Hi, it’s Michael. Welcome to Part 3 of Walking With God Through Crisis Seven Years Later. I hope you’ve watched Parts 1 and 2. Before I let you watch today’s clip, I want to point out something that is a little bit humiliating for me, now, to look back on seven years later. And I’m showing this to you, and pointing it out, intentionally. It’s something we all need to be aware of. The worst spiritual disease, the worst spiritual demon that you can be tormented by, and worse yet, possessed by, is the spiritual demon that we all have called “pride.” Pride is originated, and is the offspring, of satan. It comes right out of hell, and it destroys lives. And when I look at this, it’s something that I have battled with, tremendously, for almost all of my adult life, even into being a minister of God.
Because pride is the offspring of insecurity, and we are all coming into this world with a spiritual umbilical cord cut off from the only source of life, hope, love and acceptance we were ever designed to really know in our spirits and in our souls – God - we come into this world born as a sinner, as a rebel, cut off enemies of God, the Bible says, and this creates tremendous insecurity. So, we look to people and to things. Everybody wants to measure up. There are over seven billion of us on this planet, and everything in your instinct and in your nature says, “How can I make sure that I don’t get overlooked, that my needs get met, that I am paid attention to, that I am loved, that I am accepted, that I am protected, that I am taken care of?”
Pride, being the offspring of insecurity, is when a man or a woman begins to compare their strength against somebody else’s weakness. I have this in me. It is an insidious thing that I have fought for years, and I tell you the truth, I have hated it. Hated it with a bloody passion. I have cried about it; I have screamed about it. I have stomped my foot about it. It is . . . Andrew Murray blessed me to teach me that the most difficult of all the graces that God can give one . . . to attain . . . is humility, where you learn and know that God is ALL, and you are absolutely nothing. That is the true story of a Christian, from God’s perspective.
When I watch these videos of me seven years ago, I can see a pride that’s in me, okay? It’s horrible for me to look at. And after what Father has taken me through, through 2018, and given me much more clear eyes to see this, it is very difficult for me to see this. Okay? But nevertheless, it’s an important part of our journey, and let it be something that encourages you, that I am sitting here, telling you about my unstoppable “porno” addiction, if you will. Some guy is maybe trapped in porno, I have been trapped in pride. Okay? My pride addiction has been horrendous.
I have said, multiple times, that I, for my whole life and far into my adult years, was one of the most insecure human beings I have ever met. So, what happens here is this guy, coming out of carnal Christianity, he is . . . you’re going to hear a little bit of a sense of “I told you so,” and what you don’t know is that behind the scenes, I have been so brutally beat down by the naysayers, okay. Everybody. Not just my ex-wife, who thought I was cuck-coo. Everybody. My parents, and my friends, and the men at the Bible study, and you know, just people I knew. Everybody thought that I was wacked, and I had to hold on to God when nobody was with me.
I mean I had, maybe, two people, Gustavo and Carol Ann Dikes, that kind of were still hanging in there with me. Even my dearest friend, who you’ll hear me talk about, here in town . . . Bobby Junkin, who I mentioned in the last video . . . even he came this close, when another guy in the Bible study almost turned him against me, at one point. I mean, I was almost left with no one to believe me. It was horrible. So, what happens is, when we get to the end of this, I hope you’ll understand a little bit more, it’s a bit of an “I told you so.” Maybe you’ve felt that before, you know, the desire to be able to say, “Man, I was right. You know, you said I was wrong, but my God vindicated me.” Right?
If you read the Psalms, there is an awful lot of that in there, that “my enemies had me down, and now I gloat and boast over them.” That is an Old Covenant faith. In the New Covenant, we don’t gloat over our enemies. We do celebrate what God has done, and we do praise Him for His faithfulness. We praise Him for justice, but we don’t want and take delight in the defeat of our enemy, and we don’t want to run around and say, “I told you so.” We’ll let God be the one to say, “I told you so.”
I see a little bit of this in me, and it’s . . . I actually see quite a bit of it, and it’s hard for me to watch, but you know something, I want to praise God, Almighty, because He has worked that out of me. I am still working on my pride. I am still working on humility, and I tell you, I have so much to share with you on this subject, I wish I could do it now. 2018 was Michael Chriswell’s biggest year of humiliation. You see, when you come to serve the Lord, God may do some things with you that are exceptional, and that are incredible. Okay? So, I want to just challenge you; make sure you’re not comparing your humility to mine, and my pride to yours, because perhaps, you have not had to have your humility tested in the way mine has.
I recently tried to explain to a friend of mine, who . . . I kind of felt like he was comparing his humility to mine . . . and I wanted to say to him, “You know, my brother, have you had your faith, your humility, tested to the point where God has blessed you so much that thousands of people’s lives have been touched by you? I mean, has your humility ever had to be tested in that way? And if it has not, the Bible says, “. . . silver for crucible, fire for the gold, but a man is tested by the praise he receives . . .,” so if you’re going to compare your humility to mine, it’s pretty easy sometimes to be humble behind that end of the camera. Maybe God has not exalted you, at this point, to this level. Maybe He never will. I’m not sure. But if He did, you would discover that your humility required a tremendous amount of more strength, a tremendous amount of more testing. Okay?”
These are just a few thoughts. I’d like to go a lot deeper on this, but I’m going to have to save that for another video. I just want you to praise God with me. Father has been answering my prayers. I have been praying for years, “God, help me to stay humble. Help me to remember that I am absolutely nothing.” My friends, I will tell you, God did that to me in 2018. He put my face in the dirt, Hallelujah, praise the Lord, God, Almighty, for the suffering that I went through. Unbelievably, painful suffering, humiliation, humiliation.
I’m going to tell one story . . . God help me, I don’t want to get ahead on this . . . I’m going to just tell one story. One night, sitting at a kitchen table, with Jarod and Kristin, Jarod, unsolicited . . . I did not ask him for this . . . but unsolicited, he was talking about having lived with me, and he said, “I’m not sure people would ask questions, but if anybody ever asks me about Michael Chriswell,” he goes, “this is what my answer would be: That I have never in my life seen anybody repent like Michael Chriswell does.”
He could’ve said any number of things. He could’ve said “I’ve never seen anybody as faithful, I’ve never seen anybody as eloquent. I’ve never seen anybody as holy.” He didn’t say that. He said he’s never seen anybody repent like me, and the reason is, because he lived with me in 2018, when everything in me was broken down before the Lord, humbled to where I would know John 15:5 and 6 in my everyday experience for an entire year: Apart from You, I can do nothing. I thank God for that. It’s so important. This is something that I am wanting to teach on more and bless people more with.
But today, understand as you watch this video, (pointing to the computer monitor) whatever it is you are facing, whatever mountains are in your way . . . whether it is a pornography or sex addiction, a drug addiction, an addiction to self, an addiction to fear, whatever it is . . . alcohol, self, gossip, luke-warmness, pride . . . whatever it is, please be encouraged to know that God can and will slay all the giants in your life. He has given me such victory this year. I’m not going to even remotely say that I am there. I’m not going to remotely say I’ll never go back. But it is God who keeps me. He is the One who can keep me low, and I want as much grace as I can possibly get, so I’m going to stay as low before my Father as I can.
I will tell you; my Father has done a tremendous work. My job has been to fight for humility, to in faith, believe Him for it. His job has been to give it to me and keep me in it. That’s His job, to keep me firm until the end, and He is able to do it, the Bible says. So, remember, whatever giants you’re facing, God can bless you. Okay? God can bless you. It is a reminder of how faithful Father is to take away even the most difficult . . . and look. Give God some time, you know. I couldn’t even see this kind of pride in me seven years ago. Okay? I couldn’t see it. I didn’t have eyes, yet, to see it. I was aware of pride and all, but it was much more of an act. I had to act it out, and forcefully pretend to have it, and constantly try to put it down on my own.
It was not the humility of Christ, where you are nothing and God is everything. It doesn’t mean that you condemn yourself as nothing. It means that you humble yourself in recognition of the fact that apart from Jesus Christ, you are absolutely nothing, and that He is everything. And it is true, my friend. It just takes us a long time to learn this, some of us longer than others (pointing fingers back at himself). Zac Poonen said it best: What is the hardest thing in the world for God to do? The hardest thing in the world for God to do is to keep a man humble after He blesses him.
Pride can send Michael Chriswell to hell, so I am so thankful to see this (pointing to the computer monitor referring to the video where he is speaking from his parent’s house on the couch). It is very humbling for me to see it, the “I told you so,” and that sense of pride. But also, don’t trip over that. Okay? There is a really awesome story. Please don’t trip over it. Understand, God sees that in me, and He is going to deal with that. That’s why He’s going to lock me up in a prison, that’s why He is going to drive me into some serious suffering. You know, there is a lot of suffering ahead of this guy. A lot. This is not, “Oh, okay, great. The Red Sea has parted, no more suffering.” No. This is more like the parting of the Jordan River, and now it’s into battle after battle after battle after battle. I’m in the wilderness, but I’m really just entering the wilderness here. It’s important to remember that.
But trust God. Trust God. You know, listen, Father had these words come out of my mouth in a recording one day, and they have proven to be so powerfully anointed words. The truth. They are Biblical. Three principles. Three tenants of Christianity: The humility to know and admit that you cannot, the faith to know and believe that He can, and the patience to wait until He does. I tell you, my friend, if you will take all three of those things before God, no matter what you are facing, God will bless you. You will see victory over that giant, whatever it is you are facing.
The humility to know and admit, openly, “God, I cannot do this.” Not “God, I’m a loser, I’m a dirtbag, or whatever.” I mean, if you need to say that to God for a while, go for it. I mean, I actually told Father this past year that I am a wretched man, I deserve nothing but hell, I don’t even deserve to take the name “Jesus Christ” on my lips . . . that I’m on a fast track to hell, in who I am, apart from Him. I literally told Father that. Okay? But it was an admission. It was not a condemnation. I just simply adjoined God in condemning the part of me that is not Him.
I stood with God, and I looked at me, and I said, “That guy is a dirty, rotten sinner. He’s wretched. In him is no good thing that is in his sinful nature, and he deserves hell.” Okay? I got in agreement with God about the part of me that is me. All right? But in the spirit, I did not condemn myself. I took this position of humility; “Father, I cannot do this without You.” Listen, please do this. No matter what you are facing. It doesn’t matter what level of Christianity you’re in right now, okay. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian, 30 years or 30 days. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 30 obstacles ahead of you or 300 ahead of you. No matter what, when you come to these, you bring to God the humility . . . listen. This is the first thing that men will not do is, they will not humble themselves before God. This pride eats them alive from the inside.
Get on your knees. If not, in your heart, get on your knees before God. Humble yourself. “I cannot.”
Faith. May it be to me according to my faith. “You can. You will. I know You will.” Why do you know it? His Word says it. Find the passages in the Bible that will feed your faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing, by the Word of God.
Number three, patience. Hebrews 6:12, and 6:15. Hebrews 6:12 – “Do not be lazy.” To not follow these three would be to be lazy. “But imitate those who, through faith and patience, have inherited what has been promised.” Faith and patience. Hebrews 6:15 – “Abraham, after waiting a long time, patiently, received what was promised.”
May it be that you grab ahold of these, and watch God knock down one giant after another. This was one of my biggest ones that I’m pointing out for you today. But enjoy the story. There are going to be some unbelievable things that are going to happen when you see this, but perhaps, when you see it, you’ll understand why it was so hard for me to stay humble after God did this. Let’s take a look.
(The video in his parent’s house sitting on the couch.) Now, the next thing that happened, spring break, my parents are down, they are watching the kids, and I drop my iPhone . . . I have hardly any money. My wife has taken all of the money from the business, she closed our personal accounts, and I’m having to start a new business to make some money. I drop my iPhone, while I’m playing with one of my kids, and I break the glass. The phone stops working. I spend five hours trying to fix it, because I don’t have the money to buy a new one.
So, I asked my parents if they would watch the kids, and I took off to go to the Apple Store to see if they could fix it. While on the way to the Apple Store, I stop at a gas station, and I pump gas. As I go to hang up the gas pump handle, I’ve pumped 14.777 gallons of gas, and I’m like, “777?” I honestly said to the Lord, “Okay, Lord, so if I see “666,” and something bad happens, does that mean that something good is going to happen when I see this “777”?” I mean, I was kind of joking, you know, but I was also being serious, because I knew “God’s showing me these “666’s,” it could be, these “777’s,” there’s something to this.”
So, I go to the Mac Store. I’m there for an hour. The lady is trying to fix the phone. She says, “We can fix the glass for $35.” She tries to reset the software, it won’t reset. And she says, “I’m sorry. This phone is dead. You’re probably going to have to get a replacement.” I said, “Oh, I can’t. I can’t do that right now; I just don’t have the money.” I didn’t have any money, honestly. I didn’t have the couple of hundred bucks to buy myself a phone, that’s how bad it was. And I said to her, “I can’t get it.” She said, “Oh, no, I’m going to take care of this for you.”
My phone wasn’t even in warranty. She gives me a brand new, $600 phone. I walked out of that store, praising God, thinking about that “777,” realizing . . . “He just showed me the “777.” Now, I got this brand-new phone. I know God wants me to pay attention to this.” I was so excited. Okay. Now, I’m seeing “666,” “555,” “777.” All three numbers begin to show up at random, all throughout this process, and I’m just continuing on in the divorce. (Various pictures captured of the numbers “666,” “555,” “777” – on license plates, the identification numbers on semi-truck tractor trailers, the number of words in a document, topology of mountains, odometer mileage readings, billboard phone numbers, advertisements, identification numbers on police cars and taxi cabs, prices for food, slot machine winning numbers, number of views of a video, software versions, bank account amounts, receipts.)
In May of 2011, May 28th, my parents called me on a Friday. They realize I am not making it. My roommate, my best friend, unfortunately, had gotten involved in some things he shouldn’t have, I confronted him on it. It tore our relationship apart. He left, and now, I’m trying to carry the load of my rental house all by myself, my bills, he was also my business partner. I had to let him go. And now, everything is just falling apart again. I can’t keep my life working. I’m just not making it.
My mom calls me on a Friday. She says, “Michael, I’m not going to hear anything different. We’re coming to get you.” They come down on Sunday, pack up everything. We leave, we go home . . . come to Alabama. I have to explain to my kids, I’m leaving.
Oh, by the way, in mediation, my ex-wife had said in front of everybody, “Michael, you need to make the child support the top priority. Why don’t you do what I did and go live in your parent’s house, so that you can make child support your top priority?” Well, that’s exactly what I was having to do. I went to her door and told her about this, and she cried and gave me a hug. Three days later, my kids were told I left for no reason, that I abandoned them, and the Court was told that I abandoned them, to give you an idea of how this deal is playing out. Now, do you wonder why I’m seeing “666’s” all the time?
So, now, I’m back here in Alabama at my parent’s house. I’m sitting around trying to catch my breath, not doing anything for, like, the first 30 days. My mom’s like, “You just need to take 6 to 8 weeks and do nothing. You’ve got to catch your breath.” Well, that’s really not me, that’s not my personality. I’m a hard-working guy, and I like to be doing something. Sixty days has gone by, I’m starting to go berserk. I gotta make enough money . . . my parents are having to help pay my child support, I gotta start making money somehow. What do I do?
I started to think about getting back into sales and motivational speaking. I needed pain relief. I can go do sales training, and motivational speaking, make a good living, I can get myself some pain relief and start putting my life back together, get out of my parent’s house, get my own car, start moving forward with life again. All of a sudden, as I’m thinking about this, I start seeing the number “222” all over the place (showing examples of pictures captured – phone numbers, highway routes, book titles, Scripture verses.). My parents even notice I’m seeing it. So, one day, sitting on the front porch, I have decided, “That’s it. I’m going to go back into speaking,” but I said, “You know what, I need to pray about this. I need to ask the Father, what does He say about this?” So, I said my prayer to the Father about my work situation. I get up, go walk inside to get something to drink, and as I walk past the clock, what time is it? “2:22.” I walk back outside, and I’m like, “Father, I need to know, what does this number mean? I get the “666.” I get the “777,” and the “555.” What does “222” mean?” I’m praying, and all of a sudden, I hear, “It’s a Scripture verse.” I’m like, “Okay, which Scripture verse? Where do I go to find it?”
I just started in the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, I get to Mark 2:22, and the words I read, I knew instantly God is not only warning me now about bad things that are happening. He’s not only trying to give me some good news with the “777.” He’s not only telling me with the “555’s,” He’s going to deliver me. Now, He’s giving me instructions about my career. Mark 2:22 says, “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins, for if he does, the skins will burst, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. No. A man pours new wine into new wineskins,” and just as quick as I could get my eyes off of that page, the Holy Spirit says, “Michael, We are not taking the work that We have been doing in your heart and in your character and turning around and pouring it right back into the old wineskins of motivational speaker and sales trainer.” And I’m telling you, I was completely arrested. I was like, “oh, my goodness, this is amazing. God is directing my every step. He’s now telling me what to do in my career. He’s telling me to sit still.” Okay.
So, the divorce just continues on for a long time. Meanwhile, God is showing me these numbers. Every single time something bad happens, He shows me in advance. And things just fall apart. I mean, there are things that you . . . I can’t even begin to tell you how horrible some of these things were, just frustrating. Legal letters arriving at the door all the time. You know, driving down to Florida for a Hearing, and getting a phone call 127 miles into it that it’s been cancelled, because the Judge has been objected to, because they don’t want to hear my Motion for summertime visitation, et cetera, et cetera. They started playing games with me being able to see my kids, and I wasn’t able to have over-night visitation with them. Our Judge retires. We were supposed to be divorced in August of 2011 . . . a year after . . . we had our trial dates set for, like, August 17th of 2011, and the Judge retires.
So, here comes summertime visitation, no summertime visitation for me. Taxes, they are asking me to help file a joint return. I put together all the paperwork. They make me wait until the last minute, and they change their mind, and they have her file separate at the last minute. They don’t tell me, intentionally, so that I now have filed my taxes late and have to pay a penalty. (shows an example of the notice amount of the penalty for failing to file – “6.66”)
Just all kinds of stuff like this happening where she’s clearly going out of her way to make my life a living hell. But, every single time, God warns me, and I mean every single time. He never didn’t warn me a single time. God, thank You for Your faithfulness, Father. Every single time. (shows example of a picture captured with the numbers “777” on them – file sizes).
(Back to the present-day video where he is in front of the computer monitor at the computer desk.) Isn’t that “777” neat, when I first made this video? That is just such a neat thing (referring to the file size of the video where he is sitting on the couch at his parent’s house) to see God do things like that, and just to confirm. I made a few notes I want to go over with you here. But hopefully, you did see a little bit of that pride. It’s not arrogance, quite exactly, but it’s really kind of an “I told you so.”
And again, that’s because of all the naysayers, and I’m trying to say, “Look, my God is big, my God is bad, my God is awesome. This is my God. You all were looking down your nose at me, and now look at what my God has done.” But the Lord was going to work all of that out of me. I was still a bit like Peter, at this point, willing to rip off some ears with a sword, but Father was really going to work on me, and He was going to do a tremendous amount of suffering to bring about the character of Christ, as He will in your life, in accordance with whatever level of service that He is going to one day ask of you.
Look at the kind of grace that God is reaching through to little old me, and look at this; celebrate it. Even though, He can see the pride a whole lot better than I can, and He sees all the other ways that I’m not yet like Jesus Christ, this is incredible. Do you know how many videos I’ve mentioned I didn’t have to be perfect before God began to bless me? Please see this. Okay? Please see this. Pride is the worst of all the things. I mean, look at what it says of the Day of the Lord, and of the Day of the vengeance of God, and he talks over and over about He is going to bring low the pride of men, right? God hates pride. I mean, it’s detestable to Him. I understand why.
Look at how Father is looking past it, to a degree, because He knows I’m ignorant. You know, Father will look past your ignorance, too, for a time. Then, when He gives you light, you need to participate with Him. Call it “sin,” and then jump into those three – humility, faith and patience – with Him and start working on it, and believe that God will help you slay these giants on the way into the promised land.
You know, I also, when I think of what I see God doing with me, I think of Psalm 32:10. It says, “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.” If you trust God, His love will surround you. Is that not what you’re seeing in this? God’s love is surrounding me, this little orphan heart of mine, all my life, looking for a father-figure, a mentor, somebody to love me, somebody to tell me I count, and I measure up. My Father in heaven is reaching through with extra-ordinary grace and His unfailing love, to lift me up, to heal that little orphan heart that I have, and that so many of us spiritually have, and He is blessing me. And He will do the same thing for you. Okay? Be encouraged.
But also let me say this: I’m not living in any known sin at this time. Okay? I’m not messing around with sex, and drinking, drugging, alcohol, cussing like a sailor, watching dirty movies. I’m trying to walk in righteousness. Jesus Christ said, in John 8, that He is the light of the world, and all who follow Him will never walk in darkness. So, I’m not walking in any known sin. I am forgiving the greatest enemy, at this point, I’ve ever had in my life. I’m trying to be kind to her, not return wrong for wrong. I’m being willing to lose things. I’m starting to obey the teachings of Christ. I’m humbling myself and apologizing to my mother when things get out of hand, and I disagree with her on things, or what have you. I’m trying to become more like Jesus Christ. Okay? I’m really making a solid effort.
I’m in God’s Word. I’m not wasting my time. I’m doing everything He is asking me to do, and I’m suffering a lot for His name. I’m going to suffer a lot more than what I’m aware of at this point, but . . . George Muller said it best. He said, “You cannot live in sin and, at the same time, draw down from heaven the resources that you need for life or service for God. You cannot do it.” So, keep in mind, I’m not living in any known sin, and again . . . I have sinned, you can see, but what is “sin”? Romans 3:23? “All have fallen short of the glory of God.”
So, “falling short of the glory of God” is sin. As soon as you become aware of it, it’s sin, right, and the Bible even says there’s a thing called “unconscious sin”. You can read it up in your Old Covenant Bible study sometime and see that even if a man didn’t realize it, he was still guilty. Sin is sin to God, right? But in the New Covenant, when God brings something up and gives you light, understanding on something, now you know you have the sin, you deal with it – you rip out the eye, you cut off the hand - you do everything you can do in your power, and you trust God to bring you the grace to do the rest. I wanted to make that point.
Interesting little fact: the girl that helped me at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store with the iPhone, believe it or not, I had an employee named Justin Pew, who had worked at my video production, part-time, at the company that I owned called “Revelations Training.” And when I went there, I just happened to mention, I said, “Oh, yeah, I had an employee who used to work here, his name is Justin,” and she said, “Oh, I know Justin, I love Justin, I know him.” That’s no coincidence. You know, there’s a half-a-dozen to a dozen people back there, workers just behind the Genius Bar, and I got her, and I just thought, “Man, God, You worked out everything.” He connected me to the right people in order to bless me. Our Father is so sovereign and so awesome.
So, the “777” thing, the first siting was at the gas pump, and I have absolutely no idea how significant “777” is going to be. It’s just extra-ordinary what God is going to do with this. At the end, it has nothing to do with an iPhone, but God clearly got my attention to start paying attention to it. I also mention here that I am seeing some incredible supernatural things from God, but I still have so much ignorance, and I have so much to learn. I’ve kind of already mentioned this. My character was not like Jesus Christ. There is so much left for this guy to become like Jesus.
You know, this is something I remember Zac Poonen saying, that it takes 10 years, on average, for God to make a true man of God, and this is Biblical. When you look at some of the men that God used; 13 years before Paul receives his ministry to the Gentiles. I think it was 13 years for Joseph, between the time he gets the vision and the time he gets promoted. It was 20 years for Jacob, 40 years for Moses, 10 years for David on the run from Saul. So, it takes a long time . . . when God is going to develop a servant of the Lord, it takes a long time for Him to work that character. I’m no exception. I’m not any better than those guys are. Now, for those that are not in the New Covenant, I am better off, meaning the David’s and those guys that were in the Old Covenant. I’m better off, because I now have the opportunity to have Christ Jesus dwelling in me, helping me to live that which I cannot do on my own. Nobody can live up to the righteous requirements of the law.
But God is going to throw me into a spiritual prison. You know, this house that you see me doing this video in (referring to the one where he is sitting on the couch speaking to us) is my mom’s house, and that is very much going to become a spiritual prison to me. Now, if you notice in this video, I mention satan a lot, and evil, and all this stuff. What I have yet to come to an understanding of is that, all of this is coming from God’s hand. All of it. Oh, I could do a two-hour teaching on this, and show you all of the Scriptures. I mean, goodness gracious, if you just go to Job, and you see that nothing happens in Job’s life apart from God’s permission. Yes, it’s the devil who is the immediate direct influencer and destroyer of his life and circumstances, but it is indirectly, and it is very much coming down from the hand of Father. Father is the one who is allowing this to happen, for His good reasons.
I haven’t yet realized that. I am still just thinking that God is kind of trying to help me out, like I just have to cling to Him, it’s all about God just helping me out. I have no idea Father is actually orchestrating all of these unbelievable difficult circumstances, and all for what? To conform me into the image of Jesus Christ. The Bible says is it not He who wounds, His hands wound. It says, does not both calamity and blessing come from My mouth and from His hands? I could show you so many Scriptures that God is the one who afflicts. God is the one who disciplines. Now, He just doesn’t have to do the dirty work. He uses the devil, and not even the devil has to always do the dirty work. He has plenty of disobedient people on his chessboard of which to chose from. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So, the pressure at this point, where I’m seeing the “222’s” . . . the pressure is starting to build. I’m 60 days or so into my parent’s house, and I’m ready to deliver myself. I’m uncomfortable, I’m not doing what I want to do. I don’t have my freedom. I have no money. My dignity is going in the toilet. I can’t see my children. I don’t have any power in Court. I’ve lost everything. I’m in Psalm 66:10 through 12, and I’m going to try to save myself. I’m wanting desperately to deliver myself. My friends, this is such an important lesson not to do. You have to learn not to deliver yourself. Again, to defer to George Muller, who said it much better than I ever could. He said the propensity is that when you get yourself in a difficult situation, and God allows some difficulty in your life, your drive and your instinct is not to look to God. Your instinct is to deliver yourself. The flesh does not want to look to God. It wants to look to yourself or to people around you, warm bodies, five-senses-type help. Okay? You have to learn to resist that, and kill that part of you. That’s the crucifying of the flesh, putting down the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit. You have to learn.
And so, what George would explain is, when some difficulty comes upon you or me, and then we try to deliver ourselves, he says once you do it one time, that will very likely become your default pattern every subsequent time something difficult happens to you. With me, now, I have the exact opposite. No matter what difficulty comes in, I never try to deliver myself to the great dismay of many people around me that still want me to deliver myself, do something about that, fix that, plan for it, arrange that, you know, get rid of that, whatever it is. Father does it all. He literally does it all, and I wait for Him. Okay? I wait for Him. My life is a life of entire obedience, waiting upon Father. I am learning much more about the humility of Jesus Christ, to not do or say or speak anything that the Father hasn’t asked me to speak, or asked me to do. I only speak and do that which the Father has asked me to do and say, like John 5:19, John 5:30, things like that.
The point being, I am being tested. Will I deliver myself? And God is going to tell me, “Stay put.” I don’t have the peace to move forward, but I have a tremendous desire, and then God is, through grace, reaching through to me, through some of the writings of great dead men, to help me understand these principles, that sometimes God will put you in a cage, and He is testing you to see; will you stay in the fire? Will you stay put? God may be doing that to you, as well.
This guidance is truly remarkable, the “222” guidance and all that. I think I mentioned, now, there are many, many, many, many numbers . . . I think I’ve already mentioned that . . . Psalm 25:12. Psalm 25:12 says, “Who is the man or woman who fears the Lord, He will instruct them in the way chosen for them.” It’s a guarantee. It’s a promise. Grab ahold of it. If you fear God, and you’re not walking in any known sin . . . again, you cannot get this kind of guidance if you are living in known sin. You haven’t decided, yet, to forgive that person or to forgive yourself, or you are holding on to a little dishonesty in your money, or you’re still watching things you know you shouldn’t be watching, whatever it is that you know is violating your conscience, that Father knows is violating your conscience, you cannot expect to get this kind of guidance. Okay?
If you do get any guidance, it’ll be “Stop that. Set that down. Get away from that. Repent.” That’s the kind of guidance God will give you. You know, when John the Baptist comes, he comes yelling out, “Make straight paths for the Lord to travel.” That is spiritual, that is not physical. He does not mean, get out sticks and shovels and start making straight paths for the Lord to travel all around Galilee and Nazareth, here and there. No. He means, spiritually, make straight paths in your heart, in your life, for the Lord to travel in your life. So many Christians don’t get this. They cry out for God’s help, but they have not yet made a straight path for the Lord to travel.
You have to get that sin out of your life. You have to show God you fear Him. You have to obey Him. You have to get rid of that harboring unforgiveness that you have towards whoever, whatever, whenever. You have to set down that pornography. You’ve gotta set down that peace pipe. You’ve gotta set down the alcohol, the over-eating. You cannot be a glutton and run to Jesus, and go, “Oh, Lord, I don’t understand why I don’t feel Your love and You’re not speaking to me.” You have to make straight paths for the Lord to travel.
Is there disobedience in your life? Are you deciding, full well, to do your own will rather than God’s? Have you ever even acknowledged that God has a will for your life, or are you just doing your will, and hoping all the time, He’ll bless it? See, these were not the attitudes I had in order to get this kind of guidance that I still enjoy today. It’s incredible what God will do for those who obey Him and bless Him, through faithful endurance, humility, patience, waiting upon God. You will be amazed. You will be amazed.
I think that’s kind of all the notes I have from this one, so I’ll end this one here . . . I’ll try to keep these a little bit shorter, and we’ll see you on the very next one. May God bless you and keep you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. May He make His face, indeed, to shine upon you. May He speak volumes to your heart about His ways. May He extend His loving grace and His unfailing kindness to you. May He turn His face toward you and bless you. May He encourage you with His Word. May He please have your ears to hear. And pay attention to what God is trying to say to you, and when it’s made clear to you, may you do it. Fight to do it! And if you cannot do it all the way, God will help you. I pray God will bless you richly, in the name of Jesus Christ, to know Him more. Everything that is good in the Christian life comes out of a personal relationship with Him, knowing Him. He is with me all the time.
And prayer. Prayer is so important. Prayer is so important. That’s the final thing I want to tell you. I don’t ever just sit down in front of this camera without praying. This is all Spirit-led, “Father, please help me.” I don’t even know what I’m going to say before I sit down and do this. I ask the Lord to give me bread, so if it ministers to you, listen, it’s not me. It’s God who did it. And if you are listening to this, and you know that I’ve just said something to you you need to hear, praise Father in heaven. It’s because I prayed before I said these words, and I asked Father to bless me, to anoint me to speak His words, and to give a life-giving bread, through me, to you.
And then the Holy Spirit is at work in you to receive this bread, to understand this bread, to take the bread and to eat it, to be filled and nourished, to be strengthened by it, brother and sister in Christ. That’s the way it works when Father is at work in both of our lives. So, by prayer, everything . . . Philippians 4:6 and 7 . . . everything by prayer. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything . . . in everything . . .” let me say it one more time “. . . in everything by prayer.” Remember that. Pray about everything. I pray about everything. I love praying to Father. I love praying to Father.
So, I love you, and I just pray God pours out His blessings on you, and He will keep you, and continue to teach you. Hold onto Him with everything you have, because He is holding onto you. I’ll see you on the next video. Bye-bye.