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Month 1:21, Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5939:21 AM
2Exodus 2/40, Messianic Countdown 72/11
Gregorian Calendar Thursday 9 April 2015
The Great 2015 Dedication
TESTIMONIES IV:
Deborah Peterson
by Deborah Peterson (South Africa Mission)

    Continued from Part 19

    AVIV 21

    Greetings to everyone reading this in Yah'shua!

    Thank you for giving me the chance to share what Father Yah has been doing for and in me during this season of cleansing and dedication. It's been a very precious and blessed time for me, and I hope that others who may have been walking the same road (or struggling with some of the same things I have been) may be encouraged in Yah!

    Coming into the cleansing and dedication season, I found myself wrestling with quite a few things in my heart - except for past hurts and difficult situations I've been in, I found myself wrestling with guilt, shame and self-blame about bad choices I had made after being saved, questions if (and how) I could still be used for Elohim's service (and to His glory), great loneliness and a deep sense of dissatisfaction (and at times, desperation and deep discouragement) with the sense of distance I felt between myself and Elohim, yet also the desire to hide myself from Him, because I felt so unworthy and unclean, and feared how He might react towards me if I drew near. These are things you may be able to avoid during the day - during the race and rumble and distraction of busyness and things that need to be done and attended to - but they patiently wait for you by your bed for that time when you are alone and the distractions have gone to lock heads with you again, and you find yourself struggling to remove yourself from their grip as they grab and twist and press your heart and mind and spirit. I tried to avoid these giants by slowly filling my time and heart and spirit with more and more distractions, avoiding the quiet where I felt they were waiting for me at the side-lines - where I felt tired and lonely and deeply discouraged.

    When Elohim spoke to us about the season of cleansing and dedication, I felt the Ruach telling me to do a media fast - for a period to completely cut out all secular media: movies, TV series, music games, social media, web browsing - and instead, to spend time with Elohim.

    When the cleansing season (and my media fast) began, it was challenging! I 'itched' to watch or listen or play or research things, and had to keep turning to the Ruach to help me not to do so, and at the same time was also struggling with reading Scripture or listening to sermons or messages. I knew (and the Ruach reminded me) that these difficulties had deeper roots, and the purpose of the fast wasn't just to avoid media, but to trust Elohim and face those roots with Him, and to keep going, to keep holding on to Him through the process while it was difficult or uncomfortable.

    Praise Yah for the people He also sent along the way who offered to pray for me, and who were kind and patient and willing when I asked for prayer! As we continued during that cleansing period, Elohim started changing things in my heart and being, and I know those prayers played a huge role in that! For everyone who prayed for me - thank you so much for the role you've played in the healing and transformation Elohim has been granting and working in me! And please, I ask for your continued prayer!

    As the cleansing period continued, Elohim started opening my heart more to the truths of Scripture that I was reading and was being shared by those Scriptural teachers I was listening to. Elohim helped me to see and have hope anew in Yah'shua, and what Father Yah did for us through Him - to know there is truly grace for me in Messiah, including for the bad choices and the things I had done after I had been saved, and that I was forgiven and have freedom from them.

    He reminded and showed me anew the hope I have in Yah'shua, because in salvation He created a new person and inseparably connected me with Yah'shua. We act out of our identity (or what we believe our identity is), which is why at the centre of Yahweh's salvation was changing our identities. If Father Yah wants holy living, He had to start by creating a holy people first, and He has done this through Yah'shua, in all of us who believe! To get different fruit, he had to change the trees first - not expect the trees to try to bear fruit in order to become a different kind of tree. Life is living and walking out of the truth that He has already connected us and made us holy in Yah'shua, rather than trying to act our way into being holy and being connected.

    Father Yah also showed me that I've already been given everything I need in Messiah, because everything Yah'shua has, I have, and everything Yah'shua can do, I can do, because He connected me to Yah'shua. If Yah'shua can take the next right step, I can take the next right step. If Yah'shua can keep trusting Father Yah in circumstances like mine, I can keep trusting Father Yah in circumstances like mine. If Yah'shua can keep hoping through my circumstance, I can keep hoping through my circumstance. I can do all these things because He's connected me to Yah'shua! Praise Yah!

    He reminded me again that we all have hope for transformation in Him, and that there was no issue - no matter how long we have wrestled with it and it seemed to continue to loom - that cannot be overcome in Him. No matter how long your Goliath has been taunting you, saying things will never change and reminding you how long he's been there, boasting that He will take you, know and have hope in Yah'shua, the son of David, who in the power of Elohim slew all our giants at the cross. Through Him, our Goliaths can and must fall!

    In light of all these things, Elohim also showed me that He can still use me - that my past mistakes and bad choices weren't too dark, because His salvation is great enough, and even if I have difficult or limiting circumstances, that is not enough to stop Yah from being able to use me through them still. In the same way Elohim could save Saul to become Paul, and to use him powerfully even when he was bound in chains (under 'house arrest'), Elohim can change and use me. As He showed me these truths, I chose to surrender, and I told Father Yah I would trust Him and be obedient as He called me to service, and not resist Him because of feeling unworthy (rather than trusting His salvation through Yah'shua) or limited circumstances.

    This time of cleansing and dedication has been a very precious time for me. There were some very difficult days as well (especially was the enemy began to attack and push back as Elohim began to work), but Elohim has been changing me degree by degree. I know there is much He still needs to do in me, but I also sense a new and brighter light within my soul as Elohim has been making these truths real to me, and I'm more encouraged (and grounded) than I have been in a long time. He has begun something new in me and I'm excited for what He's doing and this path ahead. I have hope and new strength, and I praise Elohim for that!

    Again, thank you for everyone's prayers and the role you have played in Yah's work in me. Please, I ask that you would continue to keep me in prayer! I pray Father Yah will do a great work of love among us, to His glory!

    Blessings in Yah'shua our Hope,

    Deborah

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