KEYWORDS: god, lord, children, will, love

Shooting Straight, Part 4--Letter Links: Abandon Your Own Will!

July 31, 2004

Table of Contents

(ML #3502, GN 1090)

FD/MM/FM July 2004

Train Up a Child

(ML #1142:1-11, Vol.11)

1. BEARING BABIES & HAVING CHILDREN IS THE GREATEST EXPERIENCE IN THIS NATURAL LIFE!—The creation of new eternal souls for the Kingdom of God! It is just as exciting as having spiritual babies, & their training is just as important, if not more so, as we can start it from the very beginning & not have to wait until the World has almost ruined them so that we have to wash their filthy brains first before we can even start filling them with God's good, clean Water of the Word!

2. WITH OUR PHYSICAL BABIES WE CAN START FROM SCRATCH & save at least half the battle & we ought to be producing the World's most wonderful children, our greatest, most effective & most impressive sample & testimony to the whole World! I think our own children are going to outdo any other kind of disciples we may possibly have! Because how could anyone beat such a start?—Blessed of the Lord before birth, given of God to His children for His service, born to genuine Christian missionaries on many foreign & home fields during active service for the Lord.

3. THEY REALLY HAVE COME INTO THE FAMILY THROUGH THE BIRTH CANAL & they should have the best & brightest future in the whole World, blessed by God!—Children born for the glory of God as gifts of God, reared & trained in the nurture & admonition of the Lord to live all their lives for His Love & His Glory!—Taught to love & serve the Lord & others from the very beginning, & blessed by God because of their faithful parents from the very start!—What a head start!

4. TO ME THEY'RE THE MOST EXCITING LITTLE THINGS IN THE WHOLE WORLD, & I love 'em & I love to be around them & surrounded by them & busy teaching & training them as I was with mine when they were small, & still am with all of you crazy little kids! Thank You, Jesus, for our precious children that are such a joy to our hearts‚ that encourage & inspire us, Lord! We look at them & we know that You live to have created such beautiful little ones & made them so good & so precious & so obedient & such a blessing & such a testimony. Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!

5. BABIES ARE ETERNAL GIFTS WE'RE TRAINING, NOT JUST FOR TIME BUT FOR ETERNITY.—That's the most precious gift!—God's greatest gift!—His Love in a little child—so sweet & beautiful!—They're treasures! More precious than gold or silver or jewels or pearls or diamonds or emeralds or any of those things, they're precious! They're all treasures, because they'll last forever!—Isn't that wonderful? Little new created souls, they are going to be with us always! TYJ!

6. THINK WHAT A THRILLING THING IT IS! It is worth paying the price of a little sickness & a little weariness. God is using you dear mothers to create an immortal soul! God has done it, but He's using you to do it, you're the tool, creating something that is going to last forever! It's the biggest miracle since the creation of the World, every time a woman has a baby there's another immortal soul that is going to live forever! What a miracle!

7. AND ALTHOUGH IT'S VERY MYSTERIOUS HOW THE LORD ORDERS HIS CREATION & PLANS IT & decides on who should have babies & who should not, we know that He does not make any mistakes about making babies any more than any other part of His creation. God ordained you to give birth if He gave you a baby! God is the Creator of human souls. God is the Creator of pregnancy, not just merely some man [making love with] a woman! I [made love with] my wife thousands of times but only had four children! How come I had four children?—God ordained those children to be brought into being, He created those children, not I. We were merely the human instruments that God used.

8. HE'S THE ONE WHO CREATES THAT SPARK OF LIFE‚ OF SPIRIT, the human soul, the union of spirit & body to form a human soul. I'm sure He knows what He's doing when He creates a baby through you & the mechanics of you & your mate. You could work at it all you want to, & some people I know do, & never have any children. Other people that don't even want 'em have 'em 'cause I guess the Lord knows they can, they need 'em‚ they ought to have 'em or something. It's a miracle of God all the way through.

9. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT ANY HUMAN BEING, HUMAN SPIRIT IS CREATED WITHOUT THE TOUCH OF THE DIVINE, the touch of the hand of God! I think when He decides He's going to have another soul in existence in this Universe‚ He makes that definite decision & He creates that soul & He endows it with the spirit when He gets ready & that is a direct creation of God, ordained of the Spirit of God.

10. JUST LOOK AT OUR BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN!—What could be more beautiful than our babies? They're so close to God‚ straight from Heaven. Look at you, God ordained you, before you were ever born & before the foundation of the World. He foreknew that you were going to exist because He chose to create you. You were chosen, you didn't just happen by accident. (See Jer.1:5.)

11. SO I WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE SCARED TO DEATH OF GOD TO INTERFERE WITH HIS NATURAL PROCESSES, do anything to interfere with the natural course of nature, the way God made you & the way He intended for you to be. So [make love]! You're not going to have any babies except the ordained souls of God & children of God He intends for you to have!

Are You Willing to Sign a Blank Sheet of Paper

(ML #1927, DB 2)

5. IF YOU "TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL THY HEART & LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING, & IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS." (Pro.3:5-6) In order for Him to direct your path you should do the first three things, TRUST Him, ACKNOWLEDGE Him & don't lean to your own understanding!

6. DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TRUSTING HIM FOR THE FUTURE & THAT YOU'VE GIVEN THE LORD A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER, & HAVE JUST SIGNED YOUR NAME TO IT? Do you think we should put limits on Him in any area by saying we CAN'T do something? Should we say, "Lord, I'm willing to do ANYTHING, BUT I'm a field person, so I don't think You should ask me to sit behind a desk"? What I mean is, if we're REALLY giving Him a blank sheet of paper & saying, "I'm willing to do ANYTHING," should we limit Him by saying that there are some things that we CAN'T do? If we set limits on what He can do with us, if in some areas we say‚ "Well, I CAN do THIS, but I can't do THAT‚" maybe that's not COMPLETE surrender, a COMPLETE submission. It's not exactly signing a blank sheet of paper if we're putting some conditions on it! It is not complete & total surrender to His Will if we set down certain conditions! If we set these conditions, then maybe He can't really fulfill His Will until we take those conditions away! Do you realize that you could be just as unhappy or even more unhappy & unsatisfied on the FIELD if you weren't in the Lord's Will?

7. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE A DECISION, THE DEVIL FIGHTS EXTRA HARD & THE LORD ALLOWS HIM TO MAKE IT THAT WAY TO TEST YOU‚ TO SEE IF YOU'RE GOING TO GIVE UP EVEN BEFORE YOU GET STARTED! Sometimes we think something the Lord may be asking of us is going to be completely Hell & that we're not going to be able to take it. It may seem like that to us at the time, but it's not ALWAYS going to be that way! At the beginning while we're making the decision, things seem much worse than they're actually eventually going to be‚ because the Enemy is trying to get us to give up! As long as he thinks he has some hope that he can get us to not do what we're supposed to do, then he keeps fighting ferociously & he makes it seem like the worst possible thing!

8. IT'S LIKE WHEN PEOPLE GET SAVED, THAT'S THE WORST BATTLE SOME PEOPLE EVER HAVE! They think of all the terrible things that are going to happen to them, what their parents are going to do, what they're going to have to give up & who they're going to have to forsake. All Hell breaks loose emotionally, spiritually & sometimes even physically or literally! But when they say "yes" to the Lord, it usually turns out not so bad after all & they get a lot more BACK than they thought they had to give up! But at the time when they're making that decision, it's a terrible battle! At the time, it seems like it's the most terrible thing in the World to get saved, when actually it's the most wonderful thing, but the Enemy always twists things & lies & you have the wrong perspective, you don't see things clearly because he is coming in with all his big guns trying to get you to decide to do anything but the right thing!

9. MAYBE IN A WAY YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE YOURSELF A JOB WITHOUT BEING ASSIGNED TO IT! We often do that with the Lord, I know I do, we tell Him what WE want to do, "I want to do this & I want to do that & I can't do this & I can't do that‚ so please, let it be this way, Lord!" We often do that. We all do it.

10. WELL‚ MAYBE IT IS THE LORD'S WILL FOR YOU TO DO THE THINGS YOU'VE BEEN PLANNING. Sometimes He'll put His stamp of approval on our plans, IF it's HIS WILL, but if NOT, then He WON'T! So it's better to be safe & not to plan out what we're going to do & to put these conditions on the sheet of paper & then hand it to the Lord & say, "Here‚ sign this." It's always safer for us not to get quite so definite about things, because if it ISN'T His Will‚ then the thing we thought we COULD do, we probably CAN'T do! Of course, on the other hand, if we ARE in His Will, then the thing we DIDN'T think we could do we probably CAN do, because HE gives us the strength & power to do it!

11. IN SOME CASES, IF YOU INSIST ON HAVING YOUR WAY THEN THE LORD MAY ALLOW IT, SORT OF LIKE HIS SECOND BEST. If you love Him & you make the wrong decision, He's not going to render you completely useless & completely devoid of fruit! Wherever we work for Him & whatever we do for Him I think He lets us bear at least SOME fruit! Even some of our backsliders do witness a bit here & there & they do win a few souls. If they still love Jesus & they still witness for Him, then it will bear some fruit & people will be changed! The Lord's Word isn't going to return void! No matter where you are or what you're doing, He is going to let it bear SOME fruit, but not as much fruit as if you're in the CENTRE of His Will where you can accomplish much more & where the Lord is going to bless your life to the fullest!

12. THE LORD PROBABLY HAS MERCY ON THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT THE FAMILY BECAUSE OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS OR REAL ROUGH TIMES, THOSE WHO HAVEN'T LEFT WITH A REAL BAD ATTITUDE AGAINST THE LORD & HIS WILL, BUT MOSTLY BECAUSE THEY WERE WEAK. We had a lot of people in our earlier days who left when things were really rough & they thought they were too weak to take it. They weren't terribly rebellious or disobedient‚ they were just weak, so I don't think the Lord is going to completely destroy them. I think He is going to have mercy on some of those people because it WAS rough & it WAS difficult, & maybe they just didn't have what it takes to stay in the Family‚ but they can still serve the Lord in other places. Of course, I don't think the Lord is going to bless them as much as if they had really stuck it out & had become really strong soldiers, but this is an ARMY & some people just aren't suited for it! I think the Lord is going to let them bear fruit in some places where they are, not as MUCH fruit‚ I'm sure, & He's not going to bless them as MUCH, but at least He lets them have a second place, He doesn't just cast them out.

13. THE LORD HAS TO HAVE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE & HE'LL TAKE WHOEVER HE HAS, WHOEVER HE CAN USE, HE DOESN'T LIMIT IT TO US & TO WHERE WE ARE. So even if we make the wrong choice, He'll still use us somewhat, unless we just defiantly turn against Him & are completely disobedient & rebellious. Even if we make a wrong choice, the Lord still uses us & accomplishes things with us, regardless of whether we have the first best or the second best. If we really love the Lord & we want His Will, then we aren't going to be completely put on the scrap heap just because we missed His Will at some time. Of course, we're probably not going to be used as much as we would be if we were in the centre of His Will, & in some ways we'll lose a blessing, but the Lord's blessings are many & varied & He doesn't usually stop with just one blessing, so if we miss one, there will still be others later. It seems that usually He blesses all of us wherever we are & whatever we're doing in proportion to our obedience to His Will. I don't think we can really understand His great system of justice & mercy.

14. SO IF WE DO MISS GOD'S WILL HE IS NOT GOING TO STRIKE US DEAD OR STOP USING US, especially if we love Him & we really want to serve Him. Of course, I'm not talking about some of our backsliders that really are rebellious & defiant & just won't receive the Lord's Word, they'd better watch out! I'm talking about our own people, a lot of us have missed the Lord's Will at certain places in our life, but He is merciful & He has different blessings & He gives us a lot of leeway & a lot of mercy!

15. SOMETIMES WHEN WE PUT OUR ALL ON THE ALTAR‚ THE LORD DOESN'T REQUIRE IT OF US, BUT HE STILL REQUIRES OF US THE SURRENDER. I feel a little bad telling you about what decision to make because then you'll say, "I have to make this decision because you told me what to do." I don't want you to make a decision just because I'm TELLING you what decision to make‚ but I do feel responsible to tell you that I feel you're thinking the wrong way & I don't feel completely at ease about your inclinations.

16. I THINK YOU'RE BEING PRETTY DEFINITE ABOUT SOME THINGS & THAT MAYBE YOU'RE BOXING THE LORD INTO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO OR THINK YOU CAN OR CAN'T DO! You say you're a field person & that you couldn't be happy sitting behind a desk all day, well, perhaps you're right‚ but maybe He wants you to learn or maybe He wants to show you that He can CHANGE you & make you different. He doesn't always make us do the things that He asks us to do, but sometimes He makes us decide to do it & then He releases us from it. It's not so much the PLACE, but the WILLINGNESS to fill the place. Sometimes He just does it to see if we are WILLING, not because He is actually going to make us do it. Of course, sometimes He DOES want us to do it.

17. (PRAYS: ) LORD‚ THIS IS THY CHILD, & HE REALLY LOVES YOU & HE WANTS TO SERVE YOU & HE WANTS TO BE TOTALLY THINE, TOTALLY SUBMITTED TO YOU, TOTALLY OBEDIENT. We really believe that, Lord, he has shown it in many ways & he really loves You & wants to make the right decision, but we know that the Enemy is fighting him & fighting for his life & usefulness in Thy Service, Lord. But we know that You're fighting even harder, Lord, & that "Greater are You in him, Lord, than he that is in the World", & the power that he has available to him is all Thy Promises‚ everything You've ever promised & all the great things that You've said that we can claim & appropriate & know that they're for us! "ALL things are possible to him that believeth" & we "can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth us." We know He can & we know that You have the victory & that if we want it & we want Thy Will & we surrender to Thee‚ then the Enemy CAN'T have the victory, he CAN'T have us or our usefulness or anything about us, any part of us, because You are standing there, Lord, just like you told the Apostle Peter, & praying for us that our faith fail not. You're strengthening us so that we can in turn strengthen others, & comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted.

18. YOU KNOW THE BATTLES, LORD‚ YOU KNOW THE DIFFICULTIES, YOU KNOW THE PAIN, BUT ALSO YOU KNOW THAT THE GREAT JOY & THE GREAT FULFILMENT & THE GREAT SATISFACTION WILL BE MUCH GREATER THAN ALL THE BATTLES as we submit to You & as we totally obey You & follow You in complete surrender to Thy Will, Lord. Help him in Jesus' name! Help him to listen to You & hear from You, not only through me, but directly from You, to confirm what I've said to him. I don't want to just tell him what to do, I want YOU to confirm it & show him in his own heart & not just because of what I said, Lord‚ which I really trust is Thy mind, but also to confirm it with Thy Word & what he feels in his own heart.

19. IT'S BETTER THAT WE BE WEAK SO YOU CAN BE STRONG IN US. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God & not of us." (2Cor.4:7) It shows all the more, Lord‚ THY power & THY excellency & THY strength in such weak vessels. So help him, Lord, strengthen & keep him & show him Thy Will‚ Jesus. Help him to be happy as he commits himself to You & to Thy Will, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord! Amen. Thank You Jesus!

Submit Yourself to God

(ML #2224, DB 8)

1. Long ago the Lord gave us a beautiful illustration of what yieldedness is in the oldie-goldie classic Letter, "Diamonds of Dust": "Watch the diamonds of dust! They don't TRY to sparkle & shine. They just let the light shine THROUGH them! They don't try to WORK to shine or move. They're not trying to get anywhere; they're not in a hurry! They just FLOAT so quietly on God's air—& only get stirred up when HE blows up a storm. But even then they settle back into their place when it's over!" (No.3:17)

2. "They twist & tumble in their TOTAL YIELDEDNESS to the breath of His Spirit!—That total lack of any will of their own‚ just floating on God's air.—Tumbling, rolling, scintillating‚ shining, exhilarating, so beautiful!" (No.75:24)

3. This simple little Letter also shows us WHY we need to be yielded to the Lord: "The light itself is INVISIBLE!—It can only be seen in the reflections of all those little diamonds of dust! People can only see GOD as WE reflect Him, like little diamonds of dust! They have to look at US to see GOD in our reflection of Him.—God's light can only be seen if YOU reflect it! So, `Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works & glorify your Father which is in Heaven!' (Mat. 5:16) If the DUST weren't there‚ the LIGHT couldn't be seen; & if the LIGHT weren't there, the DUST couldn't be seen! It takes BOTH!" (No.3:9)

4. The Letter then explains somewhat sadly, "You may never see the little diamond of dust again, for some of them just flow into the light, sparkle for a moment‚ & then vanish back into the darkness. They only have their MOMENT of Truth!" This is then followed by an encouraging & hopeful thought: "But if it could STAY in the Lord's Light, it could sparkle its life out to the end, like a candlestick that gives light to the whole house until it is finished! The longer that little grain of dust STAYS in the light, the longer it SHINES—& the longer it stays a DIAMOND!"—And that's what THIS lesson is really all about: How to STAY in the Lord's Light so that you can CONTINUE to be one of His jewels, a YIELDED & USEFUL tool in His Hands that He can fully use to accomplish His plan & purpose!

5. God has a very SPECIAL PLACE for each of us in His Kingdom, & He has a SPECIAL JOB‚ a UNIQUE MISSION for you which only YOU can fulfill! But there's only ONE WAY that you will even be able to FIND His Will for your life—much less be able to FULFIL it—& that is to be truly YIELDED to Him!—Only then will you be able to "let your DUST become DIAMONDS that show the BEAUTY of GOD!", bringing the Lord's wonderful Life, Love & Light to as many folks as you can!

6. After all, this is what the Lord has His children here FOR in the first place: To WITNESS to OTHERS so they TOO can find the Heavenly Love & Salvation that WE have found in Jesus!—And the wonderful thing is, WE don't have to witness & do the Lord's work in our OWN strength.—In fact, if we do, we'll just make a mess of things!—We just need to YIELD to Him, to "let go & let GOD", & HE will then do the work THROUGH us!

7. People have got to see JESUS coming THROUGH you! But if your witnessing is too full of YOU, they'll just go on & figure that what you're saying is a waste of time—no different from what everybody else is preaching. So you can see how IMPORTANT your yieldedness to the Lord is—for YOUR sake‚ for lost SOULS' sake & for GOD'S sake! This is why He tells us that it's "NOT by (YOUR) might, nor by (YOUR) power, but by MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord! For we have this TREASURE (the Lord & His Love) in EARTHEN (fleshly) vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of GOD, & NOT of US!" (Zech.4:6; 2Cor.4:7)

8. Jesus even said of our work for Him, "My yoke is EASY‚ & My burden is LIGHT". (Mat. 11:30) So we don't ever have to worry about carrying too much or pulling too big of a load. We just need to learn to YIELD to JESUS & let HIM do His work THROUGH us! For without Him we are nothing & can of our own selves do nothing!—But as we "cast our cares upon Him", we "can do ALL things through Christ!" Hallelujah! (Jn.5:30; 15:5; 1Pet.5:7; Phil. 4:13)

9. Jesus says, "Abide in Me & I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me & I in him, the same bringeth forth MUCH fruit, for without ME ye can do NOTHING." (Jn.15:4,5) This has always been one of my favorite passages, because I knew I was nothing & I could do nothing without the Lord, but that if I'd just abide in HIM, HE'D bring forth the fruit, the LORD could do it! PTL!


10. To really find the Will of God in our lives‚ we have to be totally yielded to the Lord! JESUS gave us the best example of yieldedness when He knelt down in the Garden of Gethsemane &, knowing that He would soon face a horrible & cruel death on the cross, prayed, "NOT MY Will, but THINE be done!" (Mat.26:39) Unless we are yielded to the Lord & willing to lay down our lives for Him, we cannot even find what His Will IS. SUBMISSION is the FIRST step. And if we are unwilling to take THAT step of submitting ourselves to Him‚ we won't be able to go on to any OTHER steps, & will never accomplish what God wants us to!

11. God's Word says, "I beseech you, brethren, that ye present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy & acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this World, but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind‚ that ye may PROVE"—or KNOW—"what is that good & acceptable & perfect Will of God." (Rom. 12:1,2) So the FIRST requirement in finding GOD'S Will is having NO will of your OWN!—Utter surrender, utter yieldedness to God of your mind, of your body, of your own will!—THEN you'll know! As someone has said, "The major part of knowing the Will of God is to be prepared to DO it BEFORE you even know what it IS!"

12. If you're a CHRISTIAN, if you're SAVED & have JESUS in your heart, it's important that you realize & understand that you are NOT your OWN! Jesus BOUGHT & PAID for you & your salvation with His Own blood, & you can't just do as you please! (1Pet.1:18,19) You don't just belong to yourself‚ you belong to the LORD & to GOD'S WORK & to the FAMILY! "Know ye not that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a PRICE! Therefore glorify GOD in your body & in your spirit, which are GOD'S!" (1Cor.6:19,20)

13. If you really believe the Bible, that Jesus bled & died on the cross to save you from Hell & to give you eternal Heavenly life, you should be willing to do ANYTHING for Him!—Go through ANYTHING for Him just in plain THANKS for your SALVATION! Amen? Your life BELONGS to Jesus! He bought & paid for you, so how can you not give Him your ALL & surrender YOUR will to His?


14. Although He bought & paid for us with His Own blood, Jesus didn't buy us just to make us His SLAVES‚ His servants who HAVE to do what He commands. He said, "I have not called you servants‚ but FRIENDS!" (Jn. 15:15) He wants us to be His friends, who do His Will not just because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to, because we LOVE Him. In fact, He not only wants us to be His friends, but His Beloved, His BRIDE!—"That we should be MARRIED to Him Who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth FRUIT unto God!" (Rom.7:4)

15. His saved children, His genuine Church, are His Bride, & He, like any husband, wants a YIELDED & SUBMISSIVE wife whose desire is to love & please Him. But sad to say, most so–called Christians today—like a lot of independent & rebellious System wives—are married to Him in name only, & have forsaken Him & His Love & His Word in their HEARTS! They maybe go to a church building once a week, but they never really FELLOWSHIP with Him, don't go to BED with Him, don't have sweet LOVE–MAKING & thrilling spiritual ecstasies with Him.—And they certainly don't want to conceive & bear & have to take care of any more CHILDREN for Him!

16. This is why God has in these Last Days raised up our FAMILY, His sexy NEW Church!—A young NEW Bride bursting with energy & a passionate love for her Bridegroom! He wants a Bride that He can fuck the daylights out of with His Spirit & His Word, His Seed & His Love, to make her PRODUCTIVE & FRUITFUL, to bear everlasting children for the eternal Kingdom of God! "For herein is My Father glorified," Jesus said, "that ye bear MUCH fruit!" (Jn.15:8)

17. To be the kind of Bride He wants, you've got to first of all have enough FAITH in His Love to OBEY & come, & strip off all of the outer garments of appearances, cover–ups & false fronts, & expose yourself to the Lord, TOTALLY YIELDING yourself to Him in submission & humility. You must be willing to be stripped BARE before Him. You're just you‚ & that's what He wants, YOU!—ALL of you!

18. So you've got to drop everything‚ forsake all, come to Him & be willing to be stripped bare, abandon all false cover-ups, & just expose yourself to Him. And then you've got to let Him make love to you & FILL you with His Spirit & His seed, the Word of God, which‚ when conceived in responsive hearts, brings forth FRUIT, new-born babes into the Kingdom of God! Hallelujah!


19. The Lord knows that the more yielded & obedient we are to Him‚ the more He can then USE us, & the HAPPIER we will be & the greater BLESSING we'll be to OTHERS! There is always so much urgent soul-saving WORK that He wants & needs done‚ but He has trouble finding willing WORKERS.—"For the HARVEST is PLENTEOUS, but the LABOURERS are FEW!" (Mat. 9:37) He's more willing to use, empower, anoint & pour His blessings out upon us than we are to receive them. He's usually just waiting for us to step aside & get out of the way so that He can take over & use us to do things HIS way! But until we surrender our OWN will & fully submit to Him & HIS Will, He'll NEVER be able to use us as much as He'd like to.

20. So submission & obedience are probably the MAIN things the Lord is trying to teach us most in our lives.—This is what He's trying to get us to do all our lives long, to SUBMIT to His Will & to be OBEDIENT to Him, which are practically one & the same thing!—You can't very well be yielded to the Lord unless you're obedient, nor can you be obedient unless you're yielded!—It takes BOTH!

21. The whole experience of our whole existence in this life is like a SCHOOLING to teach us what we need to know about the Lord & Salvation & about service, submission & obedience to Him & keeping His loving rules & His LAW OF LOVE.—And the FIRST & most important thing the Lord is trying to teach us is submission in spirit, to have a SUBMITTED & WILLING heart‚ YIELDED & RECEIVING instead of RESENTFUL, WILFUL & REBELLIOUS!

22. HORSES make a good illustration: Some horses can be ridden without a bit or a bridle or spurs or any of these things that are used to MAKE them obey & do what you want them to do. If they are well-trained & used to their master & submitted to him, he can control them with just a halter, without placing a bit in the horse's mouth. A horse can either LOVE its master & GLADLY & WILLINGLY obey & do its duty & its job, or it can be STUBBORN & WILFUL, & chafe at the bit & snap & bite & kick & be very unhappy, "kicking against the pricks" instead of yielding. (Acts 9:5)

23. This is why the Lord tells us‚ "Be ye NOT as the horse, or as the mule‚ which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit & bridle, lest they come near unto thee!" (Psa.32:9) The Lord "loves a CHEERFUL giver" (2Cor.9:7), & He seldom ever FORCES anyone to do His Will. In fact, if we won't do His Will for LOVE, because we love Jesus, He'd just as soon get somebody ELSE who WILL! He wants & prefers VOLUNTEERS who freely & willingly submit to Him & His slightest bidding.

24. But if you're like a stubborn horse or mule, & you stubbornly cling to your OWN ways & REFUSE to submit to the Lord, you'll NEVER really be what GOD wants you to be or accomplish what GOD wants you to do! You'll be worse than a "HAS-been"‚ you'll be a "COULD-have-been" who never WAS! As someone once said, "God holds us responsible, not just for what we HAVE, but for what we COULD have; not for what we ARE, but for what we MIGHT be." But if you'll just YIELD to Him & be willing to accept WHATEVER He wants‚ then you don't need to worry. He'll mightily bless you & you'll be whatever HE wants you to be! PTL!

25. It reminds me of what an unknown Sunday School teacher said to a lowly teenage shoe salesman that he had led to the Lord in Boston. He said, "Dwight L. Moody, there is NO LIMIT to what God can do with a man who is YIELDED & WILLING to do His Will!" Moody looked him in the eye & replied, "By the grace of God, I am DETERMINED to be that man!" And he WAS! A short while later he moved to Chicago where he began preaching the Gospel & witnessing to others, & was soon so thrilled to be able to lead other folks to Jesus, that he quit the shoe business & began serving the Lord fulltime! He went on to become one of the World's greatest evangelists, with literally tens of thousands of eternal souls won as a result!

26. But what if Moody had NOT determined to yield to the Lord?—What a sad loss it would have been not only to himself‚ but to literally MILLIONS who heard the Gospel through his ministry! Well, the same holds true for each of US: If we are NOT yielded & open to God's Will in our lives, & willing to do WHATEVER He may ask of us, we'll NEVER become what God wants us to be!—And if we're not what HE wants us to BE, we will never be able to ACCOMPLISH what He wants us to DO.—Which could be very sad, not only for US personally‚ but also for ALL those that the Lord wants us to somehow help or reach with His Love.

27. "But," you may argue, "I could never do anything great for the Lord like MOODY did!—I'm no flaming evangelist or outstanding soul-winner!" Well, neither was Moody to begin with! He was just a poor farm boy & a below-average student who became bored with life on the farm & so moved to the big city. After several weeks in the city, he set a new goal for himself—to become a big businessman & to make $100,000. Giving his life to God's service was the LAST thing on his mind!

28. In fact‚ when Moody was first saved, he was so completely ignorant of God's Word & Truth, that when he went before a church committee to see if they would accept him, he was refused membership! His Sunday School teacher later wrote of him. "I can truly say (& in saying it I magnify the infinite grace of God as bestowed upon Mr. Moody), that I have seen few persons whose minds were spiritually darker when he came into my Sunday School class, or one who seemed more UNLIKELY ever to become a Christian of clear‚ decided views of Gospel truth, still less to fill any sphere of extended public usefulness!"

29. But when he found JESUS, & he realized how much the LORD had given for HIM, then he determined to give HIS life to the LORD to do WHATEVER God would ask of him. The Bible tells us, "Draw nigh to GOD, & HE will draw nigh to YOU!" (James 4:8) This is the secret of success of not just Moody‚ but of EVERY truly great man or woman of God whom He has ever used: They drew close to the Lord & relied solely upon HIM & HIS power & His Word for guidance‚ strength & inspiration.

30. Despite all of our faults, weaknesses & inabilities, there really is NO LIMIT to what God can do with us if we will simply turn our lives completely over to Him & be willing to let Him make us what HE wants us to be! Of course, that is a very BIG "IF", because we each have our own free will, & we can CHOOSE to either yield to Him & "seek FIRST the KINGDOM OF GOD" (Mat.6:33)‚ or we can seek first our OWN desires & our OWN plans & our OWN ways. The choice is ours—& whether or not we have His full blessing & His help will depend on whether or not we are willing to give HIM first place in our lives.

31. But the trouble with most Christians today is that they seem to be more concerned about having God accept what THEY want to do than they are about accepting what GOD wants them to do! They're trying to put THEIR program across to God, to get Him to sign HIS name, His approval, to THEIR plans. But the real test of yieldedness is: Are you willing, not to present YOUR program to God for HIS signature?—Not even to be presented with GOD'S program for YOUR signature?—But are you willing to sign a BLANK sheet of paper & let GOD fill it in without your even knowing what His program is going to be?

32. If you're willing to be what GOD wants you to be—not what you ARE, but what GOD wants you to be—THEN He can MIGHTILY use you! God knows you can't make it yourself.—You just have to turn your LIFE, your MIND, your HEART, your EVERYTHING over to the Lord & let HIM make it for you! When you finally get to the point where you just surrender to Him & give up & let go & let God, then GOD has a chance to step in & do it!—And He WILL! Just give Him a CHANCE!

33. When we've yielded & submitted our all to the Lord, then we don't need to worry about ANYTHING.—Our ENTIRE lives are in HIS Hands, under His loving care‚ & the Enemy has NOTHING that He can get ahold of or lay claim to. In fact, to really overcome the Enemy, submission is exactly what the Lord requires. He says, "SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the DEVIL, & he will FLEE from you!" (Jam.4:7)

34. But as long as there's one little dark unyielded corner of your life that you're NOT willing to yield to the Lord, if there's one little part that you refuse to surrender, the Enemy can bother you in that one little thing, plague you with that one little thing. This is why God's Word says, "Neither give PLACE to the Devil!" (Eph.4:27)

35. I'm reminded of the story of Huddersfield: A rich landlord desired to buy an entire village, & finally he bought every piece of land in the area.—That is, all except ONE little plot! For there was ONE stubborn farmer who refused to sell his tiny piece of land, & nothing would change his mind! The wealthy land owner even offered the farmer much more money than his little piece of property was actually worth, but the old farmer, fond of his land, absolutely REFUSED to sell! The landlord finally gave up, but encouraged himself by saying, "What difference does just ONE little plot of land make?—I've bought everything else, so Huddersfield is MINE!—It belongs to ME!" But the stubborn old farmer overheard him & reminded him, "Oh NO it doesn't! WE own Huddersfield!—It belongs to you & me!"

36. Don't let the Devil be able to say that of YOU to God!: "Aha! Look, God! He's yielded everything except this ONE little thing! So even though he belongs MOSTLY to THEE‚ a little bit still belongs to ME!" To "overcome the wicked one"‚ & to have the "peace of God which passes all understanding" you must commit your ALL to the Lord. Then, when YOUR will is in perfect harmony with GOD'S will, you are safe under the shadow of His wings, & He will bless you with His perfect peace & Heavenly rest! (1Jn.2:14; Phil.4:7; Psa.91)—Like that dear old hymn says:

"You have longed for sweet PEACE,

And for faith to increase,

And have earnestly, fervently prayed;

But you CANNOT have rest or be PERFECTLY blest

Until ALL on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?

Your heart does the Spirit control?

You can only be blest & have peace & sweet rest,

As you YIELD Him your BODY & SOUL!"

37. So yield yourself to God today!—Present your life on His altar of sacrifice, ask Him to take & use you for His glory, & He WILL!—As much as you will LET Him! "There is NO LIMIT!" You are HIS child, & He LOVES you & will always do HIS best for you to make you useful & happy in His loving service for others, so that you may bring THEM the same life & happiness that YOU have found in Jesus! So do YOUR best for Jesus by YIELDING to Him TODAY!—Amen? GBY!

Go for the Gold

(ML #2961:1-13, 46–83, 172-204, Lifelines 22)

1. (Mama:) About a year before Dad's Homegoing‚ he and I began to receive a number of letters regarding the use of birth control of one form or another. I have continued to receive such letters ever since. These letters have come from older parents with large families, young couples with small but growing families, single mothers, and unmarried YAs. They have expressed a variety of reasons why they felt the Family policy on birth control should either be changed or modified, usually in order to fit the situation they were writing about.

2. Sometimes medical reasons were cited. Sometimes they felt the mother had already had so many children that they needed a rest or cessation from childbirth. In the cases of young married couples, they often stated that they already had one or two children and they felt this was enough, that having more would either be too much for them or would hinder their work for the Lord. The single mothers feel they already carry such a heavy load and are less welcome in the Homes. The unmarried YAs who wrote usually commented that they didn't want to get pregnant unless it was with the one they planned on marrying. In some cases they wanted to share sexually, but they didn't feel they were ready to get pregnant and have a child.

3. Recently I've heard of situations where some of our married adults are using various forms of contraception and that some of our young couples are stating that they intend to do the same in order to limit the number of children they will have.

4. I've heard these letters with varying emotions. The letters from parents with large families usually make me cry, because I know theirs are such heartcries. They have truly sacrificed in the raising of their many children and I can sympathize with their desire for a break or rest. I can also understand the fear and uncertainty of the young married couples who see themselves with ever-increasing families, as they worry about the future and their ability to raise the children and support themselves‚ while at the same time being a blessing to the Home. They wonder if they will be wanted in Homes, or if because of the size of their family, they will be considered an unwanted commodity.

5. Hearing from the single moms is perhaps the hardest for me‚ as theirs is a difficult struggle trying to raise children without fathers and often without sufficient help and care from their Homes. Our unmarried teens and YA women fear becoming pregnant and not having a mate, meaning they would face life as a single mom, and they worry they will become stigmatized, talked about and unwelcome or unwanted by their peers or their Homes.

6. For the past two years I have thought and prayed a great deal about this matter. I have cried out desperately to the Lord for those who have written about their difficulties. I've been asking the Lord what we can do about our single moms, our young families, our young people. I have asked our WS prophets to pray and hear from the Lord about these matters. I have asked the worldwide leadership to bring these matters before the Lord in the Summit Meetings. When Dad was here, I discussed it with him, and Peter and I have prayed together about the matter.

7. You see‚ the question isn't just if the Family can use birth control or not, it's much broader than that. It has to do with our whole attitude towards children, love, sex, sharing‚ the Law of Love, faith, trust and belief in God's Word. When I read many of the letters sent in, or when leaders would report some of the things being said by adults and young people alike, I could feel that there was something in the spirit that didn't seem right to me.

A Word to You Young People

8. One of our young people wrote me and said, "Some YAs and teens feel that the reason the Family is having many of the battles we are faced with is simply that we have so many children. The fact that we were blobbed up in large Homes (before the Love Charter), the fact that we are struggling financially and that we don't have as many missionaries out on the field any more is because we have so many children. One girl said that after her first baby is born she will definitely take the pill so that she can be free to be a missionary and `learn from our past mistakes' of having too many children." Other girls have lamented that it's the end of their "careers" when they get pregnant, and some have even tried to induce natural abortions!

9. Oh my! It really saddens me that some of you younger ones could feel that way about children, especially after all Dad has said on the subject. Do you feel that way because our adults have inadvertently imparted this to you?—Or is it because you've been absorbing more of the ways and thoughts of the world than the Word of God?—Or is it both?

10. Have you read the beautiful things the Lord has said about children through Dad all these years? I'll include just a few quotes as a reminder to you:

*A baby is an expression of God's Love.

*That's the most precious gift—God's greatest gift—His Love in a little child—so sweet and beautiful!—Such a treasure!

*The Lord entrusts you with children to show you how much He loves you and how much you need Him!

*Children are forever!—The only things you have on this Earth that God gives you that you can have forever and will go with you through eternity besides the souls you win!

*Bearing babies and having children is the greatest experience in this natural life!—The creation of new eternal souls for the Kingdom of God!

*A baby is the biggest miracle since the creation of the world!

*We believe in having children! We don't kill our babies in horrible abortions or try to keep from conceiving those precious children by using drugs and pills and various contraptions of the Devil to try to stop the birth of God's children! We believe in having those children for the glory of God and the Kingdom of God forever!

*We thank the Lord for each child He gives us because, "Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward!" (Psa.127:3).

*The future is in your hands!—That tiny babe will be a king some day!—That little girl will be one of His queens!—Those happy, laughing‚ shouting children will be His princes and princesses and officers and governors and governesses who shall "rule the Earth with His iron rod" of love!

*(Prophecy: ) And every little grain of dust shall shine before Me, and even the least of these thy children shall be mightier than the kings of this world! For that which I have breathed upon is mightier than even the greatest of all the kings of this world!

11. Haven't you young people read our Letters on the subject of children, motherhood, fatherhood, families and marriage, the classic Letters such as: "What Is That in Thy Hand?" (ML #315); "Real Mothers" (ML #389); "Jesus Babies" (ML #739); "God's Gift Is God's Work" (ML #744-746); "Frustrated" (ML #835:1-4); "One Wife" (ML #249); "Divorce" (ML #359); "Make It Work!" (ML #2433). Judging from the many wrong attitudes concerning these subjects that are now very prevalent amongst our younger generation, it seems something is hindering you from being able to take hold of these Words in faith and believe them and apply them to your own lives. We can be sure that the Enemy is attacking you and trying to do everything in his power to get you to doubt God's Word. Any exposure to the System brings with it a multitude of attitudes and ideas directly opposed to God's ways and God's Word, such as much that you absorb from movies, System music‚ newspapers and television.—So that instead of allowing the truth of the Word to guide your thoughts and formulate your attitudes, you're being deceived or tripped off by the ways of the world.

12. Of course, I don't entirely blame the attacks of the Enemy or the effects of outside System influences for this, as certainly the sample you have seen from some of the adults, especially if they have complained about pregnancies and large families, has echoed the message that children are a burden, pregnancy should be avoided and babies are too much work. You've seen our single moms struggling due to the selfish attitude that has been manifested by many, and have concluded that living "One Wife"—helping one another, and the principle that all of the children are "our" children—doesn't work. You've seen that some of the larger families are not sought out to be members of new Homes opening up and singles are, and thus you feel it's better to have either just a few children, or none at all. If you haven't seen "How to Have a Happy Home" (GN 616) being practiced, you may also feel that in large families the children don't get the time and attention that they would like, and that you feel they need. It seems many of you are fearful of the future and wonder how you'd care for and support a large family.

13. The sample you have witnessed within some of the Homes may have caused you to draw conclusions which seem very right to you, but which are contrary to the ways of God. Apparently you are letting the failures of some of those around you convince you that God's Word is not true and that it has failed. In your own mind your conclusions probably seem very logical‚ yet they aren't in accordance with God's Word.

46. (Prophecy:) Children are the heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Are they a burden? Or are they a blessing? Or are they both? Take a look around you at the range of your children—the babies, the toddlers, the YCs, the MCs, the OCs‚ the JETTs, the Juniors, the Seniors‚ the YAs. Look at them all. Are they a burden? Or are they a blessing? Are they not the fulfillment of that which your Father David has said?

47. Look at these older ones. Are they not the princes and princesses that your father has said they would be? Have they not stood in the gates and spoken with your enemies? Are they not the army that I have said they would be?

48. And you teens and YAs, you who doubt about children, do you not understand that you were the babies of your parents when they were your age? Do you not understand that you are the product of their sacrifice? Do you not understand that you are the fruit of their labors? And do you not understand that your fruit is their fruit?—That they are partakers of your labors, and that they will partake of your reward?

49. For they have invested in you. As he that takes his money and invests it in a project, and the project is successful and the project continues to make money and to prosper, so the original investor gains the dividends, has an increase and is rewarded for his investment. So are your parents receiving reward for that which you do, for they have invested their lives in you. And great is their reward in My Heavenly Kingdom, for they have done that which I have said shows the greatest love, they have laid down their lives for another.—For you! They have lived a life of sacrifice for you. They have been wise investors and have made good investments in you.

50. Judge ye: Should they have said, "Oh, I must prevent you from being born"? They could have said, "I can accomplish so much more if I did not have these young ones tugging at my skirts all the time. I could be out reaching more! Doing more! Accomplishing more! I could go to many places. I could be more useful. I could be more attractive if I did not have these children, or if I was not pregnant."

51. In the short term this may have been true, but it would have been as one who has money in his hand and says, "I have this money and if I invest it‚ I don't have it in my hand any more‚ for it is invested in something that I cannot see. So I must keep it and use it for myself." I say that these are the unwise investors. For those funds that they held on to and did not invest are gone. But he that invests wisely in My Kingdom reaps the rewards today, tomorrow and for eternity.

52. Look at your parents and ask yourself, "Did they invest wisely?" Look at yourself and say, "I am the fruit of their investment." And now I say unto you, what kind of investors will you be? "Oh," you say‚ "there is not enough time for our investments to come to fruition. For if we have our children now and the Time of the End comes‚ they won't be old enough that we can reap the rewards of our investment."

53. But you know not how the investment shall go. For some investments bring forth great reward speedily, and some are longer term. You cannot begin to think that you know what is ahead. For this only I know, and only I know what your investments will bring forth. For no investor knows exactly what the investment shall bring forth, or when it shall bear its fruit, but he invests by faith, trusting and believing that it will be a sound investment.

54. For I am not the author of confusion, but of peace. You seek to have a simple answer, you seek to know the simple word. The purest form of simplicity is this: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding. If you would have simplicity, if you would have peace with no confusion, then trust Me explicitly, looking neither to the right nor to the left, considering no other options, but just trusting. In this lies perfect peace.

55. For when you trust Me with all of your heart, when you trust Me with your life and every aspect of it, you can know that you are in My will. So if you would have perfect peace, then trust. Trust Me. Trust Me with your life. Trust Me with your death. Trust Me for your health. Trust Me for your children. Trust Me for the number of your children. Trust Me for the timing of your children.

56. Those that do this know that each child I bring forth through them is My will, My blessing and My reward. They will not go through their life wondering, "Is there one that I should have had that I didn't? Is there one that I prevented? Have I allowed my God to have full sway with me and to accomplish within me that which He pleased to do?" For those that trust have faith that I have brought forth all that I wish to bring forth. They have no question, they have no doubt, for they trusted Me and thus they have peace. But he that takes a matter into his own hands knows this not. So if you would have the simple answer, then I say unto you, trust.

57. To you whose bodies are tired from the bearing of children, I say trust. For in trusting you have put your life into My hands, and this shows your faith, in which I am well pleased.

58. To you young ones who have child after child and think, "Oh dear God! My usefulness to the Lord is over. I must stop having them‚ for they are too much for me, they are too many. What shall I do?" Unto you I say, trust Me. For I am the all-wise God and I know that which I do.

59. To you younger ones who are just married with one or two or no children and are contemplating what to do, and you look about you and see the fruitfulness of others, and you see the difficulties of large families, and you look at the young couples with increasing families and you wonder what to do‚ I say unto you, trust Me.

60. To you very young ones, unmarried, fearful, I say unto you, trust Me.

61. And to you single mothers who struggle, I know your struggle, and I say unto you, trust Me.

62. For this is the simple answer. This is My highest. This is the best. Trust Me. Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.

63. Many of you look at the Words of David and the power and the strength of his Word and the forcefulness with which he brought forth the answer to this question, and you say, "Oh, but this is so hard! It is so unbending. It is even unmerciful!" I say that he spoke the Truth‚ for he said unto you‚ trust God. He delivered unto you the standard of God, the Truth of God. For his message was true, and his commission, as My voice, was to speak the Truth unto you. And thus he did in faithfulness and in truth.

64. And as with Moses and the children of Israel who came out of Egypt, it was necessary to lay down the law strongly and firmly, for they in their minds had been polluted with that which they had grown up with in the land of Egypt and the influences of the Egyptians. So were the hard Words of David for this, your first generation. They were strict, they were forceful. They left little room for choice! But this was to teach you and to purge you from the influence of the System that you had grown up with. This kept you following My will closely. For had his Words not been strong and forceful and hard, you would have strayed‚ for your upbringing was such that you understood not the ways of God nor the will of God. But now you have learned‚ lo, these many years. These things have been purged out of your system.

65. And to this, the second generation, who have grown up knowing the Words of God, who have grown up without being controlled and indoctrinated in their youth by the ways of man, I can speak in a different manner. For you, the second generation, are more accountable, because you have had the Word of God all the days of your life.

66. You say, "Oh‚ those Words of David spoken to our parents made it so difficult for them, for it said they must do this and they must do that!" But that definiteness and firmness made it not more difficult, but easier. It was very easy for them to obey because they were directed, they were ordered! Their attitude was one of, "I will do this because the Prophet has said so."

67. I honored them for this and I loved them for this!—For their obedience, for their loyalty and for their faith in the Words of David, yea‚ My Words, My Truth. I wish that you would also believe and obey these Words! But now you must obey and believe because of your choice.—Not because the Words of David say you must do this or you must do that, but because you say, "I believe. I have faith. I will trust."

68. For now I lay before each of My children—whether they be old, of the first generation‚ or whether they be young, of the second—the Word of God, the Words of David, the Words that I pour forth in these days, all of them together, and I say unto you, "Choose ye that which you will do. Choose ye the level of your obedience. Choose ye the level of your faith."

69. I lay forth the standard of My Word, the highest, the best, the Truth. I say unto you, this is the Truth of God, this is the way of God, this is the highest that I pour forth unto you. I have made it clear and I have poured it forth through the Words of David; and they are there for all to see, and they are there for all to obey‚ if they will but obey.

70. But I do not say that you must obey! For I place before you the majesty of choice. Each of you are as he that holds in his hand the funds which I have given unto you, and you must make the decision of how you will invest these funds, these gifts that I have put into your hand. He that invests wisely, he that invests in that which I say to invest in, reaps the greatest rewards. He that only invests a little here and a little there may reap reward, but not of the same measure. And he that invests not, reaps not the rewards.

71. For he that invests in the highest, in the path of trust, in the path of faith, in the path of complete yieldedness unto Me and unto My will, he that says, "Not my will but Thine be done‚" to him are the greatest blessings and the greatest rewards.

72. You may look at him and say, "Look at the hardships that this one goes through. Look at the difficulties. Look at the battles! He was not a wise investor." But I say unto you, I see things differently than the way man sees them. Man looks on the outward appearance‚ but I look upon the heart. I look upon the faith, the trust and the yieldedness of the heart. But judge not one another, for only God can judge.

73. If you have not the faith to trust Me explicitly, to trust Me with all your heart, if you have only the faith to trust Me with most of your heart, then acknowledge Me and I will direct your path. Bring these matters before Me desperately in prayer‚ seeking Me diligently. If you cannot trust Me fully‚ I will show you what you should do, I will speak unto your heart, I will commune with you, and I will have mercy on you. I understand. I will accept you and love you even though you lack full faith. But you are as those who do not fully invest, yet you reap the blessings of God, for you are My children and I love you.

74. You who take these matters into your own hands without seeking Me, without hearing My direction, you, too, are still My children and I love you. But you too must understand that I cannot bless you in full measure.

75. For I have set you all free to follow Me at the level of your faith, and I have said that you must live with the consequences of your decisions. You must live with the dividends of your investments. He that invests heavily in faith reaps heavily in reward. He that withholds some and invests much, reaps also reward. And he that invests only a little reaps a little in reward.

76. For there is good, there is better and there is best. The best is to trust Me fully, for in full trust and in full faith you can have full freedom and have full peace, and have full reward and full blessing.

77. The better is he that trusts Me, who gives his life to Me, but who has reservations here or there‚ or matters in which they feel they cannot fully trust Me. They feel they must take a little here and there into their own hands, and they must bear the weight of the matters that they take into their own hands themselves. Yet they still reap reward for their love for Me and for their faith in so many other matters, and I love them and I pour forth unto them My blessing and My anointing—maybe not in full measure, but in great love.

78. And the good? The good are those who love Me and serve Me, and who I am well pleased with, in that they have chosen to serve Me and that they have chosen to love Me. And though they have not given their whole hearts unto Me and do not fully trust Me, yet they have given their lives unto Me and I honor them and I reward them greatly. But they must carry much weight, for they keep many decisions unto themselves.

79. All of these, the good, the better and the best, are My children and I love them dearly and I accept them where they are‚ but I cannot reward them equally, nor can I bless them equally. So I lay before you the good, the better and the best, and I say‚ choose ye. Invest at whichever level you choose to invest in. And know this, that whether you choose the good, whether you choose the better, or whether you choose the best, that I love you and I understand. I have compassion and great love for you. But you must understand that he that invests all receives all. He that invests much receives much, and he that invests little receives little.

80. For I give you the choice. I let you decide, and in doing so, you choose your blessings, your rewards. This is true not only in the decisions regarding whether you will accept the children that I would give unto you or whether you will restrict them‚ but in all matters.—In all matters of choice, of faith, in all matters of belief in My Word, in the giving of love one to another, in the getting out of My Message, in the overcoming of your besetting sins and all of these matters. He that trusts Me, he that yields unto Me, and he that gives all, receives the greater blessings and rewards. He that gives most, receives much. And he that gives little receives little.

81. All are loved and all are cared for, and unto all I give the basics of My blessings. But as he that runs the race and runs the fastest receives the medal of gold, and the next the medal of silver, and the next the medal of bronze‚ so is it in My Kingdom, and so is it with My blessings. For he that loves Me most follows closest.

82. Lovest thou Me?—Trust Me. Follow closest. Lovest thou Me?—Trust Me. But if you can't trust Me all the way, trust Me as much as you can. Lovest thou Me? If you cannot trust so much, still, keep serving Me, keep loving Me. For all three are blessed and all three are crowned with crowns, and all three are given medals of honor, for they have run the race.

83. I wish for all to receive the medals of gold, but all will receive their medals because all have run the race and all can stand on the podium and receive the honor and the glory that they deserve for serving Me in great love, for giving their lives unto Me. For they have run the race. They are not sitting in the grandstands just observing, but they are there on the podium receiving the admiration and the applause. They deserve it‚ for they have run the race well. They all receive of My love, and they all receive the blessings, and I am proud of them all. (End of prophecy)


Discussion on Whether or Not to Use Contraceptives—By Dad

172. We've had several of our people write in recently, asking about birth control. One said she's had seven children so far and she's getting tired of it. A number of teenage girls that do not seem to be too fond of our birth policies have also written me. In this last case, a man and his wife who wrote in have eight children and they were just wondering if that was enough and couldn't they possibly use some birth control.

173. I told him, "Why ask me? You already know what I think about it. I think the Lord must think you're wonderful parents or He wouldn't have given you so many children!" I know that having and raising children is difficult. It's hard work, I grant you that. I've been through that six times now—four times with my first family and twice with Maria. I also sympathize with the mothers, because I know it's taxing on their bodies to have so many children.

174. But take a look at all of our Family children, they're now some of our main witnessers! They're our main defenders! You should read the testimonies of some of those teens, how they have stood up and socked it to their accusers in court, in the media and on TV! The lawyers and courts and judges are practically shocked with how well they conduct themselves, what powerful witnesses they are!

175. Our children are wonderful! Sure they are a lot of work! Sure the parents have to sacrifice!—But look at the results! They're the best kids in the world today!—The most powerful witnesses! I'm proud of them!—And I'm proud of their parents who have given their lives to raise them. No wonder the Lord keeps giving you more, because He knows what good parents you are and He wants you to raise more children of light in this world of darkness.

176. We are a people who know and love the Lord and trust Him, right? Don't you think the Lord knows what He's doing? You're not going to have one child that isn't God's will. Do you believe that or not? I don't think He's going to give you any more children unless it's His will. Don't you think the Lord knows if you can stand any more children?

177. People are writing to me asking, "Can't you change the policy of the Family now? Can't we start using contraceptives?" Boy, as explicitly as I have written on the subject and with no punches pulled, now they're asking me if it isn't time to change Family policy. "Isn't it time that we can get a reprieve? Do we still have to have so many children?"

178. I'll tell you‚ some of these people wouldn't even have had one child if they could've helped it! But look what a help those children are now! My mother blew a fuse when she heard Eve and I were going to have a third child. She said, "That's it! That's enough! No more, I'm through. You're fired!"

179. But do you know what happened? That child, Hosea, became her favorite and was her biggest helper when my father had a stroke. He lived with them for two years and took care of my dad full time‚ and my mother found she could hardly do without him! When we started Teens for Christ, I told her she was going to have to get somebody else. Other people could take care of an invalid, but nobody could preach like Ho! Imagine, the one she complained the most about and murmured the most about us having, turned out to be the greatest blessing to her!

180. Eve got to the point where she said, "My God, is this all I'm going to do for the rest of my life, have babies and wash diapers? When am I ever going to get back to working for the Lord?" Now get the meaning of that complaint. She was complaining about having her fourth child, and two of them in diapers at one time.

181. How do you think the Lord felt about that?—Especially when He knew what those four babies were going to do! Can you imagine her saying that about the four children who were going to start Teens for Christ, which resulted in the Children of God and the Family?—Saying "My God! When am I going to stop having babies and get back to the Lord's work?"

182. What was she doing in having those babies? (Family: The Lord's work!) Exactly! That was the Lord's work! He was preparing the team that was going to start something worldwide that has won millions of souls! Having those babies and changing and washing their diapers as diligently as she did‚ and taking care of them as diligently as she did‚ training them up in the way they should go was the biggest work for the Lord she ever did! She was a stickler on them memorizing Scripture and references and being able to stand up before a whole crowd and quote those verses with conviction, to the astonishment of those church members! It was her work‚ her training of those children that actually started the Family.

183. So my answer to those who have been writing in about this is: Don't you think God knows His business? What do you think God thinks about it? What if Eve had taken things into her own hands, after the first one or two, and said, "I am going to quit having children. I don't want to have any more." Look what would have been missed!—Especially if she would have prevented the birth of Ho and Faithy, who were the most instrumental in beginning the Family. She could have said, "I only want two children." And if she would have insisted, she would have missed God's will. Are you going to use contraceptives to try to prevent the will of God? Who knows what you'll miss!

184. That's the way I feel about it, and if I hadn't taken a firm stand on that throughout our Family history, we wouldn't have so many children who are now becoming teens and our very best witnesses and defenders!—Just like I said they would way back there in the beginning. I said that one of these days they're going to be the best witnesses we've got, they're going to be the proof of the pudding! So why are you complaining about having children?

185. Look at all that would not have been accomplished had we allowed contraception in the Family‚ if our couples had taken the selfish stand to just have children when they wanted them and not have them if they didn't want them. I'm sure there have been many of our mothers who cried, wondering how they could stand having any more kids. But look what those kids are doing for the Lord now!

186. Who impresses people the most?—It's our children! All the investigators come and observe our kids, and the sociologists are just raving about our children, saying they're the best they've ever seen and more intelligent and more socialized and higher quality and everything. They're just raving about them! It's terrific! What the Lord led me to say has come to pass: That some day you'll be thankful because they'll become our best witnesses and our best fighters!

187. Even some of our teenage girls who haven't had any children yet are worrying about it. Some are writing me, saying‚ "Do you think it's wise for me to have a baby when I'm so young? Couldn't I wait a few years and use contraceptives in the meantime?" Well, I'll tell you, some of our girls in the early stages of the Family were young teens when they had their first babies. And now those very same babies are some of the biggest fighters we've got. They are you YAs of today! Those girls could've complained about having children so young, saying, "It's poor security. We shouldn't have babies because we're so young." If they had, then you older teens and YAs wouldn't be here!

188. I know raising kids is hard! I know it's hard on you precious women to have so many. I know it's hard on you husbands when your wife seems to be pregnant most of the time. But God says, "Endure hardness!" (2Tim.2:3).

189. When my father was faced with the hardship of having an invalid wife, he could have prayed, "Oh, God, please take her! What can I do with an invalid wife? Can't You take her and give me another one?" Didn't he have a right to feel like she would be a terrible burden‚ and was a terrible burden? "How could You stick me with this invalid, Lord, when I need a woman who can work with me and do things and help me, the poor preacher?—At least someone who can take care of her kids and the house!"

190. Is that what he did? Nope! He just insisted on praying for that woman, that God would heal her!—And God did it and performed one of the most marvelous miracles you ever heard of, which produced one of the most marvelous women you ever heard of, who evangelized the nation‚ won thousands of souls to the Lord, healed hundreds, and then she produced me, of all things!

191. She could've said, "Lord‚ I've already got two children! Here I'm now working with my husband in churches and giving my life story and becoming an evangelist, how can I handle another child?" She had these other two kids to take care of as well as her husband. What did she do? Did she complain? Did she murmur? Did she go around crying, "Oh Lord, why me? Why did You give me a third child now when I've got so many problems already?" Do you know what she did? She praised the Lord and she called his name David. (Dad bursts out in tongues:) Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! "This I have ordained and this have I designed and this have I planned.—For this was of My Spirit!" Thank You Jesus! That's not the first time the Lord's ever said that He named me.

192. She thanked the Lord, praised the Lord, named me David, and believed God that I was going to do something for the Lord! Later she was the one that helped it to come to pass with her prayers and some of her prophecies, which were such encouragements! Do you think she should have used contraceptives? She had enough kids! Having been a poor invalid, should she have used contraceptives so she wouldn't have had a third child?

193. What do you think about that? What if she hadn't had me? (Fam: There wouldn't have been a Family!) There would be millions of souls unsaved and thousands of young people still drifting around without any keels, with no direction‚ lost, unsaved and unwanted and doing nothing for the Lord, even doing themselves and their families damage. What if she hadn't wanted me and had said‚ "Two is enough, Lord!"

194. What if Eve hadn't had those four children that she complained about? What if my mother hadn't had me? Where would the world be now? Better off or worse off? (Family: Worse!) Because those women were willing to suffer and have those babies, the world is a very different place, and millions of souls will spend eternity in Heaven.—All because those two mothers—Grandmother and Eve—were willing to get pregnant and have the children the Lord wanted them to have!

195. Who's going to get the greater glory?—The women who bore the children and gave them to the Lord's work and suffered and nearly died for them?—Or the selfish women and men who are using contraceptives because they don't want to have any more children?

196. Let me just leave you with this question: What if not? What if Eve had not had those four children? What if my mother had refused to have me? Does God know what He's doing? Are you willing to leave it in the hands of God no matter what, and consider that God knows best?—That He knows what He's doing, and if you have another child, it's the will of God, even if you don't feel able to take care of it? Well‚ that's how I feel about it!

197. I want to ask you, who do you think you are to question the wisdom of God in letting you have children? Who do you think you are to tell God what He should do or not do? Why don't you look to the Lord and trust God and be yielded to His will, whatever it may be? Amen? And if God wants you to have any children or any more children or no more children, what are you going to say to the Lord? (Family: Thy will be done.) Amen! Praise God!

198. I hope I'm getting the message across to these people who are complaining about our rules! They're not our rules, they're God's rules! I didn't think up these things, God had made up His mind from the beginning! What did He say? What is the first commandment in the Bible? (Family: "Be fruitful and multiply" [Gen.1:28].) Yes‚ the first commandment in the Bible was to be fruitful and multiply, and He didn't set any limit on it! If you're unwilling to be fruitful and unwilling to multiply, then the trouble is not with God or me or my rules or Family policy, the problem is with you!

199. This is beginning to be a bone of contention in the Family, and some people are complaining and murmuring about it and they don't like it. Do you know what they're trying to do? They're trying to pass the buck to me! They know how I feel about it, so they want to ask me, "Isn't it time to change the policy of the Family? Won't you give us permission?" They want me to take the blame so they can say, "Oh, Dad said we could. Isn't that great?"

200. They want me to change my convictions and the Family policy to suit their convenience and their selfishness! "Can we change the rules, Dad?" You might as well ask me‚ "Can you change God's rules?" No, definitely not! And if you go ahead and do as you please, then the blame will be on you! I have delivered my soul!

201. I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry you don't want to have a child. I'm sorry you don't appreciate the blessing and the honor of God even giving more children than you think you need or can bear. I'm sorry for you.

202. Aren't you thankful that my mother had me? (Family: Amen.) And aren't you thankful that Mother Eve had our four? You don't know what God may be going to do through the children He wants to give you!—Whether it's the first or second or third‚ or the ninth or tenth or twelfth!

203. I appreciate your problem and I appreciate your being concerned about it. But why not just put it in God's hands and let Him worry about it? You're His! You're bought with a price! Trust Him with your life and with the life of your children, no matter how many He wants to give you! They are the Lord's heritage. They are His love gift to you. Amen?

204. (Mama:) One thing about Dad, he always spoke the truth with conviction! Do you remember what the Lord said earlier in the prophecy? "Many of you look at the Words of David and the power and the strength of his Word and the forcefulness with which he brought forth the answer to this question and you say, `Oh, but this is so hard! It is so unbending! It is even unmerciful!' I say that he spoke the Truth, for he said unto you, trust God! He delivered unto you the standard of God‚ the Truth of God!" Thank God for Dad who was unwavering in his willingness to follow and obey the Lord and to give His Message no matter what the consequences. Praise the Lord!

Mama's Love Story, Part 1

(ML #2992:86–89, Lifelines 22)

86. (Mama:) If you were able to go through the Letters one by one, I'm sure you would find many instances where I was unyielded and stubborn and had to virtually be forced to do things. I really wasn't yielded to the Lord, and of course that is a very serious thing. Not yielding to what the Lord wants you to do isn't just a mistake, it's a serious transgression—because I knew better! And I'm sure examples of my rebelliousness influenced others when we put them in print. The reason we put them in print wasn't because I wanted to put them in print, but we had to put them in print because to get the point of what Dad was saying we had to include the entire conversations.

87. So that's been all through the Letters—my resistance to things and to the Lord's will and to obeying Him—and that's not a very pretty picture. It's been a bit of a rude awakening to realize that it was a general spirit of rebelliousness‚ a general overall spirit of resistance‚ non-submission and unyieldedness, which makes it very serious. It's not just a case of, "Oh, I was rebellious once here, and I was rebellious once there." But in these cases that I particularly remember, they were symptoms and obvious manifestations of a general spirit of unyieldedness.

88. There were many times when I didn't rebel, of course, and when I yielded to the Lord's will. But if you say, "I'm going to yield here and I'm going to yield there and I'm going to yield somewhere else, but I'm not going to yield here and I'm not going to yield there," then you can't say that your spirit is truly yielded. In order to have a yielded spirit you have to be willing to be yielded in everything, whatever the Lord asks. You can't yield selectively or you're not really yielded.

89. If you're calling the shots and you're the one who's deciding when you're going to be yielded and when you aren't, then you're not really yielded. Yieldedness is faith to accept whatever the Lord has for you, it's a general acceptance. Yieldedness is saying, "Whatever You want‚ I will do." You can't say, "I'll do this, but I won't do that." That's not signing a blank sheet of paper, and that's not yieldedness, and that's not faith, either—faith that does whatever the Lord asks you to do. In other words, you don't have faith, so you're going to decide what you think is right and what you can accept and what you can't accept, what you can believe and what you can't believe, etc.

The Year of the Bottom Line

(ML #3176:76-81, GN 781)

76. (Jesus speaking:) It's true that this year is the year of the bottom line—and a lot of people may wonder exactly what the bottom line is for them personally. Well, it's something everyone is pretty familiar with. Do you want to know what the bottom line really is? It's the line that's drawn at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper, and underneath the line in parentheses is written: "Signature for 1998." The sheet is blank, and the only thing on it is the line for your signature at the bottom of the page. This is what the bottom line is all about.

77. You put your name there on the line‚ filling in your signature, and give the paper back to Me. Then I start filling in the paper at the top with the things that I ask you to do day by day that require your yieldedness and commitment in yielding yourself to My service. It's a contract between you and Me, and the terms of agreement before signing the bottom line is your saying yes to whatever I ask you to do.

78. Now that may sound like a pretty tall order! But if you decide in your heart that you want to say yes, then I'll help you to be yielded, so it's not actually all that difficult. The main thing to signing is not whether you feel you can make it or not, or if you feel that you're yielded, and therefore sign. The requirement for signing is to sincerely say, "Yes, I want to be yielded. Yes, I truly want to serve You, no strings attached. Yes, please help me to follow You and obey You." If you give Me your heart, then I'll help you, even if you don't feel yielded, even if you feel rebellious, or if you feel you can't make it, or if you feel there are things you're not in agreement with.

79. The bottom line is just saying, "Lord, please take me. Please help me to do Your will without reservation. Please help me to say yes‚ and please help me to be yielded. Please help my unbelief." Those are the terms of the contract, that's the bottom line, and if you do this‚ I will help you, though it looks hard.

80. It's only a matter of deciding to give Me your heart and your life, and the rest is up to Me! I'll begin to fill in the blank sheet of paper perfectly suited to help you to grow‚ to yield‚ to learn to depend on Me, and at the same time to help you accomplish a wonderful life of service in winning the lost, reaching the sheep, and being a messenger and disciple of love.

81. No one said that signing the bottom line would be easy, or that service for Me would be comfortable. But this promise you have: It will be rewarding and thrilling, and I will always be there to help you. It will always be worth it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. … All it takes is saying yes and signing on the bottom line. (End of message from Jesus)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 5

(ML #3205:145–148, GN 808)

145. (Mama:) Some of you young people have adopted very negative attitudes towards large families. You're quite vocal in saying you won't make the same mistake your parents made by having a lot of children. You announce proudly that you won't have more than one or two. Many of you view large families as a burden and something that will hold you back in your lives and ministries.

146. Closely related to this is the practice many of you have of freely and without qualms advocating the use of birth control. If you personally choose to use some form of birth control, that's up to you. You're free to act according to your own faith. But just as others should not be condemning or criticizing you for your decision, so you should not be broadcasting it and making others feel that they're just not "with it" if they're "going for the gold"—either by fucking without using birth control‚ or not fucking at all but using other methods of lovemaking instead.

147. Then there's the bad attitude about pregnancy. Some of you look upon pregnancy as a mortal blow to your "careers" in the Family. Others of you criticize and condemn girls who get pregnant, telling them they were stupid for letting it happen to them. You have the attitude of, "Oh, poor thing! She got knocked up! Why did she go and do a thing like that?!"

148. Listen, if someone in your Home or area gets pregnant, it's not your place to criticize her or the man involved, or to gossip about them or in any way make them feel bad, condemned‚ or embarrassed! It's none of your business. When someone gets pregnant, it's between the man and the woman involved, and it's up to them to pray and hear from the Lord about how they want to handle it, in counsel with their shepherds and/or parents. Everything will go much more smoothly for them if you'll not be critical and judgmental of them! If you want to do something, then pray for them that they can find the Lord's will and the happiness He has for them and the child.

A Changed Man

(ML #3345:13-18‚ GN 939)

13. (Jesus speaking to Steven:) I thank you for being willing to be a father to your own family, your many little children. [Note: Steven and Pearl have 11 children‚ and Silas had 2 more with Joan.] This is a blessing of great value—the many little ones that I have placed at your feet. Though a heavy burden, they're a source of great joy and a reflection of My love for you. Your life is full of sunshine because of the love and devotion of these little ones who call you daddy. They keep you young, they help you to remain in touch with those who are weak, they slow you down. They're My love to you in so many ways. The sum total of their fruitfulness will far surpass your own, and their rewards will also be yours.

14. I so need leaders of both generations who are willing to bear children for My glory. There are few, really, who give to the full, especially in this day and age. Even though few comment to you personally‚ and it seems your large family makes little impression on others, or possibly even a negative impression at times, take heart in knowing that many secretly admire you and Pearl for your faith‚ unselfishness, and sacrifices.

15. These darling little ones are one of your greatest accomplishments. And though you feel you had little to do with it, really, that it was all My doing‚ I want to remind you that you chose to trust Me, even though there were times when you both wondered if you'd be able to take one more. I know there were times when you wished it could be different‚ and that makes your willingness and saying yes even more precious to Me and to others.

16. I know there's not usually much talk of the wonderful "project" of your great big family. Usually eyes are focused on the marvelous doors that I've opened, the important people the ones in your area are ministering to, the tremendous progress in follow-up, the shows and obvious miracles and testimonies. But believe Me‚ up Here in Heaven there is much talk of the daily progress and victories gained by your little ones—the new words they learn to read, the songs and dances they so enjoy and perform with such boldness, the potty-training victories, the progress with long-standing little bad habits, and the list goes on and on!

17. These might seem like little things, and perhaps they are. But each of these little things, because they affect the health and happiness of your little children‚ are big things up Here. There are many who monitor your family's progress, health, unity, and happiness, and take special care to do miracles and provide needs. Yes, they're one of the "big shows" up Here. They're real stars, and so are you and Pearl for the years and years you've invested of steady, unseen giving. You've both given your lives—not just for the work, your Home‚ your flock, and the Thai people, but also for your little children, your greatest treasure.

18. Thank you‚ My loves, for not losing the vision‚ for not limiting My ability to strengthen you and supply your needs. Thank you for continuing to walk the unconventional path. You will never, ever regret these decisions.

Renewal: A Gift of Love to the Children

(ML #3491:44-49, GN 1075)

44. (Mama: ) Did you know that children—even a large number of them—will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your Home as a missionary unit? Check out this message.

45. (Jesus:) I know some of you, My brides, feel that a lot of children will bog you down, but that really depends on your perspective. What does it mean to be a fruitful Family Home? Does it mean full independence? Does it mean the ability to selfishly fulfill your personal plans and visions without interruption? Does it mean a bunch of adults doing as they please? Or does it mean a Home that feeds My sheep? I think you know the answer.

46. Children are so incredibly important to Me. Training them is exactly as important as winning souls‚ gaining disciples, having a growing Activated church‚ giving food and clothing to the poor, etc. When's the last time you really thought about that? Some of you look at childcare as an extra burden, like doing dishes, raising the funds for the rent, or having to change the oil in your car—something that hinders your primary job as a missionary and disciple. But what you fail to realize is that training children is an extremely important ministry, and if your Home members can be a little more open-minded, you'll realize that by bringing into your Home a large family with a good "quiver" of children you're greatly enhancing the effectiveness of your Home as a missionary unit.

47. Do you want to serve Me to the greatest capacity possible? Do you want to really give it your all and make your Home as effective and useful as possible? One of the easiest ways to do that is to set up a working, efficient childcare situation right in your midst.

48. Granted, children are hard work. But that's just an excuse‚ because I don't think you really have a problem with hard work or you wouldn't have dedicated your life to missionary or discipleship service. Every one of you can actually augment your shepherding and witnessing skills by keeping children around and at least occasionally helping them out. Children also bring a certain joy to your Home that no other ministry can supply. It's just a matter of donning the right attitude and realizing that most Family Homes are not complete without an adequate number of children.

49. If you're a specialized Home that can't take in as many children for a valid reason that I have endorsed—such as being in a sensitive country or being a special Service Home—then I'm sorry that you're going to miss out on some of the specific benefits that come with the territory of having lots of children. A lack of children is a loss you'll have to live with, and a sacrifice I'm asking you to make. But for those of you who have the opportunity to take in children but don't have many or any yet, then you should be going out of your way to find large families and professional teachers who can contribute to a working childcare ministry in your Home. So what are you waiting for?

FJWL 2:284

I call before Me now My heroines of the home, My mothers of love! These are they who bear and bear and bear again My darlings of love, My little ones, My spirit treasures‚ My sparkles of happiness. These are they who not only bear, but who guide and direct and maneuver these young ones through the obstacle course of life. These are they who lay down their own lives that their young may pass over into a new world.

These who raise broods of children in My name, who painstakingly care for more than it seems they are able to handle, receive My inestimably valued jewels of honor and commendation.

Those who have taken more children into their care and motherly love than I have personally given them; those who take on those of another mate or single‚ to help, care for and provide for them—these will have double fulfillment and satisfaction in the life to come.

I call forth My heroines‚ My mothers of mercy. These are they whom I delight to love, whom I delight to look upon with tenderness. For I see them in the night‚ tenderly caring for their newborns, gently watching over their flocks, and attending to every need of the household. They give of their own time and sleep and energy that others may be fed and clothed and warmed.

Upon these I gaze down from Heaven with such respect, with such admiration‚ with such tenderness, with such gratitude, with such inspiration, for they prove their love unto Me. Their love stands firm and strong under such strain and pressure.

How can I help Myself when I see such love and endurance?—The endurance and patience of these, My heroines. How can I not prepare the most wonderful, comfortable, delicate, enchanting place of delights for them, Here in My Heavenly Kingdom? Do they not deserve this? They most surely do, and I simply wait for the moment when I may present them with their treasures and rewards. This will bring Me joy and happiness unspeakable—to see the light on their faces, the tears rolling down their cheeks‚ the sparkle of their smiles‚ the shock and amazement that they will experience to find out that they are truly My heroines, My mothers of mercy, My angels of compassion.

I prepare their haven even now, and comfort their hearts and souls with My love and Words until the day when I may take each one into My arms and wipe away their tears, comfort their hearts, and restore unto them every desire and longing which they have given up for the sake of their young, for the sake of their calling.

Mighty men of the world have come and gone. Conquering heroes have swept across the world‚ across vast lands. They have procured wealth and have garnered for themselves slaves and the riches of the land, but they fade into oblivion. Yet My heroines, My mothers of mercy, live on throughout eternity. For in the sparkle of the eyes and the lighting of the smile in each of their children can be seen a trace of the mother who gave her life for her son or for her daughter.

Come, My heroines. Come, My loves, My mothers of mercy. I call you to enter into your rest, that you may soon abide forever in your haven of peace and comfort.

I love you and I thank you, valiant heroines of the faith.

Word Topics: Willfulness and Rebelliousness

Definitions: Willfulness is stubborn determination to have one's own way rather than God's way. Rebelliousness is defiance, disobedience or open opposition to Godly authority or control.

1. Rebellion against what is right—is wrong!

* 1 Samuel 15:23a For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

* James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

2. Rebelliousness refuses to listen to God or His people.

* 1 Samuel 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us.

* Nehemiah 9:16,17a‚26a [Nehemiah recounted the rebellions of his forebears:] But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to Thy commandments, 17a And refused to obey, neither were mindful of Thy wonders that Thou didst among them; but hardened their necks. … 26a Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against Thee, and cast Thy law behind their backs.

* Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me … that they may add sin to sin.

* Jeremiah 32:33 And they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.

* Jeremiah 44:16 [The people rebelled against the prophet Jeremiah's constant warnings:] As for the Word that thou hast spoken unto us in the Name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.

* Zechariah 7:11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

* Matthew 23:37 [Jesus lamented:] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together‚ even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings‚ and ye would not.

* Acts 7:51-3,57,59a [The rebellious religionists rallied and thought they could silence Stephen by killing him, after he exposed them by telling them:] Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, … 59a And they stoned Stephen.

3. The Devil was the first rebel, and continues to try to incite rebellion against God.

* Isaiah 14:12-15 [The story of the Devil's rebellion and his condemnation:] How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground‚ which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit.

* Matthew 13:38,39a The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the Wicked One; 39a The enemy that sowed them is the Devil.

* Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. [See also 5:6 and Colossians 3:6; Isaiah 57:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4.]

* 1 John 3:12 Not as Cain‚ who was of that Wicked One [the Devil], and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

4. Those who rebel against the Lord's ordained leadership are rebelling against the Lord.

* Exodus 16:8b And Moses said [to the people who were murmuring against him] … the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against Him: and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.

* 1 Samuel 8:7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

5. The rebellious separate themselves so much from the Lord that He stops speaking to them!

* Deuteronomy 1:43a,45 [Moses said to the Children of Israel:] So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord. … 45 And ye returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.

* 2 Chronicles 15:2b The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.

* Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

* Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

6. The rebellious, in following their own independent way, are taking the hard way.

* Psalm 68:6b The rebellious dwell in a dry land.

* Psalm 95:9-11 When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My work. 10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation‚ and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest.

* Psalm 89:30-32 If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments; 31 If they break My statutes‚ and keep not My commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.

* Psalm 107:11,12 Because they rebelled against the Words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help.

* Proverbs 1:24-26 Because I [God] have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand‚ and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.

* Proverbs 13:15b The way of transgressors is hard.

* Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.

* 2 Peter 2:19–22 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

7. Willfulness leads to disobedience, rebelliousness and eventual backsliding.

* Proverbs 14:14a The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.

* Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.

* Jeremiah 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear‚ but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

* James 1:23,24 For if any be a hearer of the Word‚ and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

8. Willfulness limits usefulness.

* Psalm 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule‚ which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

* Titus 1:7a For a bishop [shepherd] must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled.

* 2 Peter 2:10 [Self-will is the product of pride and carnality.] Them that walk after the flesh … presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

9. Willfulness and rebelliousness cost dearly.

* 1 Samuel 15:23 [King Saul's rebellion cost him the throne:] For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord‚ He hath also rejected thee from being king.

* 2 Samuel 24:4,10 [King David stubbornly refused to listen to reason, and went his own way, taking a national census in disobedience to God:] Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel [take a census]. 10 And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech Thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. [David's willful disobedience cost the lives of 70‚000 men, see verses 11-25.]

* 2 Chronicles 35:22,23,24a [King Josiah of Judah insisted in fighting a battle which God didn't want him to fight, and it cost him his life:] Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho [king of Egypt] from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants‚ Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 24a His servants therefore … put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died.

* Job 9:4b Who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?

* Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone [Jesus] shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

10. God often deals very sternly with those who persistently rebel against Him.

* 1 Samuel 12:15a But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you.

* Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

* Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.

* Luke 12:47‚48b [The more truth we know, the more accountable we are to obey it.] And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself‚ neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. … 48b For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

* 2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12 Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

* Hebrews 10:26‚27‚31 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation‚ which shall devour the adversaries. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

11. Some safeguards against rebellion:

* Psalm 141:5a [King David prayed for the Lord to use others to correct him:] Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil‚ which shall not break my head.

* Proverbs 19:25 [Openly reproving the rebellious at least serves as a warning to others.] Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.

* Matthew 18:15-17 [Jesus gave the basic guidelines for correcting wrongs among brethren:] Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church‚ let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

* Ephesians 4:15 [Good honest‚ firm, but loving communication creates an environment for spiritual growth.] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.

* Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

* Hebrews 3:7-13 [We must warn those who are self–willed and walking in rebellion, before it's too late.] Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, 8 Harden not your hearts‚ as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known My ways. 11 So I sware in My wrath‚ They shall not enter into my Rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

12. If willfulness is the problem, submission to God is the solution.

* Isaiah 64:8 [The prophet Isaiah exclaimed:] But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.

* Luke 1:38b [Young Mary prayed:] Be it unto me according to Thy Word.

* John 3:30 [John the Baptist said:] He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.

* Romans 6:13,16 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 16 Know ye not‚ that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

* Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy‚ acceptable unto God‚ which is your reasonable service.

* James 4:7a,8a Submit yourselves therefore to God. … 8a Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.

13. Jesus showed by example that we must choose God's will over our own.

* Matthew 6:10b [Jesus taught us to pray in this way:] Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

* Luke 22:42,43 [Even Jesus honestly confessed that He didn't want to die on the cross, but He yielded anyway, and God sent Him strength from Heaven:] Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven, strengthening Him.

* John 5:30 [Jesus said:] I can of Mine Own self do nothing ... because I seek not Mine Own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.

* John 6:38 For I came down from Heaven, not to do Mine Own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.

14. The grace to forsake our own will comes from a sincere desire to please the Lord.

* Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart. [See also 112:1; 119:16.]

* John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.

* Romans 7:22 [Paul testified:] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

* Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice‚ as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ‚ doing the will of God from the heart.

15. Our every plan should be subject to the will of God. — Let Him have the final say.

* 2 Samuel 15:26b [King David said:] Behold, here am I, let Him [the Lord] do to me as seemeth good unto Him.

* Lamentations 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

* James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year‚ and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

* Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do‚ if God permit.

16. Our happiness and well-being depend upon our choosing the path of obedience and submission to God rather than the path of rebelliousness.

* Numbers 14:8,9a If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9a Only rebel not ye against the Lord.

* Deuteronomy 11:26-28a Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: 28a And a curse‚ if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.

* Psalm 43:3,4 O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God‚ unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God.

* Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

* Isaiah 1:19,20 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

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