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Going low to go high

To go up in the Kingdom of God, you must first go down. Photo: Daniel Hoherd/Flickr/Creative Commons

To go up in the Kingdom of God, you must first go down. Photo: Daniel Hoherd/Flickr/Creative Commons

[by Patricia Fraser] Earlier this year, I felt a strong urge to go on an extended fast with an emphasis on God’s love for me and for His people.  It was broken up in to two 16-day fasts. The first involved a liquid fast and the second 16 days a discipline fast where I stayed away from such things as the Internet, TV and computer.

My first 16 days of the liquid fast was relatively easy and delightful with much journaling of deeper understanding of various scriptures and God’s love.

On the second day, I received this word:

“It has always been My will to have righteous judges to govern My people, not kings.  I am raising up many to take their place in My Kingdom to speak truth, decide matters and deliver My verdict in righteousness.

“Those who have given themselves to my training and discipline in various situations and have yielded and submitted to My ways are now equipped to speak for Me.  This is not a position with a title, but a function that flows naturally with My wisdom, counsel and direction.”

From this, I sensed God is raising up judges who are not in it for personal glory, but simply to serve and help people.

My second 16-day fast was a nightmare. I felt restless, agitated and discouraged wanting to quit my spiritual journey.  My spiritual disciplines went out the window but I did receive His grace for contending in the spirit when the overwhelming feelings came upon me.

Instead of turning to something in the natural for comfort like food, TV, Internet, shopping or a new project, I paced the floor and prayed in tongues until I returned to a state of peace. I got through the 16 days and at the end I really wondered what was accomplished, because it felt like I was just surviving and not taking new ground.

But God assured me that it did not depend on my effort or personal spiritual disciplines, but rather my willingness to do it, despite what it looked like in the natural.

During the second phase, I began studying the book of Judges. In chapter 10:1-2, we find a reference to judge named Tola, a man of Issachar. He judged Israel for twenty-three years and died.

Tola is the only judge whose acts were not recorded. But perhaps his name told his story. It is an interesting name in the Hebrew – Tola — translated it means worm, but not just any worm.

A friend recently shared with me a teaching about the worm from Psalms 22:6 which describes our suffering Saviour:

But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people. (Psalm 22:6)

This is the only place in the scriptures that the Hebrew word Towla or Tola is used for worm — everywhere else the Hebrew word for worm is Rimmah.

Towla refers to a scarlet or crimson worm. The female has larva once in its life and when her time has come, she finds the trunk of a tree, a Kermes oak, and buries herself in the wood. Her purpose is to birth a new generation and once she has done that, she dies.

The female Towla becomes so embedded in the wood, she cannot be separated from it without being torn apart. She then creates a hard crimson shell over herself and lays her eggs. Her body initially provides nourishment to her babies.

At her death, she oozes a crimson stain that colors the young for life. The wood is stained as well.

After 3 days she pulls her head and tail in, taking on the shape of a heart. She turns into a white waxy substance resembling snow and falls to the ground. In this state when crushed, the Towla not only gives off a beautiful fragrance, but is used to make medicine that helps the heart beat smoothly.

I went to Google and did some more research and was amazed by what I found.

Before it turns white, the Towla was also crushed to make red dye that was used for the priestly garments and the curtains of the Tabernacle.  For nearly 2000 years, the dye was imported from Turkey and South America for uses amongst the Jewish people.

Recently, at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, a Rabbi was teaching the students about the dye from the Towla and how it is obtained on the third day before it turns white.  Something historical happened — just 50 feet from the front door of the Institute, they discovered a Towla worm and harvested the dye.

God is raising up judges that have the submitted character of the Towla — whose acts will not be known or recorded on earth but will be known and recorded in heaven.

It is not appealing or glamorous to be a worm — to not seemingly accomplish anything of significance for others to see. In some cases, it may look like your life has been wasted or defeated in the natural realm.

But our example is Jesus, it was only after death that He was given a name above every name.  Who will take that posture?  Who will trust the ways of the Lord?

A few years ago I copied a paragraph from Rick Joyner’s book, Final Quest, and pasted it on the front inside cover of my bible:

“The high calling is not out of reach for anyone that the Lord has called.  I will tell you what will keep you on the path of life–love the Savior and seek His glory alone.  Everything that you do to exalt yourself will one day bring you the most terrible humiliation.  Everything that you do out of true love for the Savior, to glorify His name, will extend the limits of His eternal kingdom, and ultimately will result in a much higher place for yourself.  Live for what is recorded here (spiritual realm).  Care nothing for what is recorded on earth.”

Patricia Fraser is involved with the Saskatchewan House of Prayer (SHOP), that endeavors to discern God’s heart and will for the province of Saskatchewan. Members of SHOP meet regularly to pray for the province. They connect with people across Saskatchewan through weekly conference calls and monthly gatherings.

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