Monday, June 15, 2009

On Return; Testimony on Personal Trial; Crucial Importance of Obedience to YHWH

The main reason I took a break from this blog is because of a difficult situation I went through over the past 5-6 weeks. It's somewhat uncomfortable for me to go into the specifics, but I will nonetheless. And the reason I'm going into this is not because I believe anyone reading this is particularly concerned with the details of my life, but rather because through the experience I have learned some valuable lessons that I need to share, out of which others may learn something.

The first week of May I injured my groin while weightlifting. It was by no means a life-threatening injury, but it was serious nonetheless, causing for a time what I believed to be the permanent loss of my reproductive ability. This injury caused tremendous mental distress, especially for a young man like myself who is unmarried and does not yet have children. It was the most painful experience of my life. I was extremely depressed, almost suicidal, had difficulty sleeping at night (waking up 5-6 times a night), etc.

As a result of this, I did what many would do. I sought help from the Almighty. I prayed, studied the word (reading the latter half of the Old Testament in 3 weeks), and attempted to humble myself and examine my life in order to turn from any sin. After about 5 weeks, I was healed. Although I did not consult a medical doctor in all this, I believe without a doubt that he answered my prayers and I was healed by his power and mercy. And whether you want to call it a "miracle" or the like is really irrelevant, because the Almighty is in control of everything. Any blessings or healing we may receive ultimately come from him. I now believe that he allowed me to go through the situation for the purpose of chastisement in order to bring me closer to him and turn from sin in my life.

The most important lesson I have learned from all of this is the reality we all face regarding the consequences of choosing to obey or reject our Creator. You cannot disobey YHWH and expect to get away with it. Sooner or later, your sins will catch up with you. As I was reminded in my recent reading of the scriptures, the central issue in the Bible regarding the relationship of YHWH with his people is obedience. Those who obey YHWH and live righteously will be blessed in this life and inherit eternal life, while those who disobey and practice evil will be punished and eventually destroyed if they do not repent. The latter half of the Old Testament concerns how the nations of Israel and Judah rebelled against YHWH and became very wicked by worshipping idols, rejecting YHWH's laws, and descending into lawlessness. As a result, YHWH himself destroyed His own people by sending foreign nations to attack them, killing many through war, starvation, and disease. He only saved a remnant (the more righteous among the Israelites) and sent them into exile, promising to bless and increase in number that remnant in the future. For those concerned with the condition of the modern-day Israelite people, this history is very enlightening, humbling, but also encouraging.

The New Testament and Yahshua certainly did not alter the requirement of obedience. He told the rich man that in order to inherit eternal life, he must obey the commandments (Matthew 19:17). And at the Judgement, not everyone who says to Yahshua, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who have done the will of the Father will inherit eternal life (Matthew 7:21).

The state of our people as a whole at this time in history, just as in the past, comes down to this issue of obedience to YHWH, who is the sovereign of this universe and is in control of all. He is just, and he will abide by the covenant that he made with our people at the time of Moses -- including the blessings and curses from obedience or disobedience (see chapter 28 of Deuteronomy). If we are obedient, we will be blessed with many children, prosperity, and no enemy will be able to harm us as we are under his protection. While if we are disobedient, we are under his curse and will be punished by YHWH with few children, poverty, bondage, and "the alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower" (Deuteronomy 28:43).

As individuals, or as a collective people, we can be healed and restored when in times of trouble. But in order for that to happen we must turn from our wicked ways and back to YHWH. That is the only way. We must humble ourselves before our all-powerful Creator and Father, not stubbornly and foolishly continue to rebel against his authority. YHWH resists the arrogant and proud, and will not listen to their prayers. But he hears and answers those who genuinely humble themselves, repent, and turn to him.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 )


Jeff ( Va. Rebel ) said...

A hearty amen to your words brother and a stout welcome back.
Know that you have been in our prayers since your departure and we your kinfolk were indeed concerned for your unknown well being.

You epitomize the Christian soldier, in that in times of stress, trouble or conflict we instinctively turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His will, mercies and guidance. It sounds as He has truly blessed you with refreshing fellowship.

Per your injury, it is understandable what you have been feeling ... and not to say this was the circumstance here - God does have His ways of making us pull in the reins and doing an introspection, 'eh brother ? Many of us been that route of learning also brother.
Gotta lot of knots on this 'ol head !

You sound strong and reenergized - go with Christ and may He stir us all to strive ever more wholeheartedly to be mindful of the hour and the high calling of our duties to Him.

Welcome back soldier of Christ !

(easy on the weights !)

Lone Wolf said...

Jeff - Thanks for the prayers and the kind words. Perhaps YHWH was hearing your prayers when he was not yet listening to mine.

This ordeal has benefitted me in many ways in regards to my faith -- humility, fear/reverence for YHWH, compassion for others in crisis, etc.

And yes, in my situation, I absolutely believe it was a case where he was getting my attention so that I would evaluate my life and clean up certain areas.

Wheeler MacPherson said...

A very heartfelt "thank you," young brother, for your sobering words and solemn call to obedience and holiness (without which, none of us will see Him). May the Ever-Living bless you and grant you wisdom as you seek to glorify Him through your life.

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing that and I am glad you are back in health.

Mental distress will keep you up many hours of the night. Wrestling with yourself is exhausting.

The most difficult trials are when our Father is nearest, urging us on in the right path if we would only listen. I tend to call this the "Refining Fire".
It appears you have come out a better, "refined" son of God.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you're back. YHWH takes care of HIS own. I am probably much older than you and have had times when YHWH has pulled the reigns in on me too - HARD, so I know where you're coming from.

What I have found (and you probably have too) is that it is nice to be in that place where we MUST through circumstance, place all our faith in HIM. There is nothing more that we have the power to do. Then, reflecting back on the outcome, we can see HIS wonderful work in our lives. As we get older, those of us who trust in YHWH can see, each step of the way, how HE intervened and guided our course to our ultimate destiny.

The good thing is that YHWH chastises those whom HE loves.

YAH bless,


ericthered said...

Welcome back!,
I've been struggling with this question of obediance myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Some call for distinction here between, 'works' and 'obediance.' I can here the wails of the judeo-christian, "not by works..!"

People don't want to be responsible for anything

Lone Wolf said...

Thanks to all - Joy, Wheeler, Jeff, ericthered, JamesTheJust -- for your kind words and the welcome back.

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your site. I lift a few weights, not heavy ones mind (90 pound bench press ) and don't bother streaching cos I hate it. Just warm up beforehand. Like to get the BP up to 200 pounds. Guys who don't have my visible muscles lift a lot heavier in our gym. No injuries though. I'm new to this Israel thing. I'll have to get a bible and read it.
The Churches in Ireland and Britain are all for this multiculturism so I figure I'd be better off staying at home and reading the bible.


Jeff ( Va. Rebel ) said...

Jed - I don't believe Lone Wolf would mind me jumping in here, as I know he would encourage you to keep at your studies. But since he's out on vacation, if I might ...

Most all of us who visit here have come up thru the churches, but we've reached the stage in our growth where hypocrisy and error is all too apparent in the mainline churches.

We seek the Truth so we've gone outside the "allowable" parameters and like days of yore ... been branded heretics for it. Guess what - it hurts not a bit.

Truth has no fear of being exposed or being subjected to scrutiny under the examining light, but rather seeks it. But lies squirm about in discomfort lest their true colors are shown.

Our enemies have trained our people well to respond to labels, which does nothing to eradicate what is correct, but only elicits emotional responses to maintain control.

You've found one of the best sites, in my opinion, to seek out the meat of the Word.
May Christ guide you in your journey.