If you have felt a challenge to the core of your identity, God wants to encourage you.
By Cheree Shenk
Right before breakthrough, the pressure to “tap out” is high, and it can feel so personal and intense. Often, the most intense challenges during this season center around identity and calling. If you have felt a challenge to the core of your identity, God wants to encourage you. You are walking through refinement in order to be prepared to carry the responsibility that comes with the next season’s assignment. Every season is not the same; some things cannot go with you into the next season. This inner wrestling is so that Christ is formed within you. One level of warfare is the enemy pushing the buttons of reaction, isolation, independence, and the orphan spirit. But testing comes so that we may be disciplined and approved! Will you choose not to quit, and will you come through?
It is going to require you to lay down the way you thought things should happen.
It is going to require perseverance in community so that the life of Christ can be built in you.
It is going to require stewarding the things of God to a greater degree.
It is going to require letting go of familiar offenses and insecurities and releasing control.
Remember that the deepest works require time before the Lord. It is important how you come through, as a loved son or daughter of God, not just that you come through. It is important to know here, in this season of warfare, that you are loved and chosen by God for this day and time, and that there is a work prepared for you in Christ. There is nothing you can do to earn it. The way to walk in it is through relying on God’s grace, the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the Body of Christ.
Consider These Scriptures
“But I have prayed for you, . . . that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
“You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36, NOG).
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
“Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26).
“Resist him and be firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you by the Messiah Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, establish you, strengthen you, and support you. Power belongs to him forever and ever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:9-11, ISV).
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
“. . .so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7, CSB).
More encouragement in the book When God Seems Silent by Larry and LaVerne Kreider here.
About Cheree Shenk
Cheree and her husband, Merle, serve on the DOVE International Apostolic Council, and on the apostolic team for DOVE South Africa. Merle and Cheree planted an inner city church in Woodstock, South Africa. Then after living in South Africa for 11 years, they received a clear word of the Lord sending them back to the USA. Knowing that this was an assignment from God, they relocated to the USA. Read more about their story here.