell in His word to keep on pressing to fulfill what He started.
Two days ago was my husband`s birthday, and at first, I was very tempted not to get anything for him since we live separate, but on the day of his birthday, God filled my heart with compassion after listening to David Wilkerson`s sermon, and I sent him an e-card with scriptures and encouragement that I am praying for him. I was also tempted to get him Sorel shoes with the model called “Mad Desert” since he is walking a“mad desert” without God (trotting dead-end circles of carnal self-fulfilled pleasure living), but I decided to buy him a really nice suit instead. I haven`t heard back from him other than simple thanks for the e-card that I sent him, and I don`t know what he would think of my present, but I give it up to God. I choose to sow the seeds of goodness, kindness, and love, so they could produce fruit in its due season.
I`d like to conclude with the encouragement of the power of prayer and the testimony that took place couple of days ago. God reminded me once again the power of prayer, but He also reminded me that people around us are watching us very closely when they know we are believers. My colleague at work knows my circumstances, and she is a close friend of mine. When her mother got sick while visiting home in Mexico, she came to my office and asked me to pray for her. I started praying for a miracle of a successful surgery regardless of the unsanitary conditions in the hospital where she was and regardless of the fact that the doctors weren`t the best as well as equipment. God made her, and only He knew what was wrong with her and needed healing. The surgery took place on the 4-th of September, and not only did it go well, but the surgery resulted in elimination of the core cause of her constant sickness. She is 76 years old, and she is recovering. God is good. She didn`t get this sick while she was in America and had access to all sorts of good hospitals and equipment, but she got sick while she was visiting at home in Mexico, so all the glory could be to God. This is how God operates- He will never share His glory with anybody even if it means bringing worse conditions as a temporary inconvenience.
This was also a reminder that people are watching me knowing my faith in God. My colleague could go asking for help or prayer from somebody else, but she came to me on a day of trials, knowing my strong faith in the Lord. Have no doubt in your mind that people are watching you if you claim yourself to be a believer. Your faith would always get tested at some point in your life if that haven`t happened yet, so you need to dwell in the word of God to be prepared to minister to people and to be that light that He calls us to be in this world.
If you haven`t prayed for a while or you lost vision of God`s plan for your life, I urge you to get back on track with your prayer life and seek the Lord first. He will guide you just like He`s been directing me every time I asked Him to. God doesn`t bring mysteries to our lives, but He brings order, clarity, and action. When God needs resources, He is searching for people to stand in the gap for those who need it, and I want to be that resources for Him. How about you?