Malcolm Westerlund - New Zealand - 02/28/2012
Hello, brethren. I just wanted to relate a cool little testimony that the Lord gave me yesterday. For the past couple of months I have really been trying to get closer to the Lord and, as it turned out, it seemed the more I tried the further I seemed to be from Him.
A month ago, I confessed a whole bunch of sins to a men's fellowship group; it was really hard and embarrassing but I did it because I knew God wanted it done. I guess I was expecting some great deliverance immediately afterward but it wasn't the case and I was low for a few weeks, wallowing, I guess. Even though I already know that God works in His perfect time and not mine, I still found time to wrongly blame Him or my enemies for all my woes and defeats.
Anyway, in a reoccurring pattern, I would cry out all night and repent and in the morning commit myself to Him and then, throughout the day, fall time and time again to the same traps and snares as the day before, going backward instead of forward. Yesterday, as I sat praying, I realized that I was trying to use my flesh to fight my flesh and He made me understand that I was going about this all the wrong way and because it was the wrong way He was not going to allow it to be successful.
It's funny how I already know the scriptures and if asked for advice by anyone else I would say, "That's easy, friend. Just trust in God and believe that He will deliver you, that He will go before you as a fire and consume all your enemies; that even though your enemies seem to win now, the day draws near when He will uproot them with ease and save you. Just hold fast to your confession of faith". God made me realize that I was hearing the Word but not doing the Word and that the Word will profit me nothing if not applied to myself with faith and that faith being applied in my actions.
Well, I guess the penny dropped and at that moment I repented of my works to make myself righteous and pleasing to Him and realized (for what could be the 100th time) that it is my faith and hope and trust in Him that will make me pleasing to Him and that Jesus is the One Who overcomes the world, not Malcolm.
Brethren, as I was praying, I literally felt God's strength wash over me and for a brief moment -- a fleeting second -- I felt how powerful Jesus is inside of me and how insignificant and afraid all my so-called giants in the land really are in comparison. I also felt how wrong it is to try to be pleasing to God any other way than to trust in His might, the might of His words.
After this, I was offering praises to Him and thanks that I knew He would work in me to be pleasing to Him and that no matter what happens I know that He is with me in every trial and that everything comes from Him. I asked Him what I needed to do and He pointed my finger directly to this verse right, on the word "put": (Rom.13:14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Well, that was what I needed to hear, so I said, "Amen, Lord" and started to run the race again with renewed vigor and faith. Praise the Lord.
After that, brethren, like all the rest of us, when God talks, I started on Him with the 20 questions, like Abraham, and I asked Him about the things to come that you guys have been going over at UBM -- the Man-child, Bride, etc. (I'm always moaning at Him for revelation). Almost immediately, He made me think of my brother-in-law's wedding coming up on April the 7th that I am best man at and He told me to count the days to it. As I was Googling a calendar, I just knew that it was going to be 40 days and, sure enough, it was. I thought, wow, 40 days -- a time of trial. I said, "Lord, You will refine me. You are with me. You can make a short work of anyone and if that's what You're saying, I believe You can do it". (God has said many wonderful things to me; it's madness how even after all He has said I can still fall in unbelief). I don't know if that's what it means but that's what I will hope for -- a wedding garment and a place to sit (at the back is fine by me).
Well, after this, He wouldn't let me get the date out of my mind, so I looked it up and realized that it's Easter Saturday in New Zealand on that day. I said, "Wow, Lord! " and just explored all of those variables. He then said to go look at the Jewish calendar. Now, brethren, I don't even celebrate Easter, let alone going into the Jewish holidays, but to my surprise it's also the first day of the Passover in Israel and the same day in my country. Now I do know from when I first became a Christian that these dates hardly ever coincide perfectly in my country, so I thought there must be something to this and I just thought about the signs and shadows of things to come starting to match the real-time events that they foreshadowed for all those years. (It appears to be a 40-day trial [a number representing tribulation] symbolically to bring you into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ to be dressed up for the Marriage Feast. This would prepare you for April 11th, the Feast of First-fruits, symbolizing when the First-fruits are brought into the House of God.)
Again I thought, wow. I digged a little deeper and found that the Jews find this day significant for many other Biblical events and not just the Passover:
Now I am aware that you can't prove these dates are accurate but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and again say, wow.
I then asked the Lord what this means and He made me think of the Passover and what the Jews do before it -- get the leaven out of their houses (I think that's what the Lord gave me the 40 days for) and on the day they eat all the lamb and have their house covered by the blood of the lamb -- "put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" again the 40 days. Now I don't know much about the Man-child but when I thought of the wedding I remembered that the Jews celebrate it for seven days; also, the days of Unleavened Bread are for seven days after Passover and I thought of the seven-year tribulation period, that perhaps it may start on this day, but I am not sure.
Well, I know it needs more study on my part but there are more than enough interesting things there to know that something is brewing and that God is going to move soon in a way that hasn't been seen for some time (on a world scale). When I receive these things from the Lord, I always ask Him if He wants me to share and usually they are, it seems, just lessons for me. This time I asked Him and my finger landed on "preach" in the verse below, so here it is for all of you to brothers.
(Isa.61:1) The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ... (The words spoken by the First-fruits Man-child Jesus when He was first anointed to lead God's people.)
Brethren, I often get excited and can get ahead of God a bit sometimes and that mixed with my not knowing the Word like I should can lead to mistakes sometimes. I wrote this out as best I could and at the very least it is a word to all to "prepare ye the way of the lord, make his paths straight".
I will keep studying and see if God will give me clarity. Please pray for us over this next 40 days that we will keep the faith and be found worthy for whatever God has called us to do. We love you all very much and are with you in every study, breaking the bread of life with you.