I write this blog post with a keen sense that I have come full circle since I began writing in December of 2011. The very first post I published expressed the reasons why I felt called to begin this journey ... "I am writing for all people, who like me, do not want to sit on the sidelines while our country and this world go down the tubes. I am writing for everyone whose instincts tell them something is wrong, terribly wrong, and are ready to throw off the shackles of fear and claim their personal power; to overcome the paralysis of panic and dread, and take command of their lives and their circumstances. And the foundation of that power is the saving grace of Jesus Christ in my life".
At the time, [and it seemed like overnight], all sense of security in my country, my government, and my future went up in smoke. This country was headed down the wrong track, and the conductor was taking us there as fast as he could! In 2008, my husband and I received heavenly promptings to re-evaluate everything in our lives ... to prepare for economic hard times and radical changes in our society. And it scared the living daylights out of me! But instead of giving in to the suffocating fear, I made a choice to face it. I would not give up that easily in all I believed in!
So, three years later, I decided to begin a dialogue with the people of this country, and in 2011 began writing this blog. We are now at the end of 2020, and these last nine years have seen many people arriving at the stage I was at all those years ago. And I will admit that we were not able to turn that train around. In fact, we are further down the tracks and ready to head into a long, dark tunnel. But, as I've done since the beginning, my goal is to give you hope and encouragement in the face of whatever evil we may face.
We are not the first in history to engage in spiritual warfare with what seems like an invincible Enemy. I am the daughter of a WWII veteran, and not many years before I was born, a force of Evil, such as our modern world had not seen, was defeated with the help of Almighty God's support. That same anti-Christ spirit that existed in Adolph Hitler is still intent on capturing the world and forcing it into horrendous and despicable bondage. You may be experiencing the fear that comes with sudden realization that my words are not written out of ignorance or rashness. Perhaps you are just now receiving your own heavenly promptings, or having been enlightened for a few years now, are becoming weary of the fight and are struggling to endure.
We all need encouragement and support! And if you are having difficulty hearing the voice of the Lord directly, I would like to offer the following testimony by Corrie ten Boom. You will hear the voice of the Lord through her humble words! And if you are unfamiliar with who she is, I exhort you to become familiar with her story. Hers is the remarkable legacy of surviving the Nazi death camps under the most dehumanizing circumstances, while offering the mercy and grace of Jesus in the midst of what was hell on earth. She would not describe herself as a hero of the faith, yet that is what she was; a woman who persevered against the deepest darkness, demonstrating her hard-learned trust and dependence on the Lord. Let her testimony, given at the First International Congress on World Evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974, give you hope and strengthen your faith. Here is her testimony, in her own words...
In the Bible we read in Colossians 1:11, ‘As you live this new life with Jesus Christ, we pray that you will be strengthened from God’s boundless resources, so that you will find yourselves able to pass through any experience and endure it with courage.’ God’s boundless resources are what we find when we obey the commandment, ‘Be filled with the Spirit.’ This is not a suggestion; the Bible has no suggestions, only commandments, and this is the most happy commandment of the whole Bible. When the Lord told us to witness and make disciples over the whole world, He promised, ‘You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’
When I was a little girl, I remember that I talked with my father and I said, ‘Daddy, I will never be strong enough to be a real witness and a martyr for Jesus.’ And father said, ‘When you go to travel, when do I give you the train ticket, or the money for it—three weeks before?’ I said, ‘No, daddy, the day that I go to travel.’ And father said, ‘That is what God does. You don’t need to have the power to suffer for Jesus at this moment, but the moment that you will have the great honor to be a martyr for Jesus, the Lord will give you everything.’ And I’ve experienced that we have not a ‘spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind’, and the Holy Spirit is there always to do the job, to make us ready.
When I was in prison where my sister and 95,000 other women died, I experienced what Paul wrote to the Philippians when he also was in a terrible prison. The Holy Spirit had pointed Paul to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit also did the same for me. And I can say with Paul what he wrote in the text, ‘I count everything as lost compared with the priceless privilege’ (I read it from the Amplified New Testament), ‘the overwhelming preciousness, the unsurpassable worth, and the supreme advantage of knowing Jesus Christ, my Lord, and of progressively, more intimately, getting acquainted with Him.’ That happened when I was in that terrible prison. That can happen with you also, when you let the Holy Spirit turn your eyes more and more to the Lord Jesus even when we are perhaps entering a time of very great darkness and suffering over the world.
One of the most cruel things I have suffered was when in the concentration camp, we had to stand naked. They stripped us of all our clothing and I said to Betsie, my sister, ‘I cannot bear this. This is so terrible.’ But it was suddenly as if I saw Jesus at the cross. It was the Holy Spirit who turned my eyes to Jesus, and the Bible tells that He hung there naked, they stripped Him of all his garments and He hung there for me. By my suffering I could understand a fraction of the suffering of Jesus and it made me so happy, so thankful, that I could bear my suffering. The Holy Spirit will turn your eyes to Jesus, whatever happens, and then we are ready, we are even willing, and we are able to suffer.
The world is very sick, very ill. Who is it that overcomes the world? He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. I am sure that all of us believe that Jesus is the Son of God. That means that you and I, that we all have to overcome the world—and that is hope for the world. The best is yet to be. Jesus is coming and He has said, ‘I will make everything new’, and that this world, yes, this sick, ill world will be covered with the knowledge of God like the waters cover the bottom of the sea. What a joy to know from the Word of God that God has no problems, only plans. There’s never panic in heaven, and we have to be right with God and we know it. That is because of the finished work of Jesus at the cross. And we have to be right with men also because of Jesus’ presence. The love of God, He will bring into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us (Rom 5:5).
Once, when traveling the world, I came to Germany and sometimes I find people who have been cruel to me in the concentration camp. Once I saw a lady in the meeting and suddenly I thought, ‘That woman was the nurse who was so cruel to my dying sister,’ and there came hatred and bitterness in my heart; but when I felt that there was hatred and bitterness in my heart, I knew I had not forgiven her. And I know, and you know, that Jesus has said (you can read it in Matthew 5), ‘If you do not forgive those who have sinned against you, my heavenly Father will not forgive you your sins.’ But I said, ‘Oh Lord, I cannot, I am not able.’ And suddenly I saw it. I cashed the check of Romans 5:5. I said, ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have brought into my heart God’s love through the Holy Spirit who is given to me, and thank you, Father, that your love in me is stronger than my bitterness and hatred.’ I could go to that nurse and I could shake hands with her, and I had the joy to be used by the Lord to bring her to this decision for the Lord Jesus. What a joy.
This is only part of the remarkable testimony of Corrie ten Boom, an ordinary woman who lived in an extraordinary time. At the start of WWII, Corrie was single, in her 40s and living in her parent's home. Her father, Casper, a watchmaker in the small town of Haarlem in Holland, was a devout Christian who made a decision that his family would become involved with the Dutch Resistance and help smuggle Jews out of Holland, putting his family in grave danger. After a neighbor betrayed them and the family was arrested, Casper died ten days later in prison. Corrie and her older sister Betsie, would eventually arrive in Ravensbruck, the notorious women's labor camp in Germany.
Through what can only be described as a miracle, Corrie smuggled a Bible into the camp. While all the other women were strip searched, Corrie walked into Ravensbruck without being touched by a guard. She and Betsie would share the comfort of Scripture in a widening circle of women who found their way to their bunk in the midst of the horrors of the camp. Corrie would say, "The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God". God had given these two sisters a mission, a purpose and a ministry in one of the darkest places on earth.
All through their time in the Concentration Camp, Betsie shines to Corrie like a lighthouse of Jesus's love. Corrie has rage against her oppressors; Betsie is compelled by love and forgiveness. Through the love of Jesus, the bunker in which they stayed was transformed from a selfish place where women would fight each other for scraps of food to a place where prisoners developed an overwhelming love for one another. But the deprivation in Ravensbruck became too much for Betsie. As her body became weaker, and just before she died at the age of 59, Betsie said, “We must tell the people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”
And that is the lesson we must take from their testimony. We don't know what our future holds, and I pray it never becomes as dark as what Corrie endured. But it's becoming clear to me that the same winds of evil are on the horizon, and we must be as determined to represent God as did the brave and faithful ten Boom sisters. We must let the Gospel messages of Salvation and the Kingdom define our lives. We must let the love, mercy and power of our Lord Jesus increase in us during the rising tide of spiritual warfare we are experiencing. We must identify with the Lord no matter how heavy our Cross becomes; being His instrument in the battle against Evil and proclaiming that He can overcome all. Corrie ten Boom is evidence of that truth ... Because of a clerical error, the Nazis released Corrie ten Boom from Ravensbruck 12 days later. Exactly a week after that, everyone her age was sent to the gas chambers and murdered.
God had a purpose for Corrie's life! And He does for each one of us, too! Betsie ten Boom's purpose was to offer hope and compassion to the women in that Ravensbruck bunker, and to uplift the spirit of her sister, so that Corrie would survive, and go on to tell their story and her journey toward forgiveness. It's a story that defines her legacy, and mirrors the reason that I began writing this blog in the first place, and why I will continue to write it until the Lord tells me to stop --- no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in; no matter how chaotic and evil the world becomes; we have a Victor in Christ. He and the Holy Spirit will show us the way if we stay focused on them, and lean on them. We have no promise that it will be easy or comfortable; only that we will be strengthened to endure and persevere for the sake of the Gospel. There is a Kingdom that has arrived and that Kingdom will soon have dominion over all the earth. We are designed and planned to be a part of that! Be convicted, be bold, and be all in for the Glory of the Lord!
John 3:19-21 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.