April 5, 2016
In spite of my many mental distractions, somehow because I called out to Jesus for help, He reeled my mind back in from its worldly preoccupations, and drew me into His secure arms. And I worshipped Him.
My mind would wander from time to time, but He continued to draw me back. Finally, after a while, I felt the necessity to just talk to Him.
So I said, "Lord? Can we talk?"
He answered me, "To your hearts content, My dear one."
So, I turned the music off and sat with Him. I confessed my fault - well, to explain, I've got these Kindles that are loaded with all kinds of things for the left behind. For any of my children that might be left behind. When I went to Amazon to look for something, some really interesting books popped up that I thought would be really helpful. I downloaded them onto all the Kindles and realized, 'You know what? You're getting distracted. You were getting up from your nap to come in here and pray - and here you are.'
So, I felt pretty guilty when I came into prayer. I said, "Lord, I am so sorry for my foolishness, my sickness, my shallowness. Oh, how I hate being this way - so easily distracted and drawn off course."
He answered me, "But it does keep you humble."
Well, if humble means being disgusted with myself, yes. It does...
"You should never be totally happy with yourself, lest you fall into complacency."
"No, really. These falls are definitely working to your favor to keep you lowly, humble and oh-so-aware of your weaknesses. It is the souls who think they are strong and have it all together that are headed for the worst fall.
"Your shortcomings, Clare, are My gift to you. Can you believe it? I really, really mean that."
They're a gift?? Well, I never looked at it that way, exactly. I thought my faults were displeasing to You.
"Which is more displeasing to Me, a little OCD behavior - or Pride?"
That's easy. Pride.
"Yes, Pride, and for that reason it is better for you to have faults and weaknesses, human nature."
But Lord, You really hurt me the other night when you said that I was still too worldly.
"Would you rather I lie to you or say nothing?"
When He said that, I really thought about it. And I said, "Must I be honest? Well, now that you mention it, I'd rather know now while there is time to improve than find out later that I was deceived about myself."
"Yes, you see. This serves a twofold purpose, to remind you of how weak you really are, My Darling Clare, and how much I love you anyway. And to reveal the truth: you need to improve and I am here at your side willing to help you. In fact, even tonight, I helped you pull away from a serious distraction. You see, My Love? I am helping you - while keeping you well aware of your shortcomings to protect you from Pride. How can you be proud when you know all these things about yourself? You simply can't. So, I continue to illuminate your conscience so that you will see the truth about yourself."
My mind began to drift on the outrageous and evil things being said about me lately on the Internet. And though I did not say anything to Him, He addressed it. Sometimes I think He puts those distractions in my head so He can answer them!
He continued, "Were your enemies to walk all over you with your faults they would be justified, but unfortunately they are way off base and even laughable to those who know you. But you enduring in patience, without hostility, is witness enough that I am truly living in you, Clare. No one could endure these things without supernatural love and come away still praying from the heart for their enemies."
Well, after He said that, my mind shifted to the BIG question...you know, the one we all ask ourselves every day: how much longer, Lord? But I didn't say anything. Of course, He answered my thoughts.
"Yes, I hear your musings. 'How much longer Lord?' I hear you. And I say to you, I said 'tiny increments' and I am still saying 'tiny increments'. As long is there is a little hope, a little fruit and more conversions than falls, well, tiny drops of Mercy are still holding the door open.
"You must choose your allegiance: your audience... or Me?"
Oh, Jesus, that's not even a contest. You have won my heart for all time and as long as Your grace continues to hold me fast to Yourself, You will always come first.
"Then you must stop asking Me and be satisfied with the answer that tiny increments are holding that door of Mercy open for the stragglers. And until the Father says, 'ENOUGH!' you must continue in patience, no matter how ostracized and criticized you are. As long as I am happy with you, Clare, what does it matter?"
I just don't want little ones to be scandalized Jesus...because you said weeks not months.
"I did indeed say that and afterwards I said 'tiny increments.' Do you know what that means?"
Ummm...tiny increments... Hours? Days?
"Yes, Beloved, only minutes. Do you understand how Big My Mercy is? Do you understand that as long as life's breath continues on in a soul and they are on the edge of conversion? Do you understand, I have extended the time in increments...but increments of minutes?"
Wow. That's really amazing, Lord!
"It's really My Heart of Love for the lost, Dearest. If you understood the true depth of love I have for the lost, you would be totally perplexed that I could allow anything injurious to happen to them, let alone an event that will swallow up the innocent along with the guilty."
Lord, I feel as though You are truly speaking Your Heart to me.
He smiled, "Indeed I am, My spouse, indeed I am. So, what is it to you if you are called names and calumniated with fabrications and lies - does it matter, Clare?
Truly, does it matter even in the least little bit?"
Well, it does in the sense that I now resemble You and what the Pharisees said about You.
"Yes, you've learned your lesson well. The Bride must resemble the Groom. Let them carry on, but you keep your eyes on Me, follow Me. Oh, this is so highly pleasing to Me. Do you know what truly good company you are in?"
I pondered that for a second. The Scripture: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5:12
I thought about that and my heart just melted, as I know I'm NOT worthy to be included in that group. What an honor!
But I said, "Oh, Jesus, You are so kind to me. But what about the little ones, that are turned away and scared by these lies?"
"Some I will convict that these are total lies. And some I will lose. Yet there are still doors into My Kingdom that have yet to open. Pray for them. I will lead and guide them, but they must be sensitive.
"Do you know why you are most hated by your enemies?"
"That you teach others to come to Me to learn how to discern is huge. But that is not what you are most hated for. They hate you for your love and the way you portray My Love for you and for all souls. That is why you are most hated. You have broken down the walls of legalisms, therefore people can no longer be manipulated by guilt.
"The powers of darkness have labored for hundreds of years to present Me as a judgmental God who is constantly looking to the sins of the people and telling them they are guilty and have no hope. They have put a hook in the mouths of the people to manipulate them, to steer and to crush them. And you have taken the hook out and set them free, by telling them and demonstrating to them, My Love is greater than their guilt and My Love leads them to repentance. It restores hope and leaves the enemy with no legalistic religious leverage with which to manipulate souls.
"This was the great sin of the Catholic Church: manipulation. I wanted souls to be drawn to Me out of love, not fear. I lived My entire life without inspiring fear or guilt in the souls of all men and women. The only judgment I meted out was to the Scribes and Pharisees, whose hearts were blackened by political and financial gain, even to the point of Baal worship. How could they recognize Me? They were of their father, the devil.
"So, now history repeats itself and those with a controlling religious spirit have found their way into every denomination with their lust for control. The entire game plan from the enemy is to make men feel so guilty for their sins, they withdraw from Me. Or refuse to even approach Me. How common is it that you have seen and heard people say, 'I'm not good enough for God. When I get good enough for God, I'll turn to Him.' And of course, that never happens. And the religious spirit is the vehicle to do that. What I have taught you goes against that grain, and so you are hated.
"That I would treat you as My Bride, with whom My Heart is intimately entwined, and that I feel that way about all My People, is abhorrent to them. That I can live through you is still the most frightening aspect of true faith. God can live through men and the devils cannot stop Him. And men can be taught by God - that releases you from the yoke of slavery and self-interest man is so addicted to imposing through religion.
"It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' John 6:45
"All through the Scripture the espousal relationship is proclaimed and if you are married to God and go to Him to live the life of faith, how can you be taught to follow men's ways? How can you be manipulated?"
"...for thy Husband is thy Maker." Isaiah 54:5
"I betrothed you to one husband, (Paul said) to present you as a pure virgin to Christ." II Corinthians 11:2
"And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy." Hosea 2:19
"...as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5
"That is another reason that the demons toy with discernment and make the sincere believer seeking intimacy with Me, frightened of falling into error. Yet if a soul's heart is set on Me, I will guide and lead them ultimately, through every deception and impediment. If you trust totally in Me, knowing that I will accomplish My will in your life, you will not abandon the path of intimacy when your discernment fails. Rather you will humble yourself and draw ever nearer.
"You see I established pastors and teachers to teach the people how to know, love and serve Me. How to seek Me until they find Me. And to help them stay on the right path with mature leaders assisting them to correct their course in life. I did not create pastors to hand-feed the flock and make themselves the only source of food. No, absolutely not!!! This is how error enters in: one man interprets for all the others and makes rules which set up legalistic societies again. Just like the Pharisees. Groups that rely on knowledge, politics, influence and control.
"No. Pastors are created to father children, to help them grow in the faith and learn to hear and obey Me, not to hear and obey man. Yes, obedience is useful for the extremely immature, but a good pastor will lead His flock to water and allow them to drink at their own pace. Yes, he will bring forth from the storehouse of age, the wisdom of God, but his first responsibility is to lead them to Me so that I can pasture My flock."
And then the Lord brought to mind Ezekiel 34
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.
You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals."?
'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: ... I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.
Ezekiel 34: 2-7, 14, 15"
Lord, that implies that they will not be manipulated by guilt or fear, but loved and nurtured.
"That's the plan. I am calling My Shepherds to rescue My sheep from the shadows of guilt and the barrens of fear. I am calling them to love the sheep and teach them how to seek Me until they find Me, and how to feed off the pastures I lead them to. This you are doing and this is why you are hated.
"But never mind, all of that will soon come to a close. Just strengthen your resolve, Clare. I have told you tiny increments, and that means minutes to Me. Any minute. The decision is still in My Father's hands, but I know the door is closing and He is the only one to say, 'Enough.'
"So find your peace in that and cleave to Me. Shall I say, it will be a surprise to us both? But for now? Minute by minute is all that remains."