During a five month period of time encompassing November 24, 2012 until April 27, 2013 I endured one of the most trying seasons of my life. This five month period was comprised not just of intense physical trials, but deep mental, emotional, and spiritual struggles as well.
Towards the latter part of April, I felt as if I was literally coming apart at the seams. I felt an intense weight, frustration, sadness, despair, and an increasing sense of hopelessness. The most frightening part of the experience was the fact that it felt as though the Lord was far away. I had become so accustomed to the Lord being so near that the sensation of the Lord being far away was one that was quite painful and very disconcerting.
Initially I thought that perhaps I was experiencing a spiritual attack and being engaged in intense spiritual warfare as had been done in the past, but received no leading for warfare and realized that this was not the enemy at work, but the Lord doing something far deeper in me than He had ever done before.
Around this time Bob received an email from a brother which the Lord kept bringing to mind as this particular brother expressed an intense weariness and a desire to no longer look at the evil that surrounds us. I could relate to that sentiment in a true and meaningful way as I too was feeling tired of "everything." I did not understand what was happening to me, only that I was different and something had changed in me in a profoundly negative way.
It was not until the Lord granted me insight that I realized that what I was feeling was the complete and utter absence of any joy in the Lord. Needless to say, this was more than just a bit disconcerting!
For so long Bob and I have encouraged one another with the distinct reality that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
“ ...Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
I no longer had the joy of the Lord with me, and with the absence of the Lord's joy I had no strength and quickly came to the end of myself as my own carnal resources were beyond pathetically inadequate compared to the challenges I was facing.
I have no shame in admitting that I was absolutely miserable and longed for the day that the trials, pain, and suffering of this life would be over. I did not want to feel the way I was feeling, but I had absolutely no means to bring about any change in my situation. I had no interest in reviewing blog posts, no desire to carry on my work, and struggled mightily to just make it through the day.
It was so bad that I didn't even know what to pray. The only thing I could muster was, "Lord, please help!"
It had been a significant period of time since I had received a word from the Lord, which only added to the intense feelings of despair and frustration. Nothing felt quite right and while I had no insight at the time into what was going on, I knew that I was not myself.
Early one morning during the last part of April I was waking up and praying when I received a word from the Lord, "Call out to me for everything. I will be your strength. You cannot do this alone."
The rest of the day I still felt all that I had been feeling previously, but with the important distinction that I was once again confident that the Lord was with me and that I could still hear Him.
The next day I was in the shower and received another word from the Lord, "Tell my people to call upon Me for their strength. I will renew and refresh them."
The rest of the day I sought the Lord for a confirmation on how I was supposed to deliver His word and when, and continued to press into the Lord seeking further insight into what He was doing with me.
After a particularly unsettling evening I was crying out to The Lord and all of a sudden He told me that what I was feeling now was just a glimpse of what people will be feeling soon when everything begins. I was going through this now so I could minister to people about endurance, perseverance, patience, enduring until the end, and the absolute necessity of calling upon the Lord for strength, refreshment, and renewal in the midst of the intense duress that we will all be experiencing once the fire season begins.
I felt that I was still missing a necessary confirmation so I continued to seek the Lord and the confirmation I was seeking came late the next night around 4 am. I was still having a very difficult time with things and the Lord prompted me to seek Him so that we could share an intensely emotional moment. I made some tea and was lead to do a word study on endurance, perseverance, and patience.
During the study the Lord lead me to the following scripture.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many. 12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. ~ 2 Corinthians 1: 3-12
I had read this before, but never really had the Lord's revelation insight understanding on it until that night. I realized what it was the Lord has been doing and what I am to share and minister.
I wept with joy and praised the Lord and received another word, "This is the food that must be served to the people and now is the time."
45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 47 Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ~ Matthew 24:45-51
At this point I thought that I had received the necessary green light to proceed to deliver the Word the Lord had given me, but He continued to stay my hand. I was not certain as to why this was, but the events of the last eight weeks have made it rather clear that He had much more for me to learn and yet still more deep work to perform in me.
When the particularly trying period I have just described let up and my joy in the Lord returned, I truly felt like a new man. However, I was unaware that what the Lord had just done in me was a necessary work of preparation that was to see me through the next intense season of trial and testing that was to come upon me in just a few short days. I did not realize it at the time, but the Lord had forever changed me during that season. He was crucifying my flesh and replacing it with His spirit. It was a work of love and a process of addition through subtraction.
The Word that the Lord gave to me, "Call upon me for your strength. I will refresh and renew (you)." has been what I have been clinging to and depending upon during this season of extreme testing and refinement.
I have been holding onto that Word from the Lord for nearly two months now, continually seeking Him as to when and how to deliver it to His people. I do believe that now is the time for His Word to be shared as I feel Him prompting me to do so.
The time is not yet right for me to share the details of what has been transpiring during the months of May and June, but let it suffice to say that the past two months have been the most intensely trying, painful, important months of my life. With that being said, they have also been two of the most inspiring, refreshing, strengthening, and encouraging months as well as I have seen the continued manifestation of my God's overwhelming love, mercy, patience, goodness, glory, and power displayed on behalf of His people as He has proven Himself faithful in providing the necessary strength, renewal, refreshing, peace, glory, and power exactly when they have been needed.
I am quite certain that there are those of you out there for whom this word is specifically intended as you find yourself in the midst of a seemingly overwhelming season of intense trial. It is my sincere prayer that this word finds you and that it accomplishes all that the Lord intends.
"Tell my people to call upon me for their strength. I will renew and refresh them."
In the time since the Lord shared that word with me, He has continued to reveal more to me pertaining to this word. One of the first was the fact that the desperation, frustration, exasperation, sadness, grief, weariness, despair, and fear were all just a glimpse of what is to come once the "fire season" is fully upon us. The only way in which we will be able to endure is to call upon the Lord for His strength, as whatever we have will be wholly pathetic and inadequate to even remotely compare to what we will be facing. However, what we will have through Him will be more than enough to get us through whatever may come.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
The strength, power, renewal, and refreshment that will come from the Lord will be all that we need. It is time to abandon any hope in the flesh and cling firmly to the promises of the Lord.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4: 7-16
Another essential lesson the Lord has been drilling me on every day is the fact that we, as followers of Y'shua, are called to walk by faith and not by sight. The Lord has continued to impress upon me that things are going to look very, very bad. Things are going to appear this way because they are indeed going to be very bad and appear that the battle has been won by the enemy and that all hope is lost.
Do not be fooled. It will only look that way, but rest assured that The One True God, my God, has everything under control and the end is not in question.
5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:5-10
The Lord will use appearances to test His people, and most will fail. Please dear brother and sister, do not let that be you! The Lord is good to let us know these things in advance that we may not be surprised at their coming.
Another thing the Lord has been working with me on is continuing to teach me that when we are confronted with the stark reality of an event it is far more intense and trying than what can be discussed, anticipated, or prepared for. Some may think that they have a good handle on things and are well prepared because they are under the impression they know exactly what is coming. It very well may be that folks may know exactly what is coming, but that does not mean that one can mentally ascend to the true understanding of the intense mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual trial that will manifest in that moment.
Do not trust in the flesh, when the distress comes call out to the Lord because only He will get us through! Hold on to the words, promises, and assurances He has given you, because He is faithful and true!
The fire season that is soon upon us will be a multifaceted attack on the lord's people. Individual vulnerabilities and weaknesses will be probed and attacked. Denying the existence of the vile, fleshly part of ourselves is no defense. Confessing our vile nature to the Lord, realizing that we can do nothing to improve the condition of our flesh, and crying out to the Lord for forgiveness and strength to resist temptation is the only solution.
...Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
The joy of the Lord truly is our strength and without this strength in His joy we have nothing!
I want to close this post by sharing what the Lord has been showing me most recently over the last week. The glory of the Lord and the refreshing aroma of Heaven will be a major source of the refreshing and renewal to the spirit that will sustain us as we must carry on here in these fleshly bodies fulfilling the Lord's work until our time here is done.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 2: 14-17
The sweet aroma and fragrance of Christ of which Paul speaks are very real, and I urge you to seek the Lord for them!
For those of you who are in the midst of intensely trying seasons and for those of you who will be experiencing such things when the fire season arrives, I want to leave you with the following word from the Lord. Remember this when you feel that you cannot go on, when you are tempted to believe that all is lost, when the enemy is trying to get you to concede that all hope is gone, and when you have come to the end of yourself and you feel that you have nothing left and can't possibly make it one more minute.
For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes. ~ Jeremiah 31:25
Dear brothers and sisters, call upon the Lord for He will be your strength. The Lord will refresh and renew you. He sees your struggles and He shall not fail you!
With Love and Blessings In Jesus Christ, Y'shua HaMashiach.
By Aaron Hermann ( Revelation of Babylon blog )
Correspond with Aaron through gmail (theultimateplan@)