Latest testimony...CONFESSIONS OF THE SOUL~
“Tears in a Bottle”
I knew when I said, I love you”, I would not get one back. I knew when I made the slightest mistake, I would be raked over the coals. But the Lord said, “It’s not toward you, it’s toward Me. Bless him who persecutes you.” So I’d feel the pain, and fight back the sting of tears, and say, “I will bless him even more.”
“Lord?”, I would ask, “show me little ways I can bless him.” I did this when I felt too tired to stand, or when I felt deeply rejected. I blessed him especially then. I did it more to please the Lord than him. And I did it according to my heart. I told myself, “I am selfless, not selfish.”
Once the Lord said to me, as I sat gazing out of the window at the tree in the front yard, the tree with its branches covered in blossoms, like white flocking, “Your heart is aching.” I had pushed this down as I had done in the old days, the days before I was saved-healed-freed and delivered by His mighty power, the days when I didn’t want to feel. But, I looked down deep within me and answered, “You are right.” He had made me face it. He had put me in touch with the pain. There was comfort in that. We remained at that window in silence, neither of us speaking another word. His presence was peaceful; the silence golden.
“I will keep you at perfect peace whose mind is stayed(fixed) on Me, for you trust in Me. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength(power, might, ability, favour).” (Isaiah 26:3-4.)
I clung to this verse. I confessed it often, and if I forgot it, and my mind began to wander, the Lord would bring it up to me again,
“I will keep you at perfect peace whose mind to stayed(fixed) on It worked too. I was at perfect peace when I kept this scripture before me, when I looked to Him. If I strayed, there was turmoil.
I kept going over Ephesians 6 again and again. First things first. Each time I felt abused, I reminded myself,
“For our conflict is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:10.
I would say, “It’s not Chris I am battling. The battle is not with him. It’s against the devil, not man, not a human being. It’s against the devil not man. God says this.
And I knew this to be true, as at the same time, I was going through the third of three tests God had warned me about. God is not the tester, as He is not tempted by evil, nor the giver of evil, as there is no evil in Him. Satan is the tempter, the tester, the trier, the persecutor. But,as I say, He, God, warned me. He never left my side, as He promises. He had told me this, given me this wisdom,
“You will know three tests in your life. In the first test, ‘you will scale the wall.’ In the second test, ‘You shall be bowed down, but refuse to bow.’ In the third, ‘You will extol highly.’ Be careful of the choices you make for they will change the course of your whole life.”
I was already in these tests
when He said this, but I had to read this prophecy out loud three times before I realised it. He had given me Isaiah 43:2 earlier that same day, and the scripture puzzled me. I could not understand why He had given it to me.
“When you pass through the waters, I shall be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overtake you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle against you.”
When He gave me the prophecy, I then could understand the scripture. And true to His word, He was always there with me, encouraging, coaching, consoling, blessing, strengthening. And before the tests, He had prepared me in some remarkable ways, too. The first two tests were hard enough, but the third? Whoa! I’ve never known anything like it. Just to give you a hint of how difficult it was, at one point the thought hit me, “This is like a nightmare; I feel like I’m in a nightmare.” In the third test, on a day when I was under attack by the enemy from the moment I awoke, as I grew so weary in mind from the fight, the Lord shared this with me,
“You’ve moved up, Paula. Deemed too hard, too wise in Godly wisdom, too committed, too strong in faith and in the Word for small fry, this is the
highest level of evil.”
I asked, “So which one is it?”
“Spiritual wickedness in high places,” God replied.
To which I answered, “Thanks for that; Thanks for that. Its good information. It sure explains why the craftiness seemed, well, craftier, and the pressing in more pressing.”
Wait and see. Or rather, wait and read the rest.
I will write about these tests separately. Actually, you can say that I am beginning to, for this period, this time the Lord terms, “Tears in the Bottle”, took shape in part, during this time period, when everything—temptations like I’ve never known; pain, suffering, grief, strange happenings—the things that trip the natural mind because they just don’t make sense in our thinking, no matter how long we ponder them, happened on a large scale, and on a daily basis, in increasing frequency.
But back to Ephesians 6: I would then go over how I was to stand against the devil and his crafty
wiles. My eyes would turn to the first verse of this how-to,
“Be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might.”
Not in my own strength, but in the Lord’s strength. Well, His strength was His grace, His might, His power, as He says here,
“My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness, therefore I will boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
I didn’t understand that at first, or even after I read it a few times. The Lord had given it first in October, and taught me a little about resting in His grace. It was only after I confessed it over and over and over again did light come about His strength.
All my life, I had been schooled to be strong in myself and to take pride in my own ability, and hearing others say, “You are such a strong person.” I hid my weaknesses. I stuffed. I swallowed. I became secretive to the extreme, so that I might appear strong. My feelings were pushed down, for I had learned that each time I let them show, I was to feel hurt, so I would recoil protectively. I was a Preacher’s kid; I was expected to be an example. And I was one, the wrong kind. Still, I put on a mask. I made stupid choices, and like the song, I looked for love in all the wrong places. But all I found was pain! I went the opposite way to God’s, and He gave me rope. I had the right to choose. God had given it to me, but without him, I always chose wrong. In the way of the world, I thought it was a man’s love I was looking for when the love I was looking for was His.
“Strong people don’t show feelings,” I reasoned. I was to become an example someday, but not of being strong in Self and not showing my weaknesses, but by laying bare my soul, naming and shaming myself, being the foolishness of God, as I am now, in order to show the mightiness of His power, the preciousness of His love, and that His entire Word is as true for today as it was back in Bible days, that He’s the same God He always was, and unchanging. Being weak, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. My life proves this. Go ahead, take a look.
“For when I am weak then He is strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10.
There’s a great price for bearing all, but it’s a burden I’m willing to pay.
“For by saving you, I will save many, Paula. By saving you, I will save many.”
I was to know death of Self more final than I ever thought possible. This death serves a great purpose: one death so many might live. Jesus did the same, only much more to the extreme. I have died to Self or selfishness, my physical life spared. But Jesus, He gave more,
“For many died by the trespass of the one man(Adam), how much more did God’s grace(unmerited, undeserved favour) and the gift that came by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, flow to the many.” Romans 5:15.
Still, I read on,
“”For just as through the disobedience of one(Adam) the many were made sinners(that’s us), so also through the obedience of the one man(this is Jesus) the many will be made righteous(given right standing with God, ability to come boldly before Him with any matter ,and any request, as if we had never sinned. Wow! This is no small thing. What a privilege this is!)” Romans 5: 19.
This says God’s grace is a gift, and when Jesus chose to die on the cross, the Salvation He gave His life to secure, is also a gift. This Salvation brings us freedom, deliverance, healing, prosperity. It makes us whole, complete, and sons of God. It gives us peace and joy. It frees us from pain, suffering, sickness, disease, lack, addiction, sin, death. Is there something in your life I haven’t listed? Well, Jesus covered that too. For all this Jesus died. Read Isaiah 53 for more details, and how Jesus went about it, and all He suffered, though the book of Isaiah was written in 722 B.C., and Jesus was not born and did not suffer until 33 A.D. Think of it—prophecies so accurate and each one fulfilled to the letter. Add Isaiah’s many to the list and we have more than 300 prophecies Jesus fulfilled by His birth, His life, his ministry, His death.
That Jesus would love me so much, as much as this, was hard for me to get my head around. Is it hard for you, too? Well, my friend, it’s true. No one loves like He does. I say “does” not “did” because this love is not past tense. He’s not dead; He lives. And I have watched Him cry for you; I have seen His tears. I have witnessed His pain, for He wants you to receive all He has for you, this great gift He died to give you. The Bible confirms,
“Wherefore He is able also to save them(me and you) to the uttermost(farthest reaches of the earth) that come unto God by him, seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them(me and you).” Hebrews 7: 25.
Now I repeat,
“…how much more(how much more, how much more!) did Gods’ grace and the gift that came by Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”
Repent and receive all He has for you. Repent, turn from the old, to the new; turn from the sin of unrighteousness to God and His righteousness. Open the eyes of your spirit, and turn, and He will heal you. Accept the gift of Jesus Christ and His love, joy, and peace will flood into your soul.
My friend, Jesus is a real Person, He’s not a concept, nor a religion. He’s a Person. So let Him in. Hear me now. Please, hear me. He wants to give you everything, a whole complete Salvation package with healing, freedom, deliverance. He forgives anything. I know. He forgave even me. He healed me. He freed me. And no matter what you’ve done, you have not done worse than me. And I stand here whole, seated to write, but standing on the inside. No matter what, come flood or high water, know this: when you say, “I love you” to Jesus, He says, “I love you” back.