KEYWORDS: strength, year, spirit, way, time

Art of Dependence, The

Karen Zerby

GN 1128 FD/MM/FM

By Maria FD/MM/FM 3537 3/05

Dear Family,

1. These are exceptionally busy times—with so much to do, and often very little time to do it in—and Peter and I admire each of you for your faith and fighting spirits through it all. The first few months of this year have already been packed to the brim as you've worked hard to change, to grow, and to progress. You accepted the New Wine, you rolled up your sleeves and gave the Feast workshops your all (or you will do so soon, if you haven't yet had your Feast), you diligently studied the board criteria‚ as well as the multitude of other GNs and important reading material you received. The Lord is proud of you, and Peter and I are proud of you too.

2. This is only the beginning, and we still have a lot more ahead of us in this year of strengthening, as you well know. There will be Home reviews, the implementation of the coach program‚ and more changes in your Homes as your Home managers, Home shepherds, and criteria monitors get more settled into their jobs. There will be a lot more new Word coming your way to read and absorb. And on top of all this, there will be the events of day-to-day life—caring for and educating your children and young people, witnessing, feeding and strengthening your sheep, setting the Enemy back on his heels whenever he attacks, and much more.

3. As Peter said in "Wartime," everything that's happening in the Family right now—and in your personal life and Home—is probably a bit overwhelming for you. So you shouldn't feel condemned if you wonder how you're going to keep up, and if you're going to make it. You're not alone if you feel this way, because I'd venture to say that everyone in the Family is in the same boat. We're all faced with major challenges, as we obey the Lord and move forward as if everything depended on it—because it does. We all want to do our part, no matter what the cost, to avoid spiritual annihilation at the hands of our Enemy, who would love nothing more than to defeat us.

4. So, dear Family‚ I know these times are tough. I know you have a lot to do, and are probably facing more demands and deadlines and bearing more responsibilities than you have in a long time. It might seem sometimes like we—and the Lord—are asking the impossible of you, and you wonder if anyone really understands. But we do‚ and certainly the Lord understands. He isn't asking so much of us because He just wants to be mean and push us over the edge; He's asking the impossible of us because He knows that we are capable of it—not on our own, but with His help, strength, anointing‚ and spiritual power.

5. I was wondering about this recently, and the Lord said that He has a specific purpose in giving us way too much to do this year, way over what we can do in the natural, and that purpose is so that we will learn to depend on Him and Him alone. As you'll see when you read the messages I'm going to share with you in this GN‚ it's all part of the year of strengthening. You might feel like you're going through the "year of weakening‚" if you feel weaker than you have ever felt before, or more incapable or insufficient. But remember that when you are weak, our Husband is strong. His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2Cor.12:9). Conversely, that means that His strength is hardly seen or is perhaps even invisible when we are strong in ourselves and working in the arm of the flesh.

6. There are important things that our Husband is trying to teach us through this year of strengthening, and specifically through our feeling like the weights and burdens are too heavy and we just won't make it. He wants to teach us what it truly means to do things in His Spirit and not in the arm of the flesh. He wants to show us that we can't do it on our own, no matter how hard we try, and that the only way we'll be able to lift the loads, make the grades, and go the distance is if we depend on Him. "Through the keys of determination you can do it, make it, lift the load, go the distance, uphold the standard, and accept and use your anointing, for the power is not yours, but rather the awesome, world-changing, never-ending‚ all-encompassing power of the keys."

7. The reason the Family has way too much to do right now is that the Lord wants to force us to do it His way. We can't possibly do it in our own strength, so we have no other alternative than to learn the art of dependence on Him. This is the reason the Lord is demanding the impossible of us. If we weren't facing impossibilities, we wouldn't learn what it means to truly depend on Him for the strength we need.

8. So, dear Family, delve into the following messages and be encouraged. The Lord explains more clearly His purpose in giving us so much to do during this year of strengthening, and gives us lots of motivation that we will make it!—With His help and strength, and with the aid of the spiritual weapons He has blessed us with.

Peter and I love you, and we're keeping you in our prayers,


Lean on Me

9. (Jesus: ) This year of strengthening will be a very busy year for everyone—for Mama and Peter, for leadership, for WS, and for the entire Family—as you unite together and continue moving forward. Some people have already given up, feeling that it's just too much. Some have already left their place of service because they felt they couldn't make it, that I was asking way too much, beyond what they were capable of. Others are toying with the idea of leaving My service for an easier life where not so much is expected of them, where they're not required to give so much, to grow so much, and to meet such high requirements.

10. My loves, I am asking a lot of each one of you. You're not just imagining the huge workload that you are facing. I am requiring you to do more, to live a higher standard than ever before, to fulfill stricter requirements. Your physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional capabilities are being tested to the limit. You do have to give much more than you have ever had to in the past. The requirements for remaining in My Endtime army are higher than they ever were in the past.

11. I have a purpose in this‚ My loves. You are being tested and tried. Much like an earthly army tests its recruits and officers with intense training, with months of rigorous military exercises along with academic and physical ability tests, so am I testing your ability. But there is an important difference between the armies of the world and you, My spiritual army. In the armies of the world, those who are pushed over their limit fail the test and flunk their training.

12. But that's not the case with you. When I push you to your limit and beyond, you can still pass the test and go on to further victories because you lean on Me. You make it and keep going not because you are that good or that expert at what I'm asking you to do‚ and not because you're so strong in yourself, or smarter than the next soldier, but rather because of your dependence on My strength and power.

13. I know you've heard this many times before, but now is the time for the real tests. You've heard this in Letter after Letter, practically since you were babes in the spirit‚ but now I am truly putting you through your spiritual boot camp, through mental and physical tests and every type of challenge possible. I am requiring more of you in every way, so much so, in fact‚ that some have already dropped out. And this is good, because I have to sift the ranks of those who are not able to learn to truly depend on Me for the strength and anointing they will need in the days ahead.

14. As My Word says, "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?" (Jer.12:5). You must now learn to truly lean on My strength in order to be able to handle the workload that you will face. You have to actively, practically, spiritually, and in every way, use the spiritual weapons I have given you. If you do not do this, and if you do not learn how to be a soldier in My Endtime army of today, you will probably have a nervous breakdown and quit.

15. These are the days you have been preparing for. These are the days when I am raising up My army of the End who will have to be strong in battle!—And that strength has to come from Me. You have to learn to work in the power and anointing of My strength, not in the arm of your flesh. Those who cannot learn to do this will find the work too much, the requirements way beyond their abilities, and they will collapse under the stress and pressure of soldiering.

16. If you wonder why your life is so busy‚ why there seems to be so much to do, way more than you can ever possibly humanly do‚ why you feel so tested by it all, why you have so many battles and tests, this is the reason: I am allowing the Family to pass through this time of intense battles and tests, as well as the increased workload, because I have to weed out those who work in the arm of the flesh from those who are operating under the power of My Spirit. I have to purify the Family until all that is left are those who are willing to do things My way.

17. This is a spiritual principle that I have tried to impress on the Family for years, and now I have to bring it into everyday life‚ into every Home‚ at every level of Family life. All of you will be tested beyond your capabilities, and only you who depend on the strength of My Spirit will make it.

18. You won't be able to do this work in your own strength. You won't be able to meet My requirements propelled by your own steam, by pushing and trying hard. It will not happen, My loves. You who try in the arm of the flesh will fail and will fall by the wayside. This is part of My plan to sift the Family, to weed out those who are unwilling to learn the art of spiritual warfare and how to fight the battles by availing themselves of My strength.

19. I tell you plainly, there is only one way you will survive the workload and the stress of the battlefield this year, and in the years following, and that is by doing My work in the spirit, not in the arm of the flesh. This very important spiritual principle can no longer be book knowledge, but you must learn to apply it, to live it, and to avail yourself of the power that comes from operating in the spirit.

20. Now it's time to apply the Word like never before‚ to enact the spiritual principles I have taught you, to avail yourself of My full spiritual power. You will no longer be able to win the battle and victories needed in your own strength. In your days of preparation I allowed you to operate and to have some measure of success, even though you did not lean fully on My power. I allowed for trial and error and gave you some leeway when you were in the learning stage‚ as I was teaching and training you. Now I expect total commitment to My ways and to the weapons of the spirit.

21. Many of you are going through extreme battles now, heavy spiritual and physical battles, but there is a purpose in this, My loves. It is to force you to depend on Me. I'm allowing this in your life to force you to come to the end of your strength and to fully embrace My ways.

22. You will not be able to face the days ahead and the battles that you must fight without learning to fight them in the power of the spirit—with My Spirit and with My weapons. The weapons of My Spirit have much more power than you realize, because you haven't fully put them to use. You haven't even experienced the magnitude of their power to deliver the victory in every battle, because most of you haven't used them to their full extent. Most of you have used the keys, praise, your spirit helpers, and prophecy a little, or maybe you feel you've even used them a lot. But now you will have to commit to using them all the time, because you will be surrounded by more than you can handle in the flesh.

23. There is no other way, My loves. You are not strong enough, brave enough, wise enough, or capable in the flesh. You have to use the weapons and lean on Me for every battle. (End of message.)

Battles Don't Last Forever

24. (Jesus:) My loves, what have I promised you in My Word? "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1Cor.10:13). Do you believe that? Can you claim it for yourself whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, and overtaxed?

25. I realize that many of you are feeling the stress and the strain and the burden of all that there is to do—not only physically, but spiritually as well. There are several reasons for this. One, the ante has been upped. The Enemy has come out full force against My children, and his attacks are increasing and becoming more vitriolic. This should not be news to you, for you have heard that this would happen, and you have experienced it yourselves in just the first few months of 2005. It would stand to reason, then, that if the Enemy has upped his attacks on you, you are going to need to counterattack with as much intensity and aggressiveness. And because I have asked you to fight an offensive war against the Evil One and not a defensive one, that means you need to make sure you are one step ahead of him, and that adds pressure and burdens.

26. Secondly, some of you are feeling the pressure spiritually because you are in a "crash course," so to speak. It could be likened to having to go to summer school and continue study after school is out for the summer‚ and therefore forsake most of your summer vacation. Many of you were lagging behind spiritually and not up to par with where you should have been, so you're finding yourselves having to cram and study and spend extra time getting caught up to where you should be at this point in time.

27. And thirdly, some of you are having a hard time making the transition from a peacetime army to one that is engaged in battle. Starting with the renewal, more has been expected of each Family member. With the year of strengthening, even more is going to be required of you, because the Family is finally on the move and on the attack and becoming the offensive army it is meant to be. As the old Family song goes, "If you didn't expect to go to war, why'd you ever join the Lord's army, my friend?" Why do you act so surprised that you have to forsake your "card games" and your "comfortable surroundings" in order to get out there in the trenches and engage in hand-to–hand combat?

28. I can understand how the battle you are engaged in at the moment does seem as if it will never end. There are many new initiatives that have come your way, new ways of operating to get used to, new weapons to learn to use, and old ones to become skilled in. There are new pushes to get behind‚ and it all seems to have descended upon you in a very short amount of time. There is so much to learn and grasp and understand that it can be mind boggling and a bit disheartening. You feel you have a huge mountain looming ahead of you and you don't see how you will have the strength and fortitude to scale it.

29. But what have I always told you? Just take it a step at a time, a day at a time, and soon you'll see yourself making progress. The problem with some of you is that you see where you're at‚ and you see where you need to go, and you want to get there quickly. You want to breeze through all the pitfalls and craggy, rocky paths and over the boulders and through the deep and wide rivers quickly and easily so that you can get on to what's in store for you next. You lack the patience to be a slow plodder and you want to learn it all‚ do it all, conquer it all, and come out victorious without a scratch or bruise.

30. I'm afraid this battle isn't going to be like that, My loves. Because you are fighting on many fronts, in many different areas, and because I want you to become a skilled warrior in each of these battles and be the conqueror, you are not going to be able to breeze through these things.

31. Have faith that every battle does have its end. No soldier fights in the trenches for years and years on end. It may feel that way at times, but I do give surcease and I do give rest and recuperation. Many of you are feeling these particular battles quite intensely, because you are not conditioned to them. Some of you are quite rusty when it comes to being on the offensive against the Enemy and are still fighting a defensive warfare. You are not used to the rigors of battle and the sacrifices that have to be made when in the throes of intense warfare. Granted, during the heat of the battle you do feel that it is going to go on forever and you can't see the end in sight, and it can be discouraging. But you have to remember at those times that battles don't last forever. Soon, as you become more skilled in the use of your weapons and understand the Enemy and his tactics better‚ it does become easier and you will get the upper hand.

32. I know that it is a temptation to get weary in well doing, My loves, but this particular battle will not last forever. There are many changes that are happening in your lives right now, many fronts you need to attack on, many things yet to be learned about how to skillfully wield the weapons I've given you. But know also that even those soldiers who are in the trenches‚ on the front lines, eyeball to eyeball with the Enemy, do also get times of rest and reprieve. They do get called back off the front lines in order to have some relaxation and downtime. It may not last as long as they would like, and they may get called back into action before they feel ready to go again, but they learn to make the most of the times they do have on the sidelines.

33. So I say to you, My brides, I will not suffer you to be tempted above and beyond what you are able to bear, and I do give a way of escape. That way of escape may be physical, in the form of rest and relaxation after an intense time of activity; or it may be spiritual‚ in the form of peace and happiness in your heart, in spite of all you have to do or all that is expected of you; or it may be mental, with ideas, inspirations, or solutions to problems that are plaguing you.

34. This is the day of battle! I know you can do it, for it is what you have been trained for all these years. You may feel rusty, you may feel a bit behind the rest of the troops, but as you step out by faith, lean on Me, trust in Me, yield to Me, and do your part‚ then I will do the rest and we will win the war! (End of message.)

Trust Me—This Difficult Time Is for Your Good

35. (Jesus:) My loves, I have promised that I would not give you more than you can bear.—And this promise still holds true even for this year, when it actually does seem like I'm demanding more of you than can possibly be performed. I know the temptation, because of the reality of the demands before you, is to feel overwhelmed, to feel that I am setting impossible goals and expecting you to meet them. So now, more than ever, you must trust in My promise that I will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.

36. But you must understand that there are reasons—very good and important reasons—why I'm allowing you to feel both the heat of the battle right now and the weight of the load and extra demands being placed on you. These reasons are important to Me and to your future. So even though I see many of you lift your eyes and hearts to Me in weariness and desperation, wondering how you will ever make it, still I allow these demands to be placed upon you.

37. You see‚ I must allow this time when you feel like there's more to do than you can ever possibly accomplish, because there is a reason for it. I know you've all experienced hearing from your parents when you were children, "This is for your own good." What child hasn't balked when given this answer from a caring parent? As children, it's always difficult to understand and see beyond what you're experiencing at the moment. It's almost impossible to comprehend how something very difficult you're being asked to do could be ultimately for your good.

38. But that is the reality of this year of strengthening and all that I'm asking of you: It will be for your good. You are My lovers, My friends and My closest intimates. But in many ways you are still My children, and so you must follow My lead in simple faith, trusting that I have only your very best interests at heart. What it comes down to is choosing to believe and keep going, submitting yourself to Someone Who loves you more than you know, and Who is wiser and knows better than you do.

39. This is what I am asking of you, My loves. I am asking you to trust in My divine wisdom and foresight. You must go through this year of strengthening and you must meet these demands head-on in a spirit of trust and faith‚ even though you may not always feel like you're capable of meeting all of these demands. With My help you will be able.

40. Why am I asking so much of you all at once?—Because it will test every sinew of your faith, and it will cause you to lean wholly on Me and Me alone. It will bring forth the fruit of complete dependence on Me and My new weapons of the spirit. The flesh cannot meet the demands of the year of strengthening—neither the spiritual demands nor the physical ones—I know that. In the natural it is impossible. And the reason I have asked the impossible of you is so that you will turn to Me and lean upon Me and the weaponry of the spirit as never before.

41. If you allow Me to do the work through you during this year of strengthening, you will make great progress in ridding your life of your tendencies and natural proclivity to lean to your own understanding and your own strength and abilities.

42. This year each of you‚ My brides‚ will come to understand the strength of weakness in a way you have never known or understood it before. You will live the reality of this spiritual principle this year, because your own strength will fail. You cannot make it through this year of strengthening otherwise, for I have designed it that way. I have made this year so beyond yourself that you will be forced to fall upon Me, your Rock, and in this falling you will find the strength that only I can give.

43. From this desperate clinging and dependence upon Me, I will form a new army—My Endtime army—an army that will be spiritually equipped to meet tomorrow and the coming closing years of this world's history. Only you who are stripped naked of yourselves and your own strength can meet the future. I have designed this year in such a way that true spiritual strength will be built up‚ honed, and renewed.

44. This year of strengthening will prove to you—and to the world—that you can do anything that I ask of you. This will then give you hope for the future, as you realize that you can be all that you are destined to be, if you avail yourselves of the power and strength that I have for you.

45. This year will prove your worth as a soldier, because you will learn more about how to endure. This year will help to enlarge and strengthen your faith, and thereby usher you into the era of miracles. But I have to get each of you to the point of total belief and dependence on the new weapons as your only salvation, and your only staff to lean upon in order to fulfill My will and your destiny as My army of the coming days. This year is your melding time—melding in heart and spirit with the new weapons—so they become part of you and not just something worn at your side to be used on occasion or when you feel like it.

46. The best followers and the best disciples are those who yield the most.—And that applies not only to disciples, but to soldiers and warriors as well. Being weak, reaching the end of yourself, and having more than you can possibly do in the natural makes you yielded. It humbles you, and it causes you to lean on Me and My strength. This year of strengthening will bring you down the path of weakness, because only there will you discover true strength and become a true warrior of the spirit. It's only through weakness that you humbly take up My strength and the weaponry of the spirit instead of your own.

47. This year each of you must come to My altar and lay those last vestiges of your own strength, pride, abilities and works to rest. It will be a death of sorts—a death to your own strength and a birth of My strength within you.

48. I promise you that from this death and this rebirth will spring forth a new strength within the heart of each child of David! And in discovering this strength, you will each inherit newfound power—My true power and anointing which will see you through the coming end of days. This year I will work together with you to erase your natural instincts to lean to your own strength and understanding and ways of the past, as you cleave to Me and My new weapons as you never have before.

49. There will no longer be room for leaning on your own strength, experience, wisdom‚ knowledge, or natural abilities. This is the year of learning to lean and depend wholly on Me and the new weapons to see you through. You will discover that nothing else but Me and My full power will give you the anointing and strength you need.

50. So, My loves, if you want to keep moving forward, if you want to keep advancing as My Endtime warriors‚ you must pass through this year. It will burn off the dross and all that stands in the way of each of you becoming warriors of the spirit. You will feel in want in the natural; you will feel weak; you will feel dependent; you will feel humbled. But what will be left will be a warrior fashioned by My hand and not his own—a warrior worthy and ready and prepared to enter the days of battle before us.

51. Those of you who choose Me and who choose to embrace the new weapons will be helped. You will be strengthened inwardly, and you will meet the demands before you.—Not by natural means, but by supernatural means. Those who choose to operate the same way they have in the past will struggle and fall short. Each of you will have your commitment and dedication tested. To make it through this year you will have to leave behind the old ways, attitudes, and mindsets that are not in line with My Word and My new weaponry of the spirit.

52. Time is short, My loves, much shorter than you realize, and even shorter than some of you have purposed to believe. For this reason alone I must prepare you, I must test you‚ I must have you run with weights to strengthen you for what is ahead. I have great need of each of you. These are days of challenge, with more to come as the year passes. These are times of great change and movement in the spirit, but I tell you now openly as My friends and lovers, and as My future warriors, that these present battles are small when compared to what is to come upon the world.

53. Soon there will be great‚ great change all around you. The world and the peoples of the Earth will moan and heave under these changes. Darkness will prevail. You, My chosen ones‚ will be the lights within this darkness. But you can only be those lights by embracing Me and My new weapons in full. Everything will depend on your sensitivity in the spirit‚ because you will be responsible for many.

54. I allow this year and all of its many demands—even its "impossibilities"—to wash away any trace of the old. I use it to usher into the new year a transformed Family, a Family cleansed of the old and ready to face the future.

55. You are all being put to the test. How much do you really believe in My power to work through you, even when your own natural strength fails? How much do you really believe in the new weapons? How much do you really believe that they are your only hope, and your only salvation and means by which to defeat the Enemy? How much do you really believe My Words poured forth through David and Maria and Peter?

56. Only those who believe and truly live those Words will be left standing at the end of this year. This year you will each face your own inability to meet the demands before you. You will each face your own natural weakness. You will each feel more in need of Me than you ever have before. You will each feel more in need of My Word than you ever have before. You will each feel more in need of hearing My voice and specific personal instruction than you ever have before. You will each feel in desperate need of My strength to keep you.

57. So, My loves, trust Me that you each have too much to lose if I don't place these weights and demands and seemingly impossible challenges and tasks before you. So much has been invested in you, and My need for each of you is great. I must prove who is worthy to be called part of My elite army, and who is worthy to be given the power and anointing promised to those who walk with Me into the end of days.

58. I continue this strengthening—to purge, purify, and cleanse all of you. I can't afford to let you lose the momentum you have gained through the renewal; I can't afford to turn down the heat. Some of you will feel as if you are being tried in the fire seven times seven, and still I put you back into the furnace. At times it will seem as though the end of that heat will never be in sight. But it will, My loves. It will.

59. I need you who are willing to allow Me to strap on the weights and demands, to not spare in delivering to you what you need this year to be strengthened. I need you who trust implicitly in My foresight and love in giving you what you need in order to be a soldier in My Endtime army. I need you who choose to lean on Me, for you know and trust that in that leaning you will find your strength.

60. I need you who are willing to crawl across the finish line of this year on your hands and knees if necessary, because of your belief and faith in Me and in the calling and destiny I have promised you as part of David's band. Some of you will be moving ahead by naked faith alone, but in this nakedness you will win. In this nakedness and dependence you will possess My full power! (End of message.)

How to Take My Yoke Upon You

61. (Jesus:) I told you that My yoke is easy and My burden is light. I told you that if you feel heavy-laden, to come to Me and I would give you rest. I told you that I would help you to bear the yoke I've given you, and that I would also bring rest to your soul. Those are My promises to you. Yet some of you look at those promises and wonder if I've gone back on My Word. If My yoke truly is easy and My burden is light, then why do all the things I'm asking of you and putting you through seem so difficult and heavy—the exact opposite of My promise? Why do you feel more heavy-laden than ever before? If My promise is true, then how come it's been so hard to find that "rest to your soul" that I spoke of?

62. I understand how you can feel that through all these changes the Family is going through—both the restructuring and strengthening, as well as the personal changes I am bringing into your lives—I've just offered you a very heavy and cumbersome yoke to wear. It's beginning to look to some of you like the beginning of a very pressurized year, and you wonder if you'll have the wherewithal to make it through.

63. You understand the concept that this is wartime‚ so more is required of you and you will have to fight harder. You accept that concept and are trying your hardest to take on the new challenges and changes with the attitude of warriors, striving to believe that I know what I'm doing and wouldn't give you more than you can bear.

64. But even then I understand why you're tempted to wonder why I'm asking so much of you all at once. Why am I putting so much pressure on you? Why am I demanding so much fight and forward movement? Do I understand your weak, human frame? Do I understand what you're going through, the battles you're facing, the difficulties you're encountering, the trials of daily life?

65. My courageous ones, I have not forgotten who you are. I have not forgotten your frame, and that you are but dust. I have not forgotten your tender hearts. I have not forgotten your personal prayers and intimate needs. I have not forgotten your individual strengths and special weaknesses. I have not forgotten you. Rest assured that I have not given you more than you can bear.

66. This time of increased pressure, change, challenge, and required progress, is all a part of the year of strengthening. But I want to clarify something for you: When I say that the reason I am giving you so much to do during these days is because I want you to be strengthened, I do not mean that I want you to try to bear these burdens on your own, struggling through each day just to make it to the end of the year in a collapsed heap. The strengthening is not defined by you bearing all the pressure by yourself till the end. That is not what will strengthen you—in fact, that will only weaken you!

67. Think about it for a moment. How do you think I would most want you to be strengthened? Do you think it's through being able to bear a number of burdens for an extended period of time? Some of you have unconsciously taken on this misconception, "Well, since things are heating up and the battles are getting tougher, I just need to expect to have to bear all these heavy burdens all of the time." But see, that's precisely why you are feeling overwhelmed right now. That's why you're wondering if you can make it through the remainder of this year and all that is to come. That's why you feel discouraged and weary. You've only applied half of My promise and have failed to put the other half into effect.

68. You've applied the "take My yoke upon you," but what about the rest of the command—"and learn of Me"? With all that I have asked you to take on, can you say that you've then done your part by learning of Me? And what is learning of Me? That's pretty much described in the next phrase: "for I am meek and lowly of heart." In order to effectively take My yoke upon you, you first have to come to Me to take on My qualities of spirit and My strength. And what have I promised you through fulfilling those steps? "And you shall find rest unto your soul." To put it in modern-day terms, you won't feel under pressure, you won't feel overwhelmed, you won't feel burdened. I will give you rest, peace in the midst of storm, strength to bear My yoke, and faith to see each day through to the end.

69. That promise includes a lot of important instruction that can help you to rise above your feelings right now. Yes, I have given you My yoke to bear, but not so that you could bear it alone. This is My yoke, it's around My neck‚ and by giving it to you I am not taking it off and placing it entirely on your shoulders. Instead, I'm stooping to your level and bringing you under this yoke along with Me. That is the picture you should visualize when you're met with new challenges or changes. Whatever I ask you to do, I am simply asking you to accompany Me through it, and not the other way around.

70. When I give you a new challenge, I am in essence asking you to take on a new challenge together with Me. When I bring you to a new battlefront‚ I am holding your hand and asking you to fight alongside Me. When I bring you the gift of change, I am asking you to unwrap and experience this present with Me. And when I bring you a new yoke to bear‚ a new burden to lift‚ a new cross to carry, I am merely asking you to come and lift the load with Me, to come under the yoke with Me, to come lock arms with Me beneath the cross.

71. Yes, it will seem heavy at times, but it will never be more than you can bear as long as you are letting Me bear the brunt of the load. At times, when I know you can handle it, I will allow a little more pressure on your side of the burden—but never more weight than you can bear. Remember that I will never ask you to carry the heavier end of the yoke. The only time it will ever feel like too much to bear is when you try to lift the load without Me.

72. In order to truly reap the blessing of strengthening that I've promised you‚ you must learn to let Me carry the heavier load. This is called the art of dependence. You must learn to let your weak arm grasp hold of Mine so that My strength can carry what you cannot. You must learn to let the added pressure‚ the added heat of the battles, the added intensity in the spirit world cause you to "come learn of Me." You must learn the art of dependence.

73. It is through coming to Me when you feel heavy–laden and drawing from My strength and receiving My rest that you will truly receive the strengthening I have for you. You won't be strengthened through trying to carry the cross alone. You won't be strengthened through taking on the yoke without Me. You will only be strengthened through leaning heavily on Me. This is the type of strengthening I have promised you, that out of your weakness you can be made strong; that through your weakness, My strength can be made perfect.

74. Remember that the goal is that you become more like Me. The goal is that you allow Me to have full possession of you. In order to reach that goal, you must start with these steps of greater dependence on Me. You must learn to cast your cares on Me when you feel under pressure. You must learn to let My strength transform your weaknesses into greater strength. You must learn to let My Spirit work through you little by little each day, so that eventually this goal will be reached—that of My Spirit fully possessing yours.

75. What I'm asking of you right now is that you step out on the water and walk on to what I have for you. But this is an impossible feat for you to do in your human, fleshly form. Your physical body cannot walk on the water without sinking—just as you personally can't handle all that I'm asking of you during this time. But My Spirit can. When My Father called Me to walk on the water, He knew My physical body couldn't perform the task. But when His Spirit merged with My flesh, then the impossible was made possible, and we made history that day.

76. This is what I'm asking of you right now—that you allow My Spirit to merge more fully with your heart‚ mind, body, and spirit. Allow Me to possess you through your dependence on Me, and I will enable you to do the impossible and walk on the waters of this time.

77. Yes, I am asking you to do the impossible right now. I do this because it forces you to come to Me, to learn of Me, to discover My power, to reach out for My strength, to find My ability, and to take on My Spirit. I know that this is the only way you will reach My goals for you, and this is the only way you will live the destiny I have promised you—through My Spirit working in you.

78. So, My loves, won't you let Me back under this yoke with you? Some of you, with the press of all there is to do, have hastily taken the yoke off My shoulders and have tried to bear it completely by yourself. But now you're tired and weary, you're panting for a break and wondering why everything just seems so difficult and overwhelming. You're wondering if you really have the strength to carry this yoke till the end of the year, much less the years to follow.

79. To those of you who feel this way‚ I say yet again: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Yes, come to Me, and as you lie by My side to receive My strength, this yoke will automatically find its rightful Owner and link over My shoulders yet again. Then, together beneath this yoke of challenge and service, I will teach you all there is to know about bearing this yoke correctly. I will give you the qualities of My Spirit, that of meekness and lowliness, humility and patience, strength and perseverance, determination and faith.

80. As you receive of Me, you will find rest to your soul. You will feel your ruffled nerves soothed by My whispers. You will feel your sore muscles strengthened by My promises. As you once again allow Me the lion's share of the yoke, I will then be fully able to bring you victoriously through this year of strengthening. I will see to it that by the end of this year you are fully strengthened, as I have promised. (End of message.)


81. (Mama:) When there's so much to do, it can be very tempting to skimp on your Word time, or to rush through it without really taking the time to absorb and learn what the Lord wants to show you through it. When you feel overwhelmed with all that's on your plate, and the many to-dos you have to accomplish—which there are a lot of right now—it's easy to feel like you can excuse yourself from having good, solid Word time, because you feel you just don't have the time.

82. But the Lord won't excuse you. As you know, He wants to have first place in your heart and life. He wants your prime time every single day, as He so clearly and strongly stated in "What Is Jesus Worth to You?" So, as a reminder of this important principle that we've heard over and over again, but sometimes grow slack in, here's a message from our Husband to help us to remember that "We cannot do the Master's work without the Master's power!"

83. (Jesus: ) No matter how much there is to do, it's unacceptable to put Me in second place. I can't and won't stand for that. I always deserve first place, no matter how many items you have on your to-do list, no matter how burdened you feel with all the work there is to do, no matter how important other things might seem to you. And if you don't keep Me in first place, you are the one who will feel the loss.

84. When there's so much to do, you need My help and strength and anointing and power even more desperately than ever‚ not less than ever. When you have a myriad of details to take care of, and so many important work items on your plate, then you need My supernatural empowerment and discernment more than ever, not less than ever. Everything you need during busy and stressful times is found during your times with Me, and your times of reading and absorbing My Word. There is no other source.

85. If you're ever tempted to skip or skimp on your Word‚ don't do it! There's no benefit whatsoever in doing so. You're not going to get more done if you neglect Me. You're not going to accomplish more if you forget Me. You're not going to make more progress if you overlook Me and decide to forsake your time with Me and go on to other things. You'll get less done, you'll feel more drained, and you won't have My supernatural anointing and strength that you so desperately need.

86. So remind yourself of these three words when you're considering excusing yourself from your most important appointment of the day: "Don't do it!" I bless those who keep Me in first place‚ and who consider Me and their time with Me more important than anything else. (End of message.)

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