Chronic Joy and Storing Grain (Lane)
Chronic Joy and Storing Grain!
by Lonnie Lane
Sometimes I think God takes me through things not only for my benefit and edification, but for the edification of some of you dear folks who read my articles. The new Jerusalem and its temple will be built out of transparent stones. Since we are the temple God indwells, it appears I get to practice being transparent as I write.
Since there’s no temptation or trial given to us that isn’t common to humankind (1 Cor. 10:13), none of us really is alone in what we go through. I’ve found that one way to alleviate some of my own stress or distress is to pray for others who might be going through the same thing. Then I get in touch with a greater purpose in my getting through it, and getting through it well, for the sake of others, not just for myself. Last week was one of those times.
I was at a conference and the Lord opened up to me an area of my inner life I wasn’t aware of. Hey, we all have them, right? The wonder is that He knew all along and I was just seeing it, and this is about myself! Does He know our hearts, or what? This was about a deep hurt that was long standing that I could never put my finger on. He spoke one word to me and suddenly I saw where it was coming from. Within a second or two, the very word He just spoke to me flashed on the giant screen above the stage which was flashing things we must bring to God: fear, hurt, sadness, guilt, aloneness…. Bingo. Confirmation!
When they opened up a prayer line I decided to go up for prayer about this one thing. Since it had been hidden for so long, though not intentionally, I just wanted to say it to someone, to verbalize it to another person, sort of like “confess your sins one to another that you may be healed.” That verse also goes on to say, “The effective prayer of a righteous (wo)man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). So I would go for prayer and “confess” even though this wasn’t really sin in the “I did it” sense. It had to do with a deep anguish having to do with what my people, my Jewish people, have gone through and are still going through and are maybe about to go through again as anti-Semitism is rising, in Europe in particular and certainly against Israel. It was so deep it was like sound that is too deep to be heard, which is why I wasn’t in touch with it at that level.
Though the prayer wouldn’t change the reality of the persecution, my thought was that since Yeshua bore our griefs and our sorrows on the cross (Is. 53:3&4), I needed to confess that I had been carrying this grief and sorrow instead of giving it to Him. My expectation was that in doing so He would bring release from the hurt which has hindered my heart from being completely free in Him. This was my expectation. I was not prepared for the pray-er’s response.
When I shared with her what I just told you, it seemed to be above her comfort zone. Too big for her evidently. She told me she knew just who I should talk with. I didn’t want talk; I just wanted a hug and a prayer, someone to just say, “Lord, you hear what’s in Lonnie’s heart. Fill this deep place with Yourself and Holy Spirit, come and be her comforter and bring peace and deeper trust in You. Amen.” But she took me by the hand and led me through the crowd till we got to the next woman.
I told her the same thing about the hurt inside, about how it had been there for years but God had just brought it to the light where I could deal with it. She began to ask me questions like, “Did I have friends to talk to? Am I sleeping at night? I knew she was diagnosing me. These are the kinds of questions psychologists ask. The answers were yes. A few more questions: Do other things make me feel sad? Well, I sometimes feel the sadness of my son not walking with the Lord. She began to tell me that she thought I was chronically depressed and needed counseling and probably medication. It became obvious to me that she had no expectation that the Lord was equal to this task; a psychologist would have to be. She then prayed what is likely to be the least anointed prayer I’ve ever personally received, struggling for words that were coming out of her head, not her spirit, then gave me the obligatory pat-on-the-back-hug-at-a-distance, and that was that. I was stunned.
What? Counseling? Depressed? I stood to the side trying to process this, wanting to cry. I felt confused and now I really was depressed. What are You saying, Lord? It took the wind right out of my sails. I watched as 14,000 other women milled around, most looking pretty chipper. Was I the only one…uh, depressed? I couldn’t enter into the worship that ended the conference. I was somber the rest of the day, dismissing her words, but then wondering…. At the end of the day — and several times before — I gave it to the Lord and told Him to let me know if He wanted me to really go to counseling. Then I went to sleep. Yes, and slept.
The next morning I awoke with my joy back! HalleluYah!!! Y’know, you can get so used to the joy and peace of the Lord that you can forget what other people, or you used to feel on a daily basis. Never was I so aware of how the Lord’s peace surrounds me all the time and how there is a distinct absence of depression and despair in my life now. That wasn’t so years ago. I was chronically depressed then — no Lord, no real security, no real hope. After this episode I’m newly grateful for His peace and “chronic” joy!! A quiet stabilizing peace and a joy that is like light inside and not darkness. O Lord, You are so good to us!
However, I was concerned that I had been so de-stablized by the words that were said to me. They affected me like a word curse. As I began to pray about it the Lord revealed to me that some of what I was picking up was what other women were feeling as well. All that hurt hadn’t been just mine; I was feeling what perhaps hundreds of others who were up in the bleachers where I couldn’t see them were feeling. As someone who prays for the Body, sometimes God lets you feel or experience what’s going on in the Body so you can pray. If you are feeling something uncomfortable, especially in a crowd, big or small, don’t presume it’s all about you. Ask the Lord if it might be something you’re sensing that’s in others rather than it being you. You may just need to pray for them and come out of agreement that this is about you. When I can exchange the situation for the Word, I immediately change my own spiritual dynamics. I can only keep one thing in my head at a time and dwelling on the Truth makes the rest take a back seat to what God promises.
But I wasn’t that on top of things then. I was feeling a distinct, “What’s wrong with me?” hopelessness; an “I don’t know what to do to fix it” confusion; and a “Where are You in this, Lord?” doubt in Him. It had been years since I’d felt that, and I thank God that “joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). But some of you reading this may in fact be in the midst of these kinds of feelings. I want to tell you there is great hope in God. He is indeed equal to the task!
I continued to seek the Lord about why I had been so vulnerable to the attack, because that’s just what it felt like, despite what I’m sure was both women’s “well intentioned attention” to me. Then my eyes fell on the words in my Bible that said, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Mark 4:25). I knew this was a word from the Lord to me but I wasn’t sure why. I looked up the same words in Luke: “Take care how you listen; for whoever has, more shall be given, and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him” (Luke 8:18).
Take care how you listen! I had listened to words that were not in concert with the Lord’s Word or His ways, at least in my life. I do realize that there are times in people’s lives when counseling and even medication is exactly what God would want for them. This isn’t a blanket statement against those things but it wasn’t what God was saying to me. It was out of touch with what the Spirit was saying to me that day. I had listened and taken her words in, and began to wonder if her words might be true.
This verse was not saying, “be careful not to listen” but was saying take care of “how” you listen. The next verse the Lord gave me as I was reading here and there in my Bible as I felt led was, “Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). What God began to show me was that I didn’t immediately consult the Word in my heart. I didn’t have verses for this situation; I didn’t even think to look to the Word within me. I saw that a situation took away from me what I thought I had (as in “thinks he has” from the verse in Luke above), which was an ability to weather any storm because I trust in the Lord, because I hadn’t “treasured” His Word “in my heart” at that moment or even sought for a verse. I was as good as washed over by a huge wave, spiritually.
I was experiencing the potential of what little I had being taken away from me. I couldn’t even think of a verse when the enemy came in like a flood. I have never been a good memorizer. I’m a good looker-upper. So I was vulnerable because I didn’t have stored up in my heart what I needed at that moment. I know the principles backwards and forwards, but it’s the Word itself that is the only strong tower into which we can run for safety and truth when lies and threatening situations are being hurled at us.
God was saying to me that it is the Word alone that will bring us through any situation for only the Word is truth. Take what is written next as a prophetic word but take it back to Him for confirmation, just as you should for any prophetic word. He will show you it’s either not His word, or not His word for you at this time, or He may give you further insight into what’s being said. This is good practice for “being careful how you hear” any prophecy. This is what I believe the Lord is saying. Please read them and hear His voice of profound love and compassion in the words. There is no indifference in them. That’s the voice He wants us to hear when we read His Word.
There is a banquet meal being prepared in heaven for My people, for My bride. It is being prepared, even now, for those who know how to feast on My Word. There will be oil in the lamps of those who know how to get the oil for themselves, but none for those who only borrow oil from others. I will give oil for every lamp of the ones who come to Me, but for those who only feed upon the words of others but who do not know how to feed upon My voice for themselves in My Word, they will not hear My voice calling them at midnight and they will miss their opportunity.
There is no more critical issue in the Body of Messiah at this time than for each to learn to hear My voice for themselves in My Word. For a day will come when the voice of the pastors and the teachers will be few and far between. There will be a famine in the land for truth. Things will not always be as they are now. Too many of My people are dependent on what they believe is church structure to hold all things together. They are dependent upon a building, and a pastor to teach them and tell them what the issue of the week is to work on, and they do not prepare for times of difficulty.
“Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22.14). To be the chosen ones you must be able to hear My voice in My Word to you. It is My Word that will sustain you in times of trouble. My words will ward off confusion, for you will know the truth from deception. You could memorize a sermon but only that which is My Word will keep your spirit free. The sermon is the casing for My Word. Eating only the casing and not that which is meant to fill it will leave you malnourished and hungry in a time of famine. Only My Word will fill your spirit and keep you in times of leanness.
As you approach Passover be aware that lean times are coming. They are coming. Spiritually lean years are ahead. Now is the time to fill your spirit with grain, with the bread of My Word and to come to know the One Who is bread from heaven as never before. Eat of Me for I am life forever more. Eat My body; drink My blood, and let me open your spirit to what this means beyond what you currently know. Do not wait till what you think is closer to lean times to fill your (spiritual) granaries. Now is the time to prepare and store My Word in your hearts. I am knocking at this door and for those who open, I will come in and dine with you and we will eat together and you will know My presence and that I am with you always.
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Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.