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--A Life-giving Lesson to Juan!--Good for Us All!--By Maria
       Maria #153

       1. Jesus, do bless this tape, this communication with Juan, in Jesus' name. It may not be much, Lord, & it can't be very long, but please make it a blessing to Juan. Strengthen him now, Lord, & continue to uplift him & uphold him by Thy hand, in Jesus' name. Amen!


       2. Well, praise the Lord, Juan, I really love you! Did you know that you're a real encouragement to me? You're a very big blessing! You've been such a wonderful sample of yieldedness & obedience & willingness to change. I feel that you're one of those real big miracles that we can look at & say, "We know the Lord can do miracles, because look what He did for Juan!" I look at you & I think, "If the Lord can do what He did for Juan, such a big miracle in his life, then certainly He can do it in anyone's life!" Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today & forever, & His life-changing power is the same, & if we avail ourselves of it, we can all have it, it's not limited to just one person, but anyone can have it if they really desperately want it badly enough.

       3. In saying this about you, Juan, I'm of course, giving all the glory to the Lord & the credit to Him. But I also know that you had to make the decision to yield, you had to choose to change & obey, so at least in that respect, you do deserve some credit. Of course, we all know that unless the Lord does the miracle, even our willingness, our yieldedness & our obedience aren't enough to make the big turn-arounds that are often needed. The Lord has to do the miracle. It takes us doing what we can do, then He has to do the big miracle that only He can do.

       4. And the wonderful thing about it, Juan, is that in your case, the miracle doesn't just stop, you continue to change, you continue to yield! It's an ongoing process. And that's how it should be with all of us. The Lord doesn't make just one big change in us & that's all, then He leaves us alone. He continues to work in our lives--day after day & week after week, month after month. He said, "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed." (Jn.8:31.)

       5. It's as we continue to become more & more immersed in Him & in His Word, earnestly seeking His Will in our lives & desperately asking Him to do the job in us, do the work in us, that we grow deeper in Him & truly become new creatures, day by day. Then all those old things continue to pass away as we truly become "transformed by the renewing of our minds."--Rom.12:2.

       6. We've received many reports from people who have worked with you & been around you in the past, & who have been around you recently, & they've all given the same testimony, "Juan's a new man, he operates so differently, he's changed!" What a wonderful testimony to the Lord's power & what He can do if we're just willing to go through the breaking & the remaking, if we're willing to endure the pain of being put through the fire so that we can come forth as gold. (Job 23:10.)

       7. I believe that many of the changes in your life are probably much more dramatic than those in most people's because the Lord wanted you to make these changes in such a short time. The Lord knew it was important that you make these changes quickly, & therefore, they were very obvious & very dramatic to those who had worked closely with you before.--As well as much more difficult & much more wrenching & traumatic for you, in a way, to have your life change so suddenly in so many different ways.

       8. One thing that didn't really have to change, which made it a lot easier for the Lord to do the work in you, was that your basic foundation was sound. Your wonderful love for the Lord & your loyalty to Him & His Family, & your knowledge of the Word & your obedient spirit were all able to remain intact. The Lord didn't have to do any major changes in these areas because they were already basically sound. So even though there were a lot of very big changes for you to go through, they didn't really affect these fundamental basic areas.

       9. Of course, the changes you've undergone probably seem quite major & fundamental to you, & maybe even to others, but as I've said before, Juan, the main problem was your lack of training. The changes that the Lord had to do in you really had little to do with your love for Him or your love for us or your dedication to His Work. It was mainly a change in your mode of operation, in your ways of relating to others. I would say it was a change from not always knowing how to effectively put into practice your love for the Lord & His Word & for us, not knowing how to apply it so well, which, of course, is primarily a matter of training.


       10. But even if you feel like you still have a long way to go, that should be encouraging to you & not discouraging, because it should give you some goals & some real challenge! As I've often told Techi, "Honey, I know you haven't come as far as you want to come, but what if you had? What if you were perfect now? What if you'd really reached your goal & attained what you wanted to? You would be perfect & you wouldn't have any more challenge, you wouldn't have any more battles to fight! Life would be pretty dull & boring. You wouldn't be able to call on the Lord desperately for His miracles & help!"

       11. If we'd already attained & come as far as we wanted to come, we wouldn't have much need of the Lord's help any more. Even Paul knew he still had a long way to go! He said, "Brethren, it is not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect. For I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."--Phil.3:12-14.

       12. So just the fact that you still have a long way to go in a lot of things should be encouraging to you. Of course, you can be encouraged by seeing how far the Lord's already brought you. But at the same time you can also see how far you have yet to go. But that should not be discouraging at all! You know how much of a change the Lord has already wrought in your life, so you know that He's going to continue to do it. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the end!"--Phil.1:6.

       13. At the same time you should be thankful that you do have a long way to go, because we don't want to just get complacent & self-satisfied, having attained our goals. If we were too confident & felt no further need of the Lord, that would be tragic. So the Lord continues to show us how far we have yet to go so we'll continue to look to Him & be desperate with Him for His help.


       14. Juan, I think it's just marvellous the victory you've gotten over your worrying. Of course, I understand that you're not perfect in that respect, but I think the victory the Lord has given you is indeed a very dramatic one. I know you still get very tempted with it, but the fact that you can resist that temptation & fight it & pull out of it quickly & not fall into it for long is a wonderful miracle! After so many years of almost constant worrying, the fact that you've made this definite step of progress is very encouraging & shows the supernatural power of the Lord & of His Word, thank the Lord!


       15. I think it's an almost equally big miracle that you have such victory over your sensitivity & your pride. I know you must still pass through an awful lot of very painful moments, but the wonderful victory is that you can lay them aside, forget them, & not let them continue to bother you & condemn you or cause you to be resentful or bitter. That's the victory.--Not that things that come up from the past don't ever hurt at all, because if they didn't hurt, you wouldn't even have to have a victory over them.

       16. Some things do hurt a lot, but if you can just take them to the Lord & leave them there with Him & not worry about them, & not remember them, to "forget those things that are behind" (Phil.3:13), that's the victory. And that's what I believe you're learning, & that's the victory that you're getting, thanks to the Lord.--And of course, thanks also to your cooperation & your willingness to lay all these things aside & not be offended & not be bitter about things that come up from the past that were not your fault; & not to be condemned about things that possibly may have been your fault. You're learning to just forget all those things that are behind & press forward to the mark of the High Calling! PTL!


       17. You mentioned that you'd been discouraged recently because you thought you were blowing it a lot. Well, I've been very happy with you & your progress! I've been very reassured by the things the Lord is showing you & the decisions you're making. There hasn't been anything that we've had any problem with whatsoever. In fact, we've been very happy with the way things are going. So I feel that your discouragement is definitely a lie of the Enemy, & I would advise you to just refuse to accept it, to not be discouraged! I don't know if it will work if I just tell you, "Don't be discouraged," just like I told you not to worry. I sometimes think you have more faith in what I say than I do!

       18. When I first told you, "Don't worry, Juan," I don't know how much faith I had that you would just stop worrying. But you did stop, & that's such a miracle to me! It's so miraculous for me to see that you can trust the Lord that much, that you can trust my word as being the Lord's Word, & you can have that much faith that if I tell you to stop worrying, you will actually stop worrying! I hate to say this, I hope I don't discourage your faith, but to me, that's almost incredible!--Miraculous!

       19. That's why I'm a little concerned about telling you things, I want to make sure that it's never anything that's too difficult for you. But on the other hand, the Lord says that nothing is impossible with Him, & "all things are possible to him that believeth!"--Mark 9:23. So because you have such great faith, if the Lord is using me to tell you things, then anything that I tell you is possible.

       20. Your faith encourages me, it really encourages me, & it helps me to see that that's the way we all should be with the Lord. If He says something, we should just have complete faith that He can fulfil it in our lives. You really are a big encouragement!

       21. So do I dare say it?: Do not give in to discouragement! Discouragement is really a terrible thing. I don't allow myself to be discouraged much. Of course, my personality is different than yours, & discouragement is not one of my major battles or weaknesses, neither is worrying. And I know that for you who do have those tendencies, worrying & discouragement can be real torture. But you can have just as much victory over worry & discouragement as I do.--You'll probably just have to fight harder for it since these things are your natural weaknesses.

       22. You don't have to let the Devil have that inroad, you really don't! Because if we have a will--and we all do, the Lord's given us that will--we can just cut the Devil off at the pass, we don't have to allow him to continue to use that tactic in our lives where he brings things up to try to get us down & discouraged, & then gets us to listen to his discouraging message. He can usually get his little first word in, his first little word of discouragement, but it's at that point that we can cut him off right away. He can tempt us, but we don't have to yield to it. You do not have to yield to either worry or discouragement!

       23. You can do the same thing about discouragement that you did with your worrying.--Just don't allow yourself to become discouraged! It's like that with everything, we can say "no" to the Enemy's devices. We can say "no" to anything that's negative because we know that all negativity--all worry, fear, discouragement, condemnation, bitterness & criticism--is from the Devil! And if the Lord tells us not to fear--which He does, if He tells us not to be condemned--which He does, if He tells us not to worry--which He does; if he tells us not to complain or grumble--which He does; if He tells us not to be bitter--which He does; if He tells us not to be critical--which He does; then we can do what He says, & we don't have to yield to anything negative! We don't have to yield to discouragement!

       24. So just because it's a big tendency or even weakness in our lives, or it's a habit that we've formed over the years, that doesn't mean that we have to continue to do it! We can stop it. If the Lord in His Word says we can, we can! So after saying all this, I've preached myself the Word & I now have the faith that you can stop being discouraged!


       25. When I found myself being hit with discouraging thoughts the other day, I had to stop & really pray about it, but after I had prayed for awhile I was still being barraged by these depressing feelings. So what I then did was claim the Word. I said, "Lord, You promised that if we will cast our burdens on You that You will sustain us, & that You will never suffer the righteous to be moved!" (Psa.55:22.)--In other words, moved like the "double-minded man who is unstable in all his ways." (Jam.1:8)

       26. If our mind isn't completely fixed on the Lord, if we're wavering between listening to the Lord & the Devil, going back & forth between listening to what the Lord says to us & His encouragement, & then the Devil's lies & fears & worries & discouragement, then we're definitely double-minded, & therefore we're definitely unstable, & therefore we're definitely not going to receive anything from the Lord!--At least not in that respect, on that subject, on whatever thing or issue we're wavering about. If we're wavering back & forth, how can we have the faith & the positiveness that we need to trust the Lord?

       27. So being discouraged & fearing & worrying is all being double-minded. The Lord says He'll keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on Him (Isa.26:3), if we set our affections on things Above, fix our hearts on Him. (Col.3:1,2.) Like David said, "My heart is fixed, O God!"--Psa.57:7. If our minds are stayed on Him, our hearts are fixed on Him, our affections are set on things Above, then we're really going to be attached, we're going to be connected to Him, we're going to be glued to Him, & we're not going to be able to constantly be wavering back & forth between the Lord's Word & His faith, & the Devil's lies & his fears.


       28. So it is possible to live above worry & above fear, & above discouragement! Of course, you're still going to have those first little "fiery darts" of temptation, the Devil's going to try to whisper them in your ear. But you don't have to entertain them! It doesn't have to keep going on. You'll still have those initial thoughts, you'll have those moments, the momentary battles, that's just the temptation.

       29. As soon as you realise you're being tempted to become discouraged, if you'll beat the Devil back with the Word & refuse to give place to him at that point, then you'll have the victory & you won't have to worry, you won't have to be discouraged! It may take a few minutes, it may even take a few hours, to fight the battle.--But that doesn't mean you've "given place" to it. (Eph.4:27.) As long as you're fighting it in the spirit, as long as you're desperate not to give in to it, then you're not giving place to it. You're doing what the Lord says, you're being obedient, & you know you're going to get the victory.

       30. But if you don't put a stop to discouraging thoughts by really resisting & fighting them & giving no place to them when you're first attacked with them, & if you yield to that discouragement, it's going to be a much greater battle & harder fight for you to pull out of it & get the victory. You may think it's really a big battle & tough fight just to resist & get rid of those initial feelings, but you'll find that if you don't fight discouragement or worry or fear initially, if you give the least place to it, it can then get a hold on you & gain a foothold in your life. The battle you have to fight in the beginning is nothing compared to the one you'll have later of trying to get out of deep discouragement once you've let yourself fall into it!

       31. So when I tell you not to be discouraged, what I'm saying is to fight that discouragement from the beginning & don't yield to it! Of course, we can't help but have those negative thoughts sometimes, & we can't help but have those initial feelings of depression sometimes, they're feelings that we're bound to get. The Devil can just fire them at us sometimes through nothing we've done, through no fault of our own. The Devil is allowed to bring a feeling of discouragement or depression over us sometimes, but we do not have to accept it.--We do not operate by feelings!

       32. We go by fact, faith in the Fact of God's Word! So what we need to do when the Enemy attacks us with those negative feelings is just fight it with the Word! Fight that oppression in the power of the Spirit with the Word of God, & don't let it overcome you! Don't give in to it! Don't say, "Oh, well, I guess it's because I've blown it, I've done something wrong, so I deserve to feel discouraged." Forget it! God damn the Devil!

       33. Of course we've done wrong things, of course we've made mistakes! So what?! Don't allow that discouragement! That discouragement is from the Devil, so fight it! Of course we're all wicked & sinful & full of faults! And if you've already made a mistake, you're just going to make things worse by getting discouraged over it! Two wrongs don't make a right, & it's certainly not going to help matters one bit for you to pile one wrong on top of another by allowing yourself to be lured into the Enemy's trap of discouragement!

       34. So whenever you feel like, "Oh, I deserve to feel discouraged, after all, I must have blown it. In fact, I'm always blowing it, so I really deserve to feel discouraged, I deserve to feel condemned," rebuke it! You do not deserve to feel condemned & you don't deserve to feel discouraged! You're not to give in to those feelings! We walk by faith & not by sight, & not by feelings! (2Cor.5:7.)

       35. So I'm now telling you, do not be discouraged! And when you get that initial feeling of discouragement sometimes, you don't have to give in to it.--Just fight it from the beginning! As soon as you start to feel discouraged, as soon as you start to worry, just hit the Devil in the face with the Word & slam him back! Get on the attack & you'll put him on the run! Just don't give place to those feelings, they're of the Enemy! Anything negative like that is of the Enemy!

       36. So maybe I should reword what I'm telling you a little more accurately & say, "Don't stay discouraged!" We can't really help but get some of those initial feelings sometimes, but we don't have to stay in that place, we don't have to give place to the Devil.

       37. It's also good to remember that "One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight!"--Deut.32:30. Whenever you feel that you're getting hit with those initial feelings of discouragement, if you can't get the victory over them pretty quickly, within a few minutes or a few hours at the most, then you'd better go to some spiritually strong person & ask them to pray with you, to help you fight in prayer against that attack of the Enemy. This is something you should do any time you're discouraged. "Confess your faults (or trials & battles) one to another, & pray one for another that ye may be healed!"--Jam.5:16.


       38. The Lord let me go through that little time of discouragement the other night so I could better understand these kinds of battles. I just had to fight it with the Word, that was the only thing I could use. I couldn't reason it out & I couldn't even pray it out. I had to claim the Lord's Word. I just had to give it all over to the Lord & let Him take care of it. And when I woke up in the morning I felt so much better, all the load was gone & the discouragement was gone & all the pressure was gone.

       39. I'd felt so pressured. They were feelings of pressure, feelings of discouragement that were really "lying vanities." It really wasn't so bad, I didn't have that much to do, I wasn't really that pressured! And actually, no matter how many things we have to do on our "To Do" list, we don't ever need to feel pressured like that, because the Lord has said His yoke is easy & His burden is light. (Mat.11:28-30.) So that pressure & that discouragement are lying vanities. In our walk with the Lord, we don't have to get under pressure, we don't have to give in to discouragement.

       40. Then I got that verse, "They that observe lying vanities* forsake their own mercy."--Jonah 2:8. If we look at the mountains of obstacles or problems that seem to be in our way, & we allow ourselves to believe that something is just too much, too big, we're allowing ourselves to get pressured through looking at these problems instead of looking at the Lord & His power. If we allow ourselves to get pressured like that, if we allow ourselves to get discouraged, we are observing lying vanities! And if we do that, it says we then "forsake our own mercies." In other words, we're forsaking the offer of the Lord's mercy & the Lord's help, the Lord's faith, the Lord's grace--which is all sufficient, & the Lord's miraculous power that can free us from the Enemy's discouragement! (* worthless or empty falsities.)

       41. Dad has made it very clear in Letters like "My Yoke Is Easy" (ML #169) that the Lord never puts us under unbearable pressure, for His yoke is easy & His burden is light. (Mat.11:28-30.) But when others put us under pressure, either with unrealistic expectations or deadlines, or just too much work, that's another story.

       42. People can go to the Lord & He will give them sufficient strength to bear the loads He has given them. They can also resist & be freed from any pressure that the Enemy might try to put them under. But when their leadership puts them under too much pressure, sad to say, there's often not a whole lot that they feel they can do about it.--Which is why we who are Shepherds & leaders have to be very prayerful & careful to do our best to be sensitive to the needs & capabilities of those we are responsible for, so that we don't over-pressure them or give anyone more than they can bear.

       43. Of course, many times we ourselves are the ones who put unrealistic expectations or deadlines on ourselves, or take too much on our own shoulders. Whatever the case, if you ever do feel that you have been put under undue pressure in some way, then you should let your Shepherds know about it, & try to find the Lord's solutions. "Let your requests be made known!"--Phil.4:6. We are to "bear one another's burdens" (Gal.6:2), but when the burden seems too heavy, then it's not the Lord's yoke or burden, so you know that He has a solution.--Which He'll surely reveal to you if you pray & counsel together. Of course, once you've earnestly prayed & "cast your burden upon the Lord" (Psa.55:22), you may discover that even though a task or burden seemed much too heavy or difficult for you alone, that His grace is indeed sufficient for you, & His strength is made perfect in your weakness, & that He will give you the power, inspiration & solutions that truly lighten the previously heavy yoke & make it much easier for you to bear. (2Cor.12:9.)


       44. When we turn away from looking at the Lord & we begin to look at circumstances & look at supposed problems, supposed mountains, then we can't even see the Lord any more because we're so busy looking at the mountains! When actually, the Lord says if you have your eyes on Him & have just a little tiny faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to the mountain "Be removed," & it will be cast into the sea!--Mark 11:23.

       45. Looking to the Lord & His Word is what gives us that kind of faith. Then all of a sudden, the mountain is gone! When we're looking at the Lord we can't even see the mountain any more, & actually, it really isn't there! It was just "lying vanities" in the first place! "All things are possible to him that believeth."--Mark 9:23. "For with God, nothing shall be impossible!"--Luk.1:37.--"According to your faith be it done unto you!"--Mat.9:29.

       46. We live in a World of the spirit! We live in a miracle World! We live in the supernatural! So the obstacles & problems we encounter can't stop us, they don't even exist when we have the faith! In other words, there are no mountains in our way, nothing is in our way! We're God's supernatural children, we're filled with the Lord's Holy Spirit, we have Jesus & we're crucified with Him, nevertheless we live, yet not us, but Christ liveth within us! (Gal.2:20.) And all power is given unto Him, & therefore unto us! (Mat.28:18.) And He can make the mountains melt away, so that the things that be are as though they were not. (Rom.4:17.)

       47. Most of the mountains in our lives are usually fears & worries & condemnations & discouragements & jobs that we think have to be done. But for us, fear should not even exist, worry should not even exist, it has no place in our lives! So when these kinds of mountains build up, they really are "lying vanities!" They shouldn't even exist, they shouldn't be there, they don't make any difference with the Lord, they're not real to the Lord, they're just the Devil's lies!

       48. Of course, the pressing work we have to do, the urgent business & emergency situations that come up & must be tended to, these things are real, they are there & they are problems & they do need to be dealt with. But the pressure we feel because of them is something that shouldn't be there. We don't have to have that. Again, that is a lying vanity. Because the Lord says His yoke is easy & His burden is light, & if we leave it with Him, if we "cast all our cares upon Him," then how can we have any cares left? (Mat.11:28-30; 1Pet.5:7.)

       49. I'm reminded of the little song:
       "Why should I be discouraged?
       Why should the shadows come?
       Why should my heart be lonely
       And long for Heaven & Home?
       For Jesus is my portion
       Unfailing Friend is He!
       His eye is on the sparrow
       And I know He watches me!
       His eye is on the sparrow
       And I know He watches me!
       I sing because I'm happy!
       I sing because I'm free
       For His eye is on the sparrow
       And I know He watches me!"

       50. And there's another little song that goes:
       "When your fears grow mountain high
       And would block your pathway,
       Wait, oh wait upon the Lord,
       Believing while you pray.

       "Then your eagle wings will grow,
       Upward, upward, up you'll go!
       Over, Hallelujah, over,
       With the mountains far below!"

       51. In other words, when you're looking from way way up above, down at the mountains, they just look like little specks, & that's what they really are. They're no longer obstacles, they're not even mountains any more, they don't present any problem to you any more when you've gone to the Lord in prayer, & when you've claimed His Word & His promises. It was just lying vanities that made them seem like such big mountains in the first place. So, praise the Lord! TYJ!

       52. Well, this little talk is just meant to be a little bit of encouragement. I mostly wanted to try to encourage you & to tell you not to be discouraged. I know the Lord is having His way with you. Any rough spots that need help or any improvements that He's going to make as time goes on, just trust Him & He'll take care of it. We're very happy with you & those you're working with, you're all making great progress, & we're real encouraged. In Jesus' name, amen.
       Love, Mama

       Picture captions:
Pg. 1:
I'm on such a bummer! I just don't feel close to the Lord!
Hey, I'm right here!--As near & dear as I've promised in My Word!

But Lord, I still don't feel very inspired about preaching to Nineveh!
You don't have to feel inspired, Jonah! Just obey Me!

I definitely feel that this is what we should do!
You're right! That feeling is from Me! And it's in accord with all you have learned through David, My Word & Godly counsel!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family