A YEAR OF HELL NOW TURNING TO GOLD

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… “. (1 Peter 1:6-7)”

Carolyn and I have had a year of hell. Most of our close friends know that by now. But God!

HERE COMES MORE VULNERABILITY

Let me be very vulnerable for a moment and share things that most preachers will not share with you. You see, many ministers hesitate to share their deepest struggles and challenges, because they think it will be a stumbling block to their people, infuse doubt, and won’t help them. I beg to differ. I think the opposite is true. They need to know that we are not Supermen, but in our humanity are subject to the same weaknesses and infirmities they are. This actually encourages people.

The genuineness of our faith is tested in our trials. And nothing else. You can hear the Word, quote the Word, boast in your faith, act like you are a mighty man or woman of God etc., but when the fat meets the fire, you will learn that only in great trials can great faith be birthed and great victories obtained.

It touches God’s heart very deeply when we rejoice in times of grievous trials, especially when you don’t fully understand. Get that. If you can overcome the devil’s accusations of God to us during such hardship you are the big winner and your faith will soar.

PRAISE

Sometimes you have to be like a chicken on a june bug with your praise. Like Paul and Silas in the prison (Acts 16). They prayed but the great miracle didn’t come until they began to praise. Oh! I sense His Spirit on that word, because so many are in this place right now. Praising God in your hardship, trials, and disappointments is not easy but takes great faith. Most of our trials are primarily in two areas: attacks on our physical bodies and finances. And faith for both is a little different.

I’ve shared bits and pieces of our physical health challenges with FB friends, but very little concerning our financial challenges. In short, we have lived from miracle to miracle through the sustaining power of God’s great provision. We’ve been quiet about that part because we had a witness in our spirits not to share it, but to throw ourselves over on the Father’s love and care when the devil was accusing God to us day and night. But we will save that part of our testimony for another time, because it is so awesome and will encourage many to trust the Lord more for His great provision and favor in financial matters.

Some days all I could say to combat what the enemy of our souls was tempting me with in his constant non-stop accusations against God was to lift my hands and say, “Thank you, Father for your goodness and your mercy.” The devil’s greatest temptation during a year of pure hell for my wife and I was to have us blame God, to let our disappointment lead to bitterness, and to doubt His love and faithfulness to us.

LET ME BE BRUTALLY HONEST

I must admit there were times when my insomnia was so bad from the stroke, that it drove me to think that it was better to die than live. The same was true with Carolyn.

She’s had not one or two or three, but 6 surgeries, and may need one more skin graft to cover her large open wound. But it was her radiation treatments that did the big damage and fried her lower leg so severely, that it not only killed the cancer cells but also muscles, tendons, tissue and blood vessels. Her pain levels were so unbearable at times that she would tell me she didn’t want to live any more. Even recently I’ve been up several nights with her and once had to rush her to the emergency room in the wee hours of the morning. She still can’t walk but the pain is beginning to ease through better pain management and the hyperbaric oxygen therapy she is now receiving daily. As soon as I’m able to leave her side, I’ll be doing that, too in order to reclaim what was lost through the stroke.

To be honest with you, at times my emotions would fluctuate between utter helplessness and brokenness and then anger and yelling at God. “God, don’t you care?! Where are you?! I can’t take this any more?! This is so cruel?!” It was so hard to see my bride in excruciating pain. And the Father would comfort us and reassure us that the glory was coming. I’ve shared the scripture that I kept close to my heart all this time but it bears sharing it again, because some may need it right now. Here it is:

“You have been carried by Me from your birth and been carried in My arms from the womb, even to your advanced age I will carry you! I have made you, and I will carry you; be assured I will carry you and I will save you.” (Is. 46:3-4)

Oh how I’ve grown to love this word! I still weep when I read it and ponder the depths of it. Oh, how He loves us and cares for us even when we don’t understand what we’re going through. We trust Him because we know Him as Father. I get choked up every time I call Him Father now, and that age old Christian hymn comes rising up in my spirit, “Great is Thy faithfulness”… and I weep some more and then laugh with joy unspeakable and full of glory. This has been my sustaining power all through this trial.

NOW HERE’S THE GOLD
I know this is another lengthy post, and it still amazes that people are reading these, liking and loving them, and commenting. I’m truly humbled and honored that you would. My motive is to simply bless you with His great love that continues to touch and melt my heart. Now bear me with me just a little longer while I conclude with this incomprehensible love.

“That He would give you, according to the riches of His glory, power to be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in LOVE may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the LOVE of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the FULNESS of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).

Notice the connection between knowing the love of Christ and being filled with all the fulness of God.

Knowing the width, length, depth, and height of His love that passes your intellectual knowledge is how you will come to be filled with all the fullness of God. This is the greatest transformation anyone can receive in this life.

HIS LOVE IS HIS FULNESS IN YOU

To be filled with the revelation of God’s love is to be filled with all His fullness. There is nothing greater. As disciples of Jesus, we’ve got to move past identifying ourselves with anyone or anything outside of Christ — whether it be our failures, weaknesses, infirmities, our greatest achievements/accomplishments, man’s acceptance and approval, performance and what we do or don’t do, our jobs/careers and status in life, our churches, ministries, finances and so on — and move into a full-fledged identity with His love.

The heart that knows he is loved by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ ceases to look elsewhere for love, peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment. His delight is in the Lord. He has found his dwelling place and his rest in Him. When you receive a revelation of His deep love for you, it will put a pure delight and contentment in your soul. It is then that you will truly live free and full.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t forget to mark your calendars for October 22-23, and to register for our upcoming Fall Holy Ghost Forum. Here is the link to register along with a 10 minute video of sharing my heart for it. 

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Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.  If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

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FRIEND OF MINE

Toward the end of his life Lester Sumrall was a lonesome man. What? How could a man of his spiritual stature, who had traveled and ministered all over the world, and supposedly had many sons in the faith be lonesome? The answer is friendship.

So called sons aren’t always friends. Disciples aren’t always friends. Ministry colleagues and peers aren’t always friends. Bro. Sumrall said he could count on one hand the number of friends he had. Though I’m sure they loved him, his own biological sons weren’t necessarily his friends either.

MY OWN DADDY

I watched my own daddy grow old and tired. He had no need for material things, gifts of any kind, or more money. In fact, he would often say, “There is nothing good in this world.” What he longed for was love from his family and friends. Some of his most fulfilling times were holiday times when genuine love was expressed. He hated superficiality and gift giving without warm love and honest interaction. But he also had a mouth that brought him much unnecessary trouble. As the minister in the family, I overlooked that shortcoming and many others he had, and tried to see those things as a heart cry for genuine love and attention.

TIMES OF NEED

In his old age when my daddy had open heart surgery I stopped by the hospital on the way to a preaching engagement. I wanted to be there when he first woke up from surgery. When he saw my face in front of his, I could see the immediate joy on his countenance. He was so happy to see me! In his greatest hour of need he just wanted to know someone who loved him was there. He was a tough man, a man’s man really, but due to old age hardship and the physical body’s woes he became more tender in his later years.

Near the end of his life he was worn and broken. And what he wanted more than anything else was companionship. Even my Mom and him had a lot of strife and misunderstandings and became irritable with one another due to their sufferings. When a person is suffering physically they are not always pleasant, especially if they are in pain. My parents were born again believers but didn’t learn to walk in the Spirit very consistently due to carnal strongholds in their lives.

BACK TO SUMRALL

Lester Sumrall knew many people and ministers, but again, he said he had only a few true friends. Four or five he said. I was very surprised to hear that, so I listened very carefully. Apparently he was working on a final book at the end of his life on true friendship, but I’m not sure he completed it before his departure. If he did, I’ve not seen it. His words on friendship broke my heart. I sensed his lonesomeness. A man that came out of his death bed as a teenager and changed the world had few true friends. Imagine! His precious wife Ms. Louise had gone to be with the Lord two years before he did. I remember him describing the strange sensation he had when they pulled the sheets over his wife’s body and wheeled her away. Death has lost its sting for believers but it still hurts.

LONGING TO SEE THE FACE OF FRIENDS

After our recent trials, I long to see the face of friends. I’m a pretty sentimental person as it is, I know, but even more so since the illness. I long for intimacy and transparency and a genuine expression of the love and honor of heaven. Don’t let my sometimes rough exterior fool you. I laugh and cry a lot more easily now. To be vulnerable and authentic is to expose yourself and risk being misunderstood and hurt. That’s okay. Jesus lived that way. Think about it. He was the most vulnerable, truthful, loving, and yet most misunderstood person who ever lived. I’ve been misunderstood for most of my life, because I’m direct and a bit of a straightshooter. I don’t fear man. It has been said that the man who is intimate with God cannot be intimidated by man. I love that quote.

HERE’S THE BALANCE

But I’ve also learned you can’t always be so direct with everyone. Not everyone can hear it that way. Jesus treated the rich young ruler differently than he did Zaccheus. It’s a hard lesson I’ve had to learn over the years. That’s why I will go out of my way to reason with, reconcile, and comfort one I may have hurt through some misunderstanding, but yet I cannot compromise spirit and truth.Carolyn and I are very different that way. She doesn’t like conflict and clams up and goes into a shell and retreats at any sign of confrontation. I’m the opposite. Plus, I’m Portuguese. She’s German. I’m passionate. She’s reserved.

Additionally, we were raised very differently. She came from a very dysfunctional family and had an unloving father who was mean-spirited and abused her mentally, and left his family when Carolyn was only five. I came from a functional and fairly stable family with loving hard-working immigrant parents. Instead of clamming up and doing the silent treatment, my temperament is more like this: Let’s be brutally honest and completely transparent with each other, put it all on the table, fight it out emotionally if need be, come to an understanding, and then keep loving each other. That’s me. But not everyone is like that.

In 30+ years of marriage I’ve never let the sun set on any wrath with my wife. I won’t go to sleep until we work it out. She’ll be the first to tell you that. But she’s different. Let’s sleep on it and talk it over in the morning is her style. My directness can be offensive at times if not tempered with love and tenderness. Speaking the truth in love is not always that easy for some Christians.

Here’s another great quote: “You be careful when someone comes to you with a sugar-coated pill or with a slimy tongue. They are always of the devil.” — Smith Wigglesworth

I’m understanding more and more why Jesus, the apostle Paul, and men like Bro. Sumrall had few true friends. Sumrall frequently visited Wigglesworth’s home, and said that nobody was ever there. Me? I’d be knocking on his door every day. Not many visited him. I wonder why. Well, just look at the above quote. He walked in truth and spoke very directly, but he was also a very broken and compassionate man. But often, due to offense, and a veiled face, people didn’t see that side of him.

JESUS AND PAUL

Why do you think the Son of man had nowhere to lay his head? Multitudes were taught by Him and many followed Him, and yet no one invited Him to spend the night. I believe it’s because He saw too much in people’s lives, and that made them uncomfortable .

The apostle Paul also taught many and established disciples and young ministers in the faith, but said he only had one who was trustworthy, and that was Timothy (Phil. 2:19-22). Everyone else was seeking their own things, and not the kingdom. They were selfish. Selfish people don’t make good friends.Let’s all work on being a better friend.

I think the little poem below is the intoxicating drink we all long for in life. Drink deeply of the wine of its words. May you find true friendship in life and remember Jesus is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother, and no better friend we’ll ever have.

May be an image of text that says 'Friend EriendofMine andwalk with me ands of time, Handinhand and heart to heart Together friend of mine. Wewillshare the solitude And walk in quiet peace my hearthears what your heart says; It listens when yours speahs. years have brought us to this place Across the sands Time And will walk here til the end Together friend of mine ©Allison Chambers Carsey'

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t forget to mark your calendars for October 22-23, and to register for our upcoming Fall Holy Ghost Forum. Here is the link to register along with a 10 minute video of sharing my heart for it.

https://fb.watch/6OWmydMTur/

https://fb.me/e/VpO0eiFB

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.  If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

THE SUPERNATURAL CHURCH AND MINISTRY

 From late 1992 to1996 Carolyn and I were missionaries in The Gambia, a tiny Muslim nation in West Africa. We were there by divine commission. In other words, we were sent. Some just go because they say that Jesus told us to go into all the world. 

That is true in a general sense, but not specifically. In Acts 16 Paul and  his team were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go to Asia and then not permitted to go to Bithynia. Then a vision was given to Paul to go to Macedonia. They were sent. 

You see, when you’re sent, you have authority from the Lord to be there. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing as Paul and his team experienced great persecution in that region. The devil knew Paul and his team were sent by the Lord, and he was there to oppose them. 

In spite of the opposition and persecution they received there, great things happened. It all began when a certain slave girl was delivered from a spirit of divination. But even that deliverance was Spirit-led as Paul waited many days to cast that spirit out (Acts 16:18). Well, why didn’t he cast it out the first day? Apparently, there wasn’t an anointing to do so.

THE GREAT DOWNFALL OF THE MODERN CHURCH AND MINISTRY 

One of the great downfalls of the modern church today is they do not know the Holy Spirit and are not that familiar with His leadings and various anointings. This is a big reason why we don’t get many results — book of Acts results…supernatural results. 

Because of the godly training we received in a Word and Spirit school, and the example of a young apostolic leader who was Spirit-led and accurate in following the Lord, we learned the same. Example is the most potent element of discipleship. If you don’t have a godly example before you, much will be done in vain. Please get that! 

We had been under the ministry of a God sent apostle for several years before being sent by the Lord to The Gambia. God prepared us and then sent us. That’s huge, too. Many do not receive the right kind of preparation. 

Carolyn and I consider everything not done through the direction of the Holy Spirit as a failure. In West Africa under divinely commissioned apostolic leadership we witnessed miracles of provision, open doors, great favor, and the multiplication of disciples through the Spirit led instruction our leader received from the Lord. It was astounding! We gleaned so much and took it with us to The Gambia.

RECEIVING DIRECTION

Upon entering the country we received several words of knowledge and wisdom as to what to do and how to start the work. The results were nothing short of amazing in that tiny Muslim nation all because we were sent, walked in our God-given authority, and learned to follow the leading of the Lord. 

For example, one Gambian pastor told us that if we started a Bible training center, which was our commission, we’d probably only have about 10 students. That really discouraged me at first, but because we followed a divine strategy given to us by the Lord we ended up with over 200 students. It pays to learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

This is what we’ve got to improve on today. Having a godly example to teach and equip you, being established in the Word, and learning to live a Spirit-filled life are keys to learning to be led by the Holy Spirit and moving in the supernatural. 

It’s time for the supernatural church and ministry to arise and do exploits in this day and hour! 

“And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s speech, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God so that your faith would not stand in the mere wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5)

Our Holy Ghost Forums exist for such a purpose. Don’t miss our next one on Oct. 22-23 here in Windham, NH. Details forthcoming…

Furthermore, at the Lord’s direction we will continue to minister more on the supernatural church and ministry via the written word (articles, blogs, books, and posts), and via video on Holy Fire Ministries YouTube channel. 

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.  If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE