Please help us!
First posted: May 22, 2005
Last updated: May 19, 2006
As you may have noticed, the frequency of new postings on this website has declined over the past two calendar months (April and May 2005), and we have also been unable to reply more promptly to your incoming e-mail. This is due to tremendous personal pressures we are going through. We have feverishly worked to resolve these issues "on our own", but every avenue we have tried has resulted in a dead end.
Through our difficult experience, the Lord birthed the following word in us.
As we have meditated on the spiritual root of our current ordeal, the Lord has made us understand that, just as in all issues, there are 3 wills involved in the matter:
When the Lord would send two of His disciples into a city before visiting it, He would say to them that they should stay in that city only if someone in that city received them (Luke 10:1-9). However, if the city concertedly decided not to receive them, they were not supposed to stay and pray until the city was willing to receive God's message. They were to walk out onto the streets of that city and pronounce judgment word against it, and leave the city after that (Luke 10:10-16). This very clearly illustrates the fact that not everything that happens to us (or around us) is "God's will". In this case, it was the Lord's will for the city to hear the message and be saved, and the disciples aligned their will with God's will by going to the city they were sent to and preaching the Word. Therefore, will #1 (the Lord's will) and will #2 (the disciples' will) were for "city salvation". However, will #3 (the will of the city) was against its own salvation, meaning that will #3 was able to thwart the salvation plan, even when that plan was the original will of Almighty God. All of this shows the tremendous prerogative that God has given to man over what will and will not happen on Earth:
"The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men." (Psalm 115:16)
"4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." (Psalm 8:4-8)
God's original will for Israel was for Israel to be a nation with no human king and where He would be the Invisible King (1 Samuel 8:7). However, the people of Israel wanted a human and visible king like all the other nations (1 Samuel 8:5). Therefore, God placed Saul as king over them, and we all know how that turned out. Again, we see how God's perfect will was thwarted by the will of the people. In this case, will #1 (God's will) was for Israel to have Him as their King, and will #2 (Samuel's will) was aligned with God's will. It was will #3 (the people's will) which hindered God's original plan.
We can also see from the Saul example that we cannot conclude that an event was part of God's perfect will simply because God made it happen. It was God who placed Saul as king over Israel, but this does not mean that it was what He had wanted to do with Israel in the first place.
We can therefore conclude that, in order for certain events to happen, God requires that the will of others be receptive to those events. Otherwise, He will not allow those events to come to pass, even when they may be His perfect will, and even when there are laborers willing to carry out that will. Even though we have the prerogative to thwart His will, this does not mean that our thwarting of His will can go without consequences:
"7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians 6:7-8)
Two days ago (May 20, 2005), as I sat in complete and utter frustration after another failed attempt to solve our problem, I asked the Lord in despair: "What do I do now?", and I opened the Bible that I had to my left, and this is the passage that appeared:
"29And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 31And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 32And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him." (Matthew 20:29-34)
Notice that there are three "groups of persons" in this passage:
If we go back to the 3-wills list shown above, we can associate these two groups of threes in the following way:
The healing of the two blind men here represents the restoration of the true apostolic and prophetic ministries inside the Church. Just as verse 30 above declares, the true apostolic and prophetic ministries have been "sitting by the wayside" while the Church continues with "religion as usual". It was the Father's perfect will for the two blind men to be healed, and, according to verses 32 and 33, this was also the will of the two blind men. However, an undiscerning multitude stood in the middle and was hindering the restoration of the two sidelined men. This multitude was "following Jesus" (v29), but they were only following a visible man, not the Invisible God inside that visible man. Again, we see how will #1 (the Lord's will) and will #2 (the will of God's laborers) can be in synch, while will #3 (the will of others) can act as a hindrance to the fulfillment of the Lord's will.
From this passage, we can see how there are times when those who are empowered to carry out the Lord's will (Jesus in this case) are surrounded or encircled by obstructionists of that will, leaving God's laborers (the two blind men) powerlessly sidelined. As a result, God's laborers are forced to shout into the crowd so that the cry for help can reach the "enabler" (Jesus) who is in the middle of that crowd. As this happens, the obstructionist crowd will try to silence the laborers' cry for help, which means that the laborers must be determined enough to shout until the physical "enabler" in the middle of the crowd hears them and answers their call.
Their willingness to be seen as "non-conformist troublemakers" and to expose themselves to public shame allowed the two blind men to break through the obstructionist crowd, which then allowed them access to the "enabler in the middle", Jesus.
When Jesus gave them the help they were clamoring for, Matthew 20: 34 declares that they "followed Him". This reveals the "laborer" nature of these men. They were not after Jesus to get some "personal blessing" from Him. They were after Jesus because they wanted their physical hindrance (their blindness) to be removed so that they could be free to serve the Lord. Had they been after a "personal blessing", their first reaction would have been to leave Jesus once they had gotten their "blessing". However, these men longed to serve God, and they saw their physical hindrance as an impediment to that longing. In the same way, there are many remnant believers out there who long to serve God, but a spiritually blind "matriarchal" crowd is keeping them on the sidelines, hindering their ability to serve God in the fullness of their God-given potential. In a sense, the spiritual root of the two men's blindness was the obstructionist, religious crowd that surrounded Jesus. Therefore, it was necessary that they break through the crowd in order to be healed of their physical blindness.
Notice that the two blind men kept shouting, "Have mercy on us, oh Lord, thou son of David" (Matthew 20:30,31). As we have said before, God's mercy opens spiritual doors for those who are imprisoned for the sake of righteousness. When Joseph would clamor for God's mercy while in prison in Egypt, he was not doing it so that he could live out the rest of his life in "comfortable retirement". He knew that he had a mission to accomplish and a nation to rescue, and he knew that it was necessary that he be out of prison so that that mission could be fulfilled. In the same way, the true laborers are clamoring for God to release them from their "Egyptian prison" so that they may serve God and their brethren as they fulfill God's purpose for their lives.
By calling Jesus both "Lord" and "son of David" at the same time (Matthew 20:30,31), the blind men were also showing that they saw the greatness potential in "small" things. David was the youngest and least appreciated of his brethren (1 Samuel 16:1-13, 17:12-29). Yet he was the one chosen by God to be king of Israel. In the same way, Jesus, who had no human titles to back Him up before the religious crowd, was the One chosen by God to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Those who are true laborers must be willing to see the Jesus potential in themselves and in others, even in the midst of obstructionist earthliness.
Two days ago (May 20, 2005), as I sat in complete and utter frustration after another failed attempt to solve our problem, the Lord also whispered this to me: "Psalm 39". I then turned to Psalm 39 to read what it said, and I found this psalm to be a perfect fit for my emotions and thoughts at the time. The latter part of this psalm drew my attention in a special way:
"12Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more." (Psalm 39:12-13)
The word "stranger" in verse 12 was translated from the Hebrew word ger, which literally means "sojourner", and refers to a "temporary inhabitant, a newcomer who lacks inherited rights". The word ger is also used in Scripture to refer to foreigners in Israel, who were conceded certain rights under the Mosaic Law. The word ger is derived from the word guwr, which has multiple meanings, one of them being "to seek hospitality with". Therefore, the word ger has the connotation of a "sojourner" who is forced to seek hospitality in foreign lands.
The phrase "stranger with thee" in verse 12 is translated as "stranger to thee" in other Bible translations, and this latter translation seems to better reflect the intended meaning of the original Hebrew text. Therefore, the psalmist is saying in verse 12 that he felt like a "foreigner to God". In other words, he felt as if God did not recognize him; he felt as if God saw him as "foreign" or "unrelated" to Him. This is exactly what the two blind men of Matthew 20:29-34 experienced. As Jesus and the multitude passed on by, it seemed as if Jesus did not recognize them, and their cries for help seemed to go unrecognized by Jesus' ears. Why? Because the multitude surrounding Jesus was shielding Jesus from the blind men's cries. There will be times when it seems as if God is "ignoring" you and treating you as if you were an "unrelated foreigner", but that will generally be due to a crowd of people whose misguided wills are obstructing you from access to the "enabler" whom God has appointed. When this happens, you must shout like the blind men, which, as we said above, implies showing yourself as a "non-conformist troublemaker" and exposing your need in such a way that you run the risk of public shame and humiliation.
As we have struggled with the personal issues mentioned at the beginning of this article, we remain convinced that we are acting based on God's perfect will. However, the constant dead ends we have encountered made us realize that the crux of the matter did not lie in God's will or our own will, but in the will of others.
As I sat there, frustrated and dismayed, on May 20, 2005, I realized that our problem would not be solved unless we broke through the obstructionist will of others. The Lord made me understand that, just like with the blind men of Matthew 20:29-34, the physical hindrance that was impeding us from fulfilling our calling to serve God and others would not be removed unless we were willing to shout right through the obstructionist crowd. There were no two ways about it!
To this day, those assigned to enable us have refused to step up to the plate.