Because He Said It. Part 2: One Encounter with God's Heart Changes Everything
Because He said it, I Believe-Part 2: One Encounter with Father’s Heart Changes Everything
Before I get into the next installment of this Because He said it series, I want to stop and share with you on a deeper level what this all means to me personally. As we approach 2019, I am realizing more and more the tension between my feelings and my faith. I have experienced more pain than I ever thought possible this year and have learned that there are ways to avoid it. I know that I can easily avoid pain by lowering my expectations and turning my back on hope. I don’t even mean turning my back on the Lord. But there is a place where I can pick and choose what I am willing to believe and what I’m not willing to believe. Because, guys, the reality is that choosing hope is painful sometimes. Choosing to believe in things you are not seeing yet is hard. Choosing to be hopeful and facing disappointment cuts deep. We all face moments where we say this is too much, I simply cannot move forward in hope. So we choose instead to live from the realm of our experience. If I get used to the pain, if I accept the disappointments, it won’t hurt as much. If I learn not to expect much, I won’t be as crushed when “not much” happens. I caught a snippet of a Christine Caine message this morning where she states, “There are far too many unbelieving believers.” And I get that. I really do, because sometimes unbelief is far easier than belief, especially when everything is so uncertain and the plan of God is far beyond anything we can discern or understand. A little secret about me…one of the reasons I choose to write is as a reminder to myself and a form of accountability. I choose to make declarations of hope out loud and in public because if I keep them inside I run too great a risk for the pain I am feeling to cause me to retreat and give up. I make these declarations not because I am over my pain; I make them in spite of my pain. I make these declarations not because I am immune to disappointment; I make them in the face of my disappointment. The things I write aren’t nice sounding words spoken by someone who doesn’t know what it is to struggle. I write from the place of my struggle declaring the promises of heaven in the face of an enemy that wants me to give up on hope. Let’s hope anyways.
With that, I bring you this simple truth: One encounter with the Father’s heart changes everything. Recently, I have been reading an amazing book called Experiencing Father’s Embrace. People, read this book. It will mess you up in a good way. The book is written by Jack Frost, a man whose whole life and family was transformed when he caught a revelation of how much Father God loves Him. What I love about this man is his vulnerability as he shares his story. He doesn’t sugarcoat his process. He doesn’t gloss over the dysfunction he was in and the pain it brought his wife and kids. He gets into the messy details, so the reader can understand how simple misconceptions about our heavenly Father can wreak havoc in our lives and how a true understanding of the heart of the Father can radically impact and change every area of our lives for the better. This is a man who has walked through a lot of mess and a lot of garbage. From substance abuse, addictions, addiction to ministry, marital problems, problems with raising his kids, he went through it all. But throughout all the pain and misery this man experienced and caused others, you see one glaring issue beckoning an invitation in the background. Although this was a saved man, a man on his way to heaven, for much of his life as a Christian, he simply didn’t grasp the reality of how much God loved him. All the while, God, our loving Father, was beckoning him to come closer and experience all that he was lacking in the warmth of His embrace.
His story got me thinking about my own life and the lives of countless others that I love. When I look at myself and others, it is not too hard to pick up on a laundry list of issues that all need attention and, like, therapy, to get through. It can be overwhelming to stand in a mess knowing that God desires better for you and not knowing where to start in the process of seeing healing from brokenness. I believe what we do at times is start picking at the issues one by one hoping to work down to the center until we find wholeness. This requires lots of work and striving and could take years and years.
BUT. What I am beginning to discover in a greater way is that every outside problem I experience in my life somehow stems from a misunderstanding about God’s love for me. And when I look at the dysfunction that presents itself in the lives of my loved ones, I can now see so clearly that somewhere down deep they honestly don’t know how loved they truly are. At times, I don’t know how loved I truly am! When we live from a place of knowing we are loved, we start from the center. We find wholeness in the depths of our core. That love and wholeness radiates outward from our very being radically transforming every outside issue that presents itself.
Take a moment to think about the most out of whack parts of you. Think about the most dysfunctional person you may know. Have you given up hope on yourself or others because you have wondered how long it would take to see true change? How many years would it be? I think that it is true that often things do take time. But I also believe that far too many of us have stopped believing that one touch from God can literally change any situation in an instant. It could take years, but it doesn’t have to. It could take a lot of effort and striving, but it doesn’t have to. And what it comes right down to is we can focus on all the external problems going on or we can begin to seek God for a true encounter and understanding of His heart, and not only for us but for our loved ones too. Once we understand his heart, we can begin to take that understanding of his love into every difficulty we experience and begin to see true heart change take place.
I think of the woman in Mark chapter 5 who suffered from constant bleeding for 12 years. According to cultural standards, she was considered unclean all that time. She determined that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she could be healed. It happened for her just that way. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” More than her physical healing, I wonder what the revelation of Jesus’ love for her did to instantly heal over a decade of bondage to feelings of shame and unworthiness. How did this revelation of love impact her life and her relationships moving forward? How much did a true encounter and understanding of God’s love do to bring wholeness to every area of this woman’s life?
Let’s position our hearts to encounter God’s love on a deeper level than ever before. It only takes one encounter with his heart my friends. There’s no limit to what his love can do in our lives. As we head into 2019, let’s do so with an awareness and understanding that we are more loved by our heavenly daddy than we could ever know. And that love is about to bring us into levels of breakthrough and adventure that we never thought possible….anddd the unfolding of that adventure, could all begin with one instant.