Pastor David Wilkerson has done an excellent job of detailing what one must experience to truly be a man/woman of God in the first four parts of this series. The reason why his story is one that we can understand is that whatever we are having flung our way, he knows all too well how we feel. He's been down this road and he lived what he writes about.....firsthand. In fact, he lived it right up until the day he died in April of this year. His summation of these times are truly prophetic. Let's see how he offers us his final words.
I know what it means to pray for - and then receive - the thousands of dollars needed to sustain this ministry. I've known what it means to walk for a whole year with Jesus leading me every step of the way, His voice behind me saying, "David, this is the way. I know what it means to get out a pad and a pencil, and to ask God questions and have Him answer them for me.
I've stood before people in government and city officials, prophesying the words that God had given me. Then I've immediately turned around to face nights of deep, dark confusion when I didn't know which way to turn. I've made multiple mistakes that cast me down in despair, and I've cried out, "Oh God, where are You?"
I've gone into my prayer closet for three or four weeks at a time and said, "God, I've got to touch You. I've got to be broken." And I've felt nothing but my own grief, coldness of heart and the heavy silence of heaven. Yet through it all I sensed God was at work. "Just hold steady," I've heard the Spirit say to me. "Ride out your storm! When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19).
Some of you are going through the flood right now. You know what I'm talking about when I say the heavens are as brass. You know all about bathing your couch in tears. You've been served your cup of pain, and have endured a night of confusion and an hour of isolation - cut off by everyone you know and love. Nobody can touch that need in your heart!
I once had a woman come to me after I preached this message. She said, "Mr. Wilkerson, when I came to church this morning, I walked in acting happy and carefree. But when you talked about the cup of pain and the hour of isolation, I began to weep. I realized I was just putting up a front. My husband has left me and my home is in turmoil. I've had to cover it all up. I've used it as an excuse to hide. But now I know - I'm being flooded!"
That woman was broken before the Lord. I prayed with her for God to keep her faith strong, and she left with the true joy of the Lord in her heart. Dear saint, I believe that when a man or woman of God is in the making, enemy forces will come against him with great fury. But he can stand up and say, "Though I am tried and tested, though all these forces are arrayed against me - I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
That's the time to take your stand! You don't have to laugh or rejoice, because you may not have any joy at the moment. You may have nothing but turmoil in your soul. Years ago, I was sitting in the backyard when I had a Sunday off. I was reading my Bible and getting a message from the Lord. I felt His Spirit in a mighty way, and I was just praising Him. Just about that time, I looked across the street and saw Gwen talking to a neighbor whom, for some time, she had been trying to win to the Lord.
Some other women were there, and they wanted Gwen to drive with them around the block to look at a certain house that had just been painted. I saw Gwen get in the car with these unconverted women and suddenly, in one moment, a spirit came over me - and it wasn't God's Spirit!
"She shouldn't do that!" I thought. "The Bible says to come out from among the lost and be separate. Why in the world is she going with them?" I stomped into the house and kicked a chair, saying to myself, "She ought to know better!"
Gwen was gone half an hour, and the longer she was gone the more I seethed. When she finally came in the door, I was ready for her. "Gwendolyn Wilkerson, I am a man of God, and I'll not have you running around with ungodly friends in this neighborhood."
Gwen was dumbfounded. My voice got louder and louder as I spoke. She started to cry, and suddenly I heard what was coming out of my mouth. I stopped and said, "Honey, you know this isn't me. The flood has come - the devil is trying to swamp me! Please, just give me half an hour. I have to get with the Lord right now!"
I went into my study and got on my knees. Then I cried in repentance, "Oh Lord, I was just worshipping You moments ago. I don't know what has happened, but I've been flooded. Forgive me!" I had not been living in sin. In fact, I had been basking in the anointing and praising the Lord. I couldn't understand it! As I prayed, I felt the enemy flood in again, trying to crush my spirit. So I said, "I claim the cleansing of the blood of Jesus," and I began praising the Lord:
"Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah, the wicked one cometh and toucheth me not... .For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). The more I praised, the madder the devil got.
Did the devil leave then? No! I felt no glorious victory. I could still feel that depressing spirit - but I knew God was still with me, because Scripture says, "The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King forever" (Psalm 29:10). The Lord seemed to speak to me, "Don't get excited, don't panic. You need do nothing. Just ride out the storm. Commit all things to Me."
I went back to Gwen and said, "Honey, my spirit still hasn't settled, and it will probably be a while yet. But forgive me, please. I'm sorry!" I went outside and took a little walk. The devil knew he couldn't get me disturbed - so he finally left! The flood subsided and I started singing the praises of God.
Perhaps someone reading this is in the flood right now. I'll not pray that God delivers you from your cup of pain - but I will pray that your faith won't fail, because Jesus prayed that for Peter (see Luke 22:32). He knew that Peter's trial was God's way of strengthening his faith!
Are you going through a great testing in your life? If so, stay in the Word. Run to the Lord and spend time shut in with Him. Stop trying to think your way through it, and rest in Him. Those who get to the Cross must go through Gethsemane. But after the weeping and sorrow comes in the morning.
Beloved Christians tell me their sad stories of lost love, prolonged sorrows and illnesses. Often it seems as if their trials will never end. They seem to be locked in hopeless situations. They experience pain, rejection and very little happiness. Or the happy times are so few and far between that they begin to question the Lord: "Will this dark night ever end? Am I destined to a lifetime of trouble?"
Oh, precious, troubled saint - God has not forgotten you. He has bottled every tear you've ever shed. You must make Him the joy and hope of your life. You must let His Spirit change you, so that circumstances can't hinder you anymore.
God does His best work when He's changing us. That way, whatever comes, you will learn to rest above it all - seated with Him in heavenly places. Remember: you are the object of His incredible love!
As I said at the beginning of this five-part series, I went searching for an explanation as to what it means to be a man/woman of God. I got far more than I bargained for, for sure. But it's what I needed to know. And the timing couldn't have been better. Thank you Lord. And I say that not only for me, but for those others who needed your voice of assurance. You are awesome beyond belief!!!