Crazy Love, Magnificent Love


“Is it a small thing to grieve your God?”, the still, small voice of God had spoken to my heart many months ago. I had gotten home from work and was still in my car in the garage, on my phone, catching up on Facebook. I had felt the wooing of God, competing for my attention, but I had continued reading post after post. It was then that I had felt that unmistakable grieving of the Holy Ghost wash over me and He had spoken. His Words were like a sword that plunged deep into my spirit. I immediately realized I was at a dangerous precipice, not just because I had ignored the wooing of God’s Spirit, but because I knew I had lost my first love, if I had ever had it. I simply did not deeply and truly love God, not the way God’s Word describes in Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  This acknowledgment to myself that I did not love God as I should, broke me. I managed to make my way into the house and to my chair to pray but I didn’t know where to begin or what to say. I didn’t know how to even start to pray now that my worship seemed phony and shallow. I struggled, wanting to say, “I love you” to God from the depths of my heart, from that place where deep love resides, but when I inspected my love of God, I knew it wasn’t sufficient for Him. I didn’t want to talk to God about it, but I knew I had to. I tried to speak, but could only come up with broken sentences. How do you talk to the Almighty God about the fact that you don’t seem to have the kind of love to offer Him that is due Him? I asked Him to help me love Him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my might. This started a conversation with God which lasted many hours. I started by telling Him everything He had done for me and worked my way backward through scripture from the cross, to Him leaving heaven to take on flesh as a baby so that as a man, He could be that perfect sacrifice for my sin. I worked my way back through the ages to Adam and Eve and the sin that entered the world through their disobedience that the blood of bulls could not forgive. I went back to the fall of Lucifer from heaven and sin entering the world. As I talked to God, telling Him everything He had done, something started to change in me. I felt the presence of God resting on me and my recitation of His Goodness became sing-song poetry. I felt my love for God grow and become deeper, it was like God enlarged my heart and gave me the ability to love Him as He deserves to be loved. I asked God to help me love Him and He did.

This was many months ago and my love for God has continued to grow. It has become what I can only describe as a spousal love. I Need Him. I can’t wait to be in His Presence. I pour my love out to Him. I lavish love on Him. I woo Him and worship Him with an unashamed need. I love Him deeply, deeply, deeply… and He loves me. I look for time to love on Him, to be in His presence, to talk to Him. I may be doing something else, but when I feel that little nudge from the lover of my soul, I have to stop and entertain His presence. Even as I’ve been writing these last sentences, “My Love” has been very near, His presence so very tangible…

I asked Him to help me love Him…and He did.

Crazy Love, Magnificent Love,

Nancy

As Lee Stoneking says, I “will never be the same again.”

My Husband


“Oh, my Husband, my Mighty God! Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? How would you have me speak?”

I was standing by my seat deep in prayer, when I felt a tap on my arm. I opened my eyes to see a stranger before me. He said, “I wonder if you would mind sharing with me what you are interceding so deeply for?”  I tried to think of a way I could explain to this man of God what I had been praying about. How could I put this thing into words…how could I tell him something so deep…so personal.

It was the first evening of our organization’s General Conference. I was attending it with my daughter, though she had stepped away and was praying for others. I hadn’t really thought we would be able to attend the conference since an unexpected home repair had pretty much wiped out my financial buffer. God kept laying on my heart that we should go until, with less than a week til the conference, during prayer, I thought of how we could manage it. If you have read my previous posts, you have something of an idea of what God has been doing with me these past months and the changes leading up to this evening, that found me standing before God, in deep submission, praying.

I should probably take you back prior to this evening, to a time of consecrating prayer, a time of relinquishing of my will to Jesus, a time of brokenness before God. I had put myself under His protection as my Husband and placed my future and entire trust in His hands. I made a purposeful decision that evening to give God my first love, as my spiritual husband. As I prayed, I thought of how a woman in love speaks to her betrothed. I thought of the Song of Solomon. 1:3. “Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. 4. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee…2:3. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love…16. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. 17. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.”

I spoke to Jesus during this prayer of consecration as the Shulamite woman to King Solomon…I told Him how much I loved Him, how much I desired to please Him, to serve Him, to lavish my love on Him.  As I worshiped, I told Him I wanted my life to please Him, my clothing to please Him, my hair to please Him. I told Him I desired to please Him in Holiness and in submission of my will to His.  In this deep place of prayer, I spoke to God as my Husband, asking Him for protection, provision, comfort and direction.

I looked at the man standing before me and struggled to find the words. I had been praying to God as my Husband, pouring my heart out to Him. I had let myself get distracted with life and with my own desires and had let my first love for Him slip. What use was I to God if I was not sold out to Him? All of the changes that had happened over the past months, all of the promise I was feeling were worth nothing if I wasn’t sold out to God! I knew I needed to place God once again in that honored place in my heart reserved for my spiritual Husband. Finally, I spoke, telling the man of God that I was of no use to God if I wasn’t sold out to Him. Then, after asking me if I had repented about this, he said, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to pray with you and God is going to change you and it has already begun. You will see changes over the next few days and as the days pass.” Then he prayed for me and the power of God came down…and God, my spiritual Husband took His rightful first place in my heart once again…and I danced the dance of The Bride.

Isaiah 62

1. For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
2. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.
3. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
5. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
6. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:
9. But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.
10. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
12. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Nancy

Song of Letting Go


“I need you to…” I struggled with my emotions, unable to finish my sentence. I tried again, “I need you home to…” I choked on my words making me sound angry. I was frozen at my kitchen counter, head down, eyes tightly shut. I clutched my phone listening to my daughter. “Mom!”, she said in frustration, “I really don’t want anything more out of my room!” I kept my tears in check, speaking carefully around them. “I don’t need you home to empty your room, I need you home to….” My voice cracked. “I need to spend time with you before you move.” At this, my daughter’s voice cracked. “I know, Mom.”

My daughter had called to tell me that she had changed her plans and would be moving from Minnesota to New Hampshire the weekend following her graduation.  I had calculated quickly and realized I would hardly get to see her before she left. I wouldn’t even be able to see her off as I was scheduled to work that weekend. It had hit me unexpectedly hard. My daughter, my last child still under my wing, really was going to move and far enough away that it would be difficult for me to visit.

It was not like her move came out of the blue. She had talked of little else for the past year. She was moving to New Hampshire to help in a small Home Missions work there. I had previously told her  that she needed to have a job in New Hampshire and her school bill paid before she moved, which was good advice, but lately I had felt that perhaps I was wrong. I had started to feel she shouldn’t delay her service to God, so I told her she should get her resume` ready and be prepared to go. She had planned on moving the end of the year but now, suddenly she was going. I did not object to her going where she felt God was leading her to go. She has her own calling that she needs to be faithful to and I expected her seek direction from God on her own, but it did not keep me from feeling a great sadness and loss when she told me she was leaving so soon.

We hung up and I went to the couch to pray and finally let my tears flow.  I knew my God, my Jesus would understand. As I prayed and talked to God,  I remembered what a dear lady had said to me just a week or so earlier. I had been moaning about problems with my lawn tractor and not being able to get my lawn mowed. She wrote on my Facebook page. “I take the stance about things like this at least it’s not health, it’s stuff.” I will admit that at the time I thought her comment was a little more serious than the post warranted, but I love this lady and took it to heart. Now, I remembered her comment and said to the Lord, concerning my tears and sadness, “At least I’m not feeling this way because of a sickness or death or some kind of trial and I’m not crying over my daughter because she’s backslid!” “She’s graduating from four years of Bible college and she’s leaving to go to where You’ve called her to.” Then, I remembered my tears and heartbreak throughout the years prior as my husband left and children slipped away from their commitments to God. As I thought on the hours I had poured my broken heart out to Jesus, I spoke to the Lord. “Jesus, You know that all I have asked for and cared for all of these years of praying for my children is that they live for You and walk in Your ways. That has never changed. Even before my children were born, I gave them to You and I have never changed that prayer. That has been my heart’s prayer all of these years.”

As I was thinking on this again today, it reminded me of Hannah, the mother of Samuel in the Bible. She had prayed to be able to have a child and finally, in her desperation, she told the Lord God that if He would give her a man child, ‘then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life,’ I Samuel 1:11. God heard her prayer and little Samuel was the result. After she had weaned Samuel, she took him to the temple and gave him to Eli the priest as she had promised and he was mightily used of God. When I thought of this I remembered the song of worship Hannah had sung after she left Samuel with the priest and I thought, “I will not be sad. I will write a song of praise to Jesus because I’m giving my daughter back to Him.”

Song of Letting Go

Jesus, I remember the day I stood in front of the mirror and cried because I was pregnant with another child. You asked me if I could trust You in this thing also. And I said,”Yes, Lord. I will trust you in this thing also.”

And Jesus, I remember the little girl riding in the car and looking at the stars shining in the sky. She said, “Look at the beautiful hands of God!”

And Jesus, I remember the day she stood at the open front door singing her heart out to you. She sang the only words to the song she knew as loud as she could! She sang, “God’s got an army! God’s got an army!” She sang it over and over to you. Then suddenly her song stopped and she came running to me saying, “There’s a man at the door!” though I found no one there waiting. I said, “What did the man say?” and she said words I’ll never forget. She said, changing her voice low, “I am the Captain of the Army of the Lord and God DOES have an army!”

Jesus I remember her stumbling a bit, trying to find her way until You talked to my heart loud enough for me to say, “If you could, Abby would you still go to Bible college?” and her tears and nodding said more than her words ever could.

Jesus, I’ve seen her grow and receive her own call, now Jesus I give her…my child…back to You.

My tears may not be quite finished, but I’m letting go of my daughter to serve God in her own way with her own calling.

I may have an empty nest, but my quiver is full.

Psalms 127

1.  Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2.  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3.  Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Nancy

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