He is Faithful!

In recent days/weeks I have been struggling with doubt and unbelief in certain areas of my life. The primary area has been regarding my finances and this condo I purchased in 2006. And in the midst of this doubt & unbelief that was bombarding my thought life the Lord has once again proven his faithfulness to me!

This post is quite long, but the revelation of the Lord is INCREDIBLE and I know it will encourage you! There is a message for me personally from the Lord, but I know there is a message for you too.

As you may recall, I signed a contract in 2005 to purchase this condo out of (what I believed to be) obedience to the Lord. I had no desire to own a condo, but truly believed it was God’s will to buy it. After much confirmation, I signed the contract. The Lord miraculously provided the $2000 earnest money deposit, He confirmed his plans through random words from other people, and He gave me scriptural support for what He was telling me to do.  I was confident I was doing His will.

One of the things that I knew God told me was that He was going to use this condo to pay off some past debt that I had accrued. I would buy it, sell it at a profit and pay off my debt. But what I didn’t “hear” or factor into the equation was “time.”

So I signed the contract for it to be built… it took almost a year….property values climbed as it was being built and by the time it was completed in 2006, the value was up $25,000+ from the purchase price! So I put it up for sale and waited for God’s plan to unfold….

Well, I’m still waiting.

Meanwhile, the recession has set in and (because of foreclosures in my condo community) property values have plummeted. I would be fortunate now to even sell it for what I paid for it (if I could even do that.) Additionally, my property taxes are not escrowed so at the end of this past year (since I’m collecting unemployment) I made the decision to put the property taxes on a credit card. It was that or let them default, therefore putting a lien on my property and making it even more unattractive to buyers. Right, wrong or indifferent…. I cried out to the Lord about how much I hated doing this. Everything in me felt like it was wrong to do, but I also felt I had no alternative. I waited until the last possible day to pay them, and had believed God for a financial miracle up to that day. So to avoid a 10% late penalty, I put it on my credit card. Thus the beginning of my recent season of doubt and unbelief.

To recap a bit, you may also recall my blog posts from Oct & Nov regarding my friend who has been living in the condo while I’m waiting for it to sell (I no longer live in the city the condo is in. The Lord relocated me from there shortly after it was built and have never lived in the condo – which was also part of what He told me would happen. However this didn’t bother me because in my mind it was going to sell right away anyway.) Long story short, the Home Owners Association has regulations about leasing and they were over capacity. So they informed me I could no longer have a tenant. I was devastated. How can I pay that mortgage without a tenant? (But God…!)

Just as I was full of doubt and unbelief this fall, I was considering just dropping the price and unloading this “burden.”  But the word of the Lord came to me through a man of God (who was unaware of the situation he spoke of) and he told me “God gave you a certain price not to sell your condo for less than… don’t move on your price. You’ll get that much or more.” This was true… God did give me a minimum selling price back in 2006. He was faithful to remind me not to budge from that price during this season of difficulty.

Subsequently, I was granted favor to allow my tenant to stay in my condo through June 30, 2010. What will happen at that point is known only by God.

So last week I found myself in a conversation with a new acquaintance who did not know this condo testimony. The nature of our conversation led me to share it. Upon sharing, they said to consider that if it had really been God telling me to buy this, He would have provided the taxes too. The fact that He didn’t may show that He is allowing me to deal with the consequences of my own choices. My initial reaction inside was “Don’t receive this.” But as the days went by, I began thinking…. “Are you trying to tell me something God? Was this not your will? Have I created a mess that I now must suffer in?”  I reminded myself that regardless if it was God’s will or not, my decision to purchase it was completely pure. I truly believed I was doing God’s will. There was never any rebellion as if to say “Well, I don’t know if I should buy this or not God, but I want a condo so I’m going to buy it anyway.” The fact of the matter is that I didn’t want to buy it! It was a complete act of obedience (or what I believed to be obedience.) Nothing more, nothing less.

As a result, for the last week my mind has been fighting this doubt and unbelief again and I have been desperately trying to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5.) But I haven’t always been successful.

On Monday I went to class as usual. My professor opens each class with a devotional and this week he came from Jeremiah 32. As he began reading… it was very familiar. Of course I had read it before, but specifically, God had led me here in 2005 when I was praying for confirmation about whether or not to buy the condo! I recall reading it back then and not having clarity as to what God was saying…. The text seemed a bit negative at times so I wasn’t sure if God was saying “buy it” or “don’t buy it.”  So I relied on other Scriptures and confirmations instead to make my decision.

But on this day my professor’s devotional was all about “taking risks even when it seems like the wrong thing to do.” He pointed out how God gave Jeremiah a word that his cousin was going to come to him and ask him to buy his field in a certain city. God had previously shown Jeremiah that the enemy was about to come in and take over that city, so in the natural this would not seem like a good thing to do. But sure enough, just as God said, his cousin asked him to buy the field. And the Scripture tells us that Jeremiah bought it because he knew it was of the Lord (even though it was a HUGE risk!)

Jer 32:6-10  And Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Behold…[your cousin]… will come to you, saying, “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.”‘  Then…[my cousin]… came to me …according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth…’ Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. So I bought the field …  And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. NKJV

(Interestingly enough, it was during this season that God told me to start a blog. He told me He wanted people to witness what He was doing!)

After purchasing this field, God gave Jeremiah another instruction:

Jer 32:14-15  ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days.”  For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.”‘  NKJV

WOW! God told Jeremiah that he was going to own this field for a while!

Now Jeremiah, who was probably feeling like “I can’t believe I just did this,” went to the Lord for understanding.  He prayed this prayer (which is much longer and worth reading, but here is the beginning of it:)

Jer 32:16-19  “Now when I had delivered the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying: ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.  You show loving kindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them — the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts. You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. NKJV

WOW! Did you catch all that?? (I know God had my professor do a devotional on this AT THIS TIME to encourage me and renew my hope!)

  • THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR YOU – Jeremiah prayed this b/c he KNEW his recent act of obedience created a situation that looked TOO HARD or impossible.
  • THE LORD OF HOSTS – Jeremiah chose to refer to God by this name because it means “The Lord of the Army that is ready and waiting for the appointed time.” He knew there would be a process of time that would seem difficult but was encouraged that God was going to remain in control.
  • YOUR EYES ARE OPEN TO ALL THE WAYS OF MEN – there are multiple meanings in this for Jeremiah, but in my case it encouraged me that God knew my heart and motives were right when I decided to buy this property and He knows my motives were PURE.

This entire scenario, I believe, is what God was trying to show me back in 2005. But I didn’t have adequate understanding of the text at that time. God was trying to warn me that after taking this risk and purchasing this “field”, the enemy was going to lay siege (the recession) and I would own it for a time that would “last many days!”  He was also showing me how to pray to ward off doubt and unbelief:  “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You!!!”

A little further in the prayer, Jeremiah says:

Jer 32:24-25  ‘Look, the siege mounds! They have come to the city to take it; and the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword and famine and pestilence. What You have spoken has happened; there You see it! And You have said to me, O Lord GOD, “Buy the field for money, and take witnesses”! — yet the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans.‘” NKJV

The Lord’s word of the enemy’s attack had come to pass. The situation looked IMPOSSIBLE. But once again God said:

Jer 32:26-28  Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it. NKJV

Friends…. This speaks so loudly of God’s SOVEREIGNTY in the midst of this economic recession. If you continue reading the text you will find that God said He is allowing the enemy to take over and devour this city because the people had turned away from Him and were worshipping other gods! I believe God is getting people’s attention in our country by allowing the things they worship to crumble so they will fall to their knees and cry out to Him. HE IS A JEALOUS GOD WHO LOVES HIS CREATION WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE. He will allow us to be reduced to nothing for the sake of knowing Him intimately.

In my case specifically, I know God has revealed to me that He is allowing this in my life to cause me to become OH SO DEPENDENT on Him, that even when everything turns around, being dependent on Him will be a consistent state of being.  I admit there are days I say “If this condo would just sell, everything will be fine. If I just got a job (paycheck), everything would be fine; if I was only debt free, everything would be fine. NO! God is saying…. I AM YOUR SOURCE! I AM YOUR PROVIDER! I AM JEHOVAH JIREH! Find peace and security in ME, not in those things! He wants this to be SO deeply engrained in me…. thus the process of time. (If you do anything long enough it becomes habit, right? lol! ugh.)  Today is a day the Lord has made… I WILL rejoice and be glad (and secure) in it!

After telling Jeremiah what He is doing, he tells him His promise:

Jer 32:36-42  “Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’  “For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them. NKJV

We can trust the Lord in the midst of this difficult time because He is sovereignly in control! Yes, these Scriptures speak specifically into my condo situation, but there is a message in here for all of us.  IF WE STICK WITH GOD, HE WILL SEE US THROUGH IN THE END! HE WILL USE YOUR TRAGEDY TO BRING GLORY TO HIMSELF (people are witnesses to what He’s allowing in your life!) AND TO FULFILL HIS PROMISES TO YOU!  (Gee, sounds like what Pastor Maurice has been sharing from Ruth…. I guess when God wants to get a point across, He makes sure we keep hearing it!)

I will close with the word of the Lord from the next Chapter of Jeremiah:

Jer 33:14  ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised….’ NKJV

BE ENCOURAGED!

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

One Response to He is Faithful!

  1. Mel says:

    This is great Mary. Brought me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing. There is Nothing, Nothing, Nothing impossible for God!

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