By Jim Stockstill
For those of you that have not experience tests, trials and/or a prolonged time in the wilderness over the course of months or years you can stop reading, this will not apply to you and will be irrelevant. With a genuine heart, I am thankful that you are one that has enjoyed success, prosperity and the blessings of the Lord.
For others, you may find the words in the attached will ring true in your life and circumstances. If not, delete and move on with thanksgiving that all is well. A few, within the remnant of the Ecclesia, will identify with our circumstance in one way or another. This is not intended for sympathy or “poor Jim and his family” but an exhortation of truth and reality that few are willing to discuss and absolutely not acknowledge from a multiplicity of “Pulpits”, conferences or the preponderance of prophetic themes heralding bubbles, rainbows and anything that “tickles the ears.” While there is certainly credible good news in true prophetic words today, I personally believe many of the minor and major prophets of the Old Testament would not be “given the microphone” today.
Of my 43 years (yesterday was my born-again birthday) in walking with the Lord in various capacities, I have never experience what my family has endured the last five (plus) years. Grounded in scripture, an anointed teacher and prophetic/seer, balanced with minor degrees in Marketing/Economics and an MBA in International Finance (all with honors), I have been valued for my balanced approach (the Ecclesia and Marketplace) in giving advice and discerning both in spiritual and natural matters. Not arrogant or with pride but saying I am stable and think both logically (pragmatically as my mom would say) and spiritually. Other than knowing Father is still on the throne and we are his chosen children, I have no answer for these past five years. If you choose, you can read the attached as to what the Lord has given me as an allegory to our situation – not a definitive answer, just pointing to scripture to show that this has occurred with others and may describe your situation.
Let me end with some good news. For nearly three months I have been rubbing a gold coin (the coin pictured below the other in the photo) that was given to me by someone at our Church – it’s a knockoff of a Spanish Gold doubloon. I have rub it when fasting, praying just talking with my friend – the “Carpenter.” Eventually guess it will wear-down. It came to my attention when reading the story of Peter and Jesus as they needed to pay their Temple Taxes. To keep from bringing reproach on either of them, His disciples, His ministry and especially His Father. As you can see in Matthew, Jesus sent Peter to catch a fish and, in its mouth, he would find a gold coin enabling them to pay the Temple Tax. Peter obeyed and paid the tax thus avoiding any reproach.
What I noted from the story was nobody suggested that Jesus should get a day or night job to pay the tax, neither did anyone suggest Peter return to Galilee and the fishing business that would enable him to pay their taxes. Understand, there is nothing wrong with either suggestion (as the Apostle Paul worked) but Jesus had limited time and so much to teach and display the miracles, signs and wonders that confirmed His identity as the Son of God. (John 10:38) So, when the Lord has closed (barricaded) the door for employment for more than five years (and believe me I have done everything to kick down doors – applying for thousands of jobs from CEO to the local pet store), I was led to the story of the gold coin. You can think us ignorant, naive or simply stupid but we believe in miraculous miracles – yes, gold coins in a fish’s mouth, gold dust, gold bricks, money given anonymously, automobiles donated, PayPal as some have given to the NWC, etc., etc.
The good news. Received a package today (had to be signed) which nowadays is usually bad tidings. But this was from a friend, a gifted intercessory. It was lightweight so we had no idea what it contained. When we opened it, and seeing what it was we wept – good tears. The box contained a real gold South African Krugerrand – nearly the same size as the one I had been rubbing during my prayer time over the last few months. The person knows who they are and we are thankful while simultaneously weeping and laughing at the “Carpenters” sense of humor. If you knew what my conversations are (Luke and Kimberly listen to me talk out loud) with the Lord about the coin, Him not wanting to get in debt or bringing shame and embarrassment to His ministry or His Father – it shows my friend (our friend) is Cajun. Well maybe not from the bayou but He certainly has a fun side, sense of humor and loves to laugh (you should hear Him laugh). Thank you – our friend and valued intercessor, without knowing the Lord used your gift as more than a blessing.
Finally, my prayer is that the word of “Attacking God in your Darkest Hour” will be a blessing. Please feel free to pass along the attached if you know someone that may be blessed by this Word of God in their situation.
Attacking God in your “Darkest Hour”
(Satan overstepping His Boundaries)
Hezekiah presents the letter
The scriptures have a couple of things to say about the Word of God before beginning what Holy Spirit has shown me.
The first is in II Timothy 2:15, “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” (AMP)
The second is in the following chapter of II Timothy, 3:16, “Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness.” (TPT)
As “Christians” we are encouraged to study the scriptures and believe they are God-breathed and profitable for instruction and serve as a source of truth which is as valid today as they were when written.1 When given a vision and/or prophetic word, over forty-three years, I confirm their validity with scripture as a sounding board for accuracy and truth. We, like the Berean Jews, should receive words of truth but examine the Scriptures for their legitimacy. (Acts 17:11) Thus, you will have a lot of scriptures referenced in the following.
The Winepress – “When Hope is Deferred”
If you take a few minutes to read II Chronicles 32 you will understand the backdrop for the wilderness (barren place), winepress (pressed beyond measure) and trail of faith (remember Peter and his denial) that King Hezekiah and the citizens underwent when the King of Assyria invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities. At this point, unlike many previous King’s, Hezekiah was a good leader, crying out to God, “I have walked before You in faithfulness and truth and with a whole heart [entirely devoted to You], and have done what is good in Your sight.” (II Kings 20:3) The Lord rewarded the King’s prayer by healing him from a life-threatening sickness. While others in the scriptures could be allegorical, the Spirit spoke expressly of Joseph – the eleventh son of Jacob (Israel). At seventeen years old, although innocent and a righteous young man, he suffered through thirteen years as a slave that spend many years in the political prison (more like a dungeon) of Pharaoh and his high-ranking officials. In Psalms 105:18 we are told he was severely punished and tortured.
If you have read the book or watched the movie “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, you may recall the land had suffered harsh winter conditions for hundreds of years due to an evil White Witch.2 Today, for some of the remnant of the Church (Ecclesia), you have suffered months, and perhaps years, of a prolonged “winter” – or being imprisoned (boxed in) as Joseph.
While not perfect because of human effort; you may be like King Hezekiah, or to some degree like young Joseph, you have walked before the Lord in faithfulness, truth and with a whole heart. Nevertheless, without a secret or hidden sin (as King David), you find yourself with your back to the Red Sea (a position not of their own making), in Lo-debar (barren wilderness) as Mephibosheth (II Samuel 9:4), deathly ill as Hezekiah or as the Apostle Paul (received 39 lashes five times, beaten with rods three times, pelted with stones and left for dead once, shipwrecked three times, went without sleep and knew hunger and thirst). It is interesting that the word Lo-debar can also mean “no pasture”, “no word” or “no communication.”3
Once Joseph had accurately interpreted the dreams of the baker and cupbearer while in prison (Genesis 40:12-18), it was two years later before the cupbearer conveniently remembered his “friend” in prison. As you may experience during extended time in the wilderness (a myriad of test and trials), friends and family may forget you, “spiritual prognosticators” (remember Job’s three comforters) repeatedly attribute various obstructions (generational curses or hexes in your bloodline, pride, arrogance, the spirit of religion, robbing God – a favorite among evangelist and messengers of the prosperity doctrine, etc., etc.) to your breakthrough. And sadly, heaven regularly seems like it’s made of brass – “no word” or “no communication” regardless of fasting, praying and crying out to God.
Let me be so bold as to say the majority of the time for true followers of Christ, the remnant, the “stuff” you hear or advice given is complete rubbish. When you feel like dying and giving up, even well-intended encouragement (the greater the trial the greater you are going to be used, when a job opportunity closes there is always the proverbial better job ahead, your breakthrough is just ahead which you’ve heard time and time again over the months or years, brother/sister you just need faith, we’re praying for you, etc. etc.,) is like sand in the eyes or gravel on the teeth (Proverbs 10:26, 14:17, Lamentations 3:16).
Before moving to overstepping boundaries, let’s not forget the “accusers” (Satan) during your time of refining (Isaiah 48:10) – starting with Eve (Genesis 3), Job (Job 2), Joshua (Zechariah 3:3), Jesus (Matthew 4) and the brethren (Revelation 12:10) these evil legions thrive on the terror of night and flaming arrows by day. (Psalm 91:5, Ephesians 6:16) The nonstop barrage of accusations will mercilessly condemn your “lack of faith”, “robbing God”, “pride/arrogance”, “previous sins and failures”, “bad decisions”, “failed marriages”, “disobedient children” and the list goes on and on and is relentless. These are lies (John 8:44) meant to discourage, cause sleepless nights, days of anguish and finally destroy your hope (Proverbs 13:12) and trust in God.
If it sounds familiar, I have some encouraging news – you are in good company. Many do not know or will not teach but the following notable biblical characters; Job (3:3, 11:26), Jonah (4:3), Moses (Numbers 11:15), Elijah (I Kings 19:4) and Jeremiah (15:10, 20:14-18) at one time or another asked God to “kill them.”
Satan – “Overstepping His Boundaries”
When you have gone through months or years of your own “wilderness”, whatever that may be, without an answer from heaven, there is another step in the process of trying to destroy you that is recorded in the bible. This is for the remnant, as King Hezekiah, that have remained faithful and wholly trust in the Lord with their whole heart. There comes a point in your fiery furnace, when seeing no answer to your faithfulness or prayers, Satan (more likely legions of demons) begin to taunt and insult God through you.
We experienced this several weeks ago. After more than five years of continually taking nightly communion (two times for 50 nights in a row per the Lord and on other occasions), regular fast and continuous prayer there has been no tangible answer or breakthrough. As a dart in our heart, we were told by a “brother” (see Matthew 16:23 and Mark 8:33) that “God has not answered your prayers in five years what makes you think He is going to answer you in the next few weeks or month?” (a deadline for debt) There was more, a lot more, but suffice to say this tormented us for several days and nights. In despair, the Lord took me to the account of Hezekiah where the demonic forces of evil crossed their boundaries.
Taunting the people and the Lord God of Israel: Isaiah 36: “3 Then the Rabshakeh (military commander) stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you; 15 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will most certainly rescue us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” He went on to say, “18 Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, “The Lord will rescue us.” Has any one of the gods of the nation’s [ever] rescued his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have rescued their land from my hand, that [you should think that] the Lord would rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’”
II Chronicles 32: “15 Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t let him fool you like this! I say it again—no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power! 16 And Sennacherib’s officers further mocked the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah, heaping insult upon insult. 17 The king also sent letters scorning the Lord, the God of Israel. He wrote, “Just as the gods of all the other nations failed to rescue their people from my power, so the God of Hezekiah will also fail.” 18 The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in Hebrew to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city. 19 These officers talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands.
Heartbroken from the taunts of the enemy: Isaiah 37: When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amos. 3 They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, pray for the remnant that still survives.”
Prayer of Desperation in the House of the Lord: Isaiah 37: 14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying, 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt and defy the living God.
Response of the Lord – the God of Israel: Isaiah 37: “21 Then Isaiah son of Amos sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria this is the word the Lord has spoken against him: “23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord.” And the Lord says, “28 “But I know where you are and when you come and go and how you rage against me. 29 Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.
The Judgment of Evil Overstepping their Boundaries: 33 Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 34 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,” declares the Lord. 35 “I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!” 36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.
Filled with pride and arrogance, when demonic forces ostensibly attack with impunity for prolonged seasons of refining (Isaiah 43:10) and unprecedented trials, and believing they have destroyed all faith and hope in the child of God, these evil forces will begin raging against the Lord God and viciously attack His reputation. How? As was the afore mentioned case with Hezekiah and the citizens of Samaria (Judah). When you have reached the end, you can be sure demonic puppets of Satan will attack God and His reputation through you. With hope deferred, we leave you our friends with the cry of our heart: Psalms 139. Father, avenge your children that trust in you. God bless each of you and God bless the U.S.A.