Partners and Friends,
I do hope that you are enjoying these weekly letters. I find no greater satisfaction than to be used of Yah in service to those that He sends me. I have also sent you a letter about Cuba this week, and I want you to know that your support for us is going a long way in His service – in NYC, in Cuba, in the prisons and around the world. Some of our most faithful supporters are not in NYC. Jon and Jennifer Nieman are in Abu Dhabi, UAE. James Tan is in Toronto. Guy Domm is in Sturgess, Montana. Benjamin and Leah Thomas in Washington, D.C., Patrick and Martha are in Sal Paulo, Brazil, JiNan and Francis George are in Raleigh, NC. Chad and Kim Stary are in Uvalde, TX, Eddie and Danielle Othon are in Tucson, AZ, Ginny King is in Austin, TX, Celia Banks is in Lexington, KY and Maury Shields is in Thomasville, GA. I must say that as I list these names and think of the rest of you, I am inspired and emboldened to pursue revelation, to overtake clarity, efficiency, productivity, growth, joy, victory and freedom and to recover all of that which has been promised to us in the scriptures.
The Pandemic is Over!
In this letter, I want to do a few things. I want to walk you through a process and I want to point out some tasks and daily habits that are required for growing toward the fulfillment of “Christ in you.” I am going to begin to write freely and I am going to refer to places in the Scripture, that you will need to go look up — on your own. I will give you the starting Scriptures, but after that you will have to go to your Bible, to your phone or to your laptop to find the other Scriptures that I refer to. You see the revelation that you are after requires action on your part. It may seem cool to just “know things” but that isn’t what God is after. He wants you to “be” Him in this earth. He has made a way. He has hid things for us to search out. So, slow down and learn this process. Hearing from God and moving in Him, for Him and to Him are available to you and are greatly to be desired and pursued, overtaken and recovered.
Read 1 Samuel Chapter 30. I just read it. I have read it many times before. I have taught from it many times. I am going to tell you the story now from memory, pointing out the important parts of the story that the Holy Spirit brings to my memory. I can tell this story from memory, because I have thought about it. I have imagined it and some of the ways that I am going to share with you are instructions that I have received from the Holy Spirit over these last 30 years and are not right there in the Scriptures. Still, they are there when you let the Scriptures come to life in you and when you read it with purpose. To read with purpose is simple. You are reading it with the same purpose David calls for the Ephod. He needs instruction. He needs an answer. He needs to know what YHWH/God would have him do.
King Saul is still alive. His sons are still alive, but they are in battle with the Philistines. David is commanding an army of 600 and has been engaged in battle in areas separate from Saul. His men look to him for leadership. These men and their families are David’s responsibility and after many a battle, David returns with the 600 to Ziklag where the families of these men have been encamped while they were away fighting.
David and the 600 returned to find the camp burned to a crisp but there is no loss of life. Everything that was there is gone. The women, the children, the elderly, the livestock, the stores and the wealth is gone. There is no indication as to who did this. David and his mighty men are exhausted and they are in disbelief, afraid and panicking. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know where their families are. They are men of anxious and their emotions are on overdrive. Grief, Anger, Fear, Confusion — all of it and they begin to direct all of this at their leader David. David feels it and in front of his men calls for the Ephod and begins to weep. He goes to his knees and begins to grieve. He weeps and travails until he can weep no more. The men do the same.
David calls for the Ephod. The Ephod, it has been recorded, is the pouch or the pocket that contains the Urim and the Thummim. (The lights and the perfections or Light and Truth). David needs to hear clearly from YHWH. He will do whatever it takes to get back what has been stolen, but He knows that one false move or one mistake could cost him everything. So, with His men still weeping and wailing, he asks of the Lord, “Shall I pursue?” “Shall I overtake?” And it is at this time that David waits for the answer and the answer comes back. “Pursue, yes. Overtake, yes and Recover All.” There are no instructions given as to which direction, or what strategy, or who he is pursuing. His only instruction comes as an answer to his questions. Shall I pursue? Yes. Shall I overtake? Yes. And then the Lord speaks to the outcome. He says, “Do not stop until you recover all.”
David comes to his men. He says, “I have wept till I can weep no more. I feel the pain that you feel and I say to you that I have heard from YHWH. I went before Him with the Ephod, The Urim the Thummim and He has spoken to me. We are to pursue, overtake and recover all.” And at this point the men who were deeply grieved, picked themselves up and followed him out of the camp.
David does not know where he is going, but he comes across a very weak man, so feeble that he cannot speak. David nourishes him back to strength to find out that he was with the party that had been ravishing not only Ziklag but other tribes in the vicinity. This Egyptian had been a slave and had been left behind. David asks him, “Where is your master now? Where did they go? The Egyptian, recognizing David’s authority, asks for mercy saying, “If I tell you please don’t kill me and please don’t turn me over to my master, who will surely kill me.” David agrees and the Egyptian leads them to the river Besor. There David sees from a distance, those who plundered his camp and those who held captive all that David held dear. They were partying and they were many. They have pursued and they have now caught up to their adversaries, now it was time to confront them, but they had to cross the river to do so.
At this point David turns to his men. He reminds them of the word that came from the Lord. “We have pursued. We have overtaken. It is time to recover all.” 200 men refuse to cross the river. They indicate to David in one way or another that they are too weary for the journey. It is here where I can hear the internal workings of David’s mind, and perhaps an encouragement that he spoke to the other 400 — “We will be crossing this river. We will be confronting these plunderers and we will recover all. We will not be doing this in our own strength, but we will be doing it in the power of YHWH. We have His word and He will be with us. So, when you fight, know that we have the victory. There is no way that these uncircumcised adversaries can stand against the power of God. Rejoice my brothers. You will feel His hand upon you. You will feel His strength in your arms. You will hear His instruction in your spirit. Your strokes will be guided by him. Your breath will not fail and your foot will not slip.” He then turned to the 200 and looked upon them lovingly. “Stay behind. We will be back. Be of good cheer.” But he was thinking. “You have made a bad choice. This is your day of promotion and you are passing it by. You will get your stuff back, but you will never know the elevation of trust that these 400 will soon come to know. You will never know the elevation in your relationship with God. You will never know a higher level of anointing.”
They crossed the river Besor and as the Lord had promised they recovered all. Not only did they take what had been stolen from them, they took what this army had stolen elsewhere. It was a complete victory, just as David said it would be.
As they crossed back to the 200 men that had stayed behind, most of the warriors that had fought in the battle were not willing to share the spoils with those that had stayed behind. Try to imagine the reunion. The 400 who went with David had already been with and had already enjoyed their reunion with their children. It was amazing and it was joyous and it wasn’t much different when the wives and the children of those that stayed behind were reunited with their husbands. I can just imagine the conversations. “Honey, my beloved husband, you stayed behind? You didn’t want to come to my rescue? You were willing to let others rescue your children?” As wonderful as the reunion may have been, there was a serious loss of respect that occurred in these families.
David sees the dynamics. He turns to the 400 warriors that followed him into battle. “Friends, partners, glorious battlers … you have followed the instruction of the Lord and you have seen His marvellous work. You felt Him in your arms. You heard Him in your heart. You felt the confidence that comes with knowing that you are in His, YHWH’s, will. This is something that no man can take from you. I declare to you and before you this day, that from now on, we will always share our spoils with those that stay behind. They will share in the livestock, the gold, the jewels and all other spoils — but they can never share in the increased anointing that you know. They cannot share in the love, honour and respect that your wives and children feel for you and show you. You pursued. You overtook. And, as the Lord said you would, recovered all … and more.”
My partners and friends – please put yourself in this situation. Watch carefully the process. Obstacles and adversity are in your future. When it comes – get your emotions out of the way. Inquire of the Lord – wait for an answer. Then act and act with full commitment. You will see the glory of YHWH.
I thank you – partners and friends – I appreciate you.
P.S. Check out my recent article -> 2020, A Year Like No Other