“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel (Joshua 1:2)
God wants each one of us to learn to walk into the promised land. Now, you may say to yourself why would I care about anything like this? Why do I want to be going into the promised land? Each one of us must learn to see what the promises of God are for ourselves. Each one of us must be able to come into our own promised land. Even though Joshua was now in charge of getting the Israelites to the promised land, the Israelites had to each prepare themselves to enter that land.
Then Joshua said to the officers to make ready the people, pass through the camp and command the people to (prepare your provisions), for in three days you are to crossover the Jordan River, to go into and take possession of the land that the Lord God will give to you.
I believe that God was telling Joshua not only to have the people prepare physically and mentally but to have them prepare themselves spiritually as well. Think about it, throughout the Bible, we can find scriptures after scriptures about spiritual warfare. Don’t you think that when God opened the way for the Israelites to enter the promised land, he wanted them fully prepared? I believe, Joshua said to his officers to spread the word, tell the people that God has commanded them to pray and fast for three days before crossing this Jordan River. Why you may ask? They were to make themselves ready for the journey ahead. Doesn’t this coincide with the Word of God? Isn’t this what the Bible teaches? I believe that God wanted his children to be ready to go into battle to take the land that he had for them. That land was not only physical in sense but also spiritual. In addition, as warriors of the cross we must prepare ourselves for the battle. Prepare, what do you think Joshua was saying to the people? That in three days God was going to give you the promised land or do you think that the Lord has already given them the land, or did He simply state that they can now crossover in and take the promised land? I believe that the children of Israel were to prepare for the promises of God, promises that the Lord had made to the people. His chosen people! A nation, free from Egyptian tyranny. God was ready to release the people from the wilderness, and for them to receive His blessings.
Take a look at the meaning of the word “prepare”, this word means the following according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, it is to make ready before hand for some purpose, use, or activity or to put in proper state of mind; to comment or to work out the details of a plan in advance; to put together and to get ready for something. The word “prepare,” shows us a lot of what God is getting ready for the sons of Israel to do. They were about to cross a river during a flood stage. Sure, they had heard the stories passed down from the generations, about how God rescued the people from the cruelty of the nation of Egypt. They were told when their backs were against the Red Sea how God blocked the oncoming forces of the Egyptian Army so that they could go safely across the sea. They had heard the stories of how Moses stood and raised up his staff and God miraculously parted the waters in the sea. They were told how God made the sand under the ocean dry by blowing His breath upon it. They were told how God saved them that day by safely getting all the Israelites across and rescued them from going back into slavery with the Egyptian taskmasters and when the enemy came after them God closed the sea over them drowning the enemy once and for all to never bother them again. Now here the Israelites were again facing another challenge and they were about to cross the River Jordan. Can you imagine how these people felt? Can you understand what was going through their minds? I believe that as God was speaking to their very hearts, he was making them ready, ready for the miracle that was to come!
I can only speak for myself, When I say, that if I do not feel or sense Gods anointing, where I am, then I know that I am not in His perfect will. I know from past experiences, that the power of the Holy Spirit must move through each one of us, to show us the way. I believe that was what was happening here. Joshua was commanded by God to do a certain thing and Jehova instructed him to tell the people that in three days they would be passing over the Jordan River and that they would be entering into His promises.
We as children of the God need to examine ourselves, because God is calling us to be ready too. We need to ready ourselves by praying and fasting and by meditating on the word of God. Our focus should be giving all our attention to Jesus Christ, by hearing God’s words as he speaks, and by recording what the Lord tells us. We need to get ready to enter in and claim our promised land.
The Hebrew word for prepare is “panah” meaning to stay still and alert. god’s people must stand against the many temptations of the devil. He does not slouch or look lazy. No, he is ready for the battle. As warriors of the cross we are to fight the enemy that comes against God. God wants his people ready, to be prepared for the fight at hand. That was the way it was in the days of old and it is the way it is here in the present. God’s word has not changed. God’s word does not change!
So how do we prepare ourselves? First, we need to make ourselves ready to enter God’s presence. How do we do this? It is simple, prepare our hearts, minds and prepare our provisions.
Prepare the Heart
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10, NKJV)
Like Ezra, we need to prepare our hearts to hear God. We need to open our hearts and minds to hear what God says to us. God has a deep desire to commune with us. He wants us to fellowship with us. He knows that we are stubborn people and that we miss what He has to say. We do this to ourselves because we don’t want to listen to Him, and our hearts do not hear what He is saying.
Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure who can understand it? (See Jeremiah 17:9) It hurts us when we are not able to control our hearts and certainly hurts God when we aren’t able to stand up for Him. Ezra he knew that he had to change his heart towards God so that he was able to stand up for Him. He had it tough though, not only did he stand in the courts of pagan unbelievers and God’s enemies, but he also had to deal with the backslidden believers of his own nation. Ezra had to fix his heart to be in tune with God’s Word so that he could viably stand against the powers and principalities that were before him. Moreover, because of this preparation of his heart, Ezra was able to testify for the Lord God. “And has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. So, I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.” (Ezra 7:28)
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) The Lord desires that we know Him, not just knowing Him by what we read or what people tell us about Him. God wants to have a loving relationship with us. This is the desire of His heart. God does not want us to have ceremonial love for Him though. He wants us to penetrate the superficial veil and go beyond our minds into our hearts where He is waiting with arms wide open to commune with us.
How do we know that the Lord desires this? Let’s look at John Chapter Four and see what the gospel says. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (Vs- 23).
God loves us and all he wants to do is commune with us. He wants to love us even more. He wants to share Himself with us. He did this with Adam and Eve. They had the privaledge of being able to walk with Him in the Garden and He shared His heart with them in during the cool of the day. He loved them and He had an intimate relationship with them. That is the desire of God’s heart for us even today.
We need to prepare our hearts for Him. If God desires this, then shouldn’t we be fervently and earnestly seeking to make our hearts ready for worship?
I believe that the Holy Spirit readies each believer’s heart for worship to the father. Just like when royalty would come to our cities and towns, people would ready themselves for the arrival of the royal visitors. They would put their best foot forward and prepare the city for the arrival of the royal guests. I believe this is the way it should be when we present ourselves before the arrival of the King of kings. We are to polish up our armor and make it shine getting rid of anything that would be displeasing to the Lord. Therefore, any sins that we have in our lives would need to be confessed and repented of. God’s Spirit will make us clean and His word will wash us. Making us ready to receive the glory of God. We must long for God and by doing this we will release his blessing in our lives.
“All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.” (Psalms 66:4) God wants to have fellowship with his creation. Isn’t it awesome that the Creator wants to have an intimate relationship with his creation? Maybe that is what God created us for? I believe, that He has always wanted to have a very close and wonderful relationship with mankind. Yes, sin entered into our lives and that brought a halt to our relationship with our Creator. We lost our intimacy with Him. The beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden was closed to us. The intimate relationship with the Father was gone, but He still loved us, and He still opened other avenues to gain that fellowship back. God search throughout the earth until he found Abram. Abram (later renamed Abraham) heard the voice of God, he believed what he was hearing to be the true God and He knew that God was calling him. He obeyed God’s voice and because of his obedience, God honored him mightily. He blessed him with a child even though his wife had barren womb, and God called him the “Father of all Nations.” Much of the story you will find in the Bible, but the most important blessing that God bestowed on Abraham and his children is God called them His friends.
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23) Since Abraham was the “Father of many Nations,” we are called by God as His friends. Awesome, isn’t it? Being a friend to the Creator of the universe. With a friend like this, how could we possibly go wrong? Nevertheless, we did, and we rejected God and because of this, we suffered greatly. What am I trying to point out, is this, in order for us to prepare our hearts for the Lord we need to get on our faces before Him and ask Him to show us what keeps us from coming into His very presence. We should ask God to search our hearts, to show us what sins are causing us to be separated from Him.
David said this, as should each one of us; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)
Confession of Faith
A confession of faith is necessary for us to have fellowship with God and revival for His people. As the Lord speaks to you about what is blocking your relationship with Him, confess those sins before Him, because He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Do not make excuses for your sins confess them before God today.
Pray this simple prayer Lord I have sinned against you Lord please forgive me of these sins and restore my relationship with You this I pray in Jesus name.
Remember do not make excuses for any sins in your life give them all to Jesus, He has already paid the full penalty for every one of them. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, NIV)
Prepare Your Mind
Not only did the Israelites have to prepare themselves spiritually, but they had to prepare their minds as well. Now, I know what you are thinking, how could one prepare their minds? Why would one want to prepare their mind? Let’s look at it at it from the perspective of the nation of Israel. Here was a nation, who had just come out of the wilderness. A nation that had everything handed to them. God provided water from a rock. God provided Manna from heaven. God provided all their natural provisions. So why do you think that the Creator did all of this? He did it because He loves every one of us.
Why would God want to hang around with people who were always complaining, and we’re never satisfied? It is because our Lord loves his creation. He cares for his children. He provides for them. Think about it, the Lord God Almighty loves every one of us. He does not want to see anyone fail. He wants us to know Him and love Him for who He is, and not for everything that He does for us. God wants us to use our minds, but our mind must be in tune with the Spirit. The mind by itself can only use rational thinking to answer questions, but the mind combined with God’s Spirit will bring about true revelation. “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:27) According to Pastor Mark Virkler the author of “How to Hear God’s Voice,” the first key in his series is to recognize God’s voice as spontaneous thoughts which light upon our minds. God wants us to know without a doubt that He loves us. He is there for us. He is there to communicate with us. Jesus wants us to know and to learn to know His finished work upon the cross. He wants us to know and understand that He is the way, the truth, and the life (See John 14:6). How does God communicate this to us? It is through the Bible and through the rhema word. I know what you’re thinking, how can my mind possibly believe that God speaks to me openly? Well, he does, think about this for a moment, you could be driving down the road and a name pops into your mind, you feel the urge to call this person, and pray for this person, that is God speaking to you. You may be getting ready to do something or buy something and you’re unsure about it, or you may be thinking about going someplace but this image comes into your mind to delay you from going right then and there and you end up staying just a little while longer. All this can be God spontaneously speaking to you. To really know that it is God, you can test it through His Word. If what is happening to you is of God, He will open the Word to you. “Rehma Word” is when God speaks directly to us on a specific situation. God doesn’t communicate to our minds precisely but through our hearts. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:6-8) As can be seen here in this Chapter of Romans, Paul is showing us that if we try to see the spirit world naturally, we will only see rational thoughts that line upon our minds. But if we look at the spirit realm with the spirit mind, we shall see visions as John saw in the book of Revelation. We can come into the Lord’s dwelling place and we can come into the Holy of Holies and see the glory of God. We can experience abundant life and true peace. “Rehma Word” is the spirit of God speaking to our spirits. Our spirit unites with the Holy Spirit.
We need to know that not all our thoughts belong to us: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) The Bible clearly shows us that our thoughts are not always our own. Our thoughts can come from other sources, such as the spirit realm. Spontaneous thoughts that line themselves upon us can come from three sources self, Satan and God. When you have a sensation within you that bubbles up from your heart this feeling or sensation it’s usually the Holy Spirit and God has a prophecy for you it will be bubbling up within your spirit. The Hebrew meaning of the word prophecy is to prophesize is Nava, which means to “bubble up.” A true word from God will come as a bubbling up it will want to burst forth from within you. A word from the devil or from yourself will not have that sensation it would be more like a boiling up within you something that will be made up. I guess that’s why the Lord told us that rivers of living water will flow from us. “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
Since Lord has given us the Holy Spirit, we can now enter the flow of the River of God. The Holy Spirit will flow from our hearts to our minds causing a frequency that is known to be tuned into the flow of God. This frequency, much like that of a radio frequency, in to receive the true voice of God. We can now move our spirits and our minds to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and once in the flow of the river of the living waters we prepare ourselves to be ready for the taking of our promised land.
I believe that Joshua was telling the Israelites to be ready not only spiritually, but they have their minds open to God’s guidance and to be able to listen to the Word of the Lord and to receive His message in their hearts and in their minds.
The walk across the Jordan River had to be done with complete faith. They were to have no doubt but only trust in God to lead them across the great divide. Faith will lead them into the land that was flowing with milk and honey. These people must be so full of confidence in the Lord that they would get rid of their rational ways of thinking and just believe in Him. God was going to get them across safely. They have to know that they must trust in Him first. And this is the same way God is speaking to all of us today. He wants us to be in tune with Him and to trust Him and to know Him. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit so that we can cross the great divide. Then we can safely enter God’s presence and have an intimate relationship with Him and be able to experience His love and share our love with Him.
How Do We Tune into God’s Spirit?
How do we tune ourselves into God’s Spirit? Psalms 46:10 says it all, “Be still, and know that I am God….” For us to become in tune with the Holy Spirit, we must learn to quiet ourselves in His presence. We need to stop all the outside influences that bombard our minds day in and day out. We need to get down to the quiet place with the Lord. When the priest would enter the holy place, he was so quiet. He didn’t make a sound but did what he was trained to do. He washed himself before he entered, he made his body ready and then he did his task. He did not speak, but he came in quietly to hear what God had to say to him. Many times, we just come in the Lord’s holy presence with our demands and then we say our peace never once giving him time to say anything. That is not what God desires. He wants to communicate with us. He wants to tell us intimate things. Things that will bring a new revelation to the relationship that he has with us. However, when our minds are so filled with the thoughts of the world, we don’t give him room to be expressive with us.
If we want to have a real relationship with the Father, then we need to give Him room to speak to us. We need to quiet ourselves. We need to stop talking and just listen. God is just like the us, when we express ourselves, we want others to hear what we have to say.
Have you ever met a person who tells you everything? I mean this person tells you everything. The person talks from the moment they rise in the morning until they go to sleep at night. They talk and they talk about everything in the world. They talk but they never stopped to listen. You see that is the way we are. We constantly talk to God and we ask him for this and that, but we never take the time to listen to what he has to say to us. It is sad actually because the Father has so much to share with us but we are so into ourselves that we don’t want to hear what He has to say.
Jesus prayed in the morning hours and he prayed in the evening hours. He went to the His quiet place to be just in the presence of His Father and there He communed with the Father for hours upon hours. It was just the Father and Jesus together. The Father would speak and Jesus would listen. After Jesus spent time with the Father then and only then did He bring the blessings to the people with the miracle’s signs and wonders that the Father gave him. He ministered to the multitudes, performing miracles as the Father instructed Him to do. He healed the sick, delivered the captives, and gave spiritual wisdom to whoever would accept God. When he finished ministering, He would depart again into the evening hours and go to the quiet place and again sit in the Father’s presence just to refresh Himself for the new day that would come.
The Father wants us to sit and listen to Him and to hear His voice. “I will stand my watch, and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me,” (Habakkuk 2:1-2).
Jesus always went to pray and would quite himself before he would do any ministering. He would just focus on the Lord. All distractions were removed, and He and the Lord communed together.
Habakkuk would go to his quiet place to receive a revelation, the Lord spoke and told him to write down what He had given to him, and then decree it to the nations. To decree or to declare something was what was known as heralding; it is defined as a person who carries or proclaims important news, one that gives a sign or indication of something to come, an official specialty is heraldry, a royal official who formally pronounces and bears messages between sovereigns.
The message that God can give to us is important. That is why He told Habakkuk to write it down on the tablets and let the herald spread the news. The only way we are going to be able to know what God is saying to us is to be still before Him. We are to find that place of solitude with Jesus. It has to be away from all the distractions of the world, and we need to set aside time for the Lord, so that we can have fellowship with Him. This is our personal time with our God.
We must quiet ourselves! We have to give up the reign of our lives. We must stop listening to other voices that are inside our minds, that are clamoring for our attention and we must give our full attention to the Lord. Once we do this and allow Jesus to be the Lord of our minds then we will be able to hear what He is saying to us. Quieting the voices in our minds can be done by putting our full attention on Jesus. Focusing our minds completely on Him. Let our spiritual eyes be open, so that we can see the vision of what God is revealing to us. Letting the bubbling sensation within our hearts grow stronger and feeling the burning of the words of the Lord upon our very hearts. Letting the River of God deep within us flow freely. Putting away all tension and quieting ourselves down, and letting the peace and the joy of the Lord fill us to overflowing so that we can experience God speaking
We are to find a place of “Shalom” within ourselves and relax in the flow of the spirit. You are probably wondering what the word “Shalom” means? It is a Aramaic-Hebrew word of greeting which Jesus used when He spoke to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus didn’t actually use the word “peace”, but He used the word “Shalom.” Shalom is defined as safety, completeness, soundness, welfare, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquility and contentment. This word also means that we have a covenant relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the person of the Holy Spirit. This is the “Shalom” leaves with us.
We need to relax our physical bodies so that we have no distractions from our own bodies as this will keeps us from the flow of the rivers of the Living Water. Find the position and relax as well before the Lord and breathe in the Spirit. Relax and just enjoy the time with God. Just learn to be still and know that He is our God, our heavenly Father, allowing the spirit to flow throughout our entire being into the rest, peace, tranquility and comfort. To become so still at first may not be too easy. It will take time to tune into the glory.
We will have to learn what it means to be still. Music can help us tune into the flow. Elisha use the soothing and sweet comfort of music to bring him into the Lord’s presence. The music in his mind’s eye focused on God and gave his soul rest. He was able to enter the holy place and receive the revelation. Music is used to take away the cares of the world and to calm the beast and it can help us enter God’s presence. Some people say that music calms the beast within us. Spiritual music can and will keep out the turmoil of the outside influences of the world if we tune into. Music also brings us closer to the vision that the Holy Spirit wants to dwell within our hearts.
Not all music will bring us into God’s presence. Ungodly music will not bring us toward God but can and will reverse the process and pull us away from God. On the other hand, godly inspired music will bring us into the Holy of Holies. It will open our ears to hear God’s voice, and it will open our eyes to focus more on Jesus. It will relax our physical bodies to be still before God’s presence.
Oil, is used in the Bible is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Within each believer, there is a flow of oil of the Holy Spirit. That flow will fill each and every believer to overflowing. With each of God’s children filled, it is then spilled out and flows to others. When we worship in our secret place, we are filled with this oil. When we worship corporately the oil flows from us to others. Music combined with God’s Holy Oil brings healing, deliverance, that is viable to the body of Christ.
Prepare Your Provisions
“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” (Joshua 1:11) Prepare your provisions, What is Joshua telling these people to do? What is the definition of “provisions?” Provision is the act of supplying or fitting out, something provided, a preparatory action or measure, a stock of necessary supplies usually food, a stipulation or qualification and a clause in agreement. To provide for isn’t that what God does for us each of us daily? Isn’t that what He did throughout the Bible? Why do we think that God told Joshua to command the people to prepare their provisions? Food is usually associated with provisions, right? The food that the Israelites were getting at the time, or given to them from the heavens above was in the form of “manna.” Why did God want them to prepare their provisions, their food to cross over the Jordan River to the land which flowed with milk and honey? I believe that the Lord was trying to show them that they were about to take an enter something new. He was showing them that they were about to go into another realm in their spiritual walk. They were going to have to learn to trust God for everything in their lives. No more will there be “manna” raining down from heaven to feed them. Now, they would have to start feeding themselves from the livestock that they have raised. They would still have to trust God but now they needed to learn to step forward and trust Him for the food that they would eat. God provides for us and He provides everything for us that we need. How can I say this, take a look around and see it for yourself. The vegetables that are grown in the farms each have seasons. There is a planting season and a harvest season. Each time the harvest comes, there is a bountiful crop when we trust in God. He provides the right kind of climate for the crops to grow. Some foods that we grow are not meant for us, but they are growm for our livestock. God Makes the sun to come up in the morning at a certain time each day to bathe the crops with warmth that they need and then at a certain time in evening the sun disappears and another light the moon bathes us with the its light. The rains come and they go in the soil to nurse the crops with water. God makes the ground produces certain kind of chemicals which aid in the growth of the crops.
When we turn our back on the Creator of everything, and say that there is no God. All we do, is shame the one who put us all together. We do not know how this affects the Lord. He cares for each one of us, but we think that because we planted the crops, they will grow without his help. How wrong we are! God gives us the knowledge how to plant. He gives us the ability to toil the garden. He provides the watering and the sunlight. He provides nutrients for the soil. God is in everything that we do. Jehova Jireh a God who provides.
Adam and Eve were given provisions by the Lord, He gave them any food that they wanted. He provided excellent weather for them and many other things. The only thing he ever forbade them to do was to eat of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Even when they dis-obeyed Him, God still provided for them. He even slayed an animal and use the animals hide to cover their nakedness. Although He forbid them to stay in the Garden and sent them away, He still made provisions for them.
Abraham said, my son, God will provide look at Genesis Chapter Twenty-Two verse eight. Abraham knew without a doubt, that as long as he trusted the God, that He would provide for him. Even when he was about to sacrifice his own son , Abraham still believed in the Lord. This is faith, knowing that God will bless us each and every day. God wants us to know without a doubt that no matter what happens, he is going to provide for us.
My Taste of the Provisions of God
In the year 2008, I left my job with the police department I was working for in North Carolina, this was in order to pursue a career as a “police advisor” for a company that was working the United States government in the country of Afghanistan. I had been a police officer for over 10 years with this Department and I thought I was reaching for the Golden ring when I left because I didn’t know how to trust God and the world and its ways of making money was calling to me. I felt that this was the only way for me. Money was a problem for me at the time. I thought that by taking this job overseas I would take care of all my bills. You see I had put myself in debt and I didn’t see any way out.
I believe God but I didn’t believe him enough to trust Him. Debt was piling up, house payments, car payments and it was just too hard a strain on me and when I was offered this position, I felt this was the way out. I felt that I was sinking into a hole which I would never be able to climb out of. I went to church, but at this time it was just that, I went to church. I did go to church, but I didn’t give God the time that He desired.
I left the United States and flew to Afghanistan. When I arrived, I was more excited than afraid. I heard the stories of men and women in this job would had lost their lives and I had heard about people being blown up and shot by the enemy. It did not phase me, all I thought about was going over to this country making a whole bunch of money and paying off all my debts.
Let me tell you from experience it didn’t happen that way. When I arrived in the country and while I was in training, I started feeling a pain in my lower right leg. I became a little concerned and I call for the medic, he tried to diagnose it as just being an electrolyte imbalance and had me drink an electrolyte solution all day long for about one week. I did this, and as days went by, the pain got worse. I was knew I was getting worse and I certainly wasn’t feeling my best. I was unable to train with the rest of my team and I was on bed rest. The medics took me to a NATO Medical Mobile Hospital with ICEF. It reminded me of a MASH TV Series I used to watch while I was home in North Carolina. The place was a series of tents set up on a base. I was wondering if I would be placed in the swamp, a place where Hawkeye Pierce and B.J. Huneycutt lived. Just joking actually it was better than the series on the television. The tents were green in color with a big Red Cross on top.
When I arrived at the hospital, the doctors and nurses performed several tests on me and they determine that I had a DVT a “deep venous thrombosis” or a blood clot in my leg. I was told that this was a life-threatening problem and that I have to remain in the hospital on strict bed rest for approximately 2 to 3 weeks until they could stabilize me enough with some medications so that I could leave the country.
So here I was in Afghanistan, the land that I thought was my promised land. I was going to get paid lots of money and be able to get my family out of the debt. The land where I was going to have all my dreams come true. Well, my dreams were shattered at this news. I was being placed in the hospital on strict bed rest and there would be no way I would be able to return to the job that I had just gotten and I’d have to leave the country and I did not know how I was going to survive.
I prayed and I ask God to forgive me and to help me. I prayed that God would heal me and that He might me back to work. I prayed for all the wrong reasons. I prayed, but each day the company I work for kept reminding me that when I get out of the hospital I was going home. They told me that I couldn’t stay in Afghanistan because of the blood thinners I was taking and because it was a war zone and if I was wounded I would be bleed out to quickly and this was a risk that the company didn’t want to take. They said it was for my own good and that I would be returned back to the United States in order to get proper medical attention.
I cried out to God as I lay in my bed in this canvas tent, but it was like God did not hear me. At least I was thinking that at the time. I thought that maybe it was because I didn’t consult Him before coming to this country but that was the only the devil trying to make me despise the Lord . He’s a crafty one you know. He tries to make us think that God doesn’t care for us, but God does care. And during my stay at the hospital in that Mash Unit Tent, God kept trying to assure me that he had everything in His hands. No matter what, I was His child and nothing was going to harm me.
The blood clot in my leg was not going to hurt me, the loss of my job was not going to hurt me, the debts that I owed was not going to hurt me, nothing was going to harm me and He made a promise to me that day. He always backed up His word with me and while I was in the hospital he brought people to ministered me. Other people that were in the beds beside me they were of different nationalities and the first guy I met was a Russian soldier. He just had an operation on his stomach a few days before my arrival. As I was getting undressed and putting on the yellow/brown pajamas, the Russian fellow said, “They need to put numbers on the back of the pajamas.” We laughed, but when I turned around to get my clothes from the bed, they were gone. The Russian man poured himself some tea and asked me if I wanted some, and he said, “See what I was saying.”
All of my clothing was missing, my shirt, pants, underwear, socks and boots. The nurse returned, I ask, “Where are my clothes?” She looked at me and said in broken English, “The Doctor told us to up your clothes.” She further explained that this was the policy of the hospital. I looked again at the Russian and all he smiled and pointed to his back.
The second man I met was a guy from Spain who had an operation. I know what you’re probably thinking, how does this show that God provided me ministry? He used these people talk with and to help the days go by quicker. I guess we ministered to each other during this period he people I met shared about their experiences and I shared about mine. They told me about their country, and I shared about what was being like at home. To tell you the truth, it was nice having someone to talk with. Even though I didn’t understand what Jesus was trying to do I knew that He loved me and that His love the shining forth from inside of me to the inside of them in. Every day, I would ask God for help. I wanted Him to move into me and help me though this ordeal. I wanted what I came to Afghanistan for, but God showed me that He was the answer to everything. I remember praying one night, “God please send me someone to talk with an American this time so that I can talk with one another and Lord if it’s possible let him be a Christian.”
At this time the other room-mate I had had been discharged and I was again alone. God always answers our prayers. It was about noon, I remember because I was just about to eat lunch, and the nurse came in with my tray and she told me that I was going to have a new roommate. I thought to myself, “Where will this guy be from?” To my surprise they wheeled in an American Air Force Captain. Isn’t God good! I was ecstatic! I finally had a person who I could talk to. I felt I was no longer alone. He was a young man about 25 years of age and he was from Florida and he was studying to be a pastor. According to the nurse he was on his way to the Czech Republic and that he has had severe abdominal pains and the doctors believe that it might be an appendicitis. I introduced myself to him and we sat and talked for hours. He told me that he had been in Afghanistan for about 2 years and he was studying God’s Word and he had a strong desire to be a preacher. I was completely amazed that God sent me all I asked for, He sent a man of God. We prayed together and we shared the Word together, it was just magnificent. But that didn’t last long, the captain was moved out to an American hospital for surgery. God provided for my needs and I was thankful. W
We need fellowship with Jesus! God hears our cries and He sees our tears, we need pray expecting results to come and He will answer our prayers. The Lord reminded me that we can ask anything in his name, and it would be provided to us. My faith to a leap that day and out of my heart came praise and I knew without a doubt that God provides for Me.
I left the hospital after just a few weeks returned to the camp where I was assigned to and I thought to myself, “Ok here it comes, I lost my job, and again my family was going to suffer for my mistakes. They are going to send me back home and I will have nothing.” After my meeting with the company medic, I was taken to personnel and the manager told me that I would be processed out of the country. But I was not to worry though , because I’m not out of a job but I am just being put on “workers compensation.” The Lord again provided for me.
I was processed out within three days and flown back to the United States by way of civilian aircraft and because of my illness and condition, the airline had placed me in business class. To Me that was like having royal accommodations. I had to thank God, because even though I felt hurt and destroyed God never let me get hurt and He still loved me and provided for me.
I landed in Raleigh, North Carolina and I was met by my family, but at this time I was feeling very tired and very sick . My wife and daughter Jessica noticed that I wasn’t looking good. They took me to a nearby hospital and the doctors determine that during the plane ride back home the blood clock broke into pieces due to the air pressure of the plane and had moved toward my lungs. Again I had to be placed into the hospital until I was stabilize. The doctor said, I was lucky though, because the blood clots did not enter into my lung or into my heart which would have caused me instant death. I was blessed, and I knew it. God still had His hand on me and like he promised “nothing was going to harm me.” After a week stay in the hospital, I was given medicine to keep my blood thin and ordered to start care with my family physician. Now I know what you’re thinking? If God said nothing would harm me, why was I in this situation? Why was I in this position? Why did I have this blood clot still?
When I return to my home God kept providing for me. The money situation that was hurting us before, God provided money to flow into our household. Bills were being paid, bills were being caught up and my debt was being eliminated. All my medical treatments and medications were being taken care of by the company. Everything was being provided for me and I realize that God really did care for me. He provided for Me even though I didn’t deserve it. I knew that I wasn’t that close to Him as I should have been, so I decided I wanted to know more about Him. I wanted to be more in touch with Him and be more in His presence. I started reading the Bible. Not just reading it. No! I wanted to know God’s Word. I would get up every morning and go into my office in my home and sit there and study and read and meditate on the Bible. During this time with God, He would speak to my heart and He would show me things in His Word that I never saw before. Every time I would make more time for the Lord, God will let me hear more from Him. I knew that if I even would just keep praising Him and worshiping Him then I would grow so much closer to Him.
One day I was invited to a church service by some dear friends of mine. I was told that it wasn’t just a regular church service, but it is what they called a “healing service.” The pastor of the church was Ron Estes and he had just returned from a big revival in Lakeland Florida. I had heard of the revival where a young minister of the gospel was showing the miracles of Jesus Christ. There were healings of every kind happening there. People were heading to Florida in order to receive their healing’s. There were deliverances from addictions and other demonic forces, and people were becoming closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Anyway, I went to this church in New Bern North Carolina. My good friends told me that this pastor had received an impartation and he was baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. I went to the service and that evening the Lord used this man to lay hands on me and I received my healing. I knew that without a doubt the blood clots have been removed from my body they were completely gone. I remember that as the Lord ministered to me that evening that I cannot describe it the feeling of peace upon me. It was an awesome experience and I wanted more and more of what God had for me. I knew that Jesus was real. That is what He did when He touched me not the man, but Jesus Christ himself. I knew that Jesus wanted me to be closer to Him and I knew that He wanted me healed. I wanted to be closer to him so I believed and because of my belief I was healed.
God wants us to be intimate with Him but we have to give Him more than words. We need to give Him of ourselves. Our time, our abilities, our minds and are hearts all have to be given to Jesus. We need to let Jesus live His life through us! With His love, we can know more about Him. This is why Joshua 1:2 is so real to me, it is not money that was my promise land and it was not being debt free that was my promise land. It was being able to really know my God. It was the ability to hear His voice. It was the pleasure of knowing my God in such an intimate way. That was my promise land. I am so glad that the Lord revealed this to me, because nothing else matters except being with him. Joshua 1:3 says, “every place that the soles of your feet tread upon I have given you.” The Lord revealed this to Me, that wherever I go and whatever I do as long as I do it onto the Lord, it will be blessed, but when we try to do things on our own initiative, then it will not be blessed. Jesus is not being raised up and he’s not being glorified. In Joshua 1:5 says, “no one should be able to stand against you all the days of your life as I was with Moses so I will be with you I will not fail you or forsake you.” The Lord showed me that even though I did wrong, by not consulting him and by not looking to Him for the answers, He still cares for me and loves me with a love that time cannot measure.
He still providing for my needs and for my family. He told me that nothing could harm me. He showed me this by the miracle in my life. I knew that when God said something, He meant it. It took me to learn this the hard way, but in the end Jesus was still lifted up.
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swear to their ancestors to give them.” (Joshua 1:16) In order for me to see what the promised land was for my life, The Lord had to show Himself to me. He had to place me in a place where I was dependent upon Him and no one else.
If you feel that something in your life is not right. Open the ears to your heart and listen to the Lord. He will tell you where you are in default. He will reveal to you the path you are to take. As the scripture says above be strong and courageous. We are to speak the Word of the Lord, be strong in the ways of the Lord, be strong in prayer, be strong in witnessing, and to be strong in faith. Be courageous by standing still for the Lord.
Courageous although the world seems to be falling apart all around you know that Jesus will never fail you or forsake you. Be courageous to stand against the principalities and the powers that come against daily and put on the full armor of God. Stay in and face the enemy! Meet him head on! Do not run from him, stand erect before him telling him that this day he can’t harm you because the Lord Jesus Christ stands before you.
I saw this while I was in Afghanistan, I saw this when I was at home, and I see it whereever I go. Once we are in Christ, God will bring you through anything no matter what comes against you. “Only be strong and courageous and be careful to act in accordance with all these laws that your servant Moses commanded you do not turn from the right hand or from the left so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth you should meditated on it day and night so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it but then you will make your way prosperous and then you should be successful” (Joshua 1: 7-8, emphasis added)
For a year and a half since being home from Afghanistan, the Lord had me in His Word. I got up every morning at 7 o’clock and I went into my office and read the Bible and meditating on God’s Word. After many hours of just sitting in the Lord’s presence He began to reveal to me the secrets of His heart. God gave me such a great gift and I thanked Him for it.
Sometimes we must be placed in a situation to really hear what God is trying to say to us. My situation is one that I don’t recommend for you. Although it was not God’s will for me to be in this situation, He used it and gave me what I needed. He gave me the answers that I seek and He will give you the answers you seek. Come into His presence He is calling you!