Jesus Did It!
By: Karen Parrish
I'd like to share one particular personal encouragement. For I've learned that often where He is most dealing with me, I learn that others are experiencing the same. One of the characteristics God requires to be in His Bride is absolute honesty ' no guile. I have recently been granted a gracious opportunity to repent of 'a little white lie' that overtook me at a moment of weakness. I assist in the care of a sister in Christ who has undergone a severe chastening over the past 9 years. I have been granted time with her several days each month, and I have observed the work of God in purifying this woman. God has used her to purify me and I am eternally grateful for His perfecting me through fellowship with this dear woman of God.
This past week I went to care for her on my scheduled last Wednesday of the month. When I came into her house, I sat at her feet to talk with her. The first thing she asked me concerned something she had asked my husband to do for her many months ago. For whatever reason, we had forgotten to place an ad in a local Trading Post. She had a couple of pieces of medical equipment that she wanted to sell, as she needed the money now. Just six weeks ago, I told my husband that I would take care of this for him, since he seemed to be hindered in getting it done.
This sister assumed that we had placed the ad and was now asking me about renewing it. She said, 'I need to know if you will renew the ad, because it has been over a month now since you placed it, right?' I sidestepped answering her directly and told her that 'No, it had not been a month. That I'd have to check with my husband, but I was sure it had not been running for over a month, now.' I was shocked as I heard these words come out of my mouth. For I knew that I was not being honest with her. I knew that I was actually lying to her because I was not wanting to again tell her that we'd let this slip. So, I made it sound like we had placed the ad, when I knew I had not done so. I told my husband 'I' would place it, and then I forgot ' just like he had forgotten time and time again.
I left her feet and went into the kitchen and cried out to God to forgive me for lying. I told Him that I would take care of this as soon as I got home and please forgive me. He made me know that was not sufficient. He wanted me to tell my sister what I had done and ask her to forgive me for lying to her. I was aghast! For I knew that this would greatly wound our friendship and she would most probably have a great emotional trial to deal with. So, I then told him I'd write her a letter once I got this done and tell her in a letter. He again made me know that this was not acceptable ' for this is again what He used to purify me: 'What if I come for you before you get that written?' I knew I would not be ready to receive the Blessed Hope. So, I surrendered and decided I would tell her as soon as we got in the car and left her house.
I went out to the car and started it so it could warm up. I came back, got her into her wheelchair and took her out to the car. She asked that I cut the engine off so the gas fumes wouldn't be fuming in her face. So, I did so. I got her settled in the car, returned the wheel chair to her house and then got in behind the wheel. I turned the key and the engine would not start. I began to pray and I knew I was not on believing ground. I knew I could not ask God to start that engine when I was hiding my sin. So, I sat still, looked at my sister and said, 'Joyce, I am going to have to tell you something before I pray. I cannot pray until I tell you this.' So I shared with her what I had just fallen into in her living room. I told her how sorry I was, that there was no excuse for this, but that I really didn't want to disappoint her. Just like a little child who had been caught doing something I should not be doing, I had lied. God had forgiven me and I needed her forgiveness. She was so very tender, so very kind and so very understanding. She instantly received my repentance and forgave me.
We prayed and the car would not start. Then,
immediately, the postman came to deliver her mail. I got out of the
car and told him we were having engine trouble. He walked over to the
uplifted hood, asked me to turn on the headlights. The lights didn't
come on. When I told him I had just started the car five minutes
before, he jiggled the battery cable and VOILA! He found the problem.
We got the cable tightened, the car started, and we went on our way.
We had no sooner begun to move out of the driveway when this dear sister was quickened and convicted that she had held a little grudge against this postman. She thought he sometimes didn't bring her mail to the door and she was instantly convicted of this little judgment in her heart. So, she confessed that to God, and the two of us felt like we'd both been given the most wonderful bubble bath in God's presence. We began to rejoice and spent a good part of the beginning of our trip enjoying the sweet presence of our Lord in that car.
I know Jesus could come today. I know He could tarry for another few days, weeks, months and years ' if our Father so chose to extend such mercy upon such a present evil world. But, I also know that His Holy Spirit requires us to be instant to keep our garments washed in the blood in order to be ready for the Wedding. He is going to see to it that our garments are white, that they are spotless and that wherever we've sat down on being instant to pray, that we are repentant and the wrinkles of sitting down rather than rising up and being about DOING the will of God ' all such things are going to be removed.
So, be of good cheer and to God continue to draw near. Don't waste a moment in hiding any sin. If you've not yet done so, may I encourage you to ask your Father to show you any place of dishonesty in your life? Is there anything that you have hidden that He wants you to bring out in the open to Him to confess? Is there any brother of sister to whom He requires you to go and make things right? Is there any hidden grudge that separates you from anyone in your life? If you've done all you can do to reconcile every relationship that He puts on your heart, then be at peace. Continue to pray and witness as He leads you. But know ' He could come today and He has set Himself upon making His Bride ready. We are partakers of such great grace that NOTHING can indeed separate us from His love, and His loving hand of correction and perfection. For faithful is He who has promised who also will do it!
Also, recently, I've run across some helps that have continued to promote where my own spirit is wide awake, watching and flaming. I send them on to any of the rest of you that are likewise trimming your lamps.
We only have ONE opportunity to be found worthy to escape all that is coming on this earth ' that opportunity is moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day ' be instant to confess our sins as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. Be committed to trust His power to deliver us from all sin and keep us from falling again.
Look unto Jesus' blood as sufficient in power to remove all guilt of past transgressions and praise God with all that is within us for Jesus' perfections, Jesus' righteousness that is ours by the marvelous gift of grace. Be bold in our faith and continue to share the gospel and warn every man of the judgment that is at hand and the Kingdom of God's coming so very soon ' possibly even today. Oh, how I so hope that the Blessed Hope is just moments away! But, if we have to endure yet more tribulation prior to being swept up in Jesus' embrace, God's grace is sufficient and He will not fail to fulfill His promise to each of us who have it, who are holding to Him for it, and who are living worthy of receiving it!
If we sin ' IF we sin ' we have an advocate ' Jesus Christ the Righteous! And we have a Faithful God who has promised to cleanse US from ALL unrighteousness if we will only truly confess our sins, repent of them, put them away, count upon His strength for our every weakness and He will not remember them any more! Let us not be pulled back and away from pressing on and into the Kingdom of God. For truly, it is at hand. Maranatha!
God bless each of you and keep you in His love toward Him and towards one another.
In Jesus' Name .
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