He was flat on his back, groaning. It wasn’t the pain that brought him back to consciousness. It was the choking dust. The pain came a few seconds later. The fear of never breathing again was overwhelming. This was the second time he had been thrown off a cliff. The wind had been knocked out of him, but, as he began to draw in that first, blessed, breath of air, the dust floating around him from the impact of his fall was choking him. The pain came when he tried to roll over and stand up. It felt like every bone in his body had been broken. He gasped for breath while he ran his hands over his body to check if his bones were not broken. Nothing broken, but it sure felt that way. It was a good drop from the edge of the cliff. It was a miracle he wasn’t broken to pieces and killed.
When his ears stopped ringing, he heard shouting from a distance above him. He staggered around in a circle until he could focus his eyes and look up. Steadying his stance, he looked up and saw the people who had thrown him off the cliff. They were shaking their fists at him, screaming curses at him, wishing death on him, and telling him he should never come back.
Less than a year ago, this had happened to him at another place. He was dismayed that it had happened again. Greater than the physical pain was the hurt that he had been rejected again.
He could just make out the towering spire of the temple, behind the screaming crowd. Leading that crowd was the Chief Priests of that community. They had contacted him and asked him to come. They had heard about him, and thought that he could bring about the changes needed in their community. Others had tried and failed, including the Chief Priests. One of the High Priests even told him that the Creator had given him a vision of how he was the person to lead that community into the future.
HE had accomplished much of what he knew the Creator had sent him to accomplish. The people had caught the vision he laid out. The changes came, not because of him, but because he shared the vision with the people. All He had to do was deliver the message the Creator had told him to deliver, and to do specific things the creator had told him to do. As long as he did this, things went very well.
There were a certain group of people he had to work the hardest with and for. They fought him every inch of the way. Still, change happened, and things slowly improved. One of the people in this particular group had the ability to hide his falsehoods in a web of half-truths, and cause people to believe his words. This was a slowly dripping poison that had the potential to destroy all he had accomplished. Still, he pressed on.
There was a monument in the center of the village that enumerated all the creeds of their forefathers. It was the forefathers that had founded this town, and the creeds that had held it together through good and bad times. These creeds stirred his heart every time he read them. He knew he was new to the walk, but he was determined to embody these creeds, and lead by example, just as the forefathers had done. He could tell that very few people in the village took the creeds seriously, and acted on them only when the High Priest happened to be looking. This frustrated him a great deal that such duplicity could live in the hearts of the villagers. Did they not understand that it was by the Godly leadership of the forefathers that this village even existed. Yet, here they were, willing to use them as a superficial tool. They spoke bravely of these creeds, but were too afraid to walk in them.
Eventually, he grew weary of the Chief Priests and the people swearing their dying loyalty to the creeds that they boasted of, and he grew weary of fighting the prophet of falsehoods. Instead of responding in the manner that the Creator had told him to do, he took matters in his own hands. He grew angry and impatient with the utter hypocrisy that seems to surround all religious people. He betrayed the trust of those who had asked him to come there. All his good efforts were undone in that single moment. It seemed that, once again, the Enemy of our souls had won another round.
He faced his accusers, and was charged, and was thrown over the cliff, and told never to return. All the work he had accomplished was in jeopardy of being destroyed because of him.
His heart was broken. He wept. He didn’t feel self-pity, just a deep disappointment. God had sent him here, and had worked a few miracles to bring him here. He had not done as the Father had told him to do.
As he wondered why God had arranged him to be here, the crowd suddenly grew silent. They covered their mouths and pointed at something behind him. The cliff formed a U-shaped wall around a valley. He was standing in the very back of the cliff walls, where he had been thrown off.
He turned around to see what all the silence was about.
Standing about 50 feet in front of him, in a semi-circle, blocking his escape, were the most hideous beings he had ever seen. These wraith leered at him and slathered their delight at his downfall. He heard the High Priest shouting to the people to turn away and go home. That he was getting the punishment he deserved, and they need to run away if they don’t want th wraith to chase them. Such was the beliefs of the village.
He recognized who these wraith were. He dared not speak their names, or listen to their taunting curses and laughter. But he knew them well. Their names were Fear, Doubt, Curses, Blame, Anger, Despair, and Destruction. He knew them very well, as they used to be the only friends he ever had before Jesus, the Son of God, had touched him, and healed his heart, about 8 months ago.
He knew that if he listened to them, he would consider their accusations and succumb to the temptations they offered. Their presence was strong, and their words very enticing. He shook with the effort of trying to ignore them. As they inched closer, he began to panic. He wondered if this was why God had sent him here. To be destroyed by his own demons, that he thought he had been delivered of.
He remembered what Jesus had told him at his healing: “God is not judging you. While life has natural consequences, you are forgiven, because I bore all your sin and disease and failings on the Cross, and have given you all that I am and have in exchange for your sin. Never let doubt and fear distract you. There is nothing in all of Heaven or in Earth that can ever separate you from His love, ever again. You are his child, now. Call on Me when you are in need, and I will answer.”
Despite his misgivings, in spite of his fear and doubt, he raised his hands and said:
“My Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I thank you that I am acceptable to you, because I am in Christ, and He is in me. I come before you with all confidence and boldness because of the sacrifice of Jesus. (Eph. 1:6, Heb. 4:16)”
“You are my Father, and I am your Child.”
“I thank you that nothing can ever take me out of your hand again.”
“Because of the Lord Jesus I am adopted into the Family of God.”, “Because I am in Jesus, I am an heir to the everlasting Kingdom, that, because of His sacrifice, he exchanged all He has and Is for all my sin; He had given me all He has.”
“God, my Father, I am seeking, first, YOUR Kingdom and Your righteousness, and you meet ALL my needs” (Matt.6:33)
“Because You are my Father, you reveal your perfect will for my life.” (Matt. 11:25)
“Because I love and trust You, I seek to do Your will.” (Matt. 12:50)
“Because You are my Father, I love Jesus, who You sent to be my Savior.” (John 8:82)
“Because I am in the Lord Jesus, and He is in You, I am in you, too. I will always abide in your presence.” (John 10:10, 17:21)
“Father God, I abide in Your glory, which was given to Jesus, who, because I am now in Him, He has given to me. You crown me with dignity and worth. I am the redeemed of Christ. I am all You say I am. Father, I glorify You in the Earth.” (John 17:22)
As he was saying these things, joy flooded his broken heart. He felt the presence of the Spirit of GOd arrive and fill his every fiber. He danced and sang praises to God, because of Jesus Christ.
While he was praising, a presence appeared right in front of him. He stopped moving. He didn’t make a sound. He just stood staring in awe at who was standing right there in front of him.
Jesus stood looking him in the eye.
The prophet fainted.
Jesus said, “Please, get up.” And he held out His hand to pick up this soiled little prophet.
Jesus dusted him off, and smiled at him, and gave him water from the jug He had been carrying.
The prophet was utterly speechless. Jesus grinned and gave him a friendly smack on the shoulder, and said, “Well, for once, you are speechless!”. Then Jesus laughed at his own joke. This made the prophet relax, and eventually, he was laughing along with Jesus.
Christ walked the prophet over to an outcropping of rock, under a shade tree. He asked the prophet, “Where are your little wraith?”, That is when the prophet looked around, as if he was finally taking in his surroundings. “Gone, Lord. GONE!!”, said the prophet. And he grinned. Jesus chuckled and said, “Of course, nothing can stand in the praise of the Father, and no attack from them can befall one who has faith in the promises.”
The prophet said, “But Lord, I know you sent me to that village. I have ample evidence it was you that sent me there. But I have been kicked out. I have failed you again, and now I don’t know why I am here. I just know you sent me.”
“So, what will you do now?”, asked Jesus.
“I don’t know, just wait for you to tell me what to do, I guess.”, said the prophet.
Jesus said, “You guessed right. Wait for my instructions. I have sent you to be where you are. Never doubt that.”
“But I really blew it, Lord!”, pled the Prophet, “How can I possibly carry on after such a colossal failure?” “What will I do?” “My behavior turned my confession in to a lie!”
Jesus answered, “Friend, you will learn from me, and of me. You will be made in to my image. One way or another, when this is done, you will resemble Me.”, “For now, know you are loved of the Father, and by Me.”, “I promised I will send the Spirit of God to you, and I have. Listen to the leading of the Spirit. Get used to hearing and obeying when the Spirit speaks. Stay your ground, and do not look to the left or right. Have faith.”
The prophet asked, “What about the Village?”
“You have no idea,” replied Jesus, “what your influence has done there. Let me worry about the Village, and let the Village decide how it will believe. I will turn your curses into blessings, and I will see that the seed you planted, where it was planted, will be watered and will grow at the hands of another. What you may see as a failure, I will turn into a blessing in the end. You just have to decide what you believe is true about me.”
The prophet knelt before Jesus and said, “My Lord, Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for me. You paid for my sins. You made it possible for me to come before the Father. You carried the punishment for my sin, so I would not have to carry it. You rose from the dead, so I could have a new life. You shed your blood for me and removed all my sins. Jesus, I worship you and call you my Lord. (I Cor. 15:3-4, Gal. 3:13. 2 Cor. 5:17, Heb. 10:19, Rom. 5:9)
“I thank you, Jesus, for bringing me in to the family of God. You are my Elder Brother, and God is my Father, and I worship you this day. You have made me to be an heir of Your Kingdom.” (Heb. 2:11-13, Rom. 8:17, Col, 1:12, Rev. 5:10)
Then the prophet stood kissed Jesus on both cheeks.
Jesus stood up and said, “My little brother, rest assured this is not the end of your walk with me. Remember when I told you that things would get really dark?”
“Yes, I do, Lord.” said the Prophet.
“What did I say to you when I told you this was coming?”, asked Jesus.
“You told me that, no matter what happened, I am to cling to you, and have faith that you will turn this darkness into bright daylight, and this curse into a blessing. That, in the end, I will serve you successfully.” The prophet answered.
“Then do not fear. Know I am with you. It is like your elder brother, Paul said, ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.’ (Rom. 8:28). So know this, my brother, I have called you. I have prepared a way for you. Even when you fail, I love you and forgive, before you even ask. I will turn all your curses into blessings. Just stand your ground and keep believing.”
Then Jesus vanished.
The prophet stood there mouth gaping. He didn’t know what to do first, laugh, or cry. He was too blown away to begin walking again, so he sat on the rocks he and Jesus had sat on earlier. While he was thinking of all that had happened, he had a feeling that someone else was watching him. He looked up the cliff to see who it could be. Sure enough, there was a lone figure leaning against the rail at the edge of the cliff.
It was the High Priest.