Life in the Spirit Ministries March of the Message Newsletter March 2022
Beloved Friends in Jesus,
As many of you may be aware, I have been recovering for over the past week from a sickness that felt like a severe attack on my body. This was one of the worst sicknesses I have had, and but for your prayers and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus, I may not have made it. But the Lord has moved, and I am recovering, and I believe much of that has to do with the Lord’s response to the outpouring of prayers from your precious hearts. I am not yet fully recovered, but rejoice that I have the strength now to teach and do other tasks as I heal. Again, thank you for your love and prayers. The Body of Jesus is beautiful as His Spirit flows between us in such real and tender ways.
I have another prayer request for you! Please remember Martha England and her family. Martha recently lost her beloved husband Don. Martha has a big, loving family, and this is a time to remember them in their loss of Don. Don loved the Lord, and in his later years drew close to Jesus. I was blessed with the opportunity to minister at Don’s funeral, which was packed with so many people that love him, Martha, and their precious family. Deb and my daughter Cassie joined me on this trip, and both of them were a tremendous help with the funeral and to me when I got sick at the end of the trip.
In regards to what I will be sharing in the upcoming new semester at the Bible School, my class on 1st Peter will be ending and I will be sharing on Jonah. There will be massive elements of 1st Peter in Jonah, and I think you will enjoy the way Jonah shows forth much of what we learned in 1st Peter. Also, I will not be sharing on the Firstborn this coming semester, but instead we are going to get into a course on “pro-self”. This class on “pro-self” will be important to a person who really wants to make progress in the Lord, as this is an area that needs to be understood and taken down in us.
And finally, this coming Sunday our church will begin meeting in person for the first time in a long time. It will be just wonderful to see so many face to face as we come together in the Lord! Also, be in prayer for the church as there are many new and exciting things on the horizon.
From my heart, and with great appreciation for each of you…
This month's article is the fourth and final sharing coming from Randy's personal journal entries, starting back in 1999...
Sufferings of Christ
If Jesus simply helped us through "this one trial," we would be back to our old ways shortly. When it comes to this area of the sufferings of Christ, it does no good for the Lord to explain to us what is going on. Results only come when He has taken us through these fires. Even then, there is no guarantee we will actually gain what it is that God wishes to impart. It is a shame if we do not, for how many times in our life will we encounter fires seven times hotter than normal? It would be a shame to have to go through such an ordeal, yet not get as much out of it as was possible.
This area pertaining to “out of weakness being made strong” will be addressed further as we go.
Before the trial, were we in need of or praying for fresh life or vigorous growth? Do we not realize that, for God to answer that request, He must use storms or pruning? Evidences of new life spring forth AFTER the storms have beat upon the plant. Healthy plants are not just formed out from sufficient sun, but through sufficient storms.
Neither the storms nor the pruning last forever. The little plant may have its fruit, some major branches, or other “VITAL” parts blown off during the hurricane, but there are roots that will hold fast. During the blast we will surely wonder if anything will be left. We will fear within ourselves because the storm exposes us and makes us feel so “unrooted,” but regardless of whether you can hold on in faith to this or not – there are roots that will bring forth new and prolific growth.
We are assured of this by Psalm 46 – “the earth is moved.” Be assured that the earth always will be moved, according to verse 2. The upheavals under the surface will always move the earth. We wrestle with what has happened to us.
Despite our excellent arguments over the circumstances, God allows us to remain blind to the eternal issues. True clarity does not involve the issues of earth. The voice in our head that continually keeps replaying situations is not God’s voice. We cannot trust the justifications of our wounded soul. It thinks only of itself and is in no position to really hear from God, much less be with God where He is. While we may not yet be able to see the answer, we must know not to try to come to any conclusions until we are at rest in Him.
Before peace comes, there is a time period in which we mull over and meditate on the problematic issues. This will take us away form the mind of Christ. However, it seems that our agony demands that we lay again and again all the issues out before our mind. This is counterproductive.
Like the Shulamite, God is faithful to wait for us until we have tried to find Him in all the locations where we have set ourselves to look. Our deep desire to find Jesus at this stage is only guided by strong feelings and emotional stress.
Long before the soul comes to rest, it must quiet itself over issues. Before our heart can fully embrace Jesus, we must determine to no longer listen to the arguments of the mind. Like a child, the soul must be told “no” and be weaned from looking for explanations.
All our worry is due to worry over the future or worrying concerning how we appear to people. Whatever wrongs that have been done to us, it is our pride that makes the biggest protests over the wrongs.
Pride wants to talk and find allies. In our weakness, we find strength when the natural man is able to voice wrongs and point out faults in others. If you cannot stop the mind from running over issues, you still must stop the tongue from voicing them. Releasing words only opens the door for greater rejection, retaliation from others, and makes it harder to break with the soul’s control. Harsh words and justifications tend to feed the beast within.
Of course, you will be confronted with the thought that your silence on the issues seems to point to your guilt. Others, who do not have the mind of Christ, will encourage you to speak up and defend yourself. This only gives fuel to your detractors.
The reason why all this is so painful is because much of what is happening to you is against your will. We are full of resistance. Peace can never come until the present crisis is seen in light of the will of God. This suffering must have meaning or it is only torture. However, when we try to come up with “pat” answers of how this is the will of God, they do not suffice because they are not and maybe never have been life to us. Our true initial struggle should not be to get out of our trial, but to struggle until we see how the trial is the will of God for some higher purpose. You will find no need to struggle with your soul once all is seen in the light of Life.
Most of the pain, disillusionment, and disappointment we experience are based on the fact of removal of the things that we once trusted in. The purpose of the trial is to bring about a trust in the Lord that we once put in other things. All that He cuts you off from was either not spiritually healthy for you or something or someone that gave you confidence on a fleshly level. He is purifying your relationship with Himself.***
Videos and Audios
Last week, both 1st Peter Revisited and the Firstborn sharings came to a close. Below are the final classes from each! The last Firstborn sharing is particularly special, as the Lord decided to use this last class to share in a deeply precious way from the life of Jacob.