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THE SILENCE OF THE LAMB
I have received some beautiful revelations from Father in this week and how they came to me is so typical of my walk with Him. I had a “moment” with my daughter this weekend that caused me so much frustration that I thought that I was about to explode. A whole lot of pent up frustration. In order for you to understand and have context why I say this, it is necessary that you understand my present situation, but also to hold it in the light of what Father is saying to you through this devotional. By no means am I seeking sympathy or consolation. This is for your edification as much as it is for mine.
My daughter has 3 different disorders. She has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), which basically means that all her senses, her touch, sight, movement and hearing, are all overcharged and easily overstimulated. I call her neurons “super neurons”. This created from a very young age an extreme sense of feeling out of control and very unsafe. Because of this sense of loss of control, it introduced the next disorder as it slowly developed into anxiety. She has both general and social anxiety which means she pretty much have anxiety about general things we would not even consider. The social anxiety is then linked to many insecure feelings and therefore an inability to just be and have eye contact. She is now 16 years old in February and so this has been my “normal”. These disorders are what typically are to be associated with those on the autism spectrum. It is a whole basket of goodies so to speak. One of those are the accompanying obsessive behaviors. These stem out of a need to create a safe environment and to have a sense of control. I have seen these obsessive behaviors as the cherry on the cake. And this is what my moment was all about this week. Her compulsive behavior escalated from being a tiny cherry to a whole new cake! All my pent up frustrations was born out of the fact that I was not in control of what I was subjected to, which was her overbearing questions day in and day out. I discovered that her obsessive behavior is not that of what we typically would consider to be OCD, which is to repeatedly wash your hands, or check the windows or doors, or different repeated actions. She has relational obsessive compulsions. The same questions are asked over and over and the truth is that it is not about the answer but the question in itself, which is the obsessive behavior. It comes in the form of threats, pleas, panic attacks, whining and outright assault at times. It never stops, nor does it give you a break to catch your breath. It is a constant assault on your sanity and it sucks you into a whirlpool of trying to make sense of it all. There is no peace in that whirlpool. I discovered that her OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is on three levels. She constantly worries about whether she will die. I cannot even mention any symptoms of any sickness. She is finely tuned into the slightest discomfort in her body. Google has no match to her on how long she predicts to be alive before she dies a horrible death according to her. Then she also constantly obsesses whether any friends or interactions are true. She doubts her interactions and theirs. The last obsession is her relationship with the Lord. She doubts everything she says to Him and has to repeat prayers over and over in order to convince herself that what she has done is indeed sufficient. It is obsession within obsession. My job according to her is to convince her otherwise.
When the realization hit me that this cherry is indeed a cake, I was reliving the moment I first received the diagnoses of her anxiety and SPD disorders. A silence creeps in and settles into a numbness. This is followed with grief and a sense of being completely overwhelmed. In that moment of utter devastation so familiar to me, He spoke to me. No other voice is desired in that moment. For it is only His voice that can calm a storm. My daughter has been His main source of molding me into the person I am today. And because she has given her heart to Him the disorders she has are the main way He molds her now. She has grown so much in her relationship with the Lord that one seldom see in teenagers, even if it is under the shadow of disorders. Oh, the manifold wisdom of God! I willingly submit myself under His mighty and loving hand. I kiss the hand that smites me. For it is the same hand that will raise me.
In verse 7 of Isaiah 53 we read:
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
Not many people have seen lambs being slaughtered. I have from a young age been exposed to this reality and it is truly remarkable how silently that lamb lies there, without even making one move or sound, even whilst its throat is being slit. It is truely one of the most surreal things to watch.In this regard Father has given me provision for His call unto priesthood in the form of 3 words that serve as a compass on this very difficult journey Please read the devotional posted before this called "A call unto Priesthood"..
Last year the words were Discernment, Discipline and Devotion. I wrote a book called “The Fields of Gold” discussing these three words. I encourage you to download it from my website for free under the My Books page. It is in pdf format. It is a culmination of 12 years of sanctification that I have gone through and it is for the ministering of the Bride. This year the words I received are Simplicity, Solitude and Silence. A brief description of what I mean by Simplicity, Solitude and Silence is necessary so that you may understand why this is a provision unto priesthood.
Simplicity is that of which constitute living without distractions. A simple life where things are not complicated, even if the world is. Having a childlike faith. Where you only do one thing at a time and are never in a hurry. Even eating simplistic and slowly. Living with intention and focus.
Solitude is that which I spoke in The Call unto Priesthood” devotion about of being without father, mother or neighbor. It is without soulish ties to not only people but the things of this world, even the Christian credence and direction. It is all together being set apart for Him. It is walking with God alone. The abiding alone in His presence even when you are with people. A. W. Tozer said, “The saint must walk alone”.
Silence is that of silencing the voices without and your own voice in order to hear and speak when, how and what as He determines. To have the ability to take all your thoughts captive and not just the negative.
As is true with the ways of God, which is the wisdom of God, there are always different degrees we enter into them. Always dependent on the degree we are willing to die to self. These 3 words are interwoven and have an influence on one another to the degree you are in them and live them out on a daily basis. And of course, we can all do these things, but the question remains, “Can we do them as a way of life?” That is to say without end. The issue of these 3 words are Priestliness, which is holiness. We see holiness as the absence of sin, but God sees it as a consecrated life unto Him. Two very different things. All is worship to the priest and worship is not just a song we sing, it is the life we live.
The reason why this particular verse in Isaiah 53 caught my attention is because of the subject He has been bringing to my attention of late. This subject is the word guile which is the key to silence in the context explained as before. Guile according to the dictionary is to be cunning or deceptive. It is about having an ulterior motive. At the essence of being without guile is to not have any consideration for oneself. Let that sink in a bit.
I caught myself in the act of transgressing and miserably failing at simplicity this weekend. As mothers do I was multitasking like crazy. Something I am quite good at, which makes it all the more a temptation and strength to which I am to die to. I asked Father what it was specifically I was to die to with regard to multitasking.
Did not see that coming.
He said that impulse is that which stems out of ulterior motives, even if they are good. If anyone had to ask you to define impulse, you would probably hear that it is to act without thinking.
“So what does impulse have to do with multitasking?” I asked?
“I am never in a hurry and I am never late”.
To cease from multitasking is to teach us the ability to not be hasty, to be intentional, focus and to learn self-control. Particularly in the area of waiting. Something seriously lacking in this microwave culture of today. It is then that the revelation dawned on me. WAITING IS PRIESTLY. The reason we wait is so that what we do is directed by the Spirit of God and not by our good intentions, desire to be heard, frustrations, or even because we are “the go to guy” for advice. My circumstances are loaded with demands, threats and so many “voices” screaming at me to react, to do now that I just stand in awe of His perfect plan to teach me silence, as He sees it, in the midst of all of it.
The Levitical priests after consecration and many animal sacrifices were required to wait outside of the tent of meeting for 7 days. I realized that this waiting was not a waiting for something, but rather the waiting was the consecration in itself. Waiting is priestly. It is to not live from out of our selfish motives and concerns, even legitimate concerns, to be without guile.
We read in the last part of verse 9 in Isaiah 53…
…because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
That word deceit is a synonym of the word guile. This absence of guile was the very provision for the Son of God to have been able to not open his mouth and to be as a sheep before His shearers. And through my precious daughter with her flood of questions, anxiety attacks and heartache, I am oppressed and afflicted, sharing in the suffering of our Savior. If there is guile to be found in me, I will not be silent and will act out of impulse. That is not to say that I am to ignore her, but the silence will be that which flows out of guilelessness that will give me the wisdom to answer because I have learned to wait. In the first line of verse 10 in Isaiah 53 we read a staggering truth that few have contemplated. When I read it in light of what I am enduring I could only cry. Something transpired in me. It changed me and left me in wonder at the wisdom of God. Not only that, but the privilege of it all.
Isaiah 53: 10
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief…
Jesus is the Patterned Son, our Forerunner. He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me”. Not all of us have the same crosses to bear. It comes in different forms. It behooves us to discern between spiritual attacks and our crosses to bear. However, what we need to grasp and contemplate is how we bear our cross. Are we without guile? When our buttons are pushed, do we have to defend ourselves? Are we running with the crowd or have we seen the gift that silence truly is. Are we priestly in our lives no matter what we do? Because when Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God laid on the altar, He laid His life down willingly. Not trying to save face or defend Himself. His sacrifice was priestly. Is the sacrifice of your life that you bring to Him priestly or is there still self-serving and self-consideration in your doing? Is there guile? Are you able to wait?
My mentor, Arthur Katz, once said the following, “Martyrdom is meekly suffering in adversity, even unto death. It is the ultimate expression of love and resurrection life”.
How you die now matters, because it will determine how you will die should it be required of you one day.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints
The day may come when I will have to lay my life down and how I lay it down will be the summation of all my dying I have done up until that very moment. Will I be struggling, defending or even crying out, or will I be without guile? Will I be dumb and silent as a lamb led to the slaughter?