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THE HANDICAP OF NATURAL ABILITY!--By Maria       Maria No.15       2/84       DO 1907

       1. IT USUALLY HELPS TO HAVE SOME DEGREE OF INTELLIGENCE OR EDUCATION, BUT SOMETIMES YOU CAN GET TOO MUCH. I think if you're extremely intelligent it sometimes can get in your way. Magdalene is extremely intelligent, but when she came into a situation like this, it was completely new for her. No matter what her former training, no matter what education she'd had, no matter what her degree of intelligence, it just didn't apply in this kind of situation. She had to be willing to forsake all her previous ideas & previous training & everything, because it was a completely different situation than she'd ever been in before. She couldn't go by past experience or past training or even her education or intelligence. She had to be willing to admit she didn't know anything & she couldn't do anything, because this is a completely different situation & in many things we operate in a completely different way.
       2. IF YOU'RE TOO SMART OR TOO INTELLIGENT IT SOMETIMES STANDS IN YOUR WAY & IT CAN ALSO MAKE YOU A BIT CRITICAL OR IMPATIENT WITH OTHERS. Like if others don't understand as quickly as you do, or don't see things right away the way you think they should see them, then it makes you impatient. That's usually the case when you have different people together, the brighter ones usually tend to get more impatient with the less bright ones. But patience is a thing that the Lord's trying to teach us, so maybe He does that on purpose as a test or training. It's a temptation for people to get impatient with those who can't catch on the same or can't understand something in the same way, & then the tendency is to be critical of them because they aren't as smart. But we've got to realise that the Lord doesn't look at it that way, He doesn't look at our smartness or our quickness in catching on, He looks upon the heart!
       3. SOME PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY ARE VERY QUICK & HAVE LEARNED THE LESSONS THE LORD WANTED TO TEACH THEM & they've gone through their training really fast; others are years behind, but finally the Lord does teach them. They learn slowly, they've been a little dumb in even learning the lessons of why the Lord has been doing the things He's been doing to teach'm, & sometimes it doesn't even sink in. But after awhile they finally catch up, it just takes them a lot longer! Maybe that's sort of spiritual dumbness, but whatever dumbness it is, the Lord has a lot of mercy & if they really love the Lord & really are faithful & obedient, they finally catch up!
       4. THE LORD TAKES EVERY PERSON WHERE THEY'RE AT & DEALS WITH THEM COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY. I don't think He teaches anybody a lesson exactly the same way. He handles everybody differently & He teaches everybody differently. Not everybody gets it the first time or even the second time, but the Lord really has a lot of patience & He continues to teach us no matter how slowly we catch on.
       5. I KNOW I'M A LITTLE DUMB, ABRAHIM EVEN SAID THAT! He said, "You're such a dumb child!" I'm really dumb & I'm weak in a lot of these points, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that the Lord let me be this way so I could have mercy on people. Instead of getting critical of people who aren't so smart, I can always say, "There but for the grace of God go I!" It's a lot harder to have mercy on people & be uncritical of them & be patient with them if you're so good yourself or you're so smart yourself or if you do so good in every area! If it's just natural for you, & if you can be that way, you think, "Why can't they be that way? If I can have the victory in this, surely somebody else should be able to." I guess that's why the Lord let me be pretty weak & even sinful in ways like jealousy & pride & selfishness & sort of slow & dumb so that I'd remember that I'm just like everyone else & I'd have mercy on them.
       6. I CAN UNDERSTAND PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS & I CAN BE REAL MERCIFUL, BECAUSE I'VE RECEIVED MERCY IN ALL THESE THINGS & I KNOW I NEED IT! Obviously if you look at me--if you knew me better at least--you could see that the Lord doesn't judge on intelligence. I'm reasonably intelligent, I can understand, but the Lord doesn't go on exceptional intelligence when He chooses people, neither does He go by looks, competency, efficiency or organisation! I thank the Lord He doesn't, because these are all the things I'm not! I guess I'm a good example of the way the Lord looks at things!--A lot different than we do. He sees good & possibility where we can't find it. When you're so weak yourself, you realise that other people can be the same way, you know they are, & you feel for them, at least you should, & you put yourself in their position. You understand that if things are difficult for you & you have these trials, then they do too.
       7. WHENEVER WE SPEAK OF NATURAL ABILITIES BEING A HANDICAP, WE ARE OF COURSE, EXCLUDING OUR KING & PROPHET, as he is certainly an exceptional person above all others. Although extremely intelligent & very gifted in every way, because of his great love for the Lord & because of all the hardships & difficulties he's experienced throughout his life, he can understand & have mercy on our weaknesses & our faults & failures. His intelligence & his natural abilities don't get in the way because, in spite of these gifts, he depends so much on the Lord for everything.
       8. THE THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE PROBLEMS, IT SHOULDN'T STOP US FROM TRYING TO CORRECT THE SAME PROBLEM IN OTHERS, you still have to do that regardless if you're a mess yourself! If you know the answer, you have to deal with the problem even if you don't have the victory yourself, because maybe you can help somebody else get the victory! It's just like with parents who smoke in the System, they're still under an obligation to teach their children that it's bad & tell them what it's going to do to them. It's not going to be as powerful a message, because obviously they're being somewhat hypocritical, but maybe the children can get the point from the way their parents are coughing their insides out! Maybe if it's advanced that far they can tell them, "Look what it's done to me!" But even if it hasn't, they're still obligated to tell them that they shouldn't smoke.
       9. MANY PARENTS STILL FEEL OBLIGATED TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO SUNDAY SCHOOL WHETHER THEY GO OR NOT. THAT'S GOOD, AT LEAST THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING THAT WAY! Even though in a way it's hypocritical & the kids think it's hypocritical, it's better than not sending them at all. They could just sit back & say, "I'm being hypocritical, I don't go to church, so why should I send my children?"--But look what they'd be depriving their children of! At least you could be doing that much for your kids if you can't be doing anything else! You can be warning them of the error of their ways even if you're doing the same thing. Granted, it doesn't have as much of an effect, but it still has some, & it's your responsibility to do it! Even if you fail, the Word never fails & the Truth is still the Truth & it is your duty to give it & to preach it.
       10. SO EVEN IF I'M A MESS MYSELF & CAN'T GET THE VICTORY, IF AT LEAST I KNOW THE ANSWER (THE WORD, THE TRUTH), I'M BOUND TO GIVE IT BECAUSE MAYBE IT WILL HELP SOMEBODY ELSE GET THE VICTORY. Obviously it must be my fault I don't get the victory, not the Lord's, because a lot of other people have gotten the victory over the same problems through the Word. It's your responsibility to share it in humility, & you're bound to be pretty humble if you know you have the same problem! It's not hypocrisy, although it may seem that way sometimes, it's your responsibility!
       11. I'M GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE I CAN ACCEPT MORE GRACIOUSLY THE FACT THAT I'M NOT EVERYTHING I'D LIKE TO BE, because I realise now more than ever why I'm not! If I were everything I'd like to be, I would be a completely different person, I wouldn't even be me!--Ha! Obviously that wouldn't be the Lord's will! Goodness, if I were the way I wanted to be, I really would be different! I would have a memory a mile long & I wouldn't procrastinate & I would be beautiful & articulate & love to write letters. Everybody has a long list of things they wish they were, but lately I'm starting to realise that the Lord has a purpose in it & He didn't make a mistake!--After 15 years I realise that! Ha! It's a good thing for people to realise that, especially those of us who aren't naturally talented or don't have a lot of whatever we wish we had or wanted, because without it, the Lord can come through in a much greater way! His strength is made perfect in our weakness! (2Cor.12:9)
       12. AFTER ALL, ARE WE PROMOTING OURSELVES OR ARE WE PROMOTING THE LORD? I could say, "Well, if I were more articulate & could express myself better & be more like Dad, then it would benefit the whole Family. So it's not just me I want it for, I want it for You, Lord. Or if I had a better memory it would also benefit the Family & it would be a help & I could remember examples & so many good illustrations to relate to them." And on & on you can go! Well, maybe so, but the Lord must think that the benefit is greater on the other side of the scale for some reason.
       13. I THINK I'M FINALLY LEARNING THE REASON WHY THE LORD DIDN'T GIVE ME ALL OF THESE EXTRA TALENTS, because without them I can relate so much better to the average Family Member, all these mortals like me with all these problems & all these failings & sins & everything, as I'm from somewhat the same background, same generation, with a lot of similar things. Obviously the more lacking you are in the natural, the better the Lord can be seen & the better He can come through! Dad's said that a lot of times & I'm just repeating it again, I'm not saying anything he hasn't already said quite often & much more powerfully, but maybe you like to hear it coming from me specifically talking about myself.
       14. I CAN EVEN USE FAITHY, FOR EXAMPLE. She was always a big encouragement to me because I knew how scatter-brained she is & how disorganised. Although she's very smart, she doesn't have too much knowledge or formal education & she doesn't have a very good memory either. She's not very practical, she doesn't understand Dad's jokes sometimes, & she admits to a lot of weaknesses. But when she gets up & when she gets inspired, she really has the Spirit! Look at the multitudes of people she's influenced! Look how many people she's brought into the Family & look how many she's encouraged & helped stay there & stick, & how many thousands of other people she's witnessed to, whether she does it in front of a group or one-to-one!
       15. SHE'S POWERFUL! SHE'S REALLY ANOINTED WHEN SHE GETS WHERE SHE'S SUPPOSED TO BE & ON THE FIELD WHERE SHE'S DOING WHAT SHE'S SUPPOSED TO DO! She's tremendous! Nobody can doubt that it's the Lord, especially if you know her at all, even a little bit! It's the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it's not her. I told her the other day when we were talking that she was always an encouragement to me because I could see how the Lord used her, but I also knew she was pretty weak in the physical & in the natural. She's not that beautiful, she's pretty like the rest of us, sort of normal, but not extremely beautiful. She's very disorganised, she's almost spacey, I'd say she's about average intelligence like the rest of us, she's slow at her work, she needs somebody with her almost constantly to help her even know what she's supposed to do next! But I think the Lord made her that way so people could see when she's really anointed that it isn't her, it's the Lord! She was always a great encouragement to me because in the natural she really is quite weak, but I am too, I'm the same way, & I realise it's only the Lord if He does anything through me, which makes me much more compassionate & merciful with others. (Amen!--D.)
       16. AS DAD BROUGHT OUT IN "LETTING GO & LETTING GOD" ABOUT KEZIA (No.1493), if people have too many natural strengths or talents or abilities, they're a bit handicapped. In a way, it's like one of their weak spots, it's actually one of their weaknesses. We all have different weaknesses, some people are subject to discouragement, some people are subject to jealousy or selfishness, it's one of their weak spots that the Enemy can really take advantage of & where they have to fight all the harder against it!
       17. YOU MIGHT SAY THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE SO MANY NATURAL ABILITIES TEND TO BE PROUD, & I think it's more of a fight for them not to be. Look at how other people view them--it's harder for people to see the Lord coming through them since they have a lot of natural ability. In other words, it's a handicap, especially for the Lord & His service!
       18. I THINK THAT'S WHY HE USES SO MANY OF US NOTHINGS! I think that's why we don't have more people in the Family that are real bigshots & are really skilled in all kinds of things. Most of our people aren't! Obviously the Lord planned it that way & that's probably why they had to leave before they finished high school or college. Most of us are a bunch of dummies & we didn't learn any highly technical skills & we don't really know too much! But the more education you have & the more intelligence & the more natural ability, like Dad said about Kezia, the more difficult it is for people to make that definition & that distinction between what is the Lord & what's just you!
       19. OF COURSE, THE LORD GIVES THESE TALENTS & NATURAL ABILITIES, SO OF COURSE IT IS THE LORD, IN A WAY, but He gives them to the World too, so that's not a very valid argument. He gives to the just & the unjust! It's a lot more difficult to see what really is the Lord's Spirit coming through & what are our natural abilities. If the natural is more out of the way, then the Lord can really come through in a much greater way.
       20. LOOK AT KEZIA, WHOM DAD WAS USING AS AN EXAMPLE, she's beautiful & she's talented, she sings, she dances well, she's a good speaker, she's beautiful! Pisces really have a lot on the ball & are very talented in all kinds of areas, but they do feel a bit inferior, & maybe the Lord does that to keep them humble. She's a good secretary, she's a good shepherdess, she's good in every area. I'm sure she has lots of faults too & she feels inferior, but we're not talking about that now. She's very talented & people looking at her would see these things in the natural a lot more than they would be able to see that it was really the Lord.
       21. WITH NATURALLY GOOD PEOPLE, IT'S HARDER TO SEE THE LORD COMING THROUGH, BECAUSE THEY'RE NATURALLY GOOD. That's why people sit up & take notice when some drunk or drug addict off the street comes in & gets saved & their life is changed, because that's a miracle they can see. They can easily see that there is a complete change & it's easy for them to give God the glory, because they know the drunk or drug addict couldn't change on their own! When people see someone who has been good all their lives, get saved & serve the Lord, they think, "Well, they have always been good." They don't really see the Lord shining through. I don't mean that you need to go out & start committing sins so you'll be bad, but the worse you are actually, & the more sinful, in a way, & weaker, & the less that you have in the natural, the more clearly people can see the Lord when He shines through you. Then they know that it's the Lord & they know it's not your own natural talents or abilities or skills or whatever.
       22. ALL THAT TO SAY THAT I THINK PEOPLE THAT DON'T HAVE MUCH IN THE NATURAL SHOULD REALLY TAKE HEART & BE ENCOURAGED & not feel, "Oh dear, the Lord could use me a lot more if I were this or that or another thing!" It's a natural tendency to think that, & everybody wants to be different & better at this & better at that, but obviously the Lord must know what He's doing & He's not making a mistake. By making you a little less talented, He's able to shine through more. After all, that's what we're supposed to be here for, to lift up the Lord.
       23. MAYBE I'VE REPEATED THAT TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION, BUT MAYBE WE NEED TO HAVE IT REPEATED A LOT, BECAUSE IT'S THE TRUTH! If we're not trying to promote ourselves & we want to let the Lord shine through the most, then I guess we just have to have the faith that He knows what He's doing & He's doing it in the best way possible, even though to us it may seem that if He'd let us be different we could do more for Him. But if we're not different & He doesn't make us different, then we have to take it by faith that He knows what He's doing! Dad's said that before but this is a good little review!
       24. THE WORSE YOU ARE & THE LESS YOU HAVE, THE MORE OTHERS CAN SEE WHAT THE LORD HAS! But if He's made you with natural talents & abilities, then you have to fight to conquer it all the more because it's almost like a handicap, in a way it's one of your weak points. It can be a strong point in the natural but a weak point in the spiritual. For example, in the World, pride is normally quite a virtue, so people are brainwashed & brought up to believe that, but in the Lord's service & in the spiritual, it's very bad & something you have to really try to fight against & overcome.
       25. BEING BEAUTIFUL, FOR EXAMPLE, IS ANOTHER STRONG POINT IN THE NATURAL WHICH CAN BE A WEAK POINT IN THE SPIRITUAL. Obviously the Lord has made some people that way, so we can't say it's a mistake or it shouldn't have been, but in a way it's a weak point. It can be used for the Lord's glory, but it's one of those things that you constantly have to show people, that it's not your beauty that's getting you here or there. Like our girls in FFing, we don't have very many plain or homely girls, but even with some of our girls that are less pretty, the men look at them & call them beautiful because they see the Spirit, not just the flesh, & that way it's an even greater testimony of the Lord & His power! If they're beautiful, then how do people really know it's the Lord, or if it's only the girl's own beautiful body? It's a little hard not only for yourself, but also for the men to distinguish what's you naturally & what's the Lord.
       26. IF YOU'RE NOT VERY PRETTY & YOUR BODY'S NOT VERY BEAUTIFUL & you aren't that beautifully dressed & you don't have money for clothes & you're unsophisticated & you don't even know the correct rules of etiquette & high society etc., if you can win'm in that kind of state, then they know it's the Lord & they realise more than ever that it has to be the Lord! They can't figure out why they love you, you're not beautiful & you're not this & you're not that, so they know it's the Lord! With a girl like ex-Queen Rachel, for example, who was quite beautiful, it was hard to try to convince them it was the Lord, because she was so beautiful & she had everything in the natural.
       27. YOU CAN TELL'M IT'S THE LORD ALL YOU WANT TO, BUT IT'S A LITTLE MORE DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO THAT REALISATION OR TO UNDERSTAND THAT. Even though beauty did get her into a lot of places & the Lord opened the doors & in a way used it as a tool, it was a detriment in another way. If the Lord chooses to make you beautiful, I'm sure that's His business & He'll use it some way, but it's something you have to watch out about. It's not only difficult for your own pride, but it's also more difficult for people to see that it's the Lord in you. I guess you have to be doubly prayerful & you've got to be on the attack more than ever & make sure you tell them even more emphatically that it's the Lord & not you. That's the battle for those who have an abundance of beauty or any other natural talent, they have to constantly remind themselves & others that whatever they accomplish is due to the Lord & not their own talents & abilities.
       28. IF THEY HAVE TOO MUCH IN THE NATURAL, IT'S A BATTLE & IT'S A HANDICAP, BUT OBVIOUSLY THE LORD KNOWS THEY CAN OVERCOME IT & HE WANTS THEM TO OVERCOME IT. It's not that He made a mistake in giving them such talent, it's just that He made them that way so they could become stronger in the Spirit! It's almost like a test to have to always be conscious that it's the Lord that's doing it. They have to be more conscious of it themselves so they can make other people conscious of it.
       29. SOME PEOPLE HAVE BATTLES BECAUSE THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ENOUGH TALENTS & ABILITIES, but perhaps they should thank the Lord they don't, because if they did, they'd have to strive even harder to give the Lord the glory, whereas now if they do good it's obviously the Lord. So count your blessings! Thank God for your weaknesses, for in some ways they're your strengths; whereas for others their seeming strengths are really their weaknesses, but the handicap of which can be overcome with the Lord's help & then even used in a great way for God's glory.
       (Amen! GBY!--And God bless Maria! She's really got spiritual strength & depends on the Lord!--You can too!--Do you?--ILY!--D.)

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