Hello faithful followers!
Yes. This Summer has been a challenge. So much so that I would like to reference a wonderful book by a popular Christian author named John Bevere.
In his book, “God, Where Are You?, Bevere quotes Deuteronomy 8:2 (NKJV) as follows; The Lord your God led you…in the wilderness, to humble you and to test you, to know what was in your heart.
Remember, God said that He brought the children of Israel into the wilderness to humble them and cause them to hunger. However, instead of hungering for God as Joshua did, the people hungered for the things that the Lord had removed from them. So when He came to reveal Himself to them, as He had done with Moses, they had no appetite for Him. In fact, they rejected Him. God says that in order to draw near to Him, we must do two things. First, we must cleanse our hands–II Corinthians 7:1 says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. Sin separates us from God: “But your iniquities have separated you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you, so that you will not hear”. (Isaiah 59.2 NKJV)
Second, we must purify our hearts. The key to this is what James says, “Purify your hearts you double-minded”. (Double-minded people fluctuate back and forth from the Spirit to the flesh. They have not set their mind and affections on the things of God.
Like me, many of you may be wandering in the wilderness. You are wondering where God is and why He is not hearing your cry out to Him. I have felt this personally. I have been crying out to the Lord and asking why I’m not hearing from Him. I wonder why I am not getting my healing to manifest here on Earth as it is in Heaven. So, I find myself looking into my thoughts, my heart and how they do or don’t align with the Lord.
Living an intentional joyful life aligned with Christ in all circumstances is not an easy thing to do. It takes focus and dedication to being single-mindedly intent on reading His word and trusting in His promises in the Bible. It doesn’t matter how I feel. It matters if I believe and trust in His promises, His word. Its a matter of not letting yourself/mind go down the “rabbit hole” of dispair when you are facing extremes challenges or odds. Jesus didn’t didnt come to make life easier, he came to take on our sin, be our Savior, and to make it so that all people can live a more righteous life through a personal relationship with Him. The Old Testament is all about the law. The ways of legality where people were required to follow certain steps to living a righteous life. The problem with this is that we have to rely on ourselves to make this happen. When we have a personal relationship with Christ the pressure has been taken off of us to live a life based on our own ability and switches the dynamic back onto Christ. He is far bigger and obviously greater equipped to handle any given situation we may find ourselves in. I personally find great peace, relief and assurance in this approach. There hasn’t been a moment when He has forsaken me through this entire ordeal. Do I feel like I’m not hearing from Him at times? Sure. It’s only human and perhaps natural that we feel this way. Afterall, we have a finite mind and limited understanding of life. God knows it all and I find that to be quite assuring since He IS the God of the Universe. He is God and I am not!!
So here’s the thing. I didn’t receive very good news today. The doctors tell me the “crappy cancer” has grown in three areas of my vertebrae. This growth has caused my right arm to be very numb, weak and tingley. Also, it has created some numbness in my anal area negatively affecting my bathroom habits—-Yippee, Yahoo more excitment than I desire. (and probably more than you want to know, but hey we’re being honest here) Monday I meet with the Radiation Oncologist to talk about an immediate plan to radiate the Sacrum area to help mitigate any nerve damage in my bowels, etc. This should offer relief to my internal plumbing and mitigate any chance of losing my ability to walk.
One of the many tools I use to stay focused on the Lord and to speak positive words so that my ears can hear and my heart and soul can respond positively is through verbal scripture confessions. One of my favorites is the following when you receive a bad report: I am not shaken because of bad reports; I choose to believe the Lord’s good report. Bad news doesn’t faze me a bit because I have learned to trust God and believe His word even in the midst of challenging circumstances. I don’t deny that sickness exists; I just deny it has a right to exist in my body. The word of men doesn’t change the Word of God. I don’t deny what the doctor’s word says; I just deny that it is the final word, because God’s Word supercedes the word of men. I choose to believe God’s report that says Jesus paid for my healing as my substitute on the Cross. His report says the law of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. His report says that healing and health are my right and priviledge. God’s Word says that by Jesus stripes I am healed, and that is the report I choose to believe. It doesn’t matter what the doctor says; I am healed in Christ Jesus. It doesn’t matter what my body says; I say I am healed. God’s Word says I am healed and this is what I will set my MIND to!!! That settles the matter.
Having said all of this, on Monday I meet with the Radiation Oncologist to map out a plan of action to get after the cancerous lesions on my vertebrae. Remember, I have had multiple radiation treatments on my cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae in the past and they worry about doing more. However, I don’t worry about it. God has given me an uncanny peace about this. Thankfully, by the grace of God I have come out unscathed in the past and look forward to more success in the future. This is a miracle in and of itself! Also, they will be putting me on a new immunotherapy drug that is designed to starve the tumors of blood as blood is cancers “life line”. This in addition to all the natural and wholistic things I am doing to manage this gives me hope of a better life to come. ( Not to mention all of what God is doing in my life):
My family and I have been battling this cancer for 10.5 years now. The first five years were pretty much benign. The past 5.5 years have been wrestling with stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma when I have faced the greatest of challenges. I have come to the point in my life that God is in charge and I don’t have to worry about something I cannot control–sound familiar? I just have to be obedient to His Word and promises. Easy peasy……:<)
To me, this is a spiritual battle where Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy. However, God has given the strength, wisdom and understanding to do battle against the Devil and his insidious ways. I now have an updated mantra…Never give up, never, ever give in, NEVER let the Evil win! It is with this salvo that I enter into the unknown future with even more HOPE in my heart.
As I have often said in the past, if there is anything I can do to help you through the Wilderness please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at: email@example.com or my cell 612.804.5630.
Celebrating life and His many blessings!
Craig D. Giles, aka Papa G