Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wait here at Jerusalem

I don't think these words actually appear anywhere in the Bible, but the disciples were told that Christ must go in order that the Comforter may come. So after Christ left, it was the disciples who were left to wait at Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came down. It was on the Day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came down and the men and women began to speak with other tongues and many were saved.

What happened to me recently, a couple weeks ago today on Wednesday, I had been going through some serious troubles with my neighbors (not my next door neighbors particularly, but more the people in the larger neighborhood). Many of them are smokers but are cheap and useless no-good low-lifes and will not buy their own cigarettes. Either that, or they buy them and then they still ask you (more like harass you) for cigarettes, sometimes several times a day, because they want to smoke theirs AND they want to smoke YOURS too. My faith in humanity was being completely destroyed incrementally day by day and I was growing more nihilistic and misanthropic in hatred towards the degenerate human race. It all came to a head on Wednesday when I woke up with a weighty question on my mind: Should I quit smoking today?

I had the week before bought an electric cigarette so that I could legitimately tell these beggars that I did not have a cigarette and to avoid any more trouble. Smoking it for about a week went a long way towards reduction of my nicotine intake. I felt as if in some way I had already quit partially since I had not smoked a cigarette in so many days. But I felt deep within me, very much as if it were the voice of God, "Wait here at Jerusalem [for three days]". I put 'for three days' in brackets because it wasn't explicit but it was understood. The first part of the message I did not hear or sense in any way that I can explain, but it was just like some one passing you a small note on a sheet of paper. I knew that morning that I would go and buy one last pack of cigarettes that day and that I would be healed Friday.

I bought that pack of cigarettes and I wanted to make it last about three days. It took me all day Wednesday and all day Thursday to smoke it. I desired to finish my last one some time Friday morning just before going to bed. I would go to bed a smoker and wake up the next day a non-smoker. And that is basically what happened. I smoked my last cigarette just before 2 am Friday morning. Went to bed some time later and
woke up Friday and I was healed.

I was on the phone with someone that Wednesday I think and I told him what my plan was. I said that God had been growing on me and teaching me that as a saved Christian I could no longer continue doing things my way but I must do things His way. He made a very skeptical comment against what I said, saying, "[If you're continuing to smoke], it sounds like you are trying to still do things your way."

This remark raises very serious doubts against this man. This is the sort of discouraging comment that could cause others in my position to abandon their plan and to continue smoking. The doubt it would inspire in that person could be doubt that they could fulfill their plan or lead to other doubts about that person's relationship with God. I consider it a harmful comment that I would say would be unwise to make. Neither is it lead by the Spirit of God. I'm not calling into question his sincerity but I am concerned that he may not be seeing the
forest for the trees in some areas.

To be specific, I told him that night that for a few days I was on my mountain. In the Bible, there were times when people needed time at the mountain in order to prepare themselves by training or education, for reconciliation, or to come closer to God before they could go about with their mission. Moses was an example of this. He was lead to Mount Sinai on occasion so that he could receive revelation from God
and instruction on leading the people, and to receive the law. But I think there is one story that is the best example of what I am talking

Judges 11:30-40

Jephthah, a judge of Israel, was seeking to receive victory in battle from the Lord. He foolishly made a vow with his mouth that on the way back from the battle he received victory in, that whosoever should come first out of his house to greet him would be offered up as a burnt offering to the Lord. He was greatly disheartened when after arriving it was his daughter who came out of the house (What did you think was
going to happen?). When he saw this, he cried, "Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back."

"And she said unto her father, let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows."

"And he said, Go, And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains."



I can make no suggestion here for anyone, but I do know what was true for me. It was revealed that I should wait at Jerusalem, or really, my own personal mountain, for a few days, until I was endued with the full power to be able to quit. I'm not saying if you are a heroin addict that it is okay if you are thinking about qutting to go shoot up for a few more days and then quit. I can't say that because it is understood that any one time you are shooting up might be your last time to shoot up. If God told you to, that would clearly be different but no man (unless he is a prophet moved by the Spirit to speak the will of God to you) can give you direction on that.

Peter, who spoke the first sermon at Pentecost, what if he was moving only by his own power and will and did not obediently wait for the Holy Spirit to arrive? If he had went about prior to that preaching then we can be certain he would have failed miserably and today he might not have been remembered as the hero we revere him as being. It was the perfect will of God that he wait, and the other disciples wait, at Jerusalem for a few days until He was ready to endue them with the power to begin fulfilling His plans for them. If you want to know why He didn't just do it then but wanted to wait instead, I cannot answer that AND I am skeptical of anyone who tries to answer it.

Finally, I want to run these ideas by you one more time. But first I will say, if God is giving you the power and the grace to deal with a problem you are intensely struggling with, to deny it then, you will go back to your addiction 7x over. If you have already cursed yourself by going back and have made it 7x worse by so doing, then it becomes 49x worse. If God gives you the commandment, He is behind you 100% and
will see you live to do it. But you can under no circumstances deny this power, or you will come very close to committing blasphemy, a full rejection of God.

You have a problem. God wants you to address it. He commands that you abstain or He may reveal a plan for your healing. He might have you go up on your mountain for a few days just to gather your thoughts, to remand yourself back unto God, and to gain peace with what must be done. And then He will finally call you back down from the mountain as He told Moses (Ex 32:7) and it is at Jerusalem where you will find your
healing. It is at the New Jerusalem where the tree of life will be planted which bears fruit for the healing of the nations (Rev 22:2). "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Cor 3:16). It is in the Jerusalem in your heart, this holy temple, where God will perform a work in you.

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