Posted in Faith of a Child, God Memories, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Our Saviour God, Shulamite, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God

On Target…or…Sidetracked (guest post)

God’s Thoughts to me

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4: 9-10, NLT).

God is Love

I want to introduce my good friend, Markus Reins, to you. Not only is he my friend, but also a brother in Christ. He has been so kind to agree to write a guest post on my blog and for this I am eternally grateful. He is also passionate about sharing the Love of God with the rest of the world. The link to his site is indicated at the bottom of his introduction, so please pay him a visit and leave him your comments. Markus and his wife, Bettina, lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, serving their Lord. Thank you Markus, so over to you:

Markus’ words:

At the end of September this year I googled the Internet for Shulamite … because I love my dear Savior as much as we read about Shulamite in Song of Songs. Well, I found Mia’s post here (Link) and reading it, I was able to see behind her beautiful words… was able to see her heart.

I saw a heart that is consumed by a deep longing for her Master… yearning for His presence and intimate embrace. Of course, I had to express my heart to my dear sister and so a blessed exchange and friendship developed. Mia asked me if I would love to share about God’s love… and you don’t need to ask me twice about this one! With joy I agreed! So, you are going to read about the love of God… and the troubles we have with it in the beginning!

May the Lord touch you in your deepest depths… and rekindle the fire of burning love to the One who loved us first!

Dear greetings and blessings

Markus

www.seven–stars.de

On Target… or… Sidetracked

If there is one fact we can be very sure about, it is this one: GOD IS LOVE! And believe me there is no better news man can hear but these precious words: GOD IS LOVE! We all are on a lifelong hunt for love! Just look to the music charts – what is the theme most sung about?

Love! Love! Love!

We all have a very exact image in us of what love is all about:

Love is everything that makes me happy! Everything pleasing me, everything meeting my wishes and desires, I instantly regard as love or loving! And this even little children know:

When our second son had to get his first haircut ever, he didn’t like this procedure at all… and it was my “honor” to do this unthankful job! So he was placed in his baby chair with a large coat draped around his neck and he was supposed to sit as calmly as possible till this “martyrdom” was over. Well, I’m quite good at styling hair (even my wife trusts my skills!) but this was a “sweaty” workout… he didn’t make it easy for me!

But finally it was done! After we were finished, my wife told him how nice he was looking. He didn’t pay any attention to her and just said: “Daddy is bad!”

My wife was quite irritated hearing his tone and I have to confess – though I quickly pushed it away mentally – I felt a little sting in my heart, too. I didn’t speak to him, thinking it best to give him time to forget it but I listened to how my wife tried to convince this little guy that his father is so loving towards him. No way! For about a week his answer always was: Daddy is bad! But then eventually he forgot about it!

Today , having turned eighteen in August, he comes to me every couple weeks asking: Dad, I want this or that haircut…. please………………… :-)!

The same love that cut his hair as a toddler is cutting his hair today… no change at all! Till the end of my life he will be my beloved son! In the perception of the 18-month old toddler what I had done couldn’t be love at all! This daddy was a cruel slave-master… such a bad monster as you could hardly imagine!

Certainly you will smile at this story, thinking:

“Oh, yes, I know this, too! But I’m adult now… I’m mature! My perception of love has matured so I don’t think I would do this with God!”

Well, I have to tell you: We all do!

We all have our human perception of what we call love… but we forget that the love of God was sacrificing His only Son for us! Just imagine that you would kill your beloved son in order to save wicked, bad people!!!

God loved Jesus and no one forced Him to slaughter His beloved Son; delivering Him into the hands of a bloodthirsty, godless band of corrupted traitors… just… to save the very ones that killed Jesus! Is this how we express our love? Is this fitting the human imagination of love?

Never! This is utter cruelty… in our eyes! Absolutely insane… and I remember quite a reaction when a man first was confronted with this love of God!

This is blowing every dimension of understanding which we call love! If we love someone or something, we secure it, keep it safe and try to protect it. All our affection and attention turns around the ones we love. Yes, we would rather sacrifice ourselves to save our loved ones… but never would show our love by sacrificing our beloved ones to save wicked, bad people!

Often I think the people that talk so easily about God’s love have never sat down and visualized what they’re actually speaking about! They just got so used to Good Friday and Easter hearing all the stories again and again. They aren’t aware of the enormity of what happened on the cross anymore.

We read in the bible: God is love… quickly using all our human imagination and project it on God’s love.

We project our way of perceiving love and expect God’s love would be like we think it is! We’re off target… absolutely sidetracked! If God’s love was revealed in sacrificing His only begotten Son, why should His love for us be different in character?

When God’s way of showing love is revealed in allowing His Son to be tortured and killed… why do we expect that His love for us would just give us a cozy and comfy life???

(This is just a rhetorical question… a little push to think about God’s love a little deeper!)

God is still love… pure love… even in choosing to let you suffer for the rest of your life! This would just show the same “character of love” as He showed with His beloved son!

The disciples counted the sufferings of this earth nothing compared to the eternal glory… and what do we do? At this point I have to mention the enemy.

This tricky guy knows about the “perception problem”… He knows about God’s character of love… and he knows very well how man thinks and feels about love. And so he starts his delusion by waving the Bible as much as he can! No, no, no, he wouldn’t tell you about God’s love and how this love is shown… he just would point to all the scriptures speaking about God’s love! Knowing he could appeal to your perception and fantasy to create a wrong expectation of God’s love in you!

You will start to believe in a God of love… but be totally sidetracked in your expectation! He knows God wouldn’t change His love just to fit our human expectations.

He knows this loving God would start to love us His way… no matter what our expectations are!!!

We have found that the love of God differs quite a bit from our way to show and receive love. When the love of God is touching us, this means suffering for our old nature and so we’re prone to puzzling experiences, tormenting questions, critical doubts and unbelief!

The enemy then is quickly at hand whispering:

“Is this a God of love? How could this God be love? How could the taking away of things you love so much, be love at all???”

Do you see how dangerous it is to be sidetracked? How many believers I have counseled just because they were taught wrong concepts about God’s love… concepts they quickly swallowed because they fit into their old nature! How often have I tried to revive their faith after their illusions and misconceptions about God lay in shambles!

God isn’t man… and His love isn’t man’s love! As high as the heaven is above the earth His love is above the earthly emotion we call love (mostly our love is just pure selfishness!). – Isaiah 55:8+9

The enemy knows this and starts his seduction right from the beginning.

He fears disciples knowing about God’s true love… not caring for their earthly well-being but just living under the unction of God’s Spirit alone!

The enemy so loves to keep the truth from us. He loves to keep us sidetracked with wrong expectations… knowing it will cause us much trouble. But there is no need for this to be so. You can face the eternal, unchanging facts about your God (Mal. 3:6) and set your faith on the unshakable foundation that your God is love… no matter what you will see, hear or feel and by this your faith will be the victory that overcomes the world (visible realm).

In His Service

(excerpt from article ‘On Target… or… Sidetracked’ by M. Reins)

 

Posted in God's Favor, Our Saviour God

A Wasteland and a Crooked Highway

God’s Thoughts to me

Listen! It is the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!” (Isaiah 40:3, NLT).

The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for Him!” (Matthew 3:3, NLT).

DANGER! Roadworks Ahead

I have often allowed my heart and mind to ponder on the character of John the Baptist. As far as I was concerned, this guy was totally way-out. Who in their right mind would willingly stay in a desertlike wilderness, wining and dining daily on a monotonous diet of honey and locusts. Yuk! His camel hair attire would ceraintly not have featured on the cover of a fashion magazine; although with a little imagination and the latest fashion trends, he could just have passed for a Hugo Boss model, modeling their latest outdoor range. To be totally honest; this man had the ability to make me feel extremely guilty about my much nicer and comfortable lifestyle.

Yet, of John, our Lord Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet, the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven, is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11, NLT). These words of our Lord intrigued me endlessly! If this was our Lord’s estimation of this peculiar man, there certainly had to be much more about him than met the eye. This guy was a character worth investigating and off this bloodhound went!

It is common knowledge that John was the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah 40:3, but to understand the metaphorical language our God used, we need to compare the two. Allow me:

Isaiah’s Era

A. After King Hezekiah of Judah showed the envoy of the king of Babylon, King Baladan, all his royal treasuries (this is good thought for another post), the Israelites were exiled to Babylon.

B. Our God was about to lead them out of their captivity from Babylon, like He did when He took them by the hand and delivered them from Egypt into the Promised Land.

C. Isaiah was the herald or forerunner, mobilizing the Israelites to clear the immense, desolate desert separating Judah and Babylon.

John’s Era

A. The Jews were under Roman rule with Ceasar Augustus as the reigning monarch.

B. Our Heavenly Father was about to deliver the whole human race from their exile in the kingdom of darkness, back to our home country, which our first grandparents forfeited in Eden, back into our Pappa’s Heavenly Kingdom of Light.

C. John was our Lord Jesus’ herald or forerunner, calling everyone to repentance and to clear the the immense spiritual desert in their hearts.

This tradition of road clearing, repairing and renovation dated back to the time of the monarchs of the Middle East. Whenever they undertook a journey or expedition into the barren, desertlike terrain of their kingdoms, they would send heralds or forerunners ahead of them to spur the inhabitants of these sparsely populated regions into action to repair the roads, fill up the ruts and smooth out the rough places for their king’s visit.

At the time John started preaching repentance, the Jews again were finding themselves in a dry, dreary, mountainous spiritual condition. I think that this might be why John lived and worked in the desertlike wilderness terrain; to sympathise with the Jews’ sorrowful state. They were also under Roman rule and were longing for the promised Messiah to deliver them from this foreign rule. I think their spiritual predicament under the iron rule of the Scribes and Pharisees were just as, if not more, unbearable than the political one. Our Lord Jesus was not at all impressed with this state of affairs and His words to them were quite unsettling, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13, NIV) and, “They crush people with impossible religous demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.” (Matthew 23:4, NLT).

I was one of those crushed ones; therefore my heart rejoiced at hearing those words. The hearts and minds of those poor, deceived people (and mine) must have been overgrown with brambles, thorns and thistles representing all the religious rules and regulations. Their religous diet consisted of the same-old, same-old. Yet, they were looking forward to a savior for their unbearable, difficult physical situation. Could it be that they were totally ignorant of just the possibility of redemption from their spiritual captivity? Were they suffering from the religious business-as-usual syndrome, and therefore preferred the familiar, known streets of the Kingdom of Darkness, instead of a new adventure into the Kingdom of Light, grace, freedom, love, joy and peace? If they were just slightly like me, that could well be!

When our Pappa took me by the hand and led, or to be honest, dragged me, into the mountainous, desertlike wilderness of Fm/CFS, I was totally unprepared for the journey ahead. The mountain of excrutiating pain and debilitating exhaustion seemed like the twin brother of Mount Everest, and just as cold, dark and desolate! The fibrofog caused my mind to get lost in a thick cloud of pollution, despair and despondency. I could hear our Pappa’s gentle voice encouraging me to clear this polluted, desert road in my heart.

One of the biggest boulders He showed me that blocked the way forward and needed to be removed, was the idol I had been paying homage to for such a long a time: the idol of perfect health. I realized that I was no different from the Jews in John’s days! Our Pappa showed me that even if I were to be in perfect health, I would still be imprisoned by my addiction to religion, the world, Satan and self. I was chained to the fetters of all my religious self-effort and ceaseless, futile attempts to impress my Pappa and to make Him take notice of me. He made me aware of the futility of putting my trust in these useless, worldly things and ways.

Patiently, our Lord assisted me in clearing the road of my heart of all the rubble I had accumulated over the years. I gave Him permission to fill all the potholes with His life, His righteousness and purity. I had to destroy all the thorns and thistles of wrong desires and dreams (even those I thought would bring so much glory to our God, were they realized). I had to straighten the spiritual road of my heart and willingly allow the humble and gentle King of the Universe, His Royal Highness, King Jesus, to accompany me on this road of life.

I know, dear ones, that just being human, cause all of us to have our own desert roads, with our own loads of rubble to clear and ruts to fill, to straighten the way for our Lord Jesus to enter our hearts, but I pray that our Pappa God will enable us all to see this illness as a gift to enable us to dig up the fallow ground of our hearts and, with thankfulness, to transform the wasteland of our souls into highways fit for our King to travel on; full of blooming, colorful flowers, green foliage and beauty to bring pleasure to our Lord as we travel together on this road of life into His abundant, eternal Life.

Thanks for your patience, and if my thoughts don’t seem logical, please blame the fibrofog!

Hugs and blessings

Mia