Saturday, December 29, 2012

Conflict, Humility and Peace in the Wilderness

Just like Israel rest assured when in the wilderness you will encounter conflict and hostility.  This is the time to remember we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities and the rulers of darkness of this age (Ephesians 6: 12).  When we encounter such hostilities these battles are only to be fought in obedience to God.   As I have mentioned in previous posts this wilderness experience is intimate and extremely personal and those looking from the outside will feel compelled to assess your situation.   

The journey truly has it’s peaks of fragility of mind therefore I learned to say to myself, “I can’t trust people since they don’t know what is in my heart, I can’t trust myself since I don’t know what’s in my heart, but I can trust the LORD and HIS WORD since HE alone knows what is in my heart.

Looking back to the beginning of my wanderings I have had many good intentioned people whom I love play the role of Job’s friends. Once you have had several close encounters with a “Job’s friend” your ears and heart learn to recognize them, it sounds like this:

Job 33:1-7

Amplified Bible (AMP)
 Be that as it may, Job (Jeannette) I beg of you to hear what I have to say and give heed to all my words.
Behold, here I am with open mouth; here is my tongue talking.
My words shall express the uprightness of my heart, and my lips shall speak what they know with utter sincerity.
 [It is] the Spirit of God that made me [which has stirred me up], and the breath of the Almighty that gives me life [which inspires me].
 Answer me now, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand.
Behold, I am toward God and before Him even as you are; I also am formed out of the clay [though I speak with abnormal wisdom because of a divine illumination].
See my terror [for I am only a fellow mortal, not God]; I shall not make you afraid, neither shall my pressure be heavy upon you.

Did you notice how many I’s, my’s and me’s are in these verses? This is the first warning you are having an encounter with a Job’s friend.

By no means, am I implying I am perfect or that during this whole experience I reacted to every conflict in the most appropriate fashion. I am simply trying to share some of the lessons I learned during this time of testing.

 What I want to emphasize is that we must allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. Why is it that we find ourselves compelled to play the role of Holy Spirit?  Believe me, from someone who has gone through a God administered wilderness HE is more than capable of doing the job. 

Dr. RT Kendall wrote in his book Total Forgiveness when you speak to another person ask yourself if what you have to say will meet their need.

Necessary- Is it necessary to say this?
Encourage- Will this encourage?
Edify- Will it make them stronger?
Dignify-Will it dignify that person?

Even if what we have to say is true, it does not necessarily mean we have to say it.  We may not realize what we intend for healing may cause harm.

When conflict comes knocking at the door of our hearts we can either decide to take on the banner of offense or walk in forgiveness.  Forgiveness is an act of the will and it does not come easy but offenses carry their own punishments.  
We don’t realize how much self reigns in our hearts until these times of testing. It all goes back to the fact that the wilderness experience is God’s process to humble us so that we may know what is in our hearts.  As we humble ourselves before the Lord peace appears in the wilderness like an oasis in the desert.  

PS: The external circumstances may not change but these testings are a matter of the heart, so don’t be discouraged and weary of soul.

Monday, December 24, 2012


In the beginning stages of the wilderness experience we may not even be aware that we have been lead into the desert. Just like Israel God calls us out of captivity and all of a sudden what should be a quick journey to the promise land turns into a detour that tests every fiber of our being.

The book of Deuteronomy tells us that the Lord led His people into the wilderness to humble and test them that they would know what was in their hearts and whether or not they would keep His commandments. (Duet 8:2).

Lesson I- Trusting in the Testing

Frankly, easier said than done. It’s not that I had not trusted Him before it’s just this time it was different, very different.   As believers we really think we trust the Lord but when the rubber meets the road does our heart proclaim it. Before you say, my heart does………… let me remind you what Proverbs 21:2 says “every way of the a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord pondereth the hearts.

 Many times during this process I pulled a Sarah making plans to get myself to the promise land quicker than God’s desired timetable. Plan after plan there was no relief of soul. You see, the wilderness experience is administered by GOD and He alone can say IT’S OVER.   In the meantime you are there and there is no escape. You never know what is next but just remember if His own Son was lead into the wilderness HE must think there is something very GOOD to get out of it.

The Lord will start to reveal your heart and you will be very surprised at what comes forth.  Deception has one way of entering into our life and it’s through PRIDE. The pride of life is truly our desire to be independent from God. Isn’t that how Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness? Jesus refused to show His power independent of the Father.

I encourage you if you are in the midst of the wilderness that you sing with the Psalmist David;

Psalm 51 6-8

Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones  which You have broken rejoice

Keep trusting for you are HIS workmanship!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Wilderness Experience

What do Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Elijah, David, Abraham, the people of Israel, John the Baptist, Mary, Hannah and Jesus have in common?

Oh yes, you are right!!!! The dreaded but life changing and God orchestrated……….. WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE.

In July of 2006 I received a word from the Lord announcing the beginning of my Wilderness experience.   It sounding something like this, “ Jeannette, I see you singing and only dust is coming out of your mouth”. Immediately, I said to myself Lord, I know that but did You have to announce it to the entire room. Then it only got worse as I was told it’s not because you are doing something wrong, it’s because you are doing something right. The Lord is drilling in you because rivers of living water will flow out of you. The Lord said I need to dig deep (Ouch) and let you go through some things and even in those things you will hit some things in your life that are dry. 

My mind was racing in an attempt to understand this all. I remember being shocked that it was “because I am doing something right.” 
Can you get a sense for how encouraged I was? (sarcasm)

But the Lord in His loving way did send some encouragement saying, “I have heard every cry and prayer and you have said Lord you have been so silent. But I Lord have been silent for a reason I am drilling and digging so that the rivers of living water may flow forth.”

Here it is the end of 2012 and I am finally able to look back and understand what it  means to journey into the WILDERNESS.

The wilderness is  a very intimate and personal place with few times of refreshing. The best way to describe it is as if there are realms of the wilderness experience.  As I started the journey there were times of wonderful intercession and faith knowing the Lord was always with me regardless of how I felt. Then came the climax of this experience where my companion day and night was darkness and despair. At which time I combed through the Psalms looking for relief and joining King David in his song, “Do not cast me away from your presence, And do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” I have read the Psalms my entire adult life and it was not until now could I truly understand these words.

Now that the darkness has passed and the light of Christ has shine forth in my mind, soul and spirit I can comprehend at least for this intended season the workmanship of the Lord.

Have my natural circumstances changed? No, in fact for those looking from the outside it may seem even drier then ever. Thank God, He does not look at the outer appearance but He looks at the heart.

The Hebrew word for wilderness is midvar, the root word is davar which means the arrangement of things to create order. We are taken into the WILDERNESS so that the Lord can perfectly arrange our lives to fit into His Kingdom purposes.

Stay tuned for lessons learned in the Realms of the Wilderness.


Wisdom Defined…

Today, wisdom sits like a monument of old behind the ropes and watchful eyes of those who do not understand her. Daily people walk by and admire her lines and the beauty of her craftsman’s touch. They marvel at the detail and forever talk but fail to comprehend. They stare, admire and even gaze but eventually grow bored. As they leave to satisfy their own selfish desire, wisdom still speaks to all who will stop and listen…

In antiquity wisdom was the defining measure that separated the thinker from the fool and the leader from the follower. Though seldom rich wisdoms teacher possessed a priceless insight: For their truths taught men principle over possession. While fools looked to claim castles and titles the students of wisdom possessed valor, morals, bravery, justice and truth. In a world where “might made right” the wise are oft remembered and their words revered while the fool is mocked for their folly and failure.

Then there are others who are wise in delicate works of arts, histories and craft but still they lack a depth that allows them to discover the wells from where wisdom is born. Forever they build, create and speak great prose but get lost in their own words and deeds forever missing the deeper truth.

Today, wisdom is void, replaced and renamed by something altogether more sinister than foolishness. In today’s world of technology and pride wisdom has been replaced by greed of self and arrogance of creation. No longer the words of the wise even breech the walls of these men’s understanding. They have long ago passed her by for the works of their own hands. For some they claim they have collected her and keep her safe within their homes. But they ignore her and as she gently weeps.

Alas, all seems lost in an age where wisdom is ignored…

But what of those who hear and comprehend wisdoms call? What of those who are no longer intrigued by greed or self and technologies great claim? In them the craftsman’s lines reveal a secret truth that is discovered deep with wisdom’s own story.

Speaking with a soft boldness and inner strength wisdom invites the hungry soul to dwell with the craftsman. Then, the new student of wisdom becomes a new work of within His hands. With each journey, trial and victory another line is carved into the “work” of His hands. Molded and formed they who listen allow themselves to heed wisdom’s call and become the newest fashioned work of wisdom. Her title: To love truth and justice, to walk humbly and virtuous before God, and to love THE TRUTH with all their heart, mind and soul.

Glimpses of wisdom are seen everywhere but only understood in one place, the words of the craftsman’s greatest work, The Bible.  And so, those who do more than just read but desire to understand allow the grace of His Holy Spirit to open their mind and soul to wisdoms call. Above all within the pages of the Bible wisdom is read. For those who embark on this noble quest they will discover their lives are interwoven within the pages of this Sacred Script.

The woman who heeds wisdom’s call is to be envied above all. It is not her wealth, beauty or youth that makes her wise but the words she speaks and life she lives. In her actions and silence she speaks more words than will ever be recorded. And in her tears and prayers are volumes born from deep truth.

Yes, youth eternal but never more than wisdom…
Yes, wealth is powerful but never more than wisdom…
Yes, beauty is captivating but never more than wisdom…

If one has been blessed with youth, wealth and beauty but is a fool then they are poor. But if one is blessed with His wisdom they are forever rich!

Author, Joshua-Paul Johnian/Nov 25,2012


Mary’s Song of Praise

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
   from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
   he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

What would make us celebrate without any concern or regard for what others would say? Maybe if all our financial worries were resolved for the rest of our life? You landed that job you always desired? Perhaps, if every one of your hearts desires came to pass. 

When the Lord deposits a dream in our lives it is always a matter of love and worthy of celebration. He cares for us by bringing us into HIS life saving plan. Many of us like Mary have dreams birthed in our spirits and we start the race with much celebration and great joy. However, just like Mary we will have to learn many other things.   She was told a sword will pierce her heart, she would lose her son for three days when he was twelve, she would be in complete despair a another three days in Jerusalem. The faithful God she was celebrating seems to have a set her up or at least it feels that way to many of us at times.

Let us not forget the moment of victorious Resurrection is never too far away.

Mary had a dream, one day Israel’s God would do what he said and all nations would be blessed through Abraham.  We have dreams, and for those to come to pass we walk knowing that God in and through Jesus has won over the forces of evil. When we search the scriptures we discover the message of hope, mercy, fulfillment and victory.

Mary’s song  is the song of VICTORY and CELEBRATION. Let us celebrate in whatever state we find ourselves to be that God has taken the initiative to call us into HIS plan and this the ultimate reason to celebrate.