by haRold Smith
based in Jerusalem, Israel
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father�s hand." John 10:27-29
Recently, while in Texas visiting with my daughter and listening of her plans to go to live in Oregon with a cousin, we were talking about how someone is able to walk outside of that place in John 10:27-29 (click on highlighted verse to see scripture) above, where Yeshua said that as long as we stay in the palm of His Hand nothing - nothing - will snatch us out. The way we stay in His Palm is to get close to Him and be determined to not cross the street without hearing His Voice. But, even if we get determined to walk in our own way, outside of His Palm, presuming our way to be His way - He will still be with us. I began telling her it will be OK if she gets out there and finds herself broken, bloodied and bruised at the bottom of a cliff - in that time all she needs to do is look within and Yeshua will still be there. He will use that whole experience to make her a better person.
She turned those big, doe-like eyes to me and very innocently asked, "Do you think I am going to fall off a cliff?"
I asked if she had heard the voice of the Lord say for her to go out there. She began telling me how good this move felt, how all these doors were opening, how this was being provided for, how that was being taken care of, how she really wanted to go - when I stopped her and told her she was not answering my question.
I shared with her how that people ask of me all the time if they should come to Israel and what should they do to find the best way for the Lord to get them there. I told her that I tell them straight out that if the Father hasn't told them to come, if they haven't heard His Voice say go - they don't want to be here. This is a hard land and if YHVH is not here for you, you really don't want to be here. I have seen far too many leave here in that broken, bloodied and bruised state thinking this 'Land of Promise' was for them and it wasn't. I commented to her that wisdom applies for anyone, anywhere - not just for Israel.
I told her I didn't have any wisdom about whether she was to go to Oregon or not go. But, I did know, by her response, that she had not heard the Voice of the Lord - and she knew the difference. I went on to tell her that, if she goes and it is just her having an itch to scratch, the Lord will not cast her off. If, when she comes to an awakening in her spirit and gives that part of her life back to the Father, He will use the experience to elevate her spirit and give her a testimony, but she doesn't have to go through that - there is a more excellent way. That way is the Way of Yeshua who didn't do anything unless He first heard and saw the Father do it (John 5:19). We are His sheep and He has provided a way for us to hear the Voice of the Father the same way that He did.
After the last article, "Flight of Fancy", was published, many of you wrote asking why didn't I pray for the Lord to step in and correct the seemingly adverse circumstances I found myself in and how was it that I felt it was the 'tempter' who placed those thoughts in my mind to pray that way?
Scripture says, when after forty days of fasting in the wilderness, Yeshua hungered. The tempter came to Him and said, basically, "�it's OK. Just say the words, turn these rocks into bread and you won't be hungry anymore" (Matthew 4:1-11). It is a perfectly natural desire to want to eat when we are hungry - so, how was it Yeshua recognized those thoughts as coming from the tempter?
James 1:14-17 says that we are 'tempted when we are drawn away of our own lust, and enticed'. The Greek word for 'lust' used here is epithymia and means 1) desire, craving, longing. Interestingly, it is the same Greek word used for 'desire' by Yeshua in Luke 22:15 when He said 'with desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you'. It is the natural desires that YHVH has placed within us that the enemy uses to entice us with - to draw our attention and our faith away from Elohim as our provider of everything we need. As our example of how we are to behave in like circumstance, Yeshua resisted the enemy there in the wilderness - He didn't take the bait (James 4:7). He didn't try to pray His way out of the circumstance He found Himself in after those forty days. He stood in the Goodness of the Father, and having stood - continued to stand (Ephesians 6:10-17). In the end, the Father sent angels to minister to Him - He didn't leave Yeshua forsaken. That is the promise we have in Him.
Researching the word 'Prayer' from Genesis to Revelation does not once reveal there to be any inherent power in making a request of the Father - that is all prayer means, to ask. Whoever coined the phrase 'power in prayer' apparently never took the time or bothered to see what it truly means. This is how tradition is born - from someone seeking to use a phrase to further their own agenda, to sell a few books, to create a 'talking point' to further a ministry, rather than seeking the Truth of who YHVH is (Mark 7:13). The Power of God is revealed in Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8, John 1:12) and in embracing His Virtue (Mark 5:27-32, Luke 6:17-19) - not in supplication (see "Prayer and Healing").
Prayer (or supplication) comes from the Greek word, 'deasis' and means -
1) a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man
(this word is translated twice as many times as 'prayer' as it is 'supplication') Philippians 4:6
in Psalm 119:170 from the Hebrew 'techinnah' means -
1) favour, supplication, supplication for favour
and in Psalm 142:1 from the Hebrew chanan, means -
1) to be gracious, show favour, pity
Prayer is how we seek the Father's will in every situation. It is in prayer, as we seek Him, as we entreat Him, He becomes gracious to show us favor and to reveal His Will for that situation. Circumstances seek to captivate our attention away from the will of the Father. The way they do that is to try to convince us that it is only natural to pray our way out of whatever situation confronts us. But prayer is not a magic elixir. Prayer is communication, a conversation, with the Father that enlightens the status of our heart so as to place us in a position in His Presence so that we may wait upon Him to reveal Himself in the middle of our situation. When we wait on the Lord it is in a place of vulnerability (see "Becoming Vulnerable"). When we wait, we aren't just marking time, it is with an expectation of seeing Him move in the midst of our situation - however HE wants to move, not at OUR dictates.
The tempter was playing on my natural desire in the Atlanta airport terminal to not be inconvenienced or otherwise discomforted. Simply because it was what I wanted, a natural desire to ease my immediate circumstance does not give me the excuse to remove myself from His Presence. To believe He is Good in all situations (1Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20) and, if I am His, to believe that there is no coincidence when it comes to the circumstances surrounding our life is the part I play in creating an atmosphere of faith for Him to work in (Romans 8:28).
To stand is to simply believe that He is Good - regardless of what we see, regardless of what we hear, regardless of what we feel, regardless of what we think. It is in that atmosphere of faith that we create a space as an entry point for Him into this world of unbelief. How He occupies that space is totally up to Him. We are merely the vessel, the conduit by which He flows through. But, as Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time - neither can Faith and fear (see "Faith and Fear"). You will either have one or the other, you can't have both. The choice remains up to us as to which we allow to enter that cavity in reality. Perfect Love casts out fear as Light causes darkness to dissipate. He knows what we have need of before we even ask (Matthew 6:7-8). All He is looking for is that opening to slip into this earthly realm through. That is the choice we make. That is our Hope and Romans 5:1-5 tells us that hope will not make us to be ashamed in the waiting.
So, the question becomes, in the middle of adverse circumstances, after having 'put on' the whole armor He has given us - do I stand believing YHVH is Who He has said He is? Or, instead, do I walk from His Presence and believe that I know better? You see, His Presence can be manifested through me in the midst of the circumstances - but, that does not give me license to control the circumstances. To do so, in effect, is saying I know better than YHVH about what is good for me in this situation and, with the very act of grasping and wielding the reins of control, I am actually removed from His Presence since His Presence can be accommodated only in that atmosphere of faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is only as we become 'exercised' in this realm of the Spirit that we begin to spot the whisperings of the tempter as he would seek to turn our focus off of Jehovah Jirah (our Provider) and onto what would seem to be the Father's lack in the circumstance before us.
What wasn't in the last article was my encounter with Jerzy, a young man from Poland I met in the terminal area while I was sitting, waiting for my flight. He just sat down beside me and after we exchanged pleasantries, discovering I lived in Israel, began asking questions of a complete stranger that were obviously of a nature he had not been able to express to anyone else. He had been in the States for the past couple of years as a student which was about to come to an end. He had also learned a couple of years back that he was Jewish and was very uncertain about whether he should make Aliyah to the Land or not. To the degree Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) was able to speak to this young man to encourage him to listen to the stirring within his heart (because of the blood of Abraham which courses through his veins) to just come to the Land, was simply because of my obedience to not try to alter the circumstance that put me there in the first place. My deciding to extricate myself from my discomfort would have prevented the Father from using me for this person or for someone else. A servant doesn't tell the Master of the House which toilet he will or will not clean - he simply does the Master's bidding. How many of us would continue to serve the Lord if there were no personal blessing attached to that service? This walk is not about our wants, needs or desires - it's about His.
Even if it all looks good, sounds good and smells good but it lacks the 'glow' of that inner light of the Ruach haKodesh - that 'knowing' spoken of in John 10 above, where you just 'know' He is speaking - then it is probably surfacing as a result of our own inclination, our own desire and we should wait until we hear Him speak. For me (and I can only speak for me), I have taken too many detours and nursed too many wounds for me to ever want to travel that road again, now knowing there is a more excellent Way. For me, I prefer to just stand and wait on His Voice, His Presence - that 'glow' within that can't be counterfeited - before I proceed. Not that I have attained perfection in this Way, but I desire it to be a part of my life - to become exercised in it.
My daughter moved to Ventura, California with another, more stable cousin - with my blessing. She retreated to her grandmother's house in Texas where, while not as exciting as some of her friend's places, she found the opportunity to get very, very quiet - and she heard that 'glow'. What she heard was different from where she started, but it was with the faith hearing His Voice gave her that she left for California two days before I left for Israel with all of her belongings in her car. In this rocky economy where nothing is certain, her job at Starbucks in Waco transferred to another one on the beach out there and she is a happy camper today - knowing she is where the Father wants her.
I don't have access to anything you don't have access to. The only wisdom I have access to is the wisdom I get from hearing His Voice. I believe He will speak to you, also. Just get quiet and wait - He won't disappoint. This is how intimacy with the Father is attained.
He IS Good.
|"And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth..." Exodus 34:5-6|
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.