Encouraging Words from Wigglesworth

WIGGLESWORTH - SEPIA

Healing Evangelist Smith Wigglesworth wrote these Spirit-led, encouraging words in December of 1922. They are still the Holy Spirit’s admonition to us today.

“When one dares to trust God on His bare Word, then peace flows freely, wavering is passed, there is nothing to be done, all is finished, and you enter into possessions that cannot come in any other way. … There is nothing impossible with God. All the impossibility is with us when we measure God by the limitations of our unbelief. …

“God giveth liberally. He that asketh receiveth. God is willing to bestow on us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Oh, it was the love of God that brought Jesus. And it is this same love that helps you and me to believe.”



 

Depending On The Shepherd

SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE- w. credits

It’s comforting to know that sheep are not expected to take care of themselves. They are expected to be totally dependent on their shepherd. It’s my understanding that when sheep are out grazing and they hear a growl of a predator or something else that frightens them, they do not normally look toward the sound, but to their shepherd. If their shepherd is calm and at rest, they remain at rest as well.

I’m not an expert on sheep, but I know for sure that the Lord wants us to be that trusting. When the enemy approaches with his threats and his frightening sounds, symptoms, and circumstances, we need to look immediately to our Good Shepherd — and to His Word. We know that He and His Word are one, and when that Word says we have the victory over all attacks, we can settle into the rest of faith and watch our Shepherd take down the enemy.

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture! (Psalm 100:3).
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).

 




 

The Time of the Singing of Birds

I originally published this article seven years ago. But it is still so relevant today — and people need this message even more now than they did then. So I’m sharing it again in the hope that new readers will be lifted and encouraged by it.


YELLOW BIRD - flipped with credits

“For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come …” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12 Amp). When I was a child, I was much troubled by fears of various kinds, and as a result I often had trouble sleeping at night. Thank God, He delivered me from all fear many years ago, so I am no longer tormented by those experiences. But I can still remember very vividly how they affected my life and what few things gave me relief from them.

When I was wakeful in the dark hours of night and those eerie wee hours of the morning, I alternated, from night to night, in my methods of dealing with my fears. Once in a great while, they were so tormenting that I ended up sleeping with my parents. But most nights I used other alternatives. Some nights I spent the time pulling the covers around me as tightly as I could, squeezing my eyes shut, and straining my ears to hear every sound. Other nights, I concentrated on staying alert to every corner of the room, the doorway to the hall, and the area beneath my bed – to make sure nothing that just might be lurking there could get to me. I couldn’t have told you what I thought might be lurking around my bedroom. I wasn’t afraid of any particular kind of person or monster. I just knew I was afraid. During some of those nights – my most sensible nights – I tried to calm my fears by reciting all the lessons from my catechism or singing “Silent Night.” Those strategies generally gave me enough relief that I sometimes even drifted back to sleep.

I have to say here that my parents did what they knew to alleviate my fears, telling me – quite honestly – that there was nothing to be afraid of. And I had studied the Word of God enough that I had learned about God taking care of little children while they slept. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, I had also learned that faith-destroying prayer that the devil himself must have written to be taught to almost every child who ever lived: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I actually never prayed that prayer. I think, even at that young age, I knew that a prayer like that was so faithless that it couldn’t do me any good. Moreover, even then, I realized that saying out of my own mouth that I might die during the night was just inviting death to come.

Something deep inside me told me that it couldn’t be the will of God for little children to die so young. But knowing that most adults thought that prayer was a “good” prayer and a “right” prayer for little kids to pray always left me just a little bit fearful that maybe I was wrong. Maybe God did want some of us kids to die and not get a chance to live our lives on the earth. And if I were wrong, and “they” were right, then if I let myself go to sleep, I just might die.

Anyway, none of my parents’ efforts at the time helped me overcome the problem, and it was only years later that I learned the truth about Jesus really being the same today as He was when He walked the earth over 2000 years ago. He truly does offer the same deliverance that He offered then, and when that truth took root in my spirit, Jesus delivered me completely.

But my point here is that there was one thing that always gave me relief when I was suffering those nights of fear. At just about 5:00 in the morning, I heard the birds begin to sing. Now they may start singing at other hours in other parts of the world, but where I lived, they almost always began at the same time. Every time I heard them begin to sing and looked at my clock it was always within a very few minutes of 5:00 a.m. Eventually, I didn’t even bother to look at the clock because I knew for sure when I heard the singing of the birds, it was then 5:00 in the morning, and daylight would soon be streaming through my window. The night was over. I didn’t have to huddle between the tightly drawn covers or keep watch on every corner of the room any longer.

I can still remember clearly how it felt. As soon as the birds began to sing, I immediately began to breath deeply and easily. Every muscle in my body began to relax. I stretched out, turned over, nestled my head comfortably on my pillow, closed my eyes without tension, and drifted immediately and peacefully to sleep. To this very day, every time I happen to be awake to hear the birds begin to sing (and let me hasten to add that I am never awake because of fear any more), I am reminded of the overwhelming release that came to me with that experience all those other years.

Now, of course, my thoughts immediately turn to the fact that I am permanently released from all the fear and its consequences because of Jesus and His work in my life. I cannot keep a smile from spreading across my face when those birds start to sing, and I always lift my heart to the Lord in sincere gratitude for His amazing deliverance and care.

Recently, I have been called upon to counsel and pray with a number of individuals who, although they are faithful Christians who know God’s Word and power, have found themselves bombarded by the dark circumstances of the world and dark messages from some servants of God. This bombardment has been so intense that these people now find themselves in the middle of a “night” full of confusion and fear.

As I waded with them through these troubling and tormenting circumstances and the subsequent messages that seemed to prophesy disaster, doom, and confusing instructions for “survival” of the same, I realized that each of these people was missing a very important truth. Indeed a large majority of the Body of Christ seems to be missing that same truth: The fact that we are not in the middle of a dark, scary night. We are on the verge of a brilliant day — the day when our manifested redemption is drawing nigh. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28). If we rightly divide the Word of God as He instructs us to do, we will stop our fearful frenzy of trying to figure out how best to protect ourselves in the “end times,” and we will be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). We will get quiet long enough to hear the singing of the birds and know that all is well.


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Trust

HANDS IN CIRCLEI find it very hard to trust people nowadays. I’m not sure why, but I have to assume it’s because so many people have let me down and/or virtually ‘knifed me in the back,” to use a worn-out — but exceedingly descriptive — phrase. I won’t use this post to list the times and details of those kinds of experiences. That would do no good for anyone — least of all me. And I can honestly say that I have, with the Lord’s help, been able to forgive all those actions by others against me. And, in fact, in most cases — again, with the Lord’s help — have put them out of my conscious mind to the point that I’d  have to make concerted effort to remember those details. I’m very grateful that I’m at that point in my life.

However, just because we forgive hurts, attacks, and injustices by others does not mean that we automatically acquire renewed trust in those people. And, unfortunately, it’s true that when you know you cannot trust most people, then it’s pretty hard to trust any at all. But thank God, He can help us. He can lead us to relationships with people who really are trustworthy, and He can give us the faith and courage to take the steps that lead us back into trust.

The main reason He can do that is because He is so trustworthy Himself. Our loving Father God means every promise He ever made to us. And He’s made at least one that will cover every single need we will ever have. And He tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that every promise (from the Old Covenant and the New Covenant) has already been answered “Yes” in Jesus. There’s no way God will ever go back on any promise He’s given us in His Word, because, according to this passage of scripture, He cannot change His mind or decide He’s not in the mood to answer “Yes.” It’s already a done deal, so we can trust Him, no matter what.

And, of course, that’s why He can tell us in Proverbs 3 that we should trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding. I’m so grateful that, in a world where so many people can’t help but hurt each other and break trust, we have a God whom we can trust with our whole being. We can literally stake our lives on His love, His Word, and His faithfulness. We can trust and not be afraid.

 

 

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God’s Weightloss Program – Guest Post from Ted Pavloff

CHECKING WEIGHT - SEPIA“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” — Hebrews 12:1

Without doubt, one of the most consistent preoccupations of the American mind today is this subject of weight – more specifically, too much weight. As a result, about every two weeks a new diet plan is foisted upon gullible Americans, and another fortune is made by some clever soul.

Maybe it’s time we looked into this matter of weight from a different perspective: not the kind of weight that an exotic diet will solve, but the burdensome weights that the Apostle Paul admonishes us to lay aside. He is referring to that excess baggage that affects our Christian walk and witness – weights that make it difficult for us to move along as well and rapidly as we should, delaying, and even preventing, progress. The apostle directs us to lay them aside, and the clear implication in this Scripture is that we can do that by an act of our will: put it away! Whether it is hanging on our backs or sitting in our paths, we must move it out!

Weights appear in many and varied forms, and Satan will use any one or all of them to prevent our being the effective Christian witnesses Jesus wants us to be. He will also use them to keep us from having a happy and peaceful life. Some are so commonplace and deceptive that we hardly recognize them as such; we just thoughtlessly pick them up and carry them.

Let’s examine some of the weights noted in the Scriptures:

Possessions:  First, let’s remember the encounter between Jesus and the rich young ruler in Luke 18. Having possessions is not a sin, and, in fact, properly handled they are, or can be, a blessing. The problem surfaces when possessions begin to dominate our lives — as was the case of the rich young ruler. How much better for us if we keep our material blessings in perspective and use them in all ways to the glory of God.

The Cares of the World:   In Jesus’ parable of the sower, as recorded in Matthew 13. Here is a weight that can get so heavy it will simply override the things of God. We get so wrapped up in jobs, social schedules, sports, and selfish desires that our church attendance and commitments are relegated to a lower position on our priority list. Then there is too much busyness. God expects us to provide for our families. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that he who provides not for his family is worse than an infidel. But he also reminded Timothy that there is a place where we are to be content – not continually striving for more.

To some men (even Christian men) their jobs take precedence over everything, including God and family. The same is true with some women. This is a terrible weight, and it will drag our vital fellowship with God to a complete stop.

Self:  Self can also be a weight. We need to consider carefully whom we are serving and whose will we are concerned about. How did Jesus deal with this problem of the importance of “self”? His whole attitude and focus can be summed up in this one statement: “I delight to do the will of my Father,” He said. “I do the will of Him who sent me.”

The Desire to be Seen and Heard: This desire can be a weight. In one of His teachings, Jesus admonishes us to “take the worst seat at the table.” Remember that Jesus washed feet! He also instructed us to do as He did. Remember, it is God’s job to elevate us to the higher positions – not ours.

Timidity: This characteristic can develop into a weight. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no on is pursuing; [this is actually a picture of timidity] but the righteous are bold as a lion!” and 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Murmuring: This habit is one of the heaviest weights of all. First Corinthians 10:10 needs no clarification: “Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured and were destroyed.” Something about us is always destroyed when we murmur. It may be our fellowship with our Lord; it may be our strength or joy, or even our health. But something is definitely affected in a damaging way. God said so.

Beloved, it is important to remember that God never tells us to do something we cannot do. If He admonishes us to put away from us each of these hindrances to serving Him effectively, then He does so in order to make our lives freer and better. He does not intend to add another burden by insisting we do something that is going to make our lives harder. So let’s believe our Father when He tells us the way to a happier and more effective life. Let us eagerly “… lay aside every weight,” and “… put off the old man …” and let us run the race that is set before us with top efficiency – all the way to victory!


© 2006 Ted Pavloff

 

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Making God Happy

CHURCH PEW - bigger.deep sepiaThere are a lot of religions in this world, and I’ve studied most of them. To my knowledge there is no religion — other than Christianity — that guarantees us an eternity of constant joy, freedom, and peace with our Creator unless we work at it and expend ourselves to earn it. All other religions require man to DO something to acquire the state of eternal bliss that we’d all like to look forward to. Some require more than others, but not one — other than Christianity — offers us that blessed eternity free.

Of course, in actual fact, Christianity is not really a “religion.” It’s simply a Father and His family. And since the eldest Brother of that family (Jesus) was willing to step down from His throne, come to earth and live a perfect life for every one of us, then go to the cross and pay the price for our rebellion and sin, all of the earning of salvation has been completed and is done. We are free to simply accept the finished work of Jesus on our behalf and receive Him as Lord of our lives. We don’t “work” for our salvation. We “accept” it as the free gift that it is. And once Jesus is truly Lord of our lives, suddenly doing the things that please the Father becomes a joy and delight — not an enforced duty.

And when we finally get to know the real God and our hearts yearn to make His heart happy, we find that there is very little on His list of what He’d like to have from us.

Here’s God’s list. Here are the 3 most important things that He wants from us.

1.  Love Him.

2.  Trust Him.

3.  Spend time with Him in conversation and fellowship.


No pain; no strain; just loving our Father and hangin’ out with Him.

Have a happy day making God happy today!

 

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