A Call To The Remnant

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Digging holes in the Valley(Waiting for the Rain)

Posted by appolus on September 11, 2008

Today, the Church is moving further and further away from its destination. When the destination ceases to be God Himself, and the destination becomes something other than His presence, His Tabernacle, His alter, His throne room, then we simply get further and further away from Him and the narrow path that leads to Him. Only by getting of at the “next exit,” and doing a “u-turn,” can we get back on the narrow path.

DIGGING HOLES IN THE VALLEY

Psalm 84 is one of the songs of Zion. This psalm rejoices in the presence of God, the manifest presence of God in the Tabernacle. Anyone who reads what the Lord gives me will know that He has continually put “His Presence,” on my heart. He has showed me that there is a coming reformation and that the reformation will be led by people who only hunger and thirst for the giver and not the gift.

 
Gifts are important, signs and wonders are important, miracles are important, but so is balance. There are many paths before the true believers. Our search is the search for the narrow path. We must find the narrow path and keep to it. If we have gone down the wrong path, then to continue to go down that path only takes us further away from the Lord. Now, the motivation to go down a certain path can be good, it can be genuine, but if it is the wrong path it is the wrong path.
 
I have a GPS system in my car. Its awesome. As a directionally challenged Real Estate agent it has been such a blessing to me. I simply follow the blue line and I inevitably end up at my destination. Yet even with this system, you can take wrong turns and the system will automatically “recalculate,” and give you new directions to get you back on track. This almost always involves “taking the next exit,” and doing a “u-turn.”
Sometimes when you take the wrong road, but it runs near to or initially parallel with the correct road, the system still believes you to be on the right road. As the wrong road slowly veers away from the correct road, the system finally figures it out.
 
The Church has taken the wrong road. Initially it runs almost parallel to the correct road and , without discernment, is almost impossible to know that you are on the wrong path. Most will simply plow ahead down the road directed and its at a point of getting lost that the person realizes that they have went astray. When Amelia Earheart attempted her epic flight, it is reckoned that she only had to be a tiny fraction off in her calculations to miss the Island that she was aiming for by hundreds of miles. To continue flying and being slightly of course, would take her ever further away from her destination.
 
Today, the Church is moving further and further away from its destination. When the destination ceases to be God Himself, and the destination becomes something other than His presence, His Tabernacle, His alter, His throne room, then we simply get further and further away from Him and the narrow path that leads to Him. Only by getting of at the “next exit,” and doing a “u-turn,” can we get back on the narrow path. If you do not have a GPS system, here are the road signs that you must see to know that you are on the right path, the narrow path. It is of vital importance that you see this first sign. The sign will read……
 
1. How lovely is your Tabernacle O Lord of Hosts. My soul longs for you, yes, even faints for the courts of my Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
 
If this is not the first sign that you see, you are on the wrong path. Your desire for gifts, your desire to be healed, your desperation to be saved from a particular circumstance, or set of circumstances will not lead you to the narrow path.The second road sign that you will see, once you see the first is ………..
 
2. You are now entering the courts  and the alter of the Lord.
 
Perhaps you have heard or been told that only special people can enter into the most Holy place, into the manifest presence of God. Only the “anointed,” hear from God. Only the Prophet or Apostle , the Evangelist, Pastors or teacher are privy to the things of the Lord. This is a heresy. Every single member of the Body of Christ is an active member and has gifts. The heresy that only one man or a small group of men are “special,” or that God respects them more and tells them mysteries that no one else knows, is just another form of Gnosticism. This has led to the vast majority of “Priests,” sitting as spectators, watch and listening to one man or a small group of men. It has also led to the demise of words of knowledge from the congregation, speaking in tongues and interpret ion of these tongues. Exhortations have all but dried up. What used to be normative in a typical Pentecostal church has now become a rarity. We now sit, entertained by the speaker and the worship, but we are not active participants and this has led to the sickness we now see in the Body because one or two parts seek to be the whole.
 
So, who can be used? Who can come into the very throne room of God? Who can approach the alters, the throne of God and stand in His manifest presence? “Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young. Even your alters oh Lord of Hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, they will still be praising you.”
 
The sparrow and the swallow brothers and sisters, the “least,” of us are used of God. We are ushered into His presence, He is no respector of persons. The modern day church, in the age of “personality,” has effectively shut this down. The Prophets, the Apostles, the Evangelist, the Pastors and the teachers have been shut out by the “personality.” The next sign will be ………
 
3. You are now entering the Valley of Baca, or the Valley of Weeping. All those whose heart is set on pilgrimage please continue.
 
The road to the alter, the tabernacle, traverses many valleys. Some are narrow some are deep . There is no avoiding them. You will shed tears in these valleys. You will often times feel abandoned in these valleys. What should you do as you travel through these valleys? Dig deeper. Dig holes in these valleys brothers and sisters. These valleys are without rain and it would seem to many that they will surely die as they go through it. You will not die. So why should you stop and dig holes in this valley. Why not rush through as quickly as possible? The truth is, this valley cannot be rushed. No matter how much you run, to the left or the right, you have to go through the valley. Even if you run straight ahead, the valley will last exactly how long it is supposed to last. So, when you stop in the midst of it, when you resist the urge to panic and fear, when you embrace the fact that this valley has to be gone through, these “dark nights of the soul,” will become an oasis and a place of refreshment  to those who have faith and continue to trust in the Lord. You will not be tempted more than you are able. The Lord has not abandoned you. He will minister to you. When you dig deeper, you are emptying yourself in preparation to receive the Lords presence. He will come to you on your journey, on your pilgrimage , in your deepest valleys. And to those who dig, their holes will be filled abundantly when the flash flood of His rain comes. The steeper the valley, the bigger the flood. The holes ensure that when the flood ends, their will be pools of water left over that will not only minister to you, but will comfort and encourage those who come along behind you, for remember, there is only one path, the narrow one, and all must traverse it.
 
As they go through the Valley of Weeping, they make it a spring, the rain also covers it with pools, they go from strength to strength, each one appears before God in Zion.”
 
So brothers and sisters, I encourage you to find the narrow path that leads to His presence. The irony is that those who chase signs and wonders and miracles and so on, those who put the cart before the horse, never see them. In the end, it all becomes hype with the “personality,” culture. So what is the true treasure of the Lord, what should we pursue? Perhaps the Psalmist says it best ……………………….
 
“For one day in your courts is better than a thousand, I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a Sun and a shield, the Lord will give grace  and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Blessed is the man who trusts in you.”
 
If you have not experienced the presence of God, if it has been a long time since you have experienced the presence of God, perhaps you should check the road signs, make sure you have not taken a wrong turn and that the road you are on is not taking you further and further away from the Lord and the simplicity of the Gospel. I would rather hear one word, in a moment of silence, from my God, than a thousand good sermons.
 
                                                                                                                      Frank
 
 
 

14 Responses to “Digging holes in the Valley(Waiting for the Rain)”

  1. timbob said

    Good evening. Something that you point out so well is the ease by which we can get off track if we’re not careful. Following a personality, allowing works to take the place of our first love,(like the Ephesians in Revelation) or just getting stuck in a religious comfort zone and conforming to the others who are also stuck in their comfort zone; there are countless ways to get sidetracked. As you mention, the paths veer apart so subtly that the one taking the wrong path will not realize what’s taking place. How important it is to follow hard after the Lord Jesus first above all else.

    Psalm 84 that you mention in the beginning is a favorite; especially verse 10 which tells of a hungering for God. When we hunger for God, we’ll seek him diligently, fervently desiring an increasingly deeper relationship. We’ll not settle for anything that glorifies flesh or conforms to this fallen world. We’ll not allow the gifts to become the thing that we seek but will seek the Lord Jesus first. (The signs will follow if we’ll just seek the Lord diligently)

    This is why I like the book of Job so much. His heart was set on the Lord and no trials in the flesh could sway him. Even when Mrs. Job told him to turn away from the Lord, he held fast the profession of his faith. As he stated in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” If only the saints would have such a steadfastness, we would turn the world upside down.

    It’s always a blessing to stop by here as all of your posts encourage us to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus.

    Have a blessed weekend in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. appolus said

    Hi brother Timbob…always good to hear your thoughts, a brother in Christ indeed. We share the same love of the Book of Job. The Scripture that you quoted is perhaps my favorite Scripture.

    “If only the saints would have such a steadfastness, we would turn the world upside down.”

    Yes indeed , upside down. If we could truly say to death and hell and disease ”
    O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?,” and if we could say to tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword “you will not seperate me from my Lord Jesus” and furthermore I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    The warriors that can say that to all the circumstances of life can indeed turn this life upside down. Goliath was defeated by running right at him, not running from him.

  3. timbob said

    Hello again. I had to come back this morning because something in here has kind of been with me all night. The valley seasons are not something that can be rushed. I often feel like I’m in a valley season and this morning, it got to me. If I could just drop everything and go, I would be out on the streets every single day proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I have a family of whom none understand this. It’s so frustrating to see the end of the age, the lateness of the hour and then to see those around you; especially in your own household whom you love dearly, consumed by the cares of this world.

    To make matters worse, I went to the site http://www.witnessingencouragement.wordpress.com and read of all that’s going on there in the San Francisco area which made me feel even more “stuck.” I think the problem is “me.” I focus too much on my fervent desire instead of being still and knowing that God knows what he’s doing. He knows my entire situation, that of the souls around me, he knows what they need; he sees tomorrow, the next day, and into the eons to come. (Wow; I feel better already. Thanks for letting me vent)

    I don’t mean to sound weird. I love my family and I know that the Lord is doing a mighty work here. I’ve seen glimpses of victories and I know that the devil is putting up a tremendous fight. This came to me last week; that this household is the site of some very intense spiritual warfare. So, I’ll get into the streets when I can and be here when I’m supposed to be. The gospel is a 24/7 thing and “everybody needs Jesus.” I’m almost scared to submit this because I wrote it out really fast and not even a proof read is likely to catch anything misspoken.

    You are so right. We cannot hurry the valleys. If Josephs valley had been hurried by even a day, he wouldn’t have been in the right place when Pharaohs dream was in need of interpretation and the famine would have been far more devastating. This post was a must read for me. Thanks.

    Have a blessed weekend in Jesus.

    timbob

  4. appolus said

    Hi brother…our lives seem to run in such a parrallel course. Only you have this over me, your fervent desire to be “out there.” I do not have that bro. I am at a point in my life where I have no desire of my own, no ambition,in many ways I seem at a loss. This is my own deepest valley. A brokeness that I cannot truly understand and a “not knowing,” that kills my flesh. I am not sure where it will all end, but this I am sure of, Jesus. Am I where Job was? I would hate to say that, but I feel that is my destination in as much as “yet though He slay me.” In 1995 I prayed a very short prayer, perhaps the most significant prayer of my life “whatever it takes for me to be useful to you Lord.” I know that it touched the throne. I never imagined that it would lead me down this path. Seemingly no ministry at all, no vision no ambition. Yet I can say this, the trials that the Lord has brought me through has made me put dwom deep roots. When the wind blows, I bend but I am not uprooted. When the rain comes and flood waters rises I am not overwhelmed. In the midst of storms I seem to dwell in the eye of them. I used to think that there must be a practical purpose for possible ministry for the Lord to allow these many trials(light afflictions overwhelmingly mitigated by moments in His presence)I am now not so sure. I cannot comprehend what the Lord has prepared for us, but I believe that there is an eternal purpose in what we learn here on earth. Not only are we “digging holes in the Valley,” but I believe that every trial, every circumstance relates to us digging a foundation. As a former Bricklayer, I know that the bigger the structure, the bigger the foundation that is required. So I believe that there is a direct correlation to the trials and tribulations here on earth, the denying of the flesh, the dying to oneself, the carrying of ones cross, the depth of our foundations, to the structure that we will inhabit in the New Jerusalem. This “structure,” could be our position or purpose in the life to come. God has an eternal plan, and we know next to nothing about what He has for us, but I know this,

    Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope; for what anyone sees, why does he also hope for it?
    But if we hope for that which we do not see, then we wait for it with patience.

    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
    Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

  5. timbob said

    So many examples in scripture. Job didn’t know how his trial would end and one cannot imagine what Joseph went through. Sold by his brothers, falsly accused by Mrs potipher, and forgotten by the butler. It must have felt like “why am I here, forgotten?” Yet every event where injustice seemed to prevail resulted in his being in the right place at the right time.

    As for us, Matthew has special needs which really try us on a daily basis. My understanding is that a high percentages of marriages with autistic children end in divorce. Things can be so unpredictable. Yet there is a purpose for it all. The Lord could fix everything to how we would like it to be with just a word, but I’m certain that if he did this, a much greater working would go unfinished.

    When we are in eternity and no longer looking through a glass darkly, we’ll be simply astonished when we see how it all came together. I think of Joseph again, when he finally revealled himself to his brothers. I believe that this is the moment where suddenly all of the pieces came together for him. Every single event led to the sustaining of life. Had one of the events not transpired (like if Mrs. Potipher had not cried “sexual harrassment” to put it in 21st century lingo) his life would have been very average and probably even prosperous. Until the years of famine!

    I remember someone stating how most of the Psalms were written during situations of adversity when the conclusion seemed uncertain. Yet what an awesome testimony each one is. Psalm 73 amazes me as the author is lamenting at the prosperity of the wicked while he is downtrodden. That is “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” This is why the paragraph about the valleys spoke to me so much. We have to see the eternal perspective and I tend to get distracted too easily.

    Thanks for taking time to respond and to post regularly. Everything that you place here is needful; even though I don’t get around much during the week. (Today has been a strange day as only Matthew and I are at home and more time has been available than usual) Have a most blessed day in Jesus.

  6. appolus said

    Hi Timbob…you are right about the stats on parents with mentally handicapped children. As you know, I have a teenager with Down-Syndrome, I believe that there is over a 80% divorce rate. I was also married at 17, the divorce rate for teenage marriages are over 90%. (I have been married for 27 years) Before I came to Christ, I cheated on my wife, the divorce rate for cases of adultery is very high. Our first son died, apparently the divorce rate is high for that too. So, against all the odds, the Lord is glorified. The overcoming power of Jesus trancends all “odds,” and “stats.” Just in case that paints a rosy picture, there are many times we could have both left each other. Humility and surrender and denying of flesh all come to the front. I often say that my wife has more faith in Jesus than many of my brothers and sisters. She found out, two years after I came to Christ, that I had been unfaithful. She asked one day and I told her(just a month after our child with Down Syndrome was born) She knew that I was not the old Frank anymore, and because of Christ in me(He changed me) she forgave me.

    As for your comments on Psalm 73, I totally agree. The greatest lessons that I have ever learned have came at the deepest part of the valley. I wrote a poem one time entitled “Can the valley be the mountain?” Cant remeber it all now but here is a part …

    Can the valley be the mountain
    Can my pain turn into Joy
    I will turn, the darkness into light
    And I will counter Satan’s ploy

  7. This was a blessing to read and a great encouragement. So thankful that you wrote it down for others to read. Abraham was in a dry, hard place, too, in the door of the tent, enduring the heat of the day. He was too old to do anything but wait on the Lord. All his effort in the flesh to make the promises of God a reality just produced a war in his tent, between two wives, and an Ishmael. The Lord came and renewed their strength and youth, and fulfilled His Word to them. He brought new life where there was no way for it to be. He promises He will bring rivers of living water in dry places. Hallelujah! I was reminded as I read your post it’s in the dry places when we dig deep that the refreshing comes.

  8. appolus said

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for dropping by. Yes, rivers of living waters. He makes a way where there seems to be no way and He “creates rivers in the desert.” He opens up the sea before us, and even out of the “rock,” gushes life giving water. Amen to Jesus, He gives us life……………Frank

  9. I sooo love your spirit dear brother in Christ…what awesome insight that God has given you! You are a lover of God, it shows! I’m even more drawn by the humility I sense in your writings, a brokenness (true humility)! I so agree that the Church has moved away, far away from it’s destination…intimacy with The Father, Son & Holy Ghost. WE ARE CALLED…to live in His Glorious Presence!!! Oh… that we learn how to really romance Jesus! That we will be lovers of God and lovers of each other in the spirit! As mentioned before…”How lovely is your Tabernacle O Lord of Hosts. My soul longs for you, yes, even faints for the courts of my Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” Psalms 27:4-6 is another favorite! Have an awesome week…may you be overwhelmed by His Love, His manifested presence! In His Love, Stephen

  10. appolus said

    Hi brother Stephen… thanks for dropping by. If I have any humility and insight at all, you rightly identified the cause….brokeness(not a popular subject in modern Christianity)

    We are called to live in His glorious presence. The relitively few moments that I have dwelt there is enough to make me long for “home.” It is enough to make me lose all desires for anything that this world has to offer. Everything that this world has to offer becomes dim and lost in darkness as we stand in the light of His presence.

    It is only because we have experienced His presence that it is possible to be broken or to even have any desire to be broken. It is not a natural desire, it is a supernatural desire. You too have an awesome week brother…….Frank

  11. […]   What fire has the younger generation acquired?   The church that sits on sinking sand   Digging holes in the Valley (Waiting on the rain)   Divided we fall!   Seperating Sheep from goats   Gods Judgement upon the established church   […]

  12. Shauna said

    Thank you all for the personal testimony. It’s a very comforting fact that I am not alone in this unusual thirst. I live in an area known for being the “bible belt” and yet in the last 6 years I haven’t been able to find a church where God is moving. It’s increasingly disappointing; the desire to get “plugged in” to a body and do God’s work is undeniable, however in 6 yrs of searching in my area.. I can’t feel God’s presence. There are days I pray for just one Christian to have church with if even on the phone.

    • appolus said

      HI Shauna. I live in Kansas and so I know something of the Bible belt and the dryness in the land. You are not alone sister, there are brothers and sisters all over the country and the world who are facing the problems that you face. If you go to the home page of this site and scroll down you will find a post for a phone prayer call on a Sunday night. Its in preparation for a conference in Atlanta in Oct. You will find like-minded folks on this call. Also, if you go to www. sermonindex.net you will find other believers there in the forum. Please check out this site for other posts that relate to the remnant sister, they will bless and encourage you……………..bro Frank

  13. KMH said

    It is great to read from this site and read these like minded comments. I totally agree of the spiritual drought. However, Bible Study Fellowship is a nondenominational international study that usually is made up of very strong believers. Everyone is to feed themselves on God’s word and apply it. It is mostly free (a dollar or two for printing costs is the usual weekly giving but nothing is mandatory). Great for new believers as everyone is shepherded. I have been in leadership for over a decade. A few years ago, a few of us leaders began to meet to memorize scripture and challenge one another and pray for one another (we all feel the end times are near). God has blessed me with a great accountability group in these women!
    bsfinternational.org is the site to look up a class near you. Men’s, Women’s and Young Adult coed classes (under 35).

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