Throughout His life on earth we see a progressive increase in the intensity of tests brought into the life of Christ. As He entered His ministry He was met with the severe test in the wilderness. Hunger, thirst and loneliness all pressed upon Him. Satan used every tactic in his hellish arsenal to turn Christ from His mission. As Jesus began to teach He was met with the stern rebuke of the spiritual leaders who questioned His right to teach or in any way challenge their authority. He endured, obeyed, trusted! His faith held.
Day by day as He ministered, He was challenged, questioned, derided, hunted, gossiped about, conspired against, spied on, etc. The faith of Jesus was being developed. His commitment to His mission and His love for and confidence in His Father were undaunted; He stood as a mighty cedar in the storm. But that would soon change. Gethsemane was coming.
As Jesus entered the garden that passover evening, He staggered as He expressed His feelings, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” Matthew 26:38. He pleads with His Father for the cup to pass (ibid, verse 39). His faith–His moral conviction, His confidence, His surrender, His love–were all tested to the core. His concession, “nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” reveals the depth of his surrender, His faith, obedience, and His patient endurance.
The mob comes and He could escape but the faith of Jesus stands. The trial comes, replete with false witnesses, outright lies, physical abuse, mockery, bribery, the confession of Judas and the abandonment of His “loyal” followers. Motivated by love for His Father and for His children, His faith holds fast. Satan is pressing every “panic button” in the human nature of Christ, but Jesus chooses to keep His amygdala, which is screaming “self preservation”, under complete control of His frontal lobe, which is under the control if the Holy Spirit.
Then comes the cross, the nails and the crown of thorns. Something called neural thorns can develop along the neurons in the brain whenever we harbor an unforgiving spirit. These thorns wound surrounding tissues, but the choice to forgive prunes those thorns away. The faith of Jesus speaks: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” Luke 23:34. No thorns penetrate to the mind of Christ!
As Jesus hangs on the cross at Calvary the Father hides His face, and the faith of Jesus is tested to the utmost. He is alone in His suffering, and the scream, “My God, My GOD, Why hast Thou forsaken ME?”, bursts from the breaking heart of our Redeemer. He has no assurance of ever living or seeing His Father again. Except….by faith. And that faith held. Jesus died in faith, willing rather to be blotted out of existence than disobey His Father or to leave humanity with no hope.
“Here…are they that keep…the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Tomorrow we will look more at what this means for you and for me.
“Patience under trials will keep us from saying and doing those things which will injure our own souls and injure those with whom we associate. Let your trials be what they will, nothing can seriously injure you if you exercise patience, if you are calm and unexcited when in trying positions…. ” Our High Calling, page 70
The frontal lobe of the brain is the area responsible for emotional reactions. But there are areas of the brain that can give the frontal lobe “a run for its money”, so to speak. One such area is the amygdala.
The amygdala is that area of the brain that is responsible for emotions of fear, anger, panic, etc. It’s the fight or flight headquarters of the brain. The late Dr. Elden Chalmers once stated that it is only the frontal lobe that can cool the fires of the amygdala.
Is your frontal lobe being developed to help you become “panic proof”? Can you handle stress and still be kind and calm? Do you become irritable when you have “too many irons in the fire”? It’s kind of “natural”, isn’t it? But God wants us to live a supernatural life. And with His strength and training, we can.
One of the best things God has called us to in order to help us to prepare for the closing scenes of this life is country living; time in nature and in the garden. If you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m saying when I say that gardening and country living develops patience! We’re told in Revelation 14:12 that the people of God in the final scenes of earth’s history will possess patience….and the faith of Jesus.
We’ll talk more about the faith of Jesus tomorrow. But for today, do you have patience? are you developing patience? Are you choosing to allow the Lord to control your frontal lobe so it can calm that impulsive amygdala? Day by day? When you’re cut off in traffic? When someone offends you? When you smash your thumb with a hammer, burn the toast or are otherwise challenged? Hiding the promises of God in the heart by memorization is a HUGE advantage here!
God help us to be willing to embrace the discipline it will take to become the people of Revelation 12:14.
“The lives of many are too delicate and dainty. They know nothing of bearing hardship as good soldiers of Christ. They are hindrances to the work of soul saving. They have many wants; everything must be convenient and easy, to suit their taste.”
Volume 8, Testimonies, pages 52-53
As I interact with people day by day I realize just how spoiled “we” have become. In the past folk had to go to the well to draw water, or the spring. There were no indoor toilets and no showers. If you bathed, you had to draw up the water, start a fire, heat the water (unless you’re brave or it’s summer!), bathe with a bucket of water, and throw out the bath water when you finished. Having homesteaded on numerous occasions, I know what this looks like day to day. I’ve done it! It’s not easy, but it is definitely a rewarding and valuable experience.
The Bible says that, in the near future, those who remain faithful to Jesus will no longer be able to buy or sell. (Revelation 13:17 “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”) What will you do? If you can’t pay your water bill? power bill? buy gas or food? Are you preparing? Are you preparing spiritually? physically? mentally? emotionally?
Are you prepared to be ridiculed, hated or hunted and still stand for your convictions? I believe that living in the country is one of the most merciful things God could call us to do in preparation for what is ahead. Trials? You better believe it! Homesteading is not for sissies! We must prepare ourselves to be comfortable being uncomfortable! God help us to embrace His method of schooling.
I would like to invite you to our Spring 2018 Camp Meeting at Closure for Jesus Farm if you need help getting started. Even if you’re an old pro, you can come and share your experience with others. May 16-20. More to come!
Spring Family Camp Meeting is coming up. Mark your calendar! May 16 is registration (5-8PM). Meetings start on Thursday morning, May 17 and go through Sunday, May 20. Dr. Norman McNulty is our Sabbath speaker. Classes include basic homestead knot-tying, chainsaw safety, physical fitness, soil preparation for the future, essential oils, flint and steel and ferro rods, solar do’s and don’t’s, wild edibles and medicinals, natural wound care and more! There is no registration fee, but I need to make sure we are adequately prepared, so please let us know by April 23 if you are coming, or are pretty sure you are. We will request love offerings and camp meeting expense offerings, as expenses to provide this service are significant. If you’d like to support preparations beforehand, we have a donate button here on this page.
Closure for Jesus Spring Family Camp
May 16-20, 2018
1884 Rouse Branch Road
Liberty, Kentucky 42539
Theme: Closure for Jesus
Camp registration begins Wednesday, May 15, 2018 at 5PM; meetings will begin Thursday morning. We request you notify us of your plans to attend by the end of April so we can have an estimate of how to prepare. There are no housing accommodations available. Motor homes and campers are welcome, but there are no hookups available. Tent camping spots are available, and we will have outhouses and outdoor showers for campers. Camping is permitted (unless there are heavy rains) on the south side of the creek, but vehicles are not permitted. Supplies must be carried to camp sites on the south side of the creek.
Children must remain under the supervision of parents at all times. NO PETS!! No food is provided; campers must provide their own provisions. Please, no shorts or tank-tops or otherwise immodest clothing. We suggest you bring drinking water. We have water, but it’s sulphur and tastes icky to some.
There is no registration fee, however, there are expenses for us to have camp meeting. We request you consider a love offering to help us meet those expenses and continue to develop our camp ground and ministry building for future meetings.
This year’s keynote spiritual speaker is Dr. Norman McNulty and the theme is “Seeking Closure for Jesus”. Practical components will include: gardening, gardening with horses, natural remedies, wild edibles and medicinals, homestead finance, solar power, mental and emotional preparedness, etc. Speakers are (but not limited to): Kalon and Danna Gesellchen, Titus Morris, Brooks Fuller, Scott Esh, Trish Malpica. We will strive to video record as much as possible for those who cannot attend.
We will strive to keep time open daily for personal needs and personal devotions. General quiet time is from 9PM-6AM, during which time we request you be respectful of the needs of fellow campers for rest.
There is a gas station within 6 miles of our farm, and there are grocery stores and produce markets within 12 miles. There is a motel in Liberty, Kentucky, which is about 12 miles from our farm.
For more information, stay tuned to our web page (www.closureforJesus.com), Youtube channel (Danna Gesellchen), and Facebook page (Closure for Jesus). See you there!!
Whether you plan to go for a day-hike and be back by evening, or for a “just in case” bag in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared. Preparation is a Biblical principle, and one that Br. Buller teaches well.