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March 2016

FREEDOM FROM BEING LOVED

risk-being-loved-500x500

My mind has been sent on a journey by hearing a quote from a man who knew Jesus in his imperfect life here on earth. In my journey here on earth I have experienced many things. As a young person I grew up in a home where my parents worked hard and we had the things that most children had. We took trips to places and camped and got to see more then many of my friends. The odd thing though is that I never really felt loved at least not always. My parents told me that I was loved just like many of us, but I perceived that receiving love was very much based on how I was performing. How we perceive things like love is very important as it is laid at the foundation of who we are as a person. If this is something weak, distorted or missing then our lives are easily toppled when adversity comes our way.

Since my perception of love was that I was not receiving it I was very needy and tried to convince myself and others that I was strong and did not need to be loved. So this was the lie that I tried to live out but of course it can’t be done with any success. I met a girl who was both beautiful and seemed to fill that need for love that I had and so we married. During the marriage I was faced with many things that I managed to avoid as a single person. With my many insecurities being challenged on a regular basis I became frustrated at every turn. I could no longer stay hidden and saw that I was failing as a husband and father. We had three beautiful children but again I felt I had nothing to offer as a parent and hoped that my wife could cover all those bases. Well divorce finally arrived at our home and my wife left with the children and I was now alone again.

Being alone allows time for reflection and I now was doing plenty of it. When I realized that being alone was a permanent situation I wanted to die. If I had not feared going to hell ( which may not be truth ) I would have done so. I remember one day in I was in the basement sweeping the floor getting ready to move out when I noticed a presence with me. I realized that God had not left me despite my many failures and wrong doings. I spoke out loud and asked Him why He was here when no one else wanted to be with me. I never heard an answer but really felt that He still loved me which seemed silly as I sure didn’t love me.

Well as I had mentioned earlier this need to feel loved was still very much in me so I started to seek out Jesus more as He had something I needed. Not only that but He had seen the worst of me and was still here and ready to love. How could I toss that aside. I was going to church more regularly but discovered that church and personal relationship were two different things. Church was me building friendships with others who had made Jesus a “ something” in their lives. As people we are in a constant state of change and so is our status with Jesus. Perhaps we will have a Christian Social Media site that with have “ Present status with Jesus”. In a public setting like church it was hard for me to receive love as I really didn’t believe people when They said that they loved me. I actually cringed when I heard the words and thought ” oh sure you do”, kind of like saying “ I love beer”. Perhaps it was this that kept me close to Jesus as He was my only source of love. I believed Him and trusted Him and so I could receive love. People I really didn’t trust and my heart was quite guarded from them.

Jesus began to teach me by His Spirit on a regular basis and we were like best friends. If I went to slander my wife to Him He would not hear of it. After I time I just stopped doing it as it was something He would never listen to. He did day to me “ She is not here to teach but you are so let’s work on you”. After a bit there came a change in me that I opened the door to my heart to a select few people. I started to visit a family who always appeared glad to see me. They too loved the Lord and really loved to see what He had to say in the bible. After a time another home open up and I felt like I was a part of their family as well.

I had migrated to a small church and I found the people to be like my real family. I so enjoyed them. It was a wonderful experience and I grew all the more as I was in good ground. Life began to expand and hope returned that life would be worth living. The kids came over on weekends and my friends would love on them which was such a blessing. Things had drastically changed since that day in the basement. He had found me and taken me from the depths of despair to the High Places where things are so bright and the air so invigorating. He even taught me so things about marriage and then brought me a wife that was more than I could have asked or hoped for.

Well I have traveled many miles since then and God has always had a home or two with people who loved me ( and now my wife ) and a place where I am loved for the person I am right now. In order to be truly free I must be open to receive love from my friends, family and strangers and there needs to be a dedicated love supply line attached to God when all three of them pour into you. I have such a line and mine has a valve on it which I control. I have made the mistake of cutting it back to near off when things happened that shook my trust in Them. Without that love flowing into my love tank I began to fall back into things like environmental control, self-protection and became a guarded person again as fear replaced love and lies became plausible. The wrench that opens the valve controlling God’s love is called trust. I couldn’t seem to find that wrench for a time.

This world and the dark ruler in it are trying to sever the line of love from God to every one of us at every moment of every day. He has more counterfeits for true love then there are hairs on my…. well my wife’s head. Much like Donald Trump’s solution of building a wall to create safety and protection I concluded that the same method would stop pain. I built one quietly around my heart thinking I was now protected when in fact I was now a prisoner. The most important thing in our lives is the ability to receive God’s love. Without His love we are empty vessels with many cracks and very unhappy. We often take solace in the fact that the majority of people are using one of those many counterfeits that the devil supplies.Then he convinces us what he offers is all there is. “Everyone is doing this so it must be right!” It isn’t! Freedom comes from knowing you are loved just as you are and that is what I find myself……… Just Thinking

Agonizing over Habakkuk

I wrote this a few years ago and recently rediscovered it. I thought others out there may identify with it and perhaps help with healing in some way.

Habakkuk 3

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[e]
able to tread upon the heights.

Even though Christian’s appetite is weak,

And his skin color is still yellow

The meat on his bones continues to vanish

And his strength is replaced with weakness

The cancer continues to grow and causes

Him to suffer great pain

Yet ………. Can I rejoice in the Lord? Do I trust that His strength will sustain us in this hour?

Will He again move in my life and lift us out of this pit?

 

Last night as I was going to sleep I heard Christian screaming. His mother exhausted from an endless shift of being mother and nurse tried to bring comfort to her son. Dad who is also battle weary from trying his best to lead and protect his family was with his pastor and a few of his friends being encouraged. I sat here in my room not knowing what to do. I felt like the men in the trenches who listened to the taunts of Goliath the giant. I wanted to go up and fix the problem but I felt powerless. Shame draped over me like a wet blanket So I sat on the floor and prayed however I felt like prayer wasn’t enough. I wondered if He heard me. My faith was waning. Then a bombardment of thoughts came to me causing me question was I of any value. Had I failed my family here? Where is the God whom I carry in this time of trial? Then I wonder about waiting on the Lord and searched out the verse and found this. I found more than I expected and felt like I was being spoken to personally.

 

Isaiah 26 Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
27 O Norman, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O son, how can you say God ignores your rights?

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

 

And so once again I hear the voice of my heavenly Father and I am brought back to the path of truth. Though I still don’t know what will unfold in the days ahead I can trust that the one in whom I have trusted in the past will continue to be who He is in the future. He is not a man that He should lie and it is He who is always good, always pure and truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

So yes I can now come into agreement with Habakkuk and say:

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[e]
able to tread upon the heights.

 

Friday, December-21-12

Hab3.17-18

A Secret

 

It is amazing to watch something like a lie grow from nothing to something huge and destructive. Lies that appear harmless we refer to and “ white lies”. Lies are often like honey. They appear to be the sweet answer to the problem facing you but they are also very sticky as well so once you are involved you are often stuck.

I was reading the account of King David and his fall with Bathsheba. I think the first lie that he came into agreement with was one of entitlement. He was now the most powerful king in the known world and his word was the final authority. The days of hiding out or shepherding sheep were far behind him now and I suppose so was his humility. I would imagine he would have been bombarded with thoughts telling him that he was greater then his fellow man. How cloudy our mind gets when we drift away from God and then the truth becomes lost in the fog.

Well David wasn’t checking in with God as he had done in past times when he looked at Bathsheba with desire and decided to invite her over. I suspect even at that point that he just wanted to look upon her but knowing she was married he wouldn’t actually take her. The problem with those decisions is that the slope you walk is very slippery. Well he did take her and likely afterwards felt guilty but thought it would pass. There is no record of bringing her back over for a second visit so I can assume that his conscience was troubled.

No just when his mind began to be at peace again he gets word of her pregnancy. Now he realizes that he has got away with nothing and things are much worse then before. How can he keep the secret….secret? Now he needs to create more lies to hide what he has done in darkness. He has her husband sitting at his own table trying to get him to have sex with his wife and thereby assume that the child was his. I love this quote by the husband Uriah The Hittite.

“Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents,* and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.” David is confronted with the knowledge that this man is a man of honor and character. I know how I would have responded to that. I would feel so ashamed and would realize which one of us was walking the high road and who was not. Well David after many failed attempts to cause Uriah to fall he figured out that he needed to bury Uriah to bury the secret.

I wonder if David had deceived himself into thinking the God was with the ark in the tent and was not aware of things with him. It is funny the things that we as people do when we believe nobody is watching. The truth is that there are no secrets from God so when we think we are doing something in secret we are deceiving ourselves. I remember after keeping a secret from God after my failed first marriage. I kept that secret for four years and on the day I confessed it and said that I was willing to except His plan for me my life moved forward again starting on that very same day.

David was a wise man but even the wise can be deceived into thinking…… we lots of things. As far as ordinary people like you and I we face similar challenges in our daily walk. If we are not active in our relationship with God, and by that I mean confessing all your thoughts before Him and letting Him be part of all you are then you are ripe for deception as well. Intelligence cannot keep you from this. Deception is a powerful foe that is allowed into your mind by your secret desires. It is your secret desires that betray you to the enemy convincing you that you are still in charge when you are a prisoner. If you desire to do something that you know is wrong then tell God straight up that you are feeling that way but that you don’t want to be taken in by the desire. He won’t be angry at your honesty but will show you a way to overcome whatever it is you face. He’s a good, good Father and that’s a fact and is what I find myself……… Just Thinking.

My God & Father

Oh my God how good You are

Finding this one who was lost

With nowhere to go and no hope in sight

You saw my potential and paid a great cost

 

Your investment was so large

In return I gave you my word

That my life now belonged to you

To do as you wanted, it’s not so absurd

 

You can see the path ahead

Yet alone I am blind

To the things that await me

But I know Your plans are kind

 

You see, my God is for me

And all His choices made with love

So I shall not fear that which confronts

As know God is the hand and I just the glove

 

Each victory and kindness that I may display

Is just evidence of God’s power

To change what is broken

To raise up a son in this last hour.

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