I shared last week how the Isaiah 55 passage 'my ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts than your thoughts', is actually an invitation to come up to the Father's higher ways and thoughts, for He tells the wicked and unrighteous to forsake his ways and thoughts and return to the Lord.
All Things Prepared
Ephesians 2:10 Amplified version: "For we are God's own handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, born anew that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.
That means as I walk with Him He will reveal what has already been planned at the appropriate time.
Look at II Timothy 1:9: "He has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done, but according to His purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..." (in the Greek: 'before times eternal')
All His provision for our whole lives has already been given to us! These are the higher ways Isaiah 55 talks about - come up to walk in what has been prepared for you since times eternal - just walk with Him and He will reveal what He has prepared when it is needed. These are given with 'purpose and grace' - there is a purpose to your life for grace is never separate from purpose.
The trip and Chris
When I plan a trip I mentally walk through every element while shifting attention to my spirit to see if the Holy Spirit in my spirit witnesses of any detail not yet covered in the safety of the Lord.
I mentally walked through the nearly 2 hour drive into Tulsa, I thought of the flight to Seattle and nothing was in the Spirit about safety or any other issue related to the flights.
I thought about our son, daughter in law, and their 3 and 5 year old flying with us - kids, flying, ear pressure - nothing in the Spirit, it just feels blank, no negative feeling in my spirit so I knew all was OK.
I thought through and shifted attention to my spirit for the whole 5 days while there (things like anything about safety and fireworks with the kids, etc), then the remaining trip...and then my attention fell to our son Chris, our oldest and handicapped son who lives in a group home and wasn't going with us. There I had a sense of something wrong so I dwelt on him and that sense of heaviness, a sorrow that overwhelmed me when I thought of him and this trip.
What was prepared by God, what the devil wanted to do
The Father only prepares good things for us - James 1:16-17 says 'Do not be deceived brethren, every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness nor even a shade of turning (of His character)..."
But the devil would like to disrupt us from walking in our Father's higher ways by looking for any way to steal, kill, destroy, distract, cause us to back away from Father's provision by introducing fear, etc.
So I expect my Father to reveal both His plans that have been prepared since times eternal, AND anything the devil has planned to try to keep me from walking in Father's provision. That's why I have to know Him and know Him well.
We left July 3, a Tuesday, and we had Chris at home that weekend through Monday afternoon. I knew something was going to happen with Chris on the trip, and by Monday morning I knew what it was - Chris was going to be hit by a car and killed on Wednesday, July 11th, in the afternoon. I knew we were going to be driving between Vancouver and Banff when we got the call, and we'd have to fly emergency tickets out of Calgary to go home to plan a funeral.
When I dropped Chris off at the group home Monday and said goodbye I had the overwhelming sense I was seeing him for the last time this side of heaven. He didn't know what I knew of course, his simple ' Bye dad, when you come back you come get me and take me home' - he understands I have to go and tell people about Jesus - only made me reflect on the frailty of life and made me determined that this would not happen.
Of course there was no opportunity to pray that evening - remember last week's computer exchange issue - and because his death wasn't 'planned' by Satan for another 8 days, I knew I had plenty of time to pray and change things with the Father.
Monday night prayer
It didn't make sense that Chris would be hit by a car, because (in a wheelchair) he is only outside when pushed by others while transitioning to a bus or workshop...so I quizzed the Father on it, but got nothing. I told Him it didn't make sense, yet that 'knowing' that he would be hit by a car that Wednesday afternoon next week remained.
I didn't tell Barb, I kept quiet for her peace's sake. Monday morning she told me she had a grievance about something on the trip, like an accident, but I remained quiet as the Father had given me the details not her and I knew she needed to sleep well the night before we left - and if I needed her to join me in intercession I knew I could tell her as she is a far greater intercessor than me.
That (Monday) night I slept maybe 90 minutes. I knew we had a full day on Tuesday from early morning to well after midnight Tulsa time (Seattle is 2 hours earlier, meaning we'd not get to bed until about 2am Tulsa/body time) but I was going to fight for the Father's provision of safety for Chris, though the revelation of being hit by a car made no sense. I prayed in the Spirit nearly all night, wrestling with the forces of darkness for my son's life.
I cast the devil out and away from the situation right away of course, and asked the Father to send angels to protect Chris - but this was a perverse assignment from hell where the demon was persistent. The reason for the persistence became clear somewhere about 2am when I asked the Father what was taking so long - He told me there were many people involved and a chain of events involved.
If it was a simple matter of my will against the demon trying to cause an accident, it would have been an easy 'I command you to leave' - but many people were involved (each having their own will, job responsibilities, other residents to deal with) so the intensity of the prayer required persistence to undo all that spider web of people and events of that Wednesday afternoon to be...finally just before dawn the last thread of web was evidently unwound.
I could feel the momentum shifting about 4am but unlike my usual reaction of 'that's good enough', I stayed with it until every strand was undone and the Father had a clear path to make His provision for the day manifest. By dawn I got the victory and total peace - I knew Chris had been spared. Barb woke up later and commented that she suddenly had peace...then I filled in the details for her - on that side of peace.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning the 11th
We were driving through the mountains of Canada heading toward our destination for the night, Banff, in Alberta, when I made the call to Chris' group home. The Aide, Peggy, answered and I told her of what the Father showed me about that afternoon and she responded; "Hmmm. That's interesting, here is what's happening around here..."
Some 2 months earlier they had upgraded Chris' wheelchair. Due to a stroke at age 17 he only has use of his right hand, so when he pushes the rim of his wheelchair he just spins in circles. He grabs doorways to pull himself down a hall or move other than circles. But 2 months ago his wheelchair got a locking axle for the left wheel - they put a 2nd grab wheel on the right wheel, and if he grabs the original bar he spins in circles, but if he holds both bars it locks the left wheel and he can go straight. Let go of the 2nd one and he can turn or spin, grab the 2nd again and he goes straight.
Peggy continued: "Chris has just this week mastered his wheelchair. We've discovered him out in the parking lot, going over speed bumps and laughing hard, but a few times he's been to the road out front before we've caught him."
Suddenly it all made sense - that's why the 'hit by a car' burden was there. With 2 Aides for 8 people and the numerous duties that keep the Aides busy, they would have lost track of Chris, resulting in the accident. I told her I wanted him in the house that afternoon, watching TV or whatever, but NOT outside. She agreed. Later I told the other Aide, Kathy, the same story as I suspected Peggy didn't relay it - and I was right.
Later that night I talked to Kathy again, and she said it nearly happened. She said she was in the kitchen making dinner about 4-5pm and Peggy went to do something else, and Chris used that opportunity to open the front door and roll to the busy parking lot before they realized he was gone. (The parking lot is for cars from 2 group homes and 4 buses and the headquarters for the group home (with some 300 clients total in NE Oklahoma) PLUS their garage area to work on the handicapped equipped buses for those clients.
So that is a living example of being sensitive to the Father's higher ways and thoughts, and doing what is needed (2 days of concentrating on it to zero in and 1 sleepless night and follow up phone call) to assure His ways and thoughts were what happened. All things the Father's ways and thoughts are prepared for us to walk in - will we pay the price? Next week - another perspective on coming up to higher ways and thoughts. Stay tuned!