Dear Brother Scott,

I wanted to share this testimony with you in view of the many encouraging Early Morning Manna letters you have sent us recently about Spirit Filled Fitness.  When you came and spoke to our church in August and September, your messages convicted many of us to work harder at getting our temples in better shape to be able to serve the Lord in this hour.

I have struggled most of my life with weight problems and have often wrestled the flesh to the ground but still continue to battle today.  Your encouragement to keep trying led me to begin swimming three times a week.  I used to swim competitively as a kid, so this was a natural place to start.  At first, I could only do 400 meters and couldn’t see how I could get to my goal of 1600 meters per session.  I realized I had to give myself time to build up to it and asked the Holy Spirit to give me resolve and strength.  I also asked God to show me why I was having so much trouble getting air and He revealed to me that I needed a swim cap and goggles to help keep water out of my mouth.

Within six weeks, I was already up to 1200 meters per session and felt such joy.  One time, I found myself praying instead of counting laps.  The person waiting for me came to see if I was okay because I had swum far past my hour.  I didn’t even realize I had been swimming so long.  It was supernatural Holy Spirit energy!

That was one week before I left for my visit to Israel to see for myself what your ministry is accomplishing.  (…which was awesome!  I recommend it to everyone!)

Once I landed in Israel on Saturday morning, I was exhausted from the long plane ride from LA and 9 hour layover in London.  I wasn’t able to sleep, but hit the ground running.  I was also sick to my stomach most of the day from some antibiotics I had to start before I left.  Dalit took us to the Wailing Wall that night and I was overcome with love for the Jewish women there.  ‘They need Messiah’ was my heart cry.

The next day we went to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives.  But later that night, my sleep was fitful.  I got up early the next morning, as I try to do all the time, so I can spend time waiting on my Abba.  I had intended to swim and went downstairs to the hotel pool ready to go.  I still felt very sick but pushed through, knowing I had a busy and exciting day ahead.  I couldn’t wait to see and experience what more God had for me in the Holy Land.

As I began swimming, it reminded me of the first week of my new fitness program.  I could barely move.  I started crying while in the water and cried out to the Lord.  I told Him I was exhausted and didn’t feel good and that if I was to keep going in the water, He would have to energize me.  “Not my will, but Yours be done” was on my lips.  I kept going, just forcing my flesh to obey.  The struggle was nearly overpowering.  Finally, after about 25 laps total (only about 500 meters) I asked the Lord how many more He wanted me to do.  I heard Him whisper, “Two more.”  I said, “Okay, but You have to help me.”

On the second length of my second lap, I felt better and told the Lord I would give Him two more because I love Him and to thank Him for giving me strength to obey.  After the second lap, I was re-energized and knew I could give Him more.  The joy of being able to keep going was incredible and I ended up doing about 4 more laps (8 lengths.)  Near the end of my extra laps, I felt the Holy Spirit speak deeply to my spirit.  I had been meditating on the Garden of Gethsemane before swimming, because we’d been at that holy place the day before.

I suddenly realized Jesus’ rebuke of his two closest disciples was not born out of anger or even frustration at them, nor disappointment, though those may have had something to do with it. His rebuke included the comment, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  I had always wondered why Jesus added to their sorrow by rebuking them (the word says they were sleeping because of sorrow.)  But at that moment of subduing my lower nature and forcing my flesh to lie down, I realized Jesus said what He did, because He had just come from the very same battle victorious!  It was completely real to Him how hard the fight was.  He had experienced it Himself because He didn’t want to do what God was asking, even though He was born for that very moment.

Scott, your messages of the battle with your flesh and being honest with us of how hard it was to realize you were out of shape and overweight, spoke to me so deeply.  I was so moved by the genuineness of your confession.  That gave me courage.  In the pool, at the moment of revelation from Jesus about His experience in the Garden to me, I recognized your rebukes came from the same place that Jesus’ rebukes had come from.  Deep understanding of the battle we wage with our flesh and your victory over it.  What comfort the Holy Spirit gave me in that moment.  What joy I discovered at following the example you gave, which mirrors the example of Jesus.  Praise the Lord.

I realized this is what it’s all about in Spirit Filled Fitness!  But that wasn’t all God had for me.  After a wonderful Holy Spirit led Whirlwind Tour of Israel that you blessed me and my companions with, I ended up having to further test the endurance the Lord was teaching me.  My plane left earlier than the others, so I ended up in the airport at 1:30 in the morning my last day there.  By that time I had been up 20 hours.  The successive legs of my trip (4 in all) exhausted me even more and I still was battling the nausea.  Sleeping on the plane was unsuccessful. By the time I arrived home early Saturday morning, I had been up for 55 hours straight!

When I finally lay down and began to relax, at 2:30 am Pacific time, a police helicopter began circling above my home.  A searchlight flashed into the windows and I felt a spirit of justice well up inside me.  I declared aloud that the guy needed to be caught right then.  I suddenly had a picture in my mind of my new shofar I was privileged to purchase in Israel; that you ‘anointed’ on the Green Line by blowing against terrorism and calling for a spirit of justice.  I realized God was asking me to blow the shofar outside my house in the middle of the night for this fugitive to be caught.

I looked out my front window and saw the man running away down the street!  My heart pounded but I blew two long blasts outside.  Shaking, I came inside and called the police to tell them I’d seen the guy they were probably looking for.  I didn’t hear any more helicopters after that and was able to sleep soundly from then on.

Thank the Lord for His perfect plan.  He cleans us up, teaches us to subdue our flesh, and surrender to complete obedience even to the death of ourselves, so we can be lost in Him, in the secret place, and do exploits for His kingdom!  Thank you for revealing this mystery to me and others.  May God continue to bless your efforts and stealth operations in Israel for His glory and honor!

Desirée Figg
New Day Church, Paso Robles, California
December 21,2009

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