By Jennifer Ross
The last time I wrote I was b’midbar (in the wilderness). I encourage you to read that article to get a point of reference for this one. Ha’Shem led me to the appointed place at the appointed time to work out His established purpose in my life. He was very intentional. Humbling me…testing me…making me hunger…and teaching me to feed on every Word that proceeds from His mouth. The entire time He was examining my heart to see if I would stand firm in Him (Deut. 8:2).
The Word told me to remember all the way which He caused me to go in the wilderness; to record the steps I took; and to acknowledge Him as I followed His lead. This truth revealed in Deuteronomy 8 is re-affirmed years later by King Solomon. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
I will briefly highlight the events following my experience in the wilderness:
- Ha’Shem led me to speak what He had me led me to write in my last article (enforcing the cohesiveness between the two and how together they solidify into TRUTH)
- Ha’Shem took away the job I had in my last article (considering the job, that was the most humbling thing of all)
- Ha’Shem brought me a job the next Monday (through an unexpected phone call) and it was what I’ve done most of my career; finding employment for other people. A chance to use my wilderness experience to empathize, comfort and encourage others.
- Ha’Shem gave my son a job that Wednesday (which has enabled him to leave the nest and start his own journey)
- Ha’Shem gave my husband a job that Friday (all of us working again in a week’s time in these economic times… Psalm 37:25 “I have been young and now old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread”) Hallelujah!
When I was in the wilderness, I didn’t know the LORD’s plan, only that He had one. My focus was on the Word and His Light and I remember saying to Him every time I felt fear or doubt creeping in “LORD, You gave me everything I have… and if you take it away… Hineni, (I’m here) to serve You.” I knew He would bring me into a ‘better’ place. But what we call a ‘better’ place isn’t necessarily what our Father calls a better place. I came out of the wilderness with great joy and thanksgiving and the job Ha’Shem provided is sufficient for my needs. Yet soon after, my husband was diagnosed with acute renal failure and has lost his job. He’s on home dialysis… and I have been diagnosed with MS. But you know what? If I’m following the LORD, wherever I am is the right place. The place we should strive to be is the place He appoints. So I’ve endured…and followed…and rolled everything on to Him (trust).
The Spirit was filling my head with thoughts of ‘falling.’ It started when I was in the wilderness with Psalm 37; A Psalm I kept clinging to for comfort and direction; a Psalm that encouraged me to hold fast. These thoughts of falling tumbled around in my head for a few months and I was asked for my next article. I was so thankful to be working I poured all my energy into it and failed to put the thoughts to pen.
I was promoted into management (Praise GOD!) I quickly became comfortable with where G-d had led me. It’s time consuming and exhausting but He gave me authority over those who desperately need Him and gave me the tools to show them through my words and actions just who GOD is. Ha’Shem has allowed me to show His definition of ‘authority’ …which is ‘to serve.’ I serve those who work for me and they can see the difference in how I manage situations. Above all, they know Who I give the glory to. So I thought I had found my purpose. Nope…lean not on your own understanding. Reflecting His Light is not a purpose…it’s a privilege…a blessing...a reality if you are a child of the Kingdom.
A few months passed and the LORD continued to bless my work. But I still didn’t make time to write down the message He was giving me. Then I had the opportunity to take a 30 hour OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) class to educate myself when dealing with customers and workers in the Construction trade. OSHA rules and regulations are divided into subparts. Scaffolding, welding, record keeping, etc. One night we studied a subpart called “Fall Protection” explaining the plans and procedures to protect workers working above ground level. Fall Protection. Hmmm. Jumped right up and slapped me in the face. Alright, LORD, I got it.
But I didn’t have it. I continued to expend my energy on everything else but writing. The message wasn’t taking shape. I knew it would revolve around Psalm 37 in some way and I knew it was about falling. But I wasn’t giving those thoughts my full attention. The LORD had to shake me to pay attention, literally.
It took being in the hospital with a bright yellow band around my wrist stating in bold, black letters FALL RISK to snap me into shape. And in that hospital bed the message was revealed… and my purpose was set in stone: to help feed his flock through writing.
What He has let me see is this: His Divine Purpose was not only to beat me up to see if I would still stand and serve. It was to teach me, toughen me up, straighten me out and empower me so that I could still stand and serve. He brought me through many battles in the wilderness and on this other side. So now, battle tested and combat ready, here I go…
Ha’Shem brought the Israelites out of the wilderness to conquer the land of Canaan. They were promised milk and honey and pre-built homes, good vineyards and peace. But they had to participate in the Plan. They had to remain obedient to His commands…and they had to fight. Some were hurt, some were killed, but the victory for the Promised Land was the LORD’s.
Warrior and poet, King David, writes:
“The steps of a man are ordered from the LORD and He will delight in his way. Though he falls, he is not cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37: 23-24
In Hebrew, the general word for any man is adam. But in this verse, the word for man is geber; a strong man, righteous man, warrior. It’s a man who is whole-heartedly following the LORD; a man who rolls everything onto the LORD in submission. It’s a man who, regardless of worldly sensibilities and pain, stands firm, wearing the full armor of G-d and walking in humility. He may fall, but he will not be afraid and he will not relent, trusting G-d’s will be done.
Are you prepared to fall? Are you prepared to fight? Are you prepared to suffer for Him… die for Him? Are you prepared to stand firm in Him despite earthly consequences? If you think you will be ‘taken up’ before the fight, read the Scriptures and not the best selling fiction books. In Matthew 24:29-31 Yeshua makes it more than obvious we will be witnesses to the tribulation.
I’m not trying to convince you that you’ll be faced with the fight. But let me assure you, if it does come in your lifetime, you better be prepared. We are to be watching and waiting. Not judging and not condemning and not wasting our time on fruitless endeavors. Yeshua tells his disciples in Matthew chapter 10 to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”.
Where do we get wisdom? Studying the Word. How do we become harmless as doves? Living the Word. And how do we get prepared for the battle? By opening ourselves up to our Father’s teaching in our daily lives.
Everything He allows to occur in your life is for a reason. Just as G-d spoke to Elijah in a whisper, He speaks to us in whispers as well. He also speaks to us through earthquakes and storms in our lives. We are supposed to pay attention to what He is revealing in those moments. The key is to be tuned in and not allow our flesh to distract us from the big picture. Pain (and death) is of no consequence if our hope is in the world to come.
Yeshua also says in Matthew chapter 10 “do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. We are His warriors. Stop focusing only on His love and what He can do for you. Focus on His mercy… and what He wants you to do for Him. We are all fall risks. And though we may fall, He is our protection and our soul will be upheld.
So what will you do with this guarantee? Go to church on Sundays or Synagogue on the Sabbath and spend the rest of the week no different than anyone else? When our Savior, Yeshua, speaks to the churches in the Book of Revelations he tells us that if you are lukewarm… He will vomit you out. Be obedient. Be wise. Be harmless. Be still. And be prepared.