Welcome back for Part 2 of my review on my recent message, “The Journey.” In Part 1 of this series I shared about my early experience as a Believer in Christ—taking you through five unique faith lessons God taught me during that time.
In the second half of this series, I evaluate the next phase of my life, where tribulations arose to test and challenge my faith and deepen my intimacy with Him.
Twelve spiritual lessons that changed my life (continued)—
6) After You Go Through Your Fiery Furnace, Don’t Cry… Sing!
“‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the Lord. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!’”—Jeremiah 18:6
This is one of the hardest lessons to learn. You need to understand that the Lord is going to trust you with situations and times where you absolutely don’t feel Him.
When I was transitioning from business into the ministry we took a sabbatical for a year. I was sitting on our deck at the side of the lake and the Holy Spirit asked, “Will you give Me permission to take My Spirit from you?”
I had to think about it, eventually I said yes, and at the very moment immediately I went into a panic attack, my heart beat so rapidly that I got clammy. This lasted about 10 seconds and then His Spirit came back—total peace was restored, and the Lord said to me, “Don’t ever forget this feeling, because this is what happens when I take My hand off the clay.” It was like everything started to funnel in to darkness.
You and I must agree with the potter’s design for the clay. We cannot decide that we want to look or become like someone else, we have to be at peace that whatever God does with us is beautiful in His sight. You have to be at peace with your call, big or small. In God’s Kingdom, bigger isn’t better. Every calling is special to Him. Whatever He makes you, you need to rejoice in that. And you need to understand that while He’s shaping the clay, He will never take His hand off the clay while He shapes it.
When the Potter finishes a vessel, He’ll place it in a fiery furnace, and when He pulls it out, He thumps it. When the pot has gone through this process correctly… the pot won’t crack… It will sing a beautiful tone when it is thumped!
We must remember that after we’ve gone through the fiery furnace, it’s time to sing!
7) Sonship is the Key to Hearing the Lord’s Voice
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”—John 10:27
Sons listen, slaves and servants always ask questions. Sons expect the Father to help them every time. Sons don’t have to ask questions, because sons trust the Father.
Sonship births hearing His voice. You can go to all the prophetic schools you want to develop your spiritual gifts, but trust and love in the Father will bring up the volume of hearing and knowing His voice…
His voice can be soft or loud based off your circumstances. Your ‘inner knower’ is enhanced by intimacy with Him on a daily basis.
I’m going to say this again, because it’s important. Slaves and servants don’t listen, they only have questions, but sons expect their fathers to help them every time—and expectation is critical in your relationship with God. You need to expect above and beyond.
Remember, He is smarter than you, on time, and always looking out for you. He is your Shepherd, you can trust Him!
8) Don’t Quit Too Soon
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.’”—Exodus 6:1
When Moses got to a place where He wouldn’t quit, no matter what man thought, not only did Pharaoh let him go, but He left him with all the provision of Egypt.
Most people quit right before the delivery date. It’s very sad, and then they have to go around the mountain again.
What is your personal trust lesson? If you don’t know… trust lessons are easy to find out. Whatever is coming out of your mouth is the issue.
Listen to what you are saying. Just listen to what you are complaining about. Get out a pad and write out your complaints, these areas are lack of trust in God. Get delivered from that fear, kill it at the root—when you do, God will release you and get you free from the hands of Pharaoh.
You must know God’s covenant and stand on it and with thanksgiving rejoice and fill the atmosphere with thanksgiving. Do not fill the air with complaining—it damages your seed!
9) God is Not a Man That He Should Lie
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.”—Numbers 23:19-20
You must know that it is impossible to break His covenant promises found in scripture. It has taken me 26 years to learn this… but this is the key.
God is only on the hook for what the scriptures say. If you have a request, bring it before the Lord, asking for a scripture to help back you up.
I have learned that if I have a desire born in my soul, and I’ve chosen not to be obedient or to follow the above process, then He won’t answer—no matter what scripture I quote.
Many times Believers come to me after they have chosen to tackle a new desire. These are time wasters. They have already put the whole thing together, but they want to know at this stage, “Is it God?” and then ask if I will bless it?
What am I supposed to say to them when it’s not and they’re already so invested? “No, that’s not God! That’s a dead work!” If you really want the Lord to bless it, come to me before you’ve tried half a dozen ways to make it work in your own strength.
Many times we do this same thing with God. We will put everything together in our own strength and then we bring it and ask the Lord to please bless it. Then when we are 6 months along and major problems start to arise, we want to know if we should quit.
When we take on a new venture, because we are motivated by fear, this is not the will of God. It’s always better to ask and find out you shouldn’t, than to try and find out you don’t want to do this in the first place.
10) The Lord Wants to Give you Liberty: He Wants You to be FREE and Effective
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”—Isaiah 30:21
There is a season where God looks to see if He can trust us with little. There is a season where we are on a choke collar, but He is training us so that He can trust us with freedom.
We had a Doberman once who was trained by professionals. When she was set free, no matter how far I let her wander, she always kept one eye on me. If I called, she came running and immediately set at my feet with her head against my leg.
You must get to a place where you tell yourself, “Even in this liberty, I’m keeping my eye on You.” The Lord won’t have your eye unless He has your heart.
11) Will You Trust the Lord When You’re Right… to be Treated as Wrong?
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.”—Job 13:15
This is one of the hardest lessons. Sometimes the Lord will ask you for a gift. He’ll say, “I know you are completely right in this situation… and I know that your brother is wrong, but I’ve been trusting you with lessons one through twelve, and your brother is only a number three. I need a favor from you now. I need to make it appear that you were wrong, when you were really right. You and I know that you’re right and that’s all that should matter. Everyone else will think that you were wrong, but I need you to cover your brother's nakedness.”
I’m telling you that by the time you get to eleven, it is much easier, because lack of obedience is no longer an option. It still feels awful, but you know that as long as you and God are okay, that’s all that matters.
As long as He says, “Your heart was right… I’m proud of you,” the rest of the world can say, “Bad Curt,” and it really doesn’t matter, because I am at a point that I’m okay with it.
Many times for us in this situation, it would be easier to produce the paper trail, because we are business people and don’t do anything without a paper trail. From the time you start doing business with us, every text, email, everything is in order. But see, with this lesson you can’t even knee-jerk and say, “Don’t you know I have a paper trail?”
When you finally get to number eleven, you don’t care that you have all the evidence, because God asked you for a favor to cover them…
See, you’re going to make it through this, but they won’t if you don’t cover their sin, and it breaks the Father’s heart to lose just one to the enemy.
When you take the hit and cover them, then you are finally learning the real ministry of Jesus.
12) You Cannot Afford Unforgiveness
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”—Luke 6:37-38
The Lord wants to know that you’ll accept what He’s called you to do and not compare yourself to others.
As long as you are willing to become like the story of Much Afraid in the book, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places,” as she transitioned into Acceptance with Joy and Bearing in Love—then you can never again become crippled by sorrow and suffering.
Then, and only then, will you be able to go where He leads you. And, whatever He trusts you with, will hold a deeper meaning…
Do you want to know what that meaning is???
It’s a relationship with Him. He calls us to deeper things in Him. Not just at the end of your life, but now. Knowing Him IS the highest joy.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this time of review. We want to invite you to join us LIVE either in person or online, every Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT, and Friday at 7:45 p.m. CT.