Gerry Gutierrez' Update
Dear Friends and prayer warriors;
I must confess to you that I have been a little angry at the State of the Union in the Kingdom of God in our generation. I was tired and worn out as a "caregiver for 21 years" to Ruthie that end up in her death. I was puzzled at the severe loneliness thereafter. I was wounded, sick and fed up with lukewarmness all around that I started warning Christendom with a lot of thunder that I was going to "Make a fool of myself now that Ruthie was not here to be embarrassed by me".
Just when I was ready to indict the Church and summon her with the strongest language and be subpoenaed if in contumacy I found myself under the same indictment BECAUSE I AM ALSO THE CHURCH. I found myself like the saints of old saying to myself "The church is a harlot...but she is my mother".
It was then that Julie Marie came into my life like Abigail to stop me from making a real big fool of myself. Julie, without many words stopped me on the spot and made me think that I can not embarrass her or ignore her presence as a sent one from God to restrain me.
Thank the Lord that this time my threats were only a lot of thunder and not much lightning. (But there will be rain, prepare your umbrellas)
I was loosing my friends as fast as I have made them. There was a level of intolerance based on my self righteousness (Which I consider one of the worst defects in the life of a believer). I was so eager to see the kingdom of the Lord coming in my generation but with very little hope due to the lack of eschatological urgency and corporate prayer toward that end.
I am still under conviction that the "Kingdom of God is not a matter of words...but of power" I believe there is power within reach for us the followers of Jesus. I intend to lovingly and tenderly remind the believers of all lands to tap into that power. "All things are still a prayer away for us who are HIS". "Let us pray together for his kingdom to come in our generation" (Lord don't let our eyes close before I see your Glory like Simeon)
PS The attached (Below) letter is by Julie Marie who is a true Abigail to me!
Nabal, a wealthy rancher living near Hebron in the town of Maon who pastured his flocks on the border of Judah at Carmel, received his mention in history as a result of his confrontation with David. David protected Nabal’s livestock from raids and maintained good relations with his shepherds. David in need of supplies sent ten staff members to Nabal at a time of sheep shearing to seek a gratuity in return for his restraint from pillaging and for protection rendered to Nabal’s herdsmen.
Nabal professed never to have heard of David and insinuated that he was only a runaway slave. David enraged, gave orders to have his men move against Nabal 400 strong. The foolishness of Nabal is characteristic of many a ‘self-made man’ who is concerned only with his own influence.
Being around a fool can leave us assuming we have no choices. We can believe that the fool is in charge and expect disaster at every turn in the road and go down in to the pit with them or, we can be of good understanding and apply wisdom. And we can be assured that God uses all things in our lives for a greater purpose and that when we flee to Him, we will find the power to take courage in the face of fear. Meet a woman who had discernment in these matters – say hello to Abigail…
Abigail was a resourceful wife of “good understanding and beautiful”. Upon hearing of her husband’s folly she lost no time. She prepared a substantial gift of food and took it to David and his men. With discrete words of reconciliation she checked David’s anger and saved her husband’s life. But about ten days later Nabal died, apparently of a stroke. David admitted that Abigail had prevented him from committing a foolish act by seeking to take his own vengeance on his enemy.
I stand in awe of such wisdom displayed by Abi!
David regarded Nabal’s death as an act of God and felt free to call upon Abigail. Having been deeply impressed with her practical discretion and levelheadedness, he asks the widow’s hand in marriage. When David was constrained to flee to Gath, he took Abigail with him. She was but one of the six wives David had in those early days and is noted that she was the wisest. In Hebron she bore him a son by the name of Chileab, his second son. Later this son is called Daniel.
On her second trip to David’s camp her personal effects and five servant girls accompanied her, in order to remain with David as his second wife. She later went with David to Hebron and to Jerusalem as his queen. I find it fascinating that she graciously and without hesitation consented to marry David, agreeing to “wash the feet of the servants of my lord”.
Surely there is much to be learned from the wisdom and actions of Abigail. We must probe into her depth of character and glean for ourselves all that we can. Our Father I believe would surely delight knowing that we are ‘squeezing the lemon’ for every ounce of wisdom He thought worthy to give us in the Scriptures.
Well she certainly wasted no time; she acted quickly. Her actions were purposefully planned. She took no time to think about “what if”. She was able to think clearly with great insight and fully capable to implement a thoughtful plan. Not once did she hesitate – no, she acted swiftly! Imagine how differently history would be recorded were it not for the quick thinking of one woman. Her courageous actions speak to my own heart in wanting to imitate her.
So, where do we suppose Abigail found such strength of mind and discernment after all, she had a fool for a husband and so I think it is fair to assume he brought little nourishment to the marriage? I believe Abigail had the insight to realize she could not change her fool, but neither did she allow her fool to define her. Abi most likely suffered much heartbreak over such a man and yet, was able to handle graciously a delicate situation. We do not see any self-centeredness or self-trusting in her. She put aside a lot of pride to defuse a situation and did what was right to protect her husband and home. I believe she found this wisdom and discernment spending time at the feet of Jesus.
When we spend time with Jesus we are promised the wisdom we need for all things. When Jesus plants knowledge in our hearts and wisdom to apply we can be assured He will speak on our behalf. “For out of the abundance of the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34). How it frees us up to go forward in boldness and in the reality that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus, just as did Abigail.
And in fact, how do we know that she did not have fear? I believe most likely she did. What we do know for certainty, though, if she did have fear it did not paralyze her, as her courage eloquently over-stepped fear. Just imagine the scene: Abi is riding her donkey into a mountain ravine and seeing David and his men descending toward her! In David’s anger he is threatening that had she not come quickly, not one man would be alive come daybreak. This scenario displays tremendous courage in the face of any fear Abigail may have experienced. What a moment it must have been!
Abigail shines brightly as a woman used by God and I stand in awe as to how He shaped her through extraordinary events of biblical history. It is a wonderful illustration of how He positions those whom He calls. The Bible describes us as those who undergo trials and are tested so as to be refined like gold in a furnace. Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God as the pearl “of great value”.
Recently I read, “God trained Moses in a palace to use him in a desert. He trained Joseph in a desert to use him in a palace.” I believe He trained Abigail in a marriage to a fool to use her as a shining example of one who takes courage in the face of fear. She needed to rely fully on the Lord absent any help from her husband. Just as a diamond in the rough once refined shines more brightly against a dark backdrop, so it is that Abi shines as a woman who took her place in history and in whose footsteps we should long to pattern.
May we seek to imitate and come alongside those called by God to do great things of lasting value.
All for Jesus,