Life in the Spirit Ministries March of the Message Newsletter December 2021
Dear Jesus Tribe,
Beloved ones… My heart is full, and there is so much I desire to communicate from my heart to yours. First of all, my thanks for the spirit in which you “gathered in the altar” during our recent Gathering. The scriptures in Romans 12:1 define us as “a living sacrifice” serving the Lord together through the Lamb within. If one could look into the heart of that “living sacrifice” and see the willingness to let Jesus give Himself and live through His body, we would rejoice for the Lord’s sake. Your willingness to “jump” into the flames and be with the Lord there resulted in something more than special, but something eternal. Our children and teens were washed with His Spirit through all the teachers who responded with such willing hearts. The sound team displayed the spirit of Jesus to us all in a constant pouring forth of His care and nature. Our technical team gave of their time and resources to cover every member of the Jesus tribe so that technically we would all be able to Gather together in the altar and offer up the Son! The financial gifts that were given were a sweet savor of Christ because of the spirit of those who so generously poured out in this way. There are so many to honor and thank, and yet I know it is the heart of Jesus Himself that is blessed, and that is our deepest satisfaction. But from my heart, I thank each one of you.
In regards to this month’s newsletter article… it really isn’t an article! It is excerpts from my personal journal written during a time of much fire and trial in my own life. I had no thought of sharing them at any point, and only at the request of others and a sense of the Lord’s time to share them with hearts that long to be with the Lord in His sufferings, do I share them now.
With great love and appreciation,
This month's article is the first of ones coming from Randy's personal journal entries, starting back in 1999...
Sufferings of Christ
It is the suffering we endure when we choose to go with the Lamb instead of justifying ourselves, demanding our rights, pushing our agenda, or moving to make things comfortable for me at the expense of others.
In Acts 8:3-4 we see that pressure never limits the work of God; it only expands it. In Acts 14:21-22 they preached constant pressure as part of the package. The pressure, hardship, and attacks by the enemy are calculated to tear down our trust in the Lord and make us question Him - Job 1:9-11, “Put forth thy hand and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” In another place he said to Eve, “Yea, hath God said?”
But we find a different story in Romans 8:35. Men and tyrants can separate you from God’s provisions, which causes nakedness, peril, etc., but the lack of these does not take away His love. His love is not based on giving things. Even in prison we can know that “by this perceive we the love of God...”. He died to make us one. That oneness can shine on you in a dark place. He loves us enough to make us one and give us of His life resources that prison cannot take away. You do not ask “Where is God?” for He is there, in you to others.
Maybe there is a period where you are thrust into a dungeon alone. It is possible to not recall all the glories that are yours by oneness. In the darkness is only fear, pain, and immense agony. Imagine being in a dungeon with no light. How would you respond to a ray falling upon you after years of complete darkness? II Peter 1:19 tells us to "take heed" - how? - "as to a light in a dark place." How precious is that one small beam of light? It is warm and kind. All of spring and summer are comprehended in that one beam of light and you are able to bask in it and take it all in. By one momentary stream of light from above, your cell is transformed into heaven itself. Though another ray does not come for a long time, you are able to hold on and extremely enjoy what little you have been given. And oh, how thankful you are for it. We are to take heed to God's Word in that way. If you ever ascend from the dark dungeon, every word from God will be cherished, treated with the utmost respect and be received with unmeasured gratefulness. This lesson cannot be learned in a sermon or class. It is one of the many blessings that are ours as a result of our being limited and confined. Light will no longer be a bright spot in our religious day, but by it we will be translated out of the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the Son of His love.
In the dark prison we have a tendency to mull over things. If you start to constantly moan over your lot in life then you have missed the true reason for God allowing you to be put there. What is it that changes our view from something being of the Lord to now appearing as a burdensome trial? Pride of self as opposed to the Lamb. We no longer see in these situations an opportunity to proceed by the Cross, but hold on to our rights. You begin to view things as if God had passed you over, instead of seeing Him entrusting you with precious and hidden things. You feel that nothing has come to you of what you deserve. We are blind to how privileged we are to join with Him in the Cross and its sufferings. This is higher than blessing in this life. Philippians 1:29: "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for His sake..." Will we debate with Jesus over which gift is the most precious? We cannot see that the most treacherous road leads to where you truly want to go. All other roads lead away from fullness of Life.
We become consumed with trifles which are the cares of this life. Our focus is removed from the eternal. We have become perverse or common again. We live in the earth and not above. The great enemies that are used to pull our focus down are when we are treated unjustly or even cruelly. Then we bemoan our earth-state. The winds of maltreatment have blown us off course. We were in the haven of rest experiencing peace, but now we claim that the winds have taken our peace. NO! We have allowed those winds to take us from the place of eternal focus. We are far from the Father’s house, in a place where there is no peace, and yet we do not arise and go back, but rather ask that peace be given in the hog pen. “In the world ye shall have tribulation...”
In Kings 6:13-17, we see the true need – where do we fix our eyes? Likewise, in 2 Corinthians 4:8-18 we see that where our focus is determines the outcome. With that shift, we find that affliction now begins to work FOR US. A simple shift of the focus is not a sufficient answer for some. They want a mighty display of power. They want their enemies annihilated for inflicting so much pain. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to look unto Jesus. When we see others of stature, we faint by reason of the contrast, but when we see Jesus we are encouraged because of oneness.
In Psalm 71:3, the command to save comes only as we resort to our strong habitation in union with Christ and leave the weak habitation of our own frame. “Be strong in your union with the Lord and in the power of His resources” (Ephesians 6:10).
When the eyes are set upon Christ, we find that God does not remove us from the prison. In Luke 12:32, Jesus says, “Fear not, little flock…”. He views us as lambs after His kind. His approach for us becomes the approach He would use for Himself. Now it becomes an issue, not of removing the trial, but how you bear them. Bearing the trials in the Lamb IS the kingdom on earth. The Lamb that rules on the throne now rules in you. We do not do it with the hope of something greater, for in heaven nothing is greater than the Lamb.
Below is the special song that the Lord gave Randy for the whole Jesus Tribe - called "Jesus Tribe"!
Click the image below to listen to and download the song!
More audios and videos from before and during the Gathering can be found on the Life in the Spirit website!
We are continuing to produce the videos and audios of the different sharings and times together, but it takes some time to assemble and produce such an out-pouring! More sharings, times of worship, and pages for the kids' and teens' sessions are all in the works, so check back regularly!
Click the image below to access what is up so far!
On the Friends of Life in the Spirit website, you will find
blogs, classes past and present, sermons, booklets, music...
all there for you to feast on the Lamb of God in His Crucified nature.