Holiness: A Place of Safety
God has a place of safety for his people for the difficult days that lie ahead. As the black clouds of evil darkness descend upon our land, we are not to fear…but we are to prepare. We need to be sure we have oil in our lamps that our light will not turn to darkness when chaos breaks forth and life as we have known it in these United States comes to an end.
Jesus keeps saying, “The time is short. The time is short. You have much to do. I want you to be prepared for what lies ahead. Show my people the way I have prepared for their safety.” God wants to bring us up spiritually to a place of supernatural provision and protection. There is very little we can do in the natural to prepare for what is coming, but we can do a great deal in the Spirit.
My book, Sanctification
All through history and even today there have been wars, genocide and all manner of atrocities done by men to other men. Many people have died but others have escaped by traveling to another country like America. But what we are facing will be different because the whole world will be engulfed in great tribulation. There won’t be any place to flee. Everyone will be watched (and are even now being watched) by surveillance cameras, satellites, GPS systems, etc. Computers know more about us than we know about ourselves. In the natural we will not be able to escape, but God has a plan for our protection. It will require our cooperation with the Holy Spirit so that He can change us in ways we need to be changed in order to enter the holy supernatural of God. In Sanctification in Reverse this preparation is described as a trip down a healing river.
I dreamed a few nights ago that our nation was besieged with terrible calamities. There seemed to be no escape from the dreadful things happening all around. However, my husband and I had purchased a piece of land, and on this property there was a secret tunnel that led to safety. In order to enter the tunnel, one had to first take a shower.
I believe the land we purchased represented our own inner being. (Remember how God said He would give us the land but we had to walk it out? [Josh 1:3] Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.) So the land is our own soul that we are in process of bringing under subjection to Jesus.
The tunnel represents a passageway or a path to safety. There is a way God has prepared for His people, for those who truly seek him, where they will have His protection from the difficult times that are coming upon us. (This is no time to be lukewarm! …of course there is never a good time to be lukewarm, but there is the danger of being spewed out of His mouth in these end times.) So this tunnel shows us that God has a plan for us to keep us in His care and provision.
In my dream, one had to take a shower to enter the tunnel. A shower cleanses us. We must be spiritually cleansed in order to enter the tunnel to safety. Our safety lies in HOLINESS—purity of heart. In my book, Sanctification in Reverse, the healing river of Ezekiel 47 flows out of our spirit into our soul and eventually our body. This is a cleansing, purifying river that we must enter first to the ankles, then to the knees, and finally to the loins until we are swimming in it.
As we are purified, our bodies will be healed supernaturally. We will enter into the Lord’s presence. We will enter the dimension Jesus was in when He passed unharmed through the midst of the crowd that wanted to throw Him off the cliff to His death.
The three Hebrew young men were in this realm when the king had them thrown into the fiery furnace. Remember the story? They refused to bow down and worship the king’s idol. This is holiness! This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture (Dan. 3). Let’s read it now.
“Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’” (NIV) (The KJV says it better, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”)
“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’ So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.’ Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”
Isn’t this a great story! This is the place the Lord desires to take His people in these end times. We can only enter this realm when our hearts are as pure as were the hearts of the young Hebrews. A pure heart is a heart cleansed of all idols. We are all idolaters to some extent…over the years God has convicted me of many idols that I have had to die to, e.g. my husband, my children, my music, my ministry etc. Unless God shows us our idols, we really can’t discern them. It is always good to ask God to show us our heart so we can repent of our idolatry. True repentance leads to the cross. Unless we die to these things, they will remain idols.
Another example of holiness comes to mind…Stephen in Acts six and seven. He testified the truth of the Gospel to the evil Jewish leaders. Then he saw the heavens opened and the Son of God at the right hand of the Father. When they stoned him, he cried out to God asking Him not to lay this sin to their account! (Talk about holiness…wow!) And as they stoned him, he just fell asleep.
These accounts are all examples of people living on this earth in another dimension in God. These should be an encouragement to all of us that we can go there too. In fact, we can go even further because we are the Church of the end times. We have more available to us because of the time in which we live. We need to understand what these things are and how to utilize them.
How Purity Protects Us
Most people don’t realize the safety that lies in holiness. It is necessary for us to understand some of God’s purpose and His ways for this to become clear. First of all, God’s whole purpose in creating us was so He could have a relationship with us. He is our Father and He desires many sons and daughters just like Jesus. Basically He wants us to love Him and enjoy Him forever. In order for us to do this, we need adversity in our life for the purpose of revealing to us our own sinfulness that blocks our relationship with God. That’s why James could say, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” (James 1:2-4). (I realize there are people reading this who may have been satanically ritually abused, so the things I’m saying about adversity need to be understood in a different vein.) Trouble and suffering, if we respond scripturally, only serve to mold and shape our character. If we had no adversity, we could not grow spiritually.
Someone once told me a true story about a Christian man in China, a young pastor engaged to be married. He was arrested for being a Christian and thrown into a prison where he remained for years. During his time there, he heard the news that his fiancé had married another man. (His captors made sure he had this information to increase his torment!) After considerable time of great misery as bitterness and self-pity engulfed his soul, he realized that he needed to forgive all those who had “ruined” his life. He forgave them all from his heart and began to pray for his captors. In a very short time, he was released from prison. (NOTE: As his character was changed to be like that of Jesus’, he no longer needed adversity to mould and shape him in that particular area. God’s purpose was accomplished and he was released from this affliction. God allowed his arrest in order to get his attention and change his heart. We must always seek God’s purpose in our suffering!) Spiritually speaking, for the purpose of illustrating my dream, this man took a shower and was allowed to enter the secret tunnel to safety!
The Psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” And “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psa. 119: 67, 71, 75).
The Chinese pastor began to travel and preach all over the world. It was in one of his meetings in Toronto that his former fiancé heard him speak and met with him after the service. Her husband had died, and they were free to resume their relationship. Now this pastor was able to marry the woman he had loved all those years ago, and their story was told all over the world. Adversity not only changes our character, but also prepares us for ministry.
God always wants to bless us, but it would not be a blessing to get what we want and yet remain unchanged in our character. We tend to see our life in terms of what we want here and now, but God is looking out for our best interests for eternity. Affliction prepares us for eternal blessings. It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God. We don’t have to die to enjoy these eternal benefits. We can enter into the kingdom of God here and now.
As I become aware of so many people all around who are struggling and suffering with great anguish of soul, I thank God over and over for the peace that reigns in my soul. (I haven’t always been this way…I’ve had my struggles but they have led to the peace I now enjoy.) Peace is an eternal reality, one of the blessings of the kingdom that we can enjoy on earth now if we are willing to daily cleanse our heart before God.
Having peace in your soul is not a condition that exists because there are no more triggers for anxiety in your life. Troublesome situations may still surround you, but your relationship with God can keep you in peace. This is the kind of peace God wants us all to have as we face the judgments coming upon our nation. If you are embroiled in some circumstance at this time that robs you of peace, God wants you to draw closer to Him. He will reveal things to you so you can see the situation from His perspective. This will lead you into His peace. He may change your circumstances or He may leave you in them, but when you have peace, it really doesn’t matter.
A major component of peace is trusting in the character of God. Sometimes He is silent and we just have to trust that He is in charge and He has our best at heart. At other times, He speaks and we can hold onto those words in the midst of circumstances that seem to indicate the opposite of His promise.
We have taught our people (our church) to ask three questions concerning their circumstances. Where is God? What is He doing? How am I responding? Answering these questions helps us get the right perspective, God’s perspective, for our situations. The difficult situations we are in now are preparation for what is coming. We must learn to have peace in the midst of chaos. We must learn to trust God when all appears to be falling apart all around us. He is our Father and He wants to take us into that secret tunnel to safety, but we are required to progress in holiness in order to enter that passageway.
Holiness requires (and here I’d like to borrow a phrase from Jean-Pierre de Caussade) “a total self-abandonment to the divine providence of God.” We must be willing to say, Not my will but THY will be done. God is calling us to give up our controlling, manipulative ways and put all our trust in Him. He is calling us to complete obedience in all things He has required of us. Forgiving others, repenting before God of our own sin (a thing we often cannot see unless we are in accountable relationships), and seeking God with our whole heart are essential if we are to walk down that tunnel to safety as the darkness enshrouds our land. Remember, we can only enter the tunnel after we have first taken that shower…cleansed ourselves in the water of the Word that our hearts may be holy and blameless before Him.