Cary (28 Feb 2011)
"Have you had a solar eclipse?"


 
Here is a very good article taken from the website Birthpangs.org (with permission) run by Trisha Booth
 
http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/biblical/eclipse.html
 

 
Have You Had A Solar Eclipse?

HAVE YOU HAD A PERSONAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day:
we are not of the night, nor of darkness." (1Thes 5:5)

I am going to write on a subject I have covered before, but I feel urged to deal with it specifically. The reason? Because this has such a great relevance for the current and on-going deception.

Many of us are in danger and hardly know it! We have left a door open to the false spirit of love. As I have said elsewhere, one of the greatest deceptions today is the activities and temptations of a false, deceiving spirit that appears to offer the LOVE of God, but in reality is a satanic snare designed to bring us into bondage to our emotions.

Although I have been led by God to this information before, it came to me again yesterday with such force that I am impelled to share it. What does this have to do with eclipses? Read on...

Yesterday I woke up suddenly after a dream. I had gone to bed feeling low, unloved and lonely. We all feel like this at times, but those of us who have suffered in childhood tend to feel it the most.

Because of this, I had one of those "wish-fulfillment" dreams that our brains serve up to help salve our emotional wounds. I dreamt that a man (who seemed familiar to me) gave me a warm, loving hug. It doesn't sound like much, but in the dream it was just what I needed - comforting, fulfilling, making me FEEL loved!

Even so, I was wary. Something did not seem right. (In this dream I was single, so that was not the problem.) I held back a little and said to the man:

"I've so often played a game, pretending to be somebody I'm not, just to be loved. I don't want to do that with you - I want to be myself. So if that offends you, I quite understand. Please, only say you are committed to me if you really ARE."

But he said he WAS ready to commit to me completely. He loved me! Then he said "I would pour water on the sun for you, if you asked me" - and he meant that LITERALLY. I felt SUCH a love, affirmation, sympathy, warmth and comfort that it seemed the answer to all my needs at the time. At last I felt loved!

Now this man was not Jesus Christ, I knew that. YET he seemed to be a christ-like person. He seemed to offer a kind of fulfillment and satisfaction for all my emotional needs that was most compelling. I could easily have concluded that the Lord was ministering to me in my sleep.

Suddenly I woke up. After about one second the warm glow wore off and I realised my error! I knew about the false spirit of love and knew satan was just playing with my mind, leading me down a certain emotional byway.

Then I said to myself, "I have such emotional weaknesses just wide open for the devil to use. I mustn't let this happen again. To avoid this snare of the devil, I need to fill the void in my life with love. I need for these empty parts to be filled, but it's God's love, not the devil's, that I should seek; I should ask HIM to love me so that I don't feel this emptiness any more. He can give me all that the dream offered, and more....."

And I stopped dead in my tracks.

It was like a light went on in my head as I saw it. I corrected myself, and said "NO. God does not provide that sort of emotional love to make me "feel better".

God's love is not a touchy-feely emotional thing. It is reality and goodness and truth. God HAS demonstrated his love for us in that HE DIED FOR US. How much more loving can you get? Jesus died for me. He committed himself to me totally and without question. I trust him. It is by FAITH that I believe, not by my feelings. God does not heal our needs in this way, like in my dream. God heals our emotional wounds by removing their power to control our lives!"

The Sun and the Moon of your Life

Perhaps you are thinking - there is not much difference between the two ways of healing above. But, my brother, my sister, there is a WHOLE WORLD of difference, and that difference is so crucial that it might be the one thing standing between you and apostasy.

Let me illustrate it like this: you know that God created two lights, a lesser light and a greater light. The lesser light - the moon - ruled the darkness; the greater light - the sun - is ruler of the day.

Now, transfer that analogy to yourself. God created you with a human side (a soul and a human spirit) full of complex feelings and emotions, needs, desires, ambitions, disappointments - everything that relates to your life on earth. That is like the moon. (For in the flesh we are living in the darkness of sin.)

But when we accept the Lord Jesus into our lives and hearts as Lord and Saviour, we receive him as a brilliant, shining SUN (The Son!) which illuminates our darkness and causes us to walk in the Day. Jesus is the One who "hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Pet 2:9KJV)

[Note: I am NOT identifying Jesus as the sun-god.]

Nobody who lives by the light of the moon can imagine what the full daylight is like. The moon gives only enough light to stumble along by. People who walk by the moonlight of their own understanding and feelings constantly fall: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Cor 4)

However, when that Sun comes and shines in our lives, suddenly we are transformed, and we can SEE clearly! We have light to walk by, and not stumble.

This is what it is to be "saved" from the presence and power of sin - and ultimately saved from the wrath of God. The Sun comes into our lives for the first time. The darkness goes, and we SEE the kingdom of God. It was there for us all the time, but we just could not see it.

While we walk in this great light, we are in no real danger. Satan works in darkness. His servants do their work in the blackness of night. But we are called to walk in the daylight -

"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Thes 5:6-9)

The moon takes its proper place

So we have a personal moon, and it represents our earthly feelings, emotions, thoughts, opinions, desires, our natural 'drives' - including the intense desire to be accepted and loved - but after receiving the light of the sun, that moon pales into insignificance.

Nonetheless, we are still earth-bound mortals, and we still have a soul. We can go back to being ruled by the lesser light if we choose to, or are deceived into doing so.

You see, THE MOON HAS NOT BEEN REMOVED! No, it's still there. Indeed, it MUST remain! If God removed our souls we would no longer be human beings. We NEED to feel and will and think. These things in themselves are not sinful or wrong. Jesus had many natural thoughts, desires and emotions and I am sure he experienced all the highs and lows of his earthly existence. However, those things did not RULE him.

Remember, the moon was created to rule the night; and it does a good job in its own sphere of activity. But that sphere of activity is the world, the natural, the flesh, the earthly.

It is earth's way to worship the 'moon', man's soul. Man exalts the greatest philosopher, artist, musician, scientist, discoverer or sportsperson. However, in God's kingdom the sun rules, and the moon is put into a lower place. Only God is worshipped in his kingdom.

While the moon is shining only as a lesser light, and is never allowed to control the day, or eclipse the sun, then it is within the bounds that God set for it, and is a useful thing created by God.

Practical Implications

In our lives, that means we recognise the validity of our soul's feelings, thoughts and drives, but we do not permit them to RULE or CONTROL us. We bow to the Lord's ruling, not that of our own moon's light!

It is incorrect to teach that "the sun removes the moon". No. God does not remove our natural feelings and thoughts, but he puts them in their proper place. The sun overpowers the light of the moon with a greater light.

Paul teaches the same doctrine in Rom 8:1-10 when he contrasts the "law of sin and death" at work in our natural lives (like the moon), with the life-giving "law of life in Christ Jesus" (like the sun) which takes over in the redeemed person, and blots out the power of sin. So long as we "walk in the Spirit" that is!

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. .... For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you."(Rom 8:1-9 NKJ)

Just as in the natural world, the moon shines during the night and we are grateful for the little light it gives, but when the sun comes up and daylight returns we no longer see the moon, although it's still there. It may as well be DEAD. The moon has been overpowered by a greater reality, and its light is extinguished.

Just so with our natural lives. Paul says that they are as good as "dead", but we continue to live by a higher form of life - the Spirit of life that provides all good things. We are - in all our parts - now illuminated and activated by the Spirit of God, who is Life:

"And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Rom 8:10-11 NKJ)

Only the Sun gives life

Remember, that it is only God who is LIFE. There is a natural life, but that is a failing light. In our environment, the moon gives light, but it CANNOT CAUSE GROWTH. The moon does not create life. Only the sun causes photosynthesis, and creates life and growth.

So in our lives as Christians, it is God who is our source of life, wisdom, truth, patience, goodness, healing and all good things. They comes from the 'Sun of Righteousness' as the bible calls God. (Mal 4:2) When that sun arises in our hearts it is a dawn of a new day for us, in which the light of truth and life shines on our behalf.

We must stop walking in the light of the moon. The moonlight will appear to be an illumination, if we let it. It will give a false light, but if we follow the path that it indicates, suddenly we find we are no longer growing as Christians, problems are not being resolved, we are not going forwards in faith and knowledge and we cannot do anything for God that is really successful. We have no life or growth in the moonlight.

Those who walk in the light of their natural desires, thoughts and understanding are hardly moving on in God at all!

Paul gives an important warning about not going back to the powers of the flesh, which sometimes, yes, can have a tremendous pull.

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom 13:12-14)

Make no provision. The Greek word used means "to consider in advance, to look out for beforehand (actively, by way of maintenance for others; or passively by way of circumspection for oneself)."

Think about this for a moment. If you planned a day trip, inviting several people and at the last moment a friend said he had to take two of his pals along as well, you might argue "I made no provision for them". You have no extra food, no room in the car, no tickets for the special events - no provision. You just did not cater for them. It was as if, in your mind, they did not even exist (although of course they did.)

Well, Paul is saying you must not make your own natural provisions or plans for pandering to and looking after your desires, and drives. God will care for you - you are in HIS care now. As you walk in the Holy Spirit, trusting God, listening carefully to all he commands and following his leadings and promotings, you will find that your needs are supplied in a marvellous way without your having to cater for yourself. God supplies, so you do not need to!

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor 9:8)

This scheme works pretty well so long as we have no OVERWHELMING needs. But once the pressure of loneliness, rejection, fear, guilt or some other emotion grips us in a powerful way, we tend to run back to the flesh to find an answer.

This explains why many people fell for the deception of the Toronto Blessing and related spiritual experiences.

It also explains the basis for my dream at the beginning of this article. The devil will always highlight your needs and feelings and tell you that he is "there for you" ready to give you all that you want - but his plan is only to drag you back into the flesh and make your feelings, your needs, your emotions all the more important and urgent! He's planning on making you scratch, so he gives you an itch!

What the devil did was take my mind's meditations (as I fell out of faith into depression and loneliness) and shine a light on them, making them seem overwhelmingly important and urgent. Suddenly it seems I "must" get love from somewhere or from someone. When this happens, there are two possible routes to a solution, one bad, one good:

(a) find 'love' from a person or spiritual experience that scratches the itch. This will probably mean, for most people, doing something morally or spiritually wrong!

(b) deliberately put the feelings in their proper place, return to faith in God, and allow his truth and reality to shine in my life to overpower the distractions and urges of my flesh. (Move from moonlight to sunlight!).

Toronto caters for moon-men!

Many, while being born-again perhaps, or maybe just nominal Christians, have been going through the motions of Christianity but with a deep hole in their hearts that Christianity does not fill.

We see ourselves as so wounded that we protect ourselves from God's healing ministry. God IS NEVER ALLOWED TO GET NEAR ENOUGH! The hurt is so bad that - like a child with a scuffed knee - we won't let anyone touch it and we guard it frantically hoping nobody will make it worse.

Do you see what we do when we guard our hurts from the Lord? We are "making provision" for our needs by saying, in effect : "I have to take care of this one by myself because I can't trust anyone else to deal with this properly."

It is quite easy to explain why the Toronto Blessing and other deep spiritual experiences became so popular, so quickly, when you understand this principle. Those who had life-long emotional needs, marital problems, or just doubts and fears had never fully emerged into the light of the sun because their moons shone too brightly all the time. They were too conscious of their needs, and constantly "made provision" for them so that the light of God's sun (which is faith, not feelings) never really made it through the gloom into their hearts.

And so they nursed their wounds, and guarded them and brooded over them and made provision for taking care of them (thinking of themselves as victims, weak, deprived and inferior). All the while the devil was eager to keep this status quo. He loves it when we make provision for the flesh. He never stops trying to get us back into the moonlight.

So as long as we 'make provision', the devil provides the fodder to keep those feelings alive and active. He works hard to keep us feeling aggrieved, hurt, lonely, sad - or whatever.

The devil will even engineer situations in your life so that you keep encountering the very situations that made you sad and rejected in the first place!

You will keep on meeting people who remind you of your parents, your boss, your husband or wife. You will keep on being presented with an environment identical to the one that started off the problem in the first place. The devil will see to that! (And God will let him. Why? To give you repeated opportunities to grasp the fundamental principle that I'm revealing here. "Eventually" he says to himself "eventually, my child will learn this lesson and then he will be free for ever of this pain.")

Either you seek God and find out how to knock this on the head once and for all, or you keep on letting yourself fall into the same old routine, which ends in misery. The choice is yours.

People who fail to develop their walk with God in the Spirit, end up dwelling on their needs, being reminded daily, with the devil's eager assistance, how sad and lonely and hard-done-by they are. (It's unavoidable, because you can't stop the moon from shining.)

Instead of letting things go, laying them down, getting over it, moving on, and trusting God to supply, these people keep up a dialogue with themselves about the past. Instead of forgiving those who hurt them, they nurse their grievances and keep them alive. They remind themselves how rejected they have been, how unloved they feel. They constantly run through their minds mental movies of how badly they have been treated, and see images of the people who have hurt them. They rub on that moon until it shines. This has result of reactivating the moon. The more we feed it, with our thoughts and imaginations, the more it shines!

Eventually, they have their own personal SOLAR ECLIPSE, where the moon passes across the sun and blots it out.

Having deep needs and feeling so unfulfilled in their normal Christian experience, such people flocked to churches once the Toronto blessing was on offer to "get the anointing" that would instantly cure them! How very sad.

And of course, the spiritual experience they had DID fill up the emptiness temporarily, in such a powerful way that they thought they were healed. But they mistook the light of their own souls for the sun.

Look at the words people use to describe the experience - intimacy, joy, warmth, liquid love, explosion of happiness - and even sensuality and sexual desire! All these emotions have their place in the human experience, but they should not spontaneously come to us as a result of a spiritual impartation or the laying on of hands!

God is many things to us, but he's not a substitute for a marriage partner - and those who report gleefully that they are having orgasms during times of spiritual ecstacy should start to wonder just who they are jumping into bed with!

What is happening all over the world, in churches across every nation, is that people are being conned into resurrecting their soul's light in order to make provision for the flesh.

They have thrown into reverse the Bible's way of dealing with our problems.

  • God heals us by causing us to live in HIM, in the sunlight of life and goodness, and thus the moon withers and dies, and we are no longer controlled by our souls. So long as the sunlight extinguishes our moon, we will grow, have life and walk in victory.
  • Satan lures us into recognising, acknowledging, activating and making provision for the moon so that it begins to shine brightly again and blots out the sun! This, satan calls emotional healing, but in fact it is pushing our relationship with God into the background and overshadowing it

The real Toronto Experience

Those going along to the revival meeting are not satisfied in their present Christian experience. They are seeking MORE! MORE! They feel a deep need in their souls. Then they discover (to their immense joy) that revival meetings have been set up with the express purpose of mending people's moons!

At the meetings, the focus is on how empty you are, and how much you need to find fulfillment of your deepest needs. All those in love with their moons are frantically nodding Amen. They are sick of being told to forsake self, they don't want to ignore their moons, they want to experience the joy and brightness of the FULL-MOON.

The promise of a soul full of joy and happiness and love is a tremendous draw to anyone who seeks satisfaction in that way. But the full-moon is the festival of the devil, not God!

Have you ever wondered why all God's important feasts and memorials begin at the time of the NEW moon, when in fact NO MOON IS VISIBLE. Think about it!

The Solar Event

Encouraged by the leaders and by all those around him, the needy soul - driven by longing and desperation - opens himself to receive the feelings and experiences he most desires. This, coupled with the reactivation of the soul by the devil leads him into personal darkness once again, although it does not appear to be that way because the moon is shining at full strength.

The Christian and non-Christian alike are thrilled by this experience. The Christian, because it seems to offer him relief from suffering in a way that does not involve discipline and faith; and the non-believers because he is in love with his moon already and knows no others way of satisfaction.

The unbeliever, experiencing such happiness and love in his soul, is willing to believe he has "met God" and "is saved", especially as the leaders are only too happy to confirm that opinion and put him down as a number in their log books.

The Payoff

Now they have reactivated their moons, these people feel their needs and hurts even more keenly. After a temporary release, their desires and longings return to haunt them, only this time they are much stronger because the sun has disappeared.

Satan works on their souls, reminding them of their traumas, and reminding them that the remedy can be found at the revival meeting. so back they go for another dose. Over and over again.

People get in line over and over, just to know relief from that harsh cold moonlight that has begun to illuminate their inner lives. While satan keeps on fuelling their grief, and the ministers promise the answer, these poor victims lay themselves down on the altar and give themselves over to their passions and fears in an endless cycle, like an addict hooked on a drug.

Not God's Way

The fallacy is this: God does not give help in the sense of mending the moon so that it can give a perfect light. The most perfect moon would still be inadequate and lead us astray. If we realise this, we can co-operate with God in quenching the light of our "moon".

Some people cannot function as Christians unless they "feel" the anointing. However, contrary to popular opinion, God does NOT provide a constant flow of emotional warmth or love to replace the missing portions of our past. If he did, he would have to do it all the time, every day of our lives. He would become a feelings factory for all our desires.

However, satan does offer this service. He will offer to come alongside you and be your close companion and friend! He will offer to replace your parents, your wife or husband or your friends that have deserted you, and make up for the losses. This can seem like a kind of healing, but all it creates is a thirst for MORE because it reminds you of your needs.

Dependent or Free?

Once we have found somebody to love and comfort us, we have to keep going back for more. Satan's depends on this because his plan is to make people DEPENDENT upon him (or his agents on earth) whereas God is striving to make us GROW UP and become mature, in a loving but interdependent relationship in which both we and the Lord know freedom of choice, but choose to respect eachother. This is an adult-adult relationship, not a child-parent relationship.

Satan strives to make us weak; God commands us "be strong in the Lord!". Satan provides a "love" that does not expand our spirits, because he has no access to our spirits - he deals with the soul. God however goes right to the powerhouse of our spirits, filling them with Himself and his own truth and light.

If we walk in the Spirit, we will NOT be drawn and guided by the desires of our flesh, however demanding they are, for the Spirit is a much more powerful light by which to walk, as the Sun is to the Moon:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Gal 5:16-18 KJV)

This verse is not a command - "Ye SHALL NOT fulfill". it is a PROMISE. If we walk by the light of the Spirit, and in relationship with Him, we shall not be driven by fleshy demands and needs, because we will know deep inner peace and joy far beyond that of the world.

But even if we DO know the correct process and strive to forgive and forget, from time to time the devil comes along with thoughts, dreams, memories, TV dramas and films, books, people - anything that will reawaken our deepest feelings. He works overtime to feed us with memories that will hurt us or deprive us of our joy in the Lord. For a time we ignore those memories but eventually they get through to us, we begin to dwell on them and - suddenly the moon is shining again and we have lost our peace!

As soon as we begin to turn over in our minds the things of the past, and think about ourselves and how we can resolve the suffering and get what we most need (making provision) then the devil offers us the solution (so he says.) Here is this wonderful satisfaction that you may have for free, he says. Just reach out and receive it. You need love, you want love - here is love, he says! Just feel it, experience it, let it wash over your soul. Here are feelings that make you happy and joyful and complete! All you need do is allow them into your soul.

No harm is done if at that point we "wake up" and see the plot. We just brush the thoughts aside, rebuke the enemy and focus on God again. Remember that old hymn "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace".

God the Postman?

Many Christians think God supplies our needs by sending down a packet of emotional love, or faith, or joy like a divine postman responding to a mail-order request. God is not a postman, beloved. God does not run a store where you can send out for an order of happiness when you feel low. Do not insult the Lord God by seeing him in that way.

God provides for our needs by PROVIDING HIMSELF. He makes himself available to us, both inside and outside, for he is omniscient. The things every human being needs are not free-floating around the Universe waiting for us to find them - they all exist and are found in God, in Jesus Christ Himself.

We often pray wrongly. We say "I feel so needy. I need love. I fail so often, I need more faith. Please give me faith Oh Lord. Please give me love Oh Lord!"

We never think just HOW God is going to answer that prayer. How can God send us love or faith as isolated items, when these things do not exist outside of Him? God does not GIVE the answer, he IS the answer. Only when we enter into HIM do we know peace, joy and fulfillment.

Our task is not to activate and discover (by therapy!) our deepest needs and then to go about making provision for them. We all have wounds, but we must not allow circumstances, people or any supposed 'ministry' to keep ripping the scab off the wounds and refusing to let them heal over. That way we end up following the world - for all the world is looking for the same things and never finding them. They are driven! Do we want to be driven by needs, or drawn by God?

Jesus is life, he is love, he is light, he is righteousness. Jesus is wisdom and strength and power. These things do not really or fully exist outside of God, so don't let the devil deceive you. "The life is IN THE SON" - not in YOU. If you do not have Jesus Christ, you do not have life - whatever your soul may be feeling.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (I Jn 5:11-12 KJV)

I have said so before, and I will say again that I believe one of our greatest enemies is the feeling of "love" - so-called - that comes to uplift our broken hearts at a time of great need. We need to be certain we can fend off all attempts to make our moons shine again.

A Positive Blessing

Here is one person's testimony of finding all he needed in God. He does not deny his flesh, nor his natural frailty, but he looks beyond it to a greater light:

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor 4:6-11 KJV)

Yes, Paul suffered much but he never let it rule his Christian life or ministry. He saw his trials and weaknesses as an opportunity to die to himself, to be of more service to God. He wanted to encourage the Holy Spirit to shine through his "earthen vessel". He saw his sufferings and infirmities as a positive blessing!

Another positive way of dealing with your hurts is to see how the Lord has woven them into your present Christian life, and made use of them to mould you. God was not standing around helpless all the while you were growing as a child and adult, nor was he outside the circumstances when you were wounded or rejected. While God does not SEND hurts, he does USE them to mould us into better people.

The most responsive and sympathetic people are those who have known suffering. Jesus is the prime example. He entered into our lives to such an extent that he became a partner in our suffering. Thus he is the perfect Comforter, for he knows our needs:

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15)

Satan would keep you on the boil, brooding about how you were not treated as you should be. He keeps you angry and unforgiving. God, however, encourages us to see how we are all alike, giving and receiving hurts - often without knowing it. We are all mortal, we all make mistakes, we all say the wrong thing and do damage to others. If we can forgive ourselves for our failings, why can't we forgive other people? We should learn to leave it behind, forgive and forget, lay it down. We should see it as a part of our past, a part that God knows about and USED, and He allowed us to go through it for a reason.

Maybe if you had not suffered, nor experienced many things in the way that you did, you would not be a Christian today! Maybe you'd be just a contented unbeliever! Maybe you would never have felt sympathy for others, nor offered them salvation in Jesus. Seeing all your experiences, good and bad, as a path that led to God is one way of redeeming them and letting them go.

You might even get to the point of thanking God for those experiences, and seeing his hand in them so clearly that you rejoice in his provision.

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Only the mature believer has experienced this joy. This is not the Toronto experience of rejoicing in the fulfillment of the soul's needs. This is the sun shining in all its might, completely overpowering and extinguishing our moon so that it has no hold in our lives.

When we reach this point we are able to acknowledge, as Paul did, our weaknesses and infirmities, our fears and troubles. However, we realise that they are part of the night that is ruled by our moon, present but kept in check. We don't give them an opportunity to take over our lives.

Gradually, these things are dissolved as we walk in God. Suddenly we realise they don't trouble us any more.

We walk in the full light of the day, ruled by the sun. We are conscious of weakness in the flesh but it does not shake us, nor control us. Nor does it drive us to seek for answers that are pleasing to our souls. In fact, we no longer take time out for seeking satisfaction and fulfillment in that way at all.

We have ceased to "make provision". We experience no solar eclipses. We are gazing on God, the sun of our lives.

May this be the experience of you all.