One of the songs we sang in church years ago dealt with trusting and obeying the Lord – “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.”1 Written by John H. Sammis in 1887, the lyrics of “Trust and Obey” encourages faithfulness and the subsequent rewards of obedience. These divinely inspired words are found throughout scripture as in, Psalms 84: “12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those that trust in you.” Further, the Prophet Isaiah similarly decrees in chapter 50: “10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.”
With such promises of reward why is it so hard to simply “trust and obey?” While there may be many reasons a true child of God is unable, or unwilling to follow these basic tenants of scripture, I will only speak of my own heart and struggle with “trust.” Like a Crustacean (crawfish for my fellow Cajuns) cautiously shedding its shell, and as an introspective and private individual, I will follow the Scottish proverb, “open confession is good for the soul,”2 or the often misinterpreted scripture in James 5: “16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” The actual truth and interpretation are to confess your sins to a brother or sister that you have sinned against; it is not an encouragement to unload a laundry list of transgressions. Be that as it may, I reluctantly move forward with what Holy Spirit has prompted me to share with believer and non-believer alike.
A “Fatherless spirit”
Christian Therapist and Counselor, Dr. Steven Lambert believes, “The void of fatherhood can be filled by nothing and no one else. Motherhood, though needed and necessary, is no substitute for fatherhood. Mothering, even by the most competent of mothers, cannot replace or substitute for fathering. When and where there is motherhood but no fatherhood, there is a stark lack of what fatherhood provides, along with the inevitable and unavoidable fruits and consequences of that lack. It is the father in a child’s life who is the anchor and the moorings to which he/she must secure their life-lines. Fatherless children are inevitably children adrift, anchorless, and devoid of spiritual, moral, and psychological moorings, unless and until they connect directly with their Heavenly Father and Creator.”3 While there is truth in Dr. Lambert’s statement, I have “connected” with my Heavenly Father through Jesus (John 14:6) forty-three years ago and still struggle with a “fatherless spirit” and that simple issue of – trust. Let me also add that having a “biological” father in the home is not the same as having a loving “Father” – or as Dr. Lambert states, “what fatherhood provides.” Absent because of work, hobbies, or purchasing “stuff” in lieu of spending quality time is not a substitute for a true role model who affectionately displays the unconditional love of a father. There are many adults that suffer from a “Fatherless spirit” who had a “Dad” in the home.
Do we trust God
I fondly remember when my son was still a toddler standing on the side of the swimming pool being encouraged to jump into “daddy’s arms” – with the assurance that “I’ll catch you.” He screamed with delight as I caught him and the trust of “daddy” catching him was further bonded. What if I had not caught him and fulfilled my promise? Perhaps it was a teachable moment as some theologians espouse; don’t catch him, and let him swallow a little pool water, it will teach him that life is hard, and you cannot always count on other people. Or, I was just testing his love, perhaps his faith, etc., etc. An emphatic, NO – that reasoning for me personally is absolute nonsense – similar to Job’s three “comforters” whom, as you may recall, were the recipients of God’s anger. Although not a certified counselor, I believe his trust in “daddy” would have been broken and regaining that trust would have taken a lot of time and effort on “daddy’s” part.
In everyday life do we trust that we will not have a flat tire while driving, but keep a spare in the trunk, or that our house will not suffer damage, but we are required to have insurance? On the other hand, we believe our brakes will work as we drive, or we sleep at night without worry of disaster striking our home. What about money, it has “In God We Trust” but it is only minted coins or special paper that translates to the store employee that they can “trust” the money is good. Nevertheless, with growing regularity merchants are inspecting bills for counterfeits. Thus, in our everyday life, are we checking God’s word for its reliability? Afterall, scripture contains many promises and we are taught that He is willing and has unlimited power to fulfill them.
Moreover, we are taught in Proverbs 3: “5 Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.6 In all your ways, know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Thus, is God’s word always trustworthy, or does it only work for a select few? In life’s lessons, it seems to work at times but not so much in others. One thing is for sure, we view the events in life from our vulnerable and weak natural condition. (Psalms 39:4; 103:14)
Has God ever failed you?
Yes, of course He has. Now, as defenders of God, before screaming heretic and blasphemer, let’s look at a few examples. First let’s postulate that you have done everything possible to “please” God. You have fasted, prayed, cried out in your pain and sorrow over and over (Luke 18:2-5), yet the result is a resounding silence with no answer. As the saying goes, “heaven seems to be made of brass” during those overwhelming times. So, have you ever lost a loved one? Did a marriage end in divorce? Do you still have the same tormenting habit(s)? How about losing a job and then searching for months or years without success? There are others; go through a foreclosure with nowhere to go, suffer physical and/or sexual abuse for years, and one of the most questionable and debilitating – health issues. Still fighting some form of life-threatening disease, suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and the medical and psychological lists are innumerable. Yet, for each one of these examples there are promises in scripture that contradict our experience. What we are going through is real, so why are the scriptural promises not being fulfilled? Most “healing ministries” blame it on our (the sheep) lack of faith.
Most often, when trials begin, we simply want to understand what is going on and why. It may take time but eventually we can reject God (lose trust) or simply accept that He works on a different timetable than our minds comprehend. Afterall, God promised Abraham a son from his own body through his wife Sarah. Miserably in that culture (a barren wife), it was nearly twenty-five years later (Genesis 17) before this promise was fulfilled. In the meantime, Abraham and Sarah had difficulty trusting God and tried their own methods to fulfill the promise (as most of us do). We want what we want and we want it – now. It is difficult to trust in a plan that requires complete surrender and control – of the time and method for completion.
We often hear that God is never on time but He is never late. Really? I don’t think the thirteen years that Joseph suffered as a slave, unjustly imprisoned and tortured, would quality as “never being late” or at a minimum, the six months that the righteous Job suffered.
Purposely, I left off with righteous Job to given insight, a clue so to speak, into the Divine nature of God. If you will read chapters 38 through 41 you will note that God (Jehovah) never responds to Job’s questions or accusations. Actually, Jehovah says in chapter 42: “7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.’” So much for the defense team of God and the audacity of Job to accuse and speak so boldly in his anguish. My point, after forty-three years, for me personally, the Lord does not, and often will not, explain His actions and the events that can drastically impact our lives for good or (as we feel) bad.
“The Problem of Trust”
Finally, let’s revisit the “fatherless spirit.” Sadly, for too many, we suffer from an incorrect perception, or blueprint in our inner core (soul and spirit), of what a loving father really is. Not having a foundation – a baseline on how to experience true fatherhood, we often incorrectly interpret “His love” measured by performance. We suffer from “Performance based Acceptance” and/or “Performance based Love,” neither of which are correct in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Having a proper biblical understanding of Agape (the highest form of love and charity) shows that His love is unequivocal (Jeremiah 31:3) and is not based on His children having good days or bad days (performance). What provides a child with the proper image and understanding of a good father? Is it not the unconditional love we experience as an infant, toddler and child? The feel in his arms, the scent of dad (compared to mom) and the tone in his voice – these are all memories that help to form a proper image of a “Father.” Absent those, then we are back to Dr. Lambert and the “adrift, anchorless and devoid of spiritual, moral and psychological moorings.” Holy Spirit has shown me that there are hundreds-of-thousands in the Body of Christ (Ecclesia) that suffer from a “fatherless spirit.” For me, a “fatherless spirit” and the lack of “trust” are related and conjointly affect the proper perspective of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Now comes Guilt
Why can’t I “trust” God? I wish there was a switch I could flip and instantly (like a lightbulb) all doubts, worry, anxiety and the absence of trusting “my Heavenly Father” would disappear. We want to trust God with everything in our heart (soul and spirit) but it seems impossible. We pretend to trust but deep-down we still feel that gnawing unbelief – not trusting Him for the answer to our prayers. The “accuser” certainly uses our misconception of our Heavenly Father as a weapon against us – railing day and night with flaming arrows of guilt and lies. And believe me, the same holds true for accusing God – “He doesn’t love you, look at your unanswered prayers, He only tolerates you…, etc. etc.” And evil forces certainly know how to point out those that are in good health, prospering and blessings that are overflowing in their lives – or so they say.
Can God be Trusted
So, where we started with “trust and obey”, can God be trusted? Absolutely. Has God ever failed us? Based on our frail human understanding and logic, yes. However, when looking at the faithfulness of God for thousands of years – He is always faithful and will complete in us (Philippians 1:6) what He started and will cause the worst of our circumstances (Romans 8:28) to workout according to His pre-ordained plan. Easy to believe – no, with a “Fatherless spirit” it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). And back to righteous Job, He may not, and is not bound to, explain the why’s and what’s of the heartaches we experience in this life – we as children must learn to lean on Holy Spirit to trust our God.
As a prophetic/seer, who has trouble “trusting my Dad,” I am believing Holy Spirit will bring a complete healing and true restoration of the proper understanding and perspective in the One we (my family) love with all our soul and spirit. Before the next great move of Holy Spirit, healing “Fatherless spirits” and restoring true trust has begun in His Body – the Bride of Christ.
“My children must trust me with their whole heart as I begin the greatest move and display of My power the world has ever seen. I have begun the healing of ‘Fatherless spirits’ throughout the world so that my children will see Me as the I AM – faithful, trustworthy and filled with compassion and tender mercies. My sweet fragrant balm with heal broken hearts and fractured spirits and my beloved will know the true freedom of my everlasting love. Mark the day and time for healing is falling like the former and latter rain and it comes as a gentle dove – saith the Lord.”
November 27, 2019 (2:00 AM)
Joseph “Jim” Stockstill
The Unknown Prophet in Texas
“National War Council” – Chairman, Formation Committee
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God…”
II Corinthians 10:4
1 John H. Sammis, “Trust and Obey,” Timeless Truths, 1887. https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Trust_and_Obey/
2 Mike Ruffin, “Confession is Good for the Soul,” Devotions.com, August 30, 2009. http://www.devotions.com/2009/08/confession-is-good-for-the-soul.html
3 Steven Lambert, “A Fatherless Nation,” Spirit Life Magazine, June 14, 2013. https://www.spiritlifemag.com/a-fatherless-nation/