Last evening with not many words left to utter I laid on the grass looking up into the sky through the Crape Myrtle tree (pictured). Pondering wild faith and long suffering, have I done all I know to do? Have I yielded? And then after having done all you know to do – contend and stand and believe … oh it made me tired just pressuring myself. Spent, I laid back into the grass and gazed upward. It’s ok to not have the answers and it’s ok to not understand. But it’s not ok to have doubt and unbelief in my heart, and this is the great wrestle as I want no part of the later. Earlier in the morning I was re-reading out of Hebrews 11, 12 to strengthen my soul in my weakness, “faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses”, and then dialoguing with Lord ‘How do I obtain this type of faith written about of hero’s of old?’. The Bible writes that out of reverence Noah built the ark unto the Lord. Just thinking of his example leaves me speechless.
Physical realities were defied early on for me. I visited heaven before my brother and sister passed away, and I also dreamt of heaven often. I spent time with Jesus, and even after the accident at just newly five years old I had my first out of body encounter with Jesus in the sky. I carried a lot of faith, I even believed years after my siblings passings that they could be raised from the dead. I would say (assuredly) until more recently that I carry the gift of faith. I remind the Lord often what I believe He has spoken to me, the type of person that will hold on until the very end!
Understanding warfare and the Spirit realm is not new to me. I am not an expert, but I have operated in a Seer anointing (see, know and feel) since I can remember. For example, I cried through weddings as a young child because I was grieved, I knew it was not right, and the consequence of those unions I would later experience and see was detrimental, so much so that just weeks after one of the marriages I witnessed the man try to kill his wife and I had to get help. Another example is the night of the accident we made a stop at a home and when I walked through the door I felt a thick blanket of evil (I was not even 5 years old), within minutes of leaving the fatal car accident occurred. Years and years of experiencing the Lord and the spirit realm like this, and yet recently I question myself like never before. I question my ability to hear rightly, to discern, to apply, to steward, and my love for God. Many in the Body of Christ, including seasoned leaders and prophets are experiencing this type of mental warfare as well.
The Body has been assaulted, pushed, pruned, and tested like never before. The mental pressure coming against me recently felt like it was going to break me. Just when you think the air is clear, it’s suddenly muddy and confusing again – another reason we are to bear one another’s burdens and cover each other in prayer. Jesus sent His disciples out two by two, as there is power in agreement and that same power we need now more than ever to make it in this last hour. While there is warfare coming from our adversary, most of (if not all) the pruning and testing is from the Lord! You may be thinking it’s cruel, as I for one recently said to the Lord through hot tears, “why must You test me so harshly?”. I mean for real though, are most of our lives on the line? What feels harsh really isn’t in the scheme of things, though no doubt it may be painful. You may have heard me express some of this over the last nearly two years, though I believe some of the reasons we have been in a long season of intense testing are: 1. “If you don’t make it now, you will not make it later” We are building stamina. 2. In general we have been ‘asleep’ for a very long time, our muscles and movements need to be strengthened within the Body as a whole as we regain power and come back into the awareness of our true identity in Christ. Think endurance and strength training. Our minds are being sharpened as we go deeper into the foundation of the Word of God. 3. The mental warfare is so strong because the Lord is trying to sync us with His systems, and rid us of the patterns of the world. This is a transformation of the mind, which is sometimes the most difficult but the most essential. 4. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken as we are inheriting an unshakable Kingdom, therefore we must also be unshakable! 5. The Lord is returning for a pure and spotless Bride who has made herself ready, she is mature. Mature people bear fruit, and good fruit can only be present when the branches have been pruned. Mature sons and daughters yield to pruning and testing because they trust their Maker’s touch, and know it connects them more closely to His heart. 6. The Lord is preparing us for rulership and authority to inherit nations with Him. 7. Purification is for the glory of our King, that we may become the transformed. And if you endure until the end you will receive a victor’s crown!
It was August 27, 2020 I heard in the Spirit the word, “forbearance”. One of the definitions of forbearance is the exercise of patience; long suffering. More than any other Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, I believe we need the fruit of patience as we ready ourselves for the return of the Lord. Most people have not endured the wait for this fruit to be developed, however 1 Corinthians 13 writes that love (which also happens to be the first listed fruit of the spirit) suffers long, is patient and kind. Another version writes that love endures with patience and serenity. You see, it’s one thing to be able to carry something for a period of time, but the longer we have been trained to carry the further the distance we can go through the endurance built. From a larger perspective as those called to be carriers of God’s presence we have been training for the fulfillment of the Habakuk 2:14 scripture, “But [the time is coming when] the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” One of the definitions of glory in the Bible is described as weight, the weighty presence of God. Some have misunderstood this season of long suffering as crushing for punishment, but it is crushing for endurance, for oil, for wheat, and new wine. I was reminded of an encounter I had near that time when I heard “forbearance” in 2020, my arms became arms of bronze and my fingers like flames of fire. I was going through such heated testing and training in the summer of 2020 that I had manifestations where my arms from my elbows down were completely red and my face as well, and later started experiencing encounters marked feeling heavy weight over me while sleeping, and in my arms and legs. While the lessons in the testings have shifted, they have not totally dissipated. “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1: 2-4 AMP. When I was in my 20’s I had a dream that I gave birth to a toddler. In the dream I named him, and I know by the meaning of the boy’s name what this represents. It is a promise that has yet to come to pass, one of the main reasons for my long suffering and need of endurance, however if we assume how can a woman birth a toddler lest it kill her? Exactly, the Lord is strengthening us to carry His glory, but also to birth His divine will and plans that are bigger than us into the earth realm. We can agree that it is physically impossible for a woman to birth a toddler, which is why we must come into agreement with the Spirit. What the Lord is doing is supernatural, it is not by force or by strength, not by might or by power, but by His Spirit! (Zechariah 4:6).
I’ve often said to myself over this last year, “if you can get through this, you can get through anything”. Giving up on MY ability, last evening while looking through the Crape Myrtle tree I thought how vibrant the flowers were, yet it didn’t seem very appropriate for the autumn season. I asked my friend what type of tree it was, and then looked up characteristics, “The colorful, long-lasting blossoms of crape myrtle make it a showpiece in classic Southern gardens. But it is not a particularly delicate plant and it can thrive in conditions that would be a challenge for other plants.” While I may argue that I am more inwardly delicate than not (insert smile), I agree this is a prophetic picture of beauty in the long suffering; I see a parallel in long-lasting vibrant blossoms and long suffering. Rest in the yielding. An ability to thrive in challenging conditions. You are being made strong, rooted, and destined to overcome. Take a breath, look up, receive grace and mercy.
“Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly] and longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed (happy, fortunate) are all those who long for and wait for Him [since He will never fail them].”
Isaiah 30:18 AMP
“For this reason the Lord is still waiting to show his favor to you so he can show you his marvelous love. He waits to be gracious to you. He sits on his throne ready to show mercy to you. For Yahweh is the Lord of justice, faithful to keep his promises. Overwhelmed with bliss are all who will entwine their hearts in him, waiting for him to help them.”
Isaiah 30:18 TPT
Love & Blessings
One thought on “THRIVING IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS; LOOKING UP THROUGH THE CRAPE MYRTLE TREE”
Amazing journey He has us on and I agree and feel your deep emotions!
Blessings Van Mason
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