A Call To The Remnant

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How to choose Victory over defeat

Posted by appolus on November 6, 2011

What will increase the chances that when faced with a trial, a fork in the road, that we will choose the path of faith and victory over the road of fear and defeat?

“Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Many things it seems, has to be learned. I am glad that Paul had ” learned,’ to be content in whatever state he found himself in. No magic wand, no waking up one morning and finding the answer. As we walk through this life, we will find, through our circumstances, through our trials and tribulations, through our families, through the world, the secret to contentment. Failure is such a neccecary part of learning. There are some it seems, and I was certainly one, that had to learn the hard way.

Many years ago I faced a particular trial. I exercised faith, most impressive, then at the very end when failure seemed assured, I lost it. Afterwards( and after victory was delivered by His hand) the Lord spoke to my heart. As I looked back upon the situation, of which I gave myself about a 4 out of 10, I wanted to learn to walk in a 10. I imagined what it may look like to enter into a trial with full assurance. Not the full assurance that somehow the circumstance would change, but with the full assurance that despite the trial I would walk through it in peace. This became my goal. I determined in my heart not to fear, not to sin, but to know that the steps of a righteous man is ordered of God.  The Lord assured me that there would be more trials. And the more trials I went through, the more I realized that every single time the Lord was with me. Now, most of the times the circumstances did not change, but my attitude towards them did, and in this lay the victory. Kinda like Psalm 23 when the Lord prepares a table before the psalmist in the presence of his enemies. One can walk in goodness and mercy all the days of their lives despite the circumstances, whether abounding or abased, whether full of whether hungry.

So brother, what is the likelihood that we will choose faith? Much will depend on our previous victories, much will depend upon if we have been blessed by trials and circumstances where we have seen the Lord move powerfully in our lives. And victory is this, to sit in HIs presence. How many would rather have a life-time of trials and walk in HIs presence, than a life of ease and walk according to our own knowledge?

I am very fortunate that within two years of coming to Jesus that I was diagnosed with a terminal illness. This remains the single most important event of my life. I learned to walk by faith. I learned not to fear death, I learned that the steps of a righteous man is ordered of God. I learned that I was His servant and that no force in the universe could take me out of His hands. No sickness could, no devils could, no man could. I was not leaving this planet one second before my Master deemed it to be so, as it is with all of His servants.

This attitude has revolutionized my walk with the Lord. Can I just say that the trials have came thick and fast. It seems like every year I am glad that the year is over, but I know that I have went out deeper into the Lord. What price faith? What price peace? This contentment, this thing that the whole world hungers after, do you have it? Can you kneel down and pray to the Lord ” Whatever ot takes?” I prayed this prayer in 1995, just four years after coming to Jesus. It was one of those prayers that lit up my spirit. I knew that I knew that God had heard me and said ” Okay Frank.” This was a choice to enter a world of trials, a world of sorrows, fields of fire, very high mountains, very low valleys, victories and defeats. There is only one way to learn, just as the Apostle Paul, we have to be both hungry and full, we have to be both clothed and naked, we have to have nothing and have abundance, we have to be stoned, rejected, reviled , shiprecked and lose our reputations. Do you want the peace that surpasses all understanding bad enough to throw it all down and yield and surrender completely? Can you embrace and give thanks for all things? One fork of the road leads you to the point of a peace that surpasses all understanding, the other leads to a troubled life and greater struggles.

And the terrible thing is? Its our choice. We can have the treasures of heaven and walk in a peace that is beyond the wisdom of man to understand, but it involves the death of ourselves to this world. Will you do it brothers and sisters? Its an exciting , terrible, marvelous road. Its all or nothing. Its leaping of the edge of all that we know into the arms of a saviour we cannot see and a world that is yet to come. It is for all Gods children………………brother Frank

15 Responses to “How to choose Victory over defeat”

  1. Thank you for sharing Brother Frank! Yes! May it be as our Lord has said…all that I have was placed there because of You, Elohim…Shepherd…Spirit of Truth…may it be as You will.
    Entering into the gates of Heaven begins from within… eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand…all these things are given to me by the grace of The Masters plan…there is no me or I or my except My
    Lord and King…though I own not but simply am bought…by the blodd of an innocent Lamb!

  2. Cecilie said

    “whatever it takes” from an honest heart often leads people into Gods finest academy- a life of trials and hardship. But in the midst of everything raging around, we’re driven to be on our knees in prayer and complete surrender. Often we find ourselves unable to fix the ongoing issues in a good way. At first we’re forced to wait on the Lord since we fall short, but as years passes by and we’re experiencing Gods faithfulness and powerful deliverance again and again, we learn to trust in a deeper and more profound way. It is as you say “an exciting , terrible, marvelous road”.

    God bless you brother Frank!
    YSIC ~ Cecilie ~

  3. W.E. Smith said

    Amen my brother. I would personally caution all that to cross that life-ending line in prayer and in your spirit, to say those life-changing words – “whatever it takes Lord” – this is an utter thing and the Lord will honor your desire. Yet His fullness and living reality is found only in and through and out of His Cross! There is no other way, for life must come forth out of death.

    Dear brother and saints – this has been, without a doubt, the very worse year of my life (I am 47years old). It all started some years back when I in fact prayed this prayer.

    Then it was like all hell was unleashed on my life. There went the good career, the station in this world, the acclaim, the ease and security of a fat paycheck. I write these words to you all in an empty house. My wife of 18 years betrayed me this spring with another man with the very same name as I (not a common name in fact). My precious son, my only son, the son whom I love more than any other created thing – is not with me every other week. I have to text him and call him.We say our prayers at night over the phone. “Whatever ever it takes Lord”. Please, please, I caution you not to utter these words unless you are fully prepared in the spirit for what will come next. Job must have prayed for something like this – “Lord I just want to know you, not by the hearing of the ears, but to see you, to touch you, to share in your life.”

    Enter Satan and the very torments of hell….

    In fact, what we are asking for in this prayer is that if there are any idols Lord, if there is anything we love more than Thee, then please release us from them. Then the cutting, the loss, the separation, the pain, everything represented in the cross will begin, and continue until the very root and branch is cut out of our hearts.

    Oh dear saints, of dear children of God – Oh How he loves us, Oh how He loves us, to chasten us, to discipline us, to hurt us where we need to be hurt, to penetrate so deeply.

    ***********************************************************************************

    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

    26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

    28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

    31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    36Just as it is written,
    “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
    WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

    37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    *********************************************************************************

    HIS LOVE, DEAR ONES, HIS SAVING, KEEPING, HEALING, DELIVERING LOVE – THIS IS OUR GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT! EVEN WHEN OUR FAITH FAILS AND WE GO UNDER THE WAVES, HIS HAND REACHES DOWN TO LIFT US UP! PRAISE THE LORD! FOR WE ARE WEAK BUT HE IS STRONG! MIGHTY IN FACT, TO SAVE US, TO SAVE US SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY, NOW AND FOR EVER, INTO ETERNITY!

    OH HOW HE LOVES US BELOVED – AND HOW HE CHASTENS ALL THOSE WHO LOVE HIM! SUCH THAT THIS WHOLE WORLD WILL BE BROUGHT UNDER THE DOMINION OF HIS CHILDREN WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS!

    Yes, my brother contentment, YES, YES! But also encouragement in love. Oh dear saints – if you know of someone who is undergoing such discipline, such stripping, such pain – then ask the Lord how you might minister His love and encouragement and strength to them. A phone call in the evening can mean the difference between life and death, and I say that carefully. His love will flow through His Body, through the hearts of His family, through the fruit and gifts of the spirit in each of us. His heart, as we know, weeps and groans for the fatherless, the widows, the orphans, the lonely, the rejected, the betrayed, the abandoned.

    I had a very simple life, dear saints. It was enough for me to come home from work and spend time with my family – my wife and son. Oh how I loved them! Perhaps too much. The Lord knows.

    My faith fails every single day beloved, yet His loving saving hand reaches down to pull me up, so that I can breathe and live for just a little longer. There are times lately when I no longer have any will to go on. I watch my son drive away every Friday night, I watch him go down the road. Then I weep like a baby. I thought it would get better, as time went on, yet it doesn’t. It is the trial that just keeps on taking; that keeps on tearing just a little bit more from my heart.

    THE PRICE FOR MORE OF THE LORD IS NOT JUST HIGH BRETHREN – IT IS EVERYTHING!

    Oh how I wish I knew this before I spoke this prayer.

    I am learning through this that unless I can come to be still, to feed on His faithfulness, to live every moment in His everlasting love, to let His love wash over me always – then I will not survive spiritually. To be content with Him alone. We have, I believe, relegated our Lord to a hyphenated place in our hearts and lives, that He must know if we will be content with Him alone. With His love. What if all the world, and all those who loved us, turned against us, and all we had was Him. the One who spared not even His beloved Son that we might come to live in the fullness of His love and life.

    In the end, He will have His remnant, His Bride, His Crucified Ones. He will bring them through the very fires of hell but He will have them. Satan will try by every means to destroy them utterly, but he will have have them! The world and the modern, pain-averse church will just not understand them, but He will have them! They are those who share in the fellowship of His suffering, in His rejection and betrayal, His very blood and water spilling out.

    “Do you love me” He asked Peter no less than three times.

    And He will get His answer from each of us.

    Oh dear ones – let our tears mix together in this hour, let our hearts neat as one in the Lord, let us come together to server and minister and encourage one another, for the time is short, and the suffering is intense!

    Bro Frank – I love you dearly my brother. Your words are a breath of fresh air in this bitter time, when so much is so false, so empty, so unreal! Thank you my brother for sharing so sincerely and openly!

    Come Lord Jesus Come! Come, that you might receive the reward of Your suffering!

    Father please let it be so. Amen

    • appolus said

      Brother Wayne writes…………

      “In fact, what we are asking for in this prayer is that if there are any idols Lord, if there is anything we love more than Thee, then please release us from them. Then the cutting, the loss, the separation, the pain, everything represented in the cross will begin, and continue until the very root and branch is cut out of our hearts.”

      Yes indeed brother………………….bro Frank

    • Kay said

      Brother Wayne….you are not alone in this painful stripping. Keep the Faith in God and before very long you will see that the conformity into the essence of Christ Jesus was sooooo necessary. You have entered the 7th day now, where man should NOT (and cannot) work…but God performs His wonderful, yet “strange work” in our lives. The Work after the Melchisedec order (“without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”) The fires are burning now, but they will be quenched when the “worm dieth”. Brother, you are in a wonderful place in the Lord…for God has you in the palm of His hand. Remain there, quiet and still. For “in quietness and confidence” will be your strength. Be patient for in patience you will possess your soul and the Kingdom of Heaven. God will do it! “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!”

      Your sister in Christ Jesus, Kay

      P.S. all quotations taken from King James version of scripture

      • appolus said

        It is a mysterious thing to cease from ones work and to enter into His rest. Now it is He that works in those who have indeed entered in and He does it for His own good pleasure. To cross over the river Jordan requires faith. And we give thanks when we cross over, but wait, an enormous obstacle that cannot be ignored and cannot be left standing stands right in front of us, its Jericho. And what was the commander of the heavenly hosts first order to the mighty Joshua? Do nothing, simply walk around the walls and then at the given moment, shout. This is preposterous advice, it makes no sense on any level. Yet this is the Lords work and we see the destruction of that city. This ” Jericho,” is so many things to so many people. Only God knows what is truly a Jericho in our lives. It is terrifying to contemplate what hinders a taking of what has been promised…………brother Frank

  4. Kay said

    Brother Frank…I do so agree with you and like the metaphor you used for the means of arriving at the place of Rest. The way of “Jericho” is a total assault on everything we have known and learned. It is, in fact, an unlearning of so many things that were carnal (sinful) to begin with in us. It is a place of total self denial…and where you will need to make a decision to either accept the way in which Christ walked as your walk, or not.

    Even so, in this place of “Jericho,” you do not readily come to understand the call of Jericho which I believe is the total surrender of your life into the care of the Living God. So we continue to wrestle until we become worn and even defeated in the things of this life. Also, it seems we come to this place of Jericho again and again until we somehow lay down our lives and discover God has another life…that Victorious One that He begins to reveal to you the moment you turn and accept the Way of Christ.

    To sit and consider these things in advance of the call to obedience in a given thing is too much for the human mind (“terrifying, as you’ve noted)…but I believe to learn to accept by faith each and every circumstance as being from God (whether perceived to be good or bad) is what denying yourself, picking up your cross and following Christ is all about.

    I was moved by this post and Brother Wayne’s story because I too said similar words to God, “save me by any means necessary.” Not long after uttering the words, I was totally uprooted, and stripped, and over the course of time was required to lay down that which was remaining, including possessions and valued relationships. In the beginning, it was hard because my flesh was strong….but as the flesh weakened, the spirit was strengthened and day by day it became easier to keep in step with God’s ordering.

    Brother Frank, I visit your website from time to time. A few years ago, I read for the first time some of your testimonies and the hardships that you have endured and find a common ground in the benefits of your sufferings…namely, Christ Jesus and His saving grace to those who are able to believe and trust in Him. Thanks for sharing your life story with us and your experiences in the faith. They are an exhortation to the Faith of Jesus Christ.

    Sincerely, Kay

    • appolus said

      Hi Kay, good thoughts. Of course Jericho only represents the first battle in the taking of the promised land. It started with a desire to take it, which the previous generation did not have because they feared the giants. The first step was crossing the river and a monument to the miraculous was laid down in smooth stones at Gilgal. Then the big one, Jericho. Then sitting back and thinking that’s that and then Ai happens. Our walk with Him along the narrowest of paths is a series of battles. It is important for all Christians on this hourney to know that our walk is not a play-ground, it is field. First and fore-most it is a battle-field. There is a war going on in the heavenlies and we know that we battle against unseen forces. Its also a field where we have to remove rocks and stumps, where we have to labor in the heat of the day and plough that field, and plant and sow. We can experience the joys of harvest’s and the dismay and defeat when drought comes, hailstorms, early frost and so on. As Christians we will exeprience every season to its full intensity if we have a burning desire to seek first His kingdom. Some Christians “move to Florida,” and settle for permanent sunshine, yet permanent sunshine creates deserts. A landscape ravaged by storms and extremes of weather is a spectacular landscape. People will come from all over the world to see such scenery. Christians, ravaged by trials and triibulations who have learned about His rest and have learned to be content, whether at the bottom of the dungeon, singing songs to Jesus, or in abaundance, will have people come to them and they will comfort them them with the comfort they themselves have been comforted with and they will lead them. Paul could say ” imitate me.” A bold declaration.

      At a dinner party one time a Christian woman came up to me and said ” I want what your mother has.” And the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear in a non condemning way ” no she does not.” You see my mother carries with her a peace and a joy and the Holy Spirit that belies her trial ridden background. It was these very trials and submission to them and overcoming them in Christ that led her to this place……………………..bro Frank

      • Kay said

        Hi Brother Frank…very refreshing to hear anyone speak of the joy, peace and beauty that storms, trials and sufferings produce. Yes, God’s divine way. And yes, I understand the response in your spirit that you thought to reply to the woman who wanted what your mother has. She likely did not consider the costs. For there is a great cost for the pearl of great price. To behold the attributes of the kingdom is only reserved for those wayfaring souls who will fulfill the call to lay down their life. Of course, there is much more that could be said about the ongoing labors and battles that we all find ourselves in as we pursue and maintain a life hidden in Christ, but God knows and He will reveal His intent to any of us if when we sense His knocking, humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.

        Thank you for your dialogue.

        A sister in Christ Jesus, Kay

  5. appolus said

    There is great cost indeed sister. The woman in question was divorced about six months after that conversation because she had caught her husband with pornography. I thought back to 20 years previous when my unsaved father showed pictures of the woman he had been sleeping with and even the bed that they had slept on to my mother in an effort to break and destroy her. She took it to the cross. This is the kind of Christianity I witnessed growing up………..bro Frank

    • Kay said

      The sin in all of us is so vile and cruel and has such a grip on us but the beauty is that God will use the awful state of affairs to draw men to Christ and save souls. Brother, it is a blessing to have been able to witness in your mother the turning to God in the face of such opposition. At the proper time, it is apparent you were able to discover the Power behind your mother’s actions. Whatever, it takes, Oh Lord, whatever, it takes!

      Sincerely, Kay

  6. W.E. Smith said

    Brother Frank / Sister Kay –

    In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety (reverent submission – NIV). Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. (Heb. 5:7-8)

    ….fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author (pioneer) and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12;2)

    …who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor 1:4)

    Thank you for what you have been sharing in the spirit; this strange discipline, this waiting on Him, this hard training through blood and sweat and many, many tears. It goes so very deep my brethren, this life of the old man in us, this self-will, this fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To rest, to watch and see, to wait, to march around the walls, to give way to the Lord in His strange ways and wisdom. I think of that poor soul Job who is angry at the Lord for not taking his life in the very depths of his travail. Why will you not just finish me off Lord.. is the cry of his heart. Indeed! And how can this be considered “love” or even “loving”? How can it be considered a blessing when He breaks and breaks and cuts and cuts? (you cannot be grafted into the True Vine unless you have first been cut from something else – the “false vine”)

    Oh my brethren, He must break us down before He can build us up again in His precious and perfect Son. Yet in the midst there is so much wresting and grappling and wondering.

    I feel lately kind of like Job to be honest. And yes much of it is self-pity. The sheer weight of my sin and my fallen-ness, my pride and my selfishness is almost overwhelming at times. Yet this is the path of Christ. We bless the Lord for the cross He carried for us, but how many of us bless Him for the cross He asks us to carry through this life. Yes He is our Savior, but He is also our Pioneer and Pathway into the heart of the Father and the very life of God!

    Oh how great is the need for each of us to be comforting one another in this dark hour! Please bring this to the Lord all you saints.

    • Kay said

      Brother Wayne:

      These words are Spirit and Truth and touch the very heart of all who are acquainted with the Way. 1 Peter 5:10 May God hasten the day for you!

      Sincerely, Kay

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