Month 8:22, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5941:235 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 17 November 2017
As Yahweh Makes Ready the Vessel
The George Müller Memorial Sermons Part 3
Continued from Part 2
The George Müller Memorial Sermons (GMMS) are a series of sermons honouring the Prussian evangelist Georg Müller who founded orphanages by complete faith and dependency on Elohim (God). These sermons highlight the principles that George Müller so successfully and inspirationally lived by.
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah - grace and peace be unto you and your households. I pray you have had a close and productive time with Yahweh this week and are sensing more clearly His calling to you as we stand on the cusp of enormous change. Those who have waited patiently, stood firm and made preparations will start receiving their justification and reward.
Waiting on Yahweh
As ever, let us get to the point without wasting time. This message is for those who understand the very important need to wait on Yahweh so that they may know - clearly and without doubt - the work they are to do for Him and the sphere in which they are to serve. Indeed, one of you told me a few days ago that you were wondering which way to go now. I hope to help you answer that question today.
Avoid Carnal Decision-Making
Mature talmidim (disciples), in answer to such an important question, will always tell you to quietly await divine guidance and to take no steps toward a goal which might seem right but about which you have no heavenly confirmation. Having made such mistakes myself in days of spiritual immaturity, it is with considerable urgency that I advise you to take heed and not rush off precipitously, and most especially not at such a dangerous time as this. Do not be so impatient to resolve an important question in your mind as to make that common blunder to come to a decision in a carnal way.
Avoid Lottery Solutions
I cannot say (because I do not obviously know) what carnal methods you might be tempted to employ. There are some who, for example, use the Scriptures like a roulette wheel, opening them randomly and casting their eye on the first verse (or verses) that meets their eyes, so desperate are they for a quick answer, so unconvinced have they become that waiting longer on Yahweh will supply them with the urgent answer they crave, for fear of Yahweh turning up too late to deliver it. In my experience, Yahweh is never too late. So, please, do not resort to lottery-like methods in a vain attempt to circumscribe Yahweh's way and timing or you'll end up turning to a Hagar for a carnal solution instead of waiting patiently with Sarah. The 'wheels of fortune' belong to the occult, not to the Besorah (Gospel).
Undue Haste is Worse Than Waste
If you are unfit for a certain field of service that you feel called to, having received no clear word, then by default you are called to, first, wait on Yahweh, and second, to wait for Him. Remember, remember, that undue haste is worse than waste. The One who kept Moses waiting for 40 years before He sent Him to liberate the Israelite captives, who thrust Paul into the desert of Arabia for three years before He sent him as an apostle to the nations, and who left even His own Son 30 years in obscurity before His manifestation as Messiah - this Elohim (God) you profess to serve is not, then, likely to press you into His service in any great hurry. He says to all impatient souls:
Two Pieces of Infallible Counsel
"My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready" (John 7:6, NKJV).
If you resort to gambling, which is what the carnal way amounts to, then you will be misled, and until you have learned not to do this anymore, you will not receive your calling. There is only one safe way to deal with our Elohim (God) and it consists in two pieces of infallible counsel:
What Carnal Choices Actually Amount To
- 1. The safe guide to every crisis is believing prayer in connection with the Davar Elohim (Word of God); and
- 2. If you are uncertain as to your course, then you have more than adequate reason to continue waiting.
You will not go far wrong if you take this advice so do not lightly pass it over. It isn't worth it. Understand that the flesh is always impatient of all delay, both in decision and action, in consequence of which we can confidentaly say two things, namely that:
When Prayer is Answered
- 1. All carnal choices are immature and premature; and
- 2. All carnal choices are mistaken and unspiritual.
One reason that Yahweh is often moved to delay is to lead us to pray where we have not, because we have preferred to trust our own wisdom or experience, or maybe those of other men, more than His. In this situation, He will ensure that the answers to our prayer are deferred until:
The Motives That Drive Our Prayers
- 1. We have learned to keep the natural and carnal spirit in check; and
- 2. We have chosen to bow down to the will of Yahweh.
If you are going round and round in circles year after year without getting an answer from Heaven, then there is a greater than small chance that it is because you have not yet learned these vital lessons of servanthood. Once you have realised this emet (truth) you may very well come to understand how unfit you are for what you have been persistently asking for. Are you even ready for what it is you are asking for? So often, the apostle James, writes:
Disqualification for Divine Service
"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (with wrong motives), that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:3, NKJV).
Have you considered what it is you want? What are your motives? It's so important that you carefully think through what it is you are asking for, with much prayer and Bible study, so that first, and most importantly of all, you get a deeper knowledge and deeper experience of divine things. Impatience to settle a matter is most usually a positive disqualification for true service, because it reveals an unwillingness to endure hardship as a good soldier of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (2 Tim.2:3).
The Trial of Deferred Harvests
Understand this: there is a constant strain and drain on patient waiting which is a necessary feature of being a ministerial servant, one of which - in the case of a missionary, evangelist or pastor - is what George Müller called the trial of deferred harvests. A person who, at the outset of his life of discipleship, is unwilling to make a delay in arriving at his first decision and wait for Yahweh to reveal His will in His own way and time will, whether in the mission field or in pastoral service, lacks the patience of the farmer waiting for the precious fruit of his labour; or may simply be unable to deal with the inner silence that meets the thousand-and-one perplexing problems he faces in ministry working with either unbelievers or immature believers.
Do Not Make Lifetime-Mistakes
Some decisions will affect the entire course of your life and must therefore be all the more urgently deferred until Heaven speaks clearly and unambiguously. Don't make a lifetime's mistake, it just isn't worth it! If you wait patiently, often subsequent events will make quite clear that Yahweh's choice was quite different from the one you most eagerly desired. Closed doors - once you wished to pass through - will then be regarded as acts of mercy. Furthermore, closed doors need not necessarily mean that you are not called to something, only that it is delayed until other choices have been made first. Added to that is the important emet (truth) that what is important is what He wants for you now and not His plan for you in some distant scene, because if you don't respond to your calling now, then the distant calling will never be. Long-term vision is not something we are particularly good at knowing anyhow - we have problems enough discovering what His will for us is the next day.
The Long-Term Vision is Hidden
None of us has a clue, I dare say, as to what Yahweh's calling for us is far down the line. What He wants is usually, in any case, much larger than we could even begin to comprehend. Like Paul and his companions, we must respond to the Ruach (Spirit) on a daily basis:
Things Forbidden and Necessary Detours
"When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Ruach (Spirit) of Yah'shua (Jesus) would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas" (Acts 16:7-8, NIV).
Sometimes we are never to go where we want to; other times there are necessary detours. Your "Bithynia" may turn out to be a "Troas".
A Clear Sign of Immaturity
If you will but learn to put all questions before Yahweh in prayer - from the minute to the great - and learn to do so with increasing frequency and earnestness - then by the by you will be pleased to get answers, and more than you had even dreamed of or bargained for. Only in this way will you pass from spiritual childhood and become a spiritual adult because a failure to pray and study is a clear sign of immaturity. Why? Because so much error is committed through ignorance, for in ignorance we are weak and easily overcome. Yet do not suppose that in being spiritually mature that you have the luxury of losing that child-like simplicity which forms the true relationship between the believer and his Heavenly Father.
Forward and 'Backward' Development
What do I mean by that? Some months ago we studied the life of the British missionary to China, James Hudson Taylor. Some of you in this assembly room may remember the movie we saw of him. Taylor would often remind His coworkers that while in the natural, biological sphere, the normal order of growth is from childhood to manhood and so to maturity; but in grace - in the undeserved loving kindness of our Heavenly Father - the true development is perpetually backward toward the cradle.
The Perfection of Spiritual Childhood
What did he mean by that? Quite simply, that in the realm of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), we must become and continue as little children, lot losing, but rather gaining, childlikeness of spirit. Understand this, because it's so vital to spiritual growth: the talmid's (disciple's) maturest manhood (or womanhood) is only the perfection of his childhood. And that, to the flesh, is a most revolting, outrageous thought, because it stands in opposition to everything the world teaches about being tough, 'cool' and independent.
How Grace Works in Child-likeness
If, by the time of your old age, you are fully a little child in all your relations with your Heavenly Father, you will have arrived at the supreme revelation of what it is that upholds and drives grace. You cannot show undeserved favour to your brother or sister until you have become so, nor can you ever walk in the fullness of ministry. When you see the arrogance and self-confidence of many believers you know they have not understood, but have missed the Derech (Way) entirely. Grace, and a child-like disposition, walk hand-in-hand.
Showing Undeserved Loving Kindness
Grace is of the essence. I like the acronym, God's Riches At Christ's Expense to remind me what we're talking about because our eternal riches in heaven - and ever good thing we have or will receive - are an undeserved gift from Elohim (God). By the same token, we cannot be a blessing to others, revealing the ahavah (love) of Yah'shua (Jesus) to them - until we have learned to show grace to other people, by treating them in a way that far exceeds what they deserve. And we will never accomplish that until we have learned to be child-like.
Childish vs. Child-Like
I have often made the distinction between 'child-like' and 'childish' over the years because people confuse the two. One is innocent and at the same time spiritually mature whereas the other is far from being innocent and is highly immature. Which leads me to what I was led to share with you in the first place but which needed this very necessary introduction about grace and child-likeness first. And that is, what it means to, and actually, STAND FIRM in Yah'shua (Jesus).
Standing Firm in the Battlefield
We are at the centre of a cosmic battlefield. All around us is war. None of us wants to be in it but all of us are called to be there. It's a reason we were born here. And to be successful we have to wear that armour Paul talked about to the Ephesians (Eph.6:11-17). I am going to read it to you but on this occasion I want to lay emphasis on what it means to stand firm:
Standing Firm in Peace and Grace
"Finally, be strong in Yahweh and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of Elohim (God) so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of Elohim (God), so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of emet (truth) buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the besorah (gospel) of shalom (peace). In addition to all this, take up the shield of emunah (faith), with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Ruach (Spirit), which is the Davar Elohim (Word of Elohim (God). And pray in the Ruach (Spirit) on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones)" (Eph 6:10-18, NIV).
In that one passage, Paul tells his readers to "stand" or "stand firm" four times. Such 'standing firm' is not, however, possible without the shalom (peace) and grace that comes from being surrendered to Messiah that themselves comes by much prayer and study of the Davar (Word). Indeed, Paul finished his discourse with these words, as if to make the point:
Not as World Conquerors
"Shalom (peace) to the brothers, and ahavah (love) with emunah (faith) from Elohim (God) the Father and the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Grace to all who love our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) with an undying ahavah (love)" (Eph.6:23-24, NIV).
Now I want you to further note that Paul said "stand" and not "advance". This is not a mandate for 'Kingdom Now' theology. This is not a mitzvah (commandment) to conquer the earth because there is a world of difference between 'standing' and 'advancing' or 'conquering'. Our mission is not to conquer the earth from Satan for Messiah - our mission is to hold the ground Yahweh has given us to hold. Right now that's wherever you happen to have your home or your congregational community. We are to stand firm until Messiah returns. The Remnant is not - I repeat - NOT a conquering army...yet.
Conquerors in the Unseen Realm
Paul was a scholar. He knew how to use words, and how to use them accurately. The Ruach (Spirit) guided what he wrote. He knew the difference betweeen 'stand' and 'conquer'. We are not to go forth as conquerors in the literal sense until our King Messiah returns with His heavenly armies. Are we to conquer anything? Oh yes, beyond a doubt. We are called to be overcomers, to conquer ourselves - our 'flesh', our carnal nature, invisible Enemy strongholds, our sinful disposition....in and through Messiah, for in that sense "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Rom.8:37, NKJV).
How We Battle
But isn't the Enemy going about trying to literally conquer us? Certainly, but we are to hold our ground, relentlessly. Whether we are surrounded or outnumbered is irrelevent, because guess who is on our side? No, we stand and we fight, enjoying His shalom (peace), filled with His ahavah (love), in relationship with our Father as little children, labouring with all our might while the battle rages all around us, protecting the weak and rescuing the wounded. That's what we are supposed to be doing, and we shall do it, by His grace.
The Siege of Derry
I guarantee, if you're a 'Remnanteer', that somewhere in your ancestry there are fighters. I know there are in mine. 329 years ago one of my maternal ancestors is believed to have participated in siege that forever changed Irish, British and European history. Most of you have probably never heard of it. It is called the siege of Derry (Londonderry, Doire). This terrible siege started in December 1688 and ended on 31 July 1689, over seven months later. The defenders of the city were outnumbered and bombarded by canon day after day. Those who did not die from their wounds died from starvation and disease brought about by hunger.
History Might Have Been Very Different
The Protestant defenders of that city were tested to their very limits and more than once were ready to capitulate, so desperate was their situation. In the end, after many an adventure, relief ships bringing an English army sailed down Lough Foyle, broke the boom laid across the water by the Jacobites, and lifted the siege. If they had surrendered, Northern Ireland would have been taken by the Catholics and James II, the Catholic King of England who was trying to defend his throne against Protestant William of Orange, would have seized power in England and Scotland. The Protestant Reformation, whose 500 year anniversary we are marking this year, would have been toppled and history in Europe might have taken a very different turn indeed. The United States and Canada would have become the undisputable domain of the Roman Church.
A Terrible But Wonderful History
This famous siege, remembered by almost no one save those in Ulster, is commemorated yearly in August by the Apprentice Boys of Derry. The blood-red flag of this city in Northern Ireland with the city coat of arms in the centre consisting of a skeleton sitting on a mossy stone next to a castle tells, bespeaks something of this city's terrible but incredible history. But faith, courage, loyalty, and determination won the day. Its defenders considered honour more important than honours. The motto of the city, Vita, Veritas, Victoria - Life, Truth, Victory - is therefore appropriate.
The Fire of the Remnant
Those who knew my late mother will remember that, in spite of her small stature and frailty, she was fiery and possessed a quality of endurance. She was a battler and a survivor. That was the Irish in her. I guarantee that if you are of the Remnant, then there is some fire in you too - a steely determination to pursue chayim (life) and emet (truth) until victory. So hold your ground as a faithful soldier of Messiah, wearing your full armour, ready at the drop of a hat to do battle.
A Prayer for Warriors
I want today to end by sharing with you a prayer by Sharon Gilbert from her Redwing Saga of Christian novels. I hope it will be as inspirational to you as has been to me:
"Our Gracious and wonderful Saviour and King, we humbly come to Your throne this morning, many of us weighed down with the troubles of the day already, some with health issues, some with financial woes, others with concerns about family and friends, some carrying fear and doubt that darkens the soul and devours the mind - but no matter what our worries, no matter what our concerns or our anxieties, no matter the dross or decay of the world that rises to the top and surrounds, they all vanish and are vanquished in the light of Your face!
"It is unusual for me to speak before such an honourable gathering of fellow soldiers. I say this not because most of these bear noble titles, but because they bear noble scars. Physical as well as spiritual. I have watched the men of this circle rush into battle wearing naught but Your promises upon their mortal frames, weilding nary an ax, but flashing the sword of the spirit in the eyes of the enemy. A double-edged blade likened unto the Word of Elohim (God) that proceeds out of them with a fiery vengeance! But as brave as these deeds are - as valiant as their exploits in armour might be, this circle's greatest achievements are accomplished not on the battlefield but within the quietness of the prayer closet. Before these men take their feet, they spend time on their knees. Every one of them, and it is my honour to be called their fellow.
"I know not what plans the enemy now devises, my Lord, but You do. Help us to unmask their faces and uncover their secrets. Let us rise to the fight until our arms fail and our breath be gone. Let us crawl when our legs will no longer run, whisper when our voices fail, feel our way forward when our eyes become blind. Bind upon our hearts a love for one another that knows no language other than love and knows no title other than brother or sister. Help us to serve You with all our strength, soul, and mind until the end of our days, and when those days are done, to continue encouraging our beloved fellows whilst we kneel before Your throne.
"As St.Paul wrote, 'Wherefore seeing we also are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Yah'shua (Jesus) the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim (God).' (Heb.12:1-2)
"Saviour and King, I shall consider it a privilege to be counted amongst that cloud of witnesses one day, standing alongside men who contintue to battle upon the field. May that day come for us all when our Saviour returns. In the meantime, we consider it all joy to partake of only a small share of that which You endured on our behalf. Thank you for each man here. In the name of our King, I ask it. Even Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus). Amen." 
May the gracwe of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) go with us all this day and always. Amen.
Continued in Part 4
 Derek P.Gilbert, The Great Inception: Satan's Psyops From Eden to Armageddon (Defender Publishing, Crane, MO: 2017), pp.299-300