THE WALK OF ABANDONMENT V
In this weeks message, I am sharing with you a vision that a dear saint sent to me a couple of weeks ago. I could relate to this simple picture of us abandoning our life and embracing His. As you read and meditate on this carefully, I pray it encourages and strengthens you in your personal relationship with Jesus. In the days ahead, God’s remnant will become like sheep that must listen to and depend on Him completely. We are NOT our own shepherd! When will we truly begin to follow Him?
For 2 nights in a row, I have had a recurring vision. I had forgotten about it until I laid down on the second night and had it again. Therefore, I got up to write down all that I saw and all that the Lord said to me in it: In the vision, I am walking on a green grassed hilltop, I notice that there is such beauty all around me as the summer sunshine brings everything to life. I am walking along the edge of the hill and I look down the side and see Jesus sitting on the hillside below. I climb down to Him and He is seated with his knees up and his arms wrapped around his legs watching something below in the valley. I follow His eyes to where He is looking, and I see many sheep grazing and walking around in the valley below. They are content and peaceful as they meander in the shaded areas. Jesus was watching them and He seemed to be lost in thought. I sat down next to Him and quietly began to watch the sheep with Him.
I do not know how much time went by, but I noticed that it began to rain off in the distance from us, but where we were, it was still dry. The clouds brought rain to the neighboring area and after awhile the rain began to pool up into puddles and little streams. The rainwater began to run towards the sheep where they were all grazing and standing. When the rain pooled together, the sheep noticed the water coming up around their feet. They did not like the water rising so they began to move around nervously and started to back up to try to avoid the invading rain puddles. Eventually the rain caused the puddles to flow together into the valley and the grass became saturated, even in their area right below us. The sheep were bleating and were annoyed at the inconvenience of getting their feet wet. Some began to climb up the mountain until they found the dry hillside and they stayed on the slope out of the reach of the rain. Others began to walk in the puddles or run through the soggy grass trying to find another part of the valley that was not wet. The rain clouds did not move into the area where we were, only the waters from the neighboring rains continued to flow their way. Then the rains stopped, the clouds left, and the sun dried everything up and the sheep went back into the valley floor and grazed as before.
The Lord did not say anything, but He did look up and down the valley surveying everything as he did. He smiled and seemed content. He leaned back some and reclined along the hillside and put His hands behind his head to look down at the sheep. I also leaned back slightly and watched the sheep too. After a few minutes, I saw a different looking cloud system come on the horizon. It looked like it was top heavy and smaller on the bottom. It was dark and foreboding, and the cloud system moved closer to the valley this time, and it eventually blocked out the sunshine. When it did, the sheep looked up and looked around. The cloud cover had gotten their attention. The temperature in the air dropped and a cooler breeze began to blow. The sheep began to stir and to group together nervously. Then a loud thunder shot out of the cloud and the sheep broke out and ran in all directions. Rain began to fall furiously and the sheep were crying out in fear and were looking for anywhere to hide. There was no place to go, as the trees in the valley were not mature or big enough to offer much shade yet. The sheep also tried to rub up against rocks for some shelter, but the rocks were not big enough to offer much cover. Some sheep ran away, and I did not see where they went. Others began to huddle together as they miserably were soaked. The lightning and thunder made them cry out and they frequently bolted and ran and then huddled as they found each other again.
From where I was sitting, I could see the storm clouds dropping the rain below us. I wondered why the sheep did not come up higher where it was sunny and dry. The noise of the thunder seemed to disorient them and it paralyzed them with fear. I thought about calling out to them, but I realized that they would not hear me anyway. The Lord did not do anything but watch. I also sat there and watched. I only saw one or two sheep eventually attempt to climb the hillside. The majority of them just wore themselves out until they were exhausted, and some even laid down in defeat. I felt sorry for them. Then the rain quit and the clouds dissipated and the sun came out again. The sheep seemed to revive and gather back together from their various positions. They dried out and then began to graze again. It then seemed like it was just as before. I looked over at the Lord and He was watching me. I was surprised, but He said nothing. He smiled and I felt reassured, and He again gestured toward the valley. My gaze followed His hands. I looked and the valley was peaceful as before.
Suddenly, I felt a rumbling coming from under the ground. The ground vibrated with a rumble that seemed like horses were running close by. I looked for the horses, but there were none. I waited. Soon, off to the distance, I could see something approaching along the valley floor. It was moving fast and it was driven by wind. I looked, and then I saw that it was a wall of water coming towards the valley, moving along the valley floor, like a flash flood would move after a very heavy downpour. I looked towards the sheep where they were grazing and I realized they did not know the raging water was coming towards them. The sheep had looked up and around when the ground rumbled, but they did not seem to be agitated in any way. Most went back to grazing, but some looked around as they stood there. The flood came closer and the wind picked up, and I saw that the sheep now sensed that something was coming. They began to gather together and to bleat nervously as they milled all around. However, they still could not see the flood coming yet. I thought about yelling down to them, but again, I knew they would not hear me above the winds. I waited to see what the sheep would do. The raging waters came within sight now and the sheep started to move anxiously and looked everywhere for a way out. They began to jump over one another as they tried to decide what direction they were going to run in. Soon the waters came right behind them as they were running, but the waters were faster than they were. The water hit them with a hard force and they were swept off their feet, tossing in the force of the floodwaters.
Some were crying and trying to swim towards the edge of the hill. They got their feet on the edge and tried to climb out of the waters, but only a few made it. Most of the sheep were carried downstream by the waters, crying out woefully as they went. I saw many drown. I was alarmed as I watched and dismayed as I saw their plight. Jesus did not move or do anything but watch. I looked back to the sheep again, and I noticed that the ones that were smart enough to make for the sides were faring better. The ones that had gotten a foothold were beginning to climb up the side of the hill away from the floods. The winds picked up even more now and the level of the water rose. All of the ones that were swept away in the waters had floated downstream in the deepening waters because it was too deep and fierce to stand in or navigate. I would guess that only about 1/3rd had climbed. Of the 1/3rd that did make it, I noticed that most of them also stopped just above the flood level line because they were tired and they felt safe. Many laid there on the hillside and rested as best they could in the winds and in the noise of the storm. A few kept climbing higher as they were too afraid to stop, they just ran very fast up the hill till they reached high ground above the storm. Then they fell down and rested on the hillside and bleated in exhaustion and huddled together shaking until they eventually dried off. They were too tired to run anymore even though the storm was noisy below them, they seemed to know they were safe from where they were above. I looked to see where the ones that stopped just above the water’s edge were, and how they had fared. I could see that most had stayed there on the side of the hill shaking and crying in the rain. I also noticed that the water level was still rising, and I knew that these sheep were not safe where they were. I do not think they realized their impending plight. More thunder and lightning flashed and sounded which caused these sidelined sheep to jump and to cry out, but not many moved from their place even though the winds blew the rain on them even more.
They seemed to be paralyzed in their fear. I saw a couple of smaller sheep suddenly bolt forth in fear and they too ran up the hillside further in their panic. They ran until they also found the sunshine above the storm line. The two little sheep fell down in relief and shook nervously for a while as they huddled together trying to get their bearings. The others below watched the two little ones climb, but they did not get up and make a move towards where we were sitting. I think they either gave up, or they thought the waters would not come up any higher. Suddenly a huge surge moved through the flood waters, like a giant wake of water would move, and the other sheep below were swept off of the lower levels of the hillside and they have also swept away. I could hear their cries as they were swept away. I did not see where they went to. I looked to where the sheep were that had climbed the hillside, and Jesus was now over with them and He was petting them comfortingly. I didn’t even realize that the Lord had risen from His place next to me to go to them. I jumped up and went to where they were standing by the Lord on the hillside. He was stroking their fur lovingly and they were nuzzling Him. He laughed and bent down and hugged some of them. They began to relax and to bend down and to graze again on the hillside. Jesus smiled at them and seemed satisfied. He turned and looked at me. He waited for a moment and then He said, “The winds have begun to blow in this season, and the new rains have begun, and yet most of the people think this is still like any other day. The waters of adversity and the storms of life will rise in the earth. But where are those who discern and who are wise? Who is it that truly hears My Voice, and who is it that changes his ways, and who is it that will climb higher while it is still calm? It is a time to awaken from your slumber, and from your old thinking that things will remain the same. I am at work in the earth, and I am searching every heart and mind, and the trials I allow will reveal what is within them, to them. But few see that the spiritual weather is changing around them, and few are climbing towards Me. Most think they have time and can stay where they are comfortable with and think they can still do the things they know to do, and that they like to do. However, the floods I bring will force everyone to move. You must move towards Me in this season and begin to move towards My Mountain – toward My House, in order to stand in My Peace and to be anchored safely in My Rest.
The Storms are a test. I showed you this illustration in this manner because I want My People to understand where they are in their relationship with Me. Most of My Children are content in the valley eating of the world and wanting to remain in things as they are.” “I allow the storms to test your devotion to Me, and your obedience to Me, and to show you also the areas where you are weak, and where you are still lacking, and also where you have fallen into sin in. These things will hinder you and will be the cause of your being swept away in the trials and the floods of fear and stress that are coming on the whole world if you do not deal with them now. When I bring the various tests to you, even in this picture of the rains, most of you are irritated and frustrated and complain in your trials, just like the sheep that their feet get wet. Many do not like their lives disturbed by tests or inconveniences, or by life’s pressures. Nevertheless, I allow these things to come, so that you can be stretched and be broken out of your perimeters and into My liberty for you. However, many will refuse to submit, and they will be swept away by the bigger trials that will come with the winds of adversity, the thunder and lightning of persecution, and the sweeping rains of change. Some will climb and make it through to either rest just above the storm line, or go to the very top unto Me. Of the ones that remain just above the rain line, like the sheep below, they will think they have done enough to just get by, and this will be their downfall. I do not accept a partial obedience or a half-hearted devotion to Me. Either they will fully follow Me and obey Me or they too, will be lulled to complacency on the hillside, and the rising tides will trap them, and they will also be swept away in the days ahead.”
“The two small sheep that did break through on that level made it to the top. These are a picture of those who learn to trust Me even in the rising tides and are those who break forth away from their fears and doubts and insecurities and they realize that Mine are better. Know that I am bringing all of My Children to the end of themselves in order that they will tap into Me and live. I am the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life, in this life. There is no other security in this life but Mine, and there is no other Peace in this life but in Me, and by Me. You must put all of your trust, all of your faith, and all of your life in Me. You must each learn to graze upon My Mountain, on Me, and not in the valleys of men, or of the world. When you graze in the fields of men, then you will become as them, and be content to remain among them, and you will lose your discernment and your sensitivity to Me. You will be lulled into a lazy attitude of independence from Me. My People must look up unto Me, and seek Me upon the heights, and move with Me in the Spirit now. Seek Me, and I will guide you, and I will show you what to do. I will reveal My Will for you, and I will bring you into the place I have for each of you. You shall feed upon Me richly and you will be satisfied. As you each climb, others will follow that are watching you. I am watching and waiting for you.”
“Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth.” (Rev 3:10)