Dearest Reader, I’m so loving this journey of sharing my heart and journey here at our loving lair. I hope you’re loving it as much and that you’re also benefitting from some of my stories. To think I fretted that all God had for me was salvation from damnation and nothing more; O how wrong I was! I’ve been over here doing mad exploits with my Father all year long! I ascertained quite early one that walking this walk with my Savior would mean trusting, Him, gingerly putting one foot in front of the other, doing my best to walk as I sense Him leading.
Sometimes I fall and scrape my knee, but He swoops right down and binds it up, cajoling me to try again. Sometimes my heart breaks from being treated cruelly or spoken to meanly, but He sings to me when I turn to Him. He loves me so, nothing could ever hurt me again as long as I stay close to him. When I encounter such behavior, it wounds my soul, but more than that, it makes me sad to see how the enemy has us do his bidding at will, having been there myself not too long ago for so many years. Compassion overrides any lasting pain I could ever feel. For such wounded souls, I pray.
I have since learnt that we have seasons within which me must learn a particular lesson and grow spiritually to the next lesson for the next level of growth to commence. I must say my most urgent lesson was to discover my identity in Christ by picking up my shield of faith so I could neutralize the fiery arrows the evil one was using to try and drown me (Ephesians 6:16). The next lesson was understanding that the Lord is my shepherd and that as His sheep, it was expected that I should hear His voice. ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). For me to follow Him, I’d have to hear Him. ‘God speaks’ was that next lesson.
My first exploit with Him was finding out how He speaks. Had I not dedicated that period of my life to leaving no stone unturned, I would never have known that and would have missed His voice. I heard Him before I’d even proclaimed to have received his salvation. I heard Him before I cleaned up; He bid me come just as I am. ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28-30).
Dear Reader, the God I now know speaks. I hear His voice and I follow Him. I feel blessed that the faith I practice, Christianity, has a Father-God that reaches down to mankind to save him; immortal God pursuing mortal man for salvation from eternal damnation, and for participation in His divine plan for the salvation of mankind. I want my experience to serve as an encouragement for both you and I to believe that God will hear our cry if we call on Him, leaving no stone unturned in our quest for His presence.
As to Christianity’s claim to exclusivity, such concerns strangely fade away in the light of His glory. I do not concern myself with matter above my ‘paygrade’ so to speak; (my heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me Psalm 131:1). Mine is simply a proclamation from someone that is encountering a loving Father in the storms and vicissitudes of life.
When He is silent, I know that the training is ongoing, and that He will speak again once I complete obedience in the current revealed dimension of my spiritual training. Other times when He’s silent, I know He’s carrying me. Other times yet, He is teaching me patience, how to wait on Him. Often, I sit quietly in His presence as he heals all the emotional hurt and mental scarring. Times like this, I cry freely, letting the tears wash away the hurt. Other times He’s pruning and chastising me, waiting for me to align to His directives.
I’m comfortable with Him and I tell Him how I really feel. He always has a way of disarming me by bringing to mind His word. For instance, He might point out that I have no right to take offense and stuff like that, not if I die to self daily like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31. Dead people cannot be offended, He will chide gently. Besides, I’ve forgiven you for more, which will usually prompt a sheepish ‘okay’ from me. My Lord makes such sense when He speaks. I can’t help but love Him more. I pray to Him daily that He never stops confronting me with His truth, just as long as you stay in my word and keep close to me as I instruct you, I imagine Him say.
If I follow His voice in obedience, we shall do exploits. If I continue to cultivate intimacy with Him, He is faithful and will keep revealing even more dimensions of Himself to me. The price of intimacy with God is time spent with Him. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart – Jeremiah 29:13. It’s frightening that I determine just how far I want to go with the Almighty God, that His purpose for my life is subject to my will (not for humanity but just for my part and participation in His masterplan; He will always raise another if we harden out hearts). Immortal God choosing to work with man, not coerced man, but willing man. I gladly give Him my everything. I gladly lose my life so I can gain everything He has in store for me. ‘Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it’ (Matt 10:39). O God of heaven, ‘what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you have placed him slightly lower than the angels… (Psalm 8:4-8)?
Many other things might not make sense yet and quite a bit of aligning still needs to take place. I still don’t think that heaven’s gold-paved streets are appealing (Revelation 21:21). I am sure as He prompts me to write more of these experiences, He’s going to teach me as long as I avail myself to Him and keep that Bible open. For instance, I’m finally beginning to understand the bit about spending forever crying ‘Holy! Holy! Holy!’ along with the angels (Revelation 4:8), for I find myself doing just that even in this lifetime! I often awaken with a song on my heart. Selman calls such songs ‘echoes from the spirit realm’; I’ll usually carry on singing such songs into my day, imagining myself singing and chanting along with the angels.
He has done so much for me, how can I not love a God like this? A God that saved me in this manner at such a time as this? How can I not but worship Him? It’s my love for Him that keeps me at His feet, not fear of hellfire or any other thing I could want – for He satisfies my soul. Tears well up in my eyes when I think of His goodness, His faithfulness, His love for me, wretched as I am. Crowning me with His lovingkindness and tender mercies (Psalm 103:4), His steadfast love that never ceases, His mercies that never come to an end for He renews them every morning in His great faithfulness (Lam 3:22-23). It brings me so much joy to wake up every morning to claim my mercies apportioned for the day. To think there was a time when I left these unclaimed at his mercy-seat! It breaks my heart to think there are people that are still leaving their daily mercy portion unclaimed at God’s mercy seat… ‘Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery; having rebelled against the words of God and despised the plans of the Most High’ (Psalm 107:10-11).