Going back to writing has been difficult after almost two months of silence that was never intended. But as there are no accidents and coincidences in the Lord, and as I am also writing as He leads, suffice it to say that something came up that needed attention and much prayer. It’s a matter that involves people close to my heart and they took priority over my own personal concerns.
This article is actually not about Mother’s Day but rather a personal testimony of God’s goodness to me who is nothing and has nothing apart from Him and without Him. I was planning to share this a few months ago as the Lord spoke the beautiful words to me on February 14, but again, as I only publish as the Spirit leads, the original article rested in the draft folder among others awaiting their time of publication.
Actually, the Lord has a very important message for me to write for a friend and others who are caught in a deception; but as human as I am who always needs the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration, the words would not flow. I believe that this is an attack for the enemy knows he will be exposed when the message comes out. I need to pray and rely on the Lord for me to be able to write exactly what He wants as the situation has gotten its toll on me emotionally and physically; and I cannot allow myself to get in the way of what the Father wants to speak through me. So, I am writing this article to encourage myself in Him and to lay the ground for the next important article which hopefully will reach out to the dear friend and others in the same situation, but most importantly, to testify to His goodness for the glory of His name.
As you can see, the picture above is from Facebook. I very seldom visit my FB page for I am not a fan of social networks; but I keep one for my loved ones’ and friends’ sake. I don’t usually post anything but since my phone is dead, I had to greet my Mom on Mother’s Day through FB, hoping that she’d get my message through my nephews who are on FB almost everyday. Well, sadly, they didn’t notice the message and so I had to check where it went for my dear mother was wondering how I could ever forget her. I scrolled down the page and that’s how I got the above post as shared on a friend’s page. It wasn’t the Mother’s Day greeting that caught my attention but the verse. As I read Proverbs 31:30 above, feeling down and unable to write anything, I knew that the Lord was speaking as I remembered His word to me on February 14. The message was enough to inspire me to get back to the blog; and to begin with, below is what I wrote back in February:
“’Early in the morning of February 14, I heard Proverbs 31:30 in the New International Version which says, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
I remained in bed half-awake as I pondered on the verse. When I drifted back to sleep, I heard the still small voice of the Lord again. The message is very personal. He said, “Do you know why I am pleased with you, My child? Not only do you trust Me for your happiness, you also trust Me for your sorrows.”
I opened my eyes and saw it was 5:00 a.m. I said, “Thank you, Lord. What a beautiful way to wake up!” I got up and prayed.”’
Continuing on with my testimony of His awesome goodness, this painting below is one of my brother’s masterpieces for his first Solo Exhibit on February 16 to March 3 this year, which was a huge success, to the praise and glory of the Father, the source of all gifts and talents.
by: Mark Dawn San Juan Arcamo
This work of art is very relevant to my testimony as you will see, because the woman in it is actually me. Yes, my youngest brother painted/featured me prophetically without knowing it. It was his wife (also an artist) who noticed that he was painting me when the image began to take shape. To them this was mere coincidence or as my dear brother put it, he most certainly just saw me from his subconscious as he was doing it. To me, however, this was Spirit-led and prophetic.
My brother’s exhibit was entitled, “Hiding in the Shadows of Secret Fantasies” and this particular piece is entitled, “Isolate.” Of the 9 pieces he made, only this one doesn’t have the creepy insects and the mirror frame is made of white flowers instead of black. This speaks of the truth that I have no dark fantasies to hide. As for the painting’s specific title, this reflects the truth of my isolation from the world, not physically but rather spiritually. I am in this world but not of it. There’s plenty of symbolism in this painting but I won’t discuss everything as the overall picture is enough to convey its prophetic meaning as you read on.
When I was in Israel in 2011, particularly in Jerusalem, I had the most wonderful experience with the Lord which brought me to tears as I could hardly believe what I heard the man of God said as he prayed for me. The speaker (a Messianic Jew) for the last session I attended at the Feast of Tabernacles called to step forward those who wanted to be prayed over. I went among many, mostly women, from the different nations of the world. We stood side by side so that I could hear the man’s prayer for those near me as he went from one person to another. When he came to me I expected to hear a similar prayer from him, but to my surprise, this was what he said as he raised his hands over me, that I could never forget and never will:
“Oh, what a strong presence of God… the glory of the Lord, the shekinah glory of the Lord is all over you.” Then he prayed briefly that all doubts, confusion and fear go in the name of Yeshua.
He moved to the next lady and I was left trying to understand what I just heard. I never expected the prayer could be that short, but as the words sank, I trembled and sat down crying out to the Father, asking for forgiveness for ever doubting and fearing, as those were exactly my feelings before going there that morning. The Lord knew what turmoil and confusion I was going through at that moment as He revealed it to His servant. He spoke the message that cut through my being but the most amazing thing is the fact that in spite of my emotional state, He has indeed never abandoned me; that His presence abides in me as He revealed through my vision of the rod that He gave me to keep in March 2011.
In an earlier experience, specifically on August 2011, I was in that same emotional state. I struggled with doubt and confusion and the Lord seemed distant. I became so desperate for the presence of the Lord, so desperate to hear Him as He seemed very silent for a while. I put my children to bed early; told them I missed the Lord so much and so I needed to be alone and pray. Praise God, they slept early. I prayed until midnight and slept with peace. I knew that the Lord heard me. Around 5:00 a.m., August 31, 2011, I awakened from my deep sleep as I heard strongly in my spirit, “Isaiah 58:11.” Not so familiar with the verse, I got my old NIV Bible and this is what it says:
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
I took the above word as His personal promise, His covenant with me; and it has been to this day. The Lord has never failed to meet my needs in spite of the fact that I have no career and no income to depend on. Every time I feel weak, this Word of the Lord never fails to strengthen and encourage me. And speaking of waters that never fail, sometime last year I had a vision. I saw myself standing before our deep well full to overflowing that I felt excited as it looked very easy to draw water with a bucket. In reality, the well is deep and the water shallow that much effort is necessary to be able to get a bucket, much more, to fill empty containers.
This vision reminded me of Isaiah 58:11, knew it was His way of reaffirming the promise. Moreover, it reminded me of the ‘Spring of Living Water’ (John 4:14) that never runs dry and is there available for His children to draw and drink from at any time.
At another time last year, the Lord also spoke to me in prayer when I was under some spiritual stress and said, “Remember the Word and walk the narrow path.” (Matthew 7:14)
God is so awesome and amazing in His goodness. Since I re-committed my life to Him in full surrender, the spiritual blessings have never been lacking. The Lord never allowed the enemy to attack me or my children unaware. He would always show me in a dream or vision that an attack is coming. Recently, he gave me a vision of my son in danger and told me to not let him go to an event in a mall that he wanted to join. This has been the case even with my daughter and those close to me. And to keep me on the narrow path and looking straight ahead, He also consistently gives me dreams and visions of my future. Just last week as I was contemplating to go back to work, again He gave me a dream that clearly told me it’s not His will for me; that I would be in jeopardy if I work. So, how can I return to the corporate world that kept me away from Him if He, the God of the universe, the maker of all things, keep me from going back? I know that my loved ones are baffled by my lack of interest to return to work when it seems the surest way to have money instead of just waiting upon the Lord. Honestly though , there is nothing so attractive in this world for me to give up what I have found in Him. Just having Him so real, being able to walk with confidence in spite of the lack of recognition even from the people close to me, are more than all the riches this world can give me.
Well, there is nothing special about me that the Lord would give me this favor. I have my doses of shortcomings and failures. The Father who has chosen me did so at His discretion and His abundant love, grace and mercy He showers me with through the Lord Jesus/Yeshua, are the very things that made me who I am in Him. What and who I am before Him is none of my doing. Whatever confidence, faith and trust I have in God, the reverent fear of Him, the awe of His Sovereignty in my life, they all have grown from within as He opened my eyes of understanding to His awesome reality. The only thing that I have done and continually do today is live my life in complete surrender to His will. As simple as it may sound, yet in truth it is not. The price one has to pay is as the Lord requires:
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
The cost of following the Lord is high. He requires complete surrender and total submission to His will and purpose. That means giving up your personal desires and ambitions; that means letting Him decide for you in every aspect of your life; that means being willing to live contentedly with no name, no fame, no nothing but Him alone; that means waiting upon Him to direct your every move even if it means not moving or doing until He moves you. In short, to experience the strong presence and reality of God one has to be totally dependent upon Him as the Lord Jesus said of Himself:
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
The Messiah has not sought His own will and has done nothing outside of the Father’s will. Anyone who wants to walk in intimate relationship with God has to follow the Messiah in the way He submitted Himself to Him. As I shared in “My Spiritual Journey,” coming to the point of total surrender was not that easy. The Lord had to break me in order to make me. But as I submitted and allowed Him to deal with me freely and continue to be in submission no matter what it costs me, you are now reading this testimony to the glory and praise of the Father.
Love in Yeshua,