Ballistic Breakthrough | News Flash: The Father Loves You To The Moon And Back
Scripture: "...and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
Scripture: "But God proved His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 8)
No, I did not fall off the map! Currently we have four grandchildren and their parents living with us preparing for a big move and a new baby. I have just returned from visiting our other two grandchildren in Louisiana. Each is a gift. And I am so aware of my intentional desire to let them know, with my words and my actions, that I love them. I don't let a day go by without telling them. EVERY day. So it's interesting that since I've returned, I've had an unusual number of calls from people who are faith-filled people but they are struggling to feel God's love. These are people who've lived their whole lives believing, just not experiencing. They KNOW all the right words. They know how they SHOULD feel, but they just have never experienced the Father's love.
I've been thinking about this daily. If I have such a very real desire to tell my children and grandchildren how much I love them, how much more should we be certain that we have a Father in heaven who wants to tell His children how much He loves us! Do we believe that? And are we experiencing that? Too often I think we settle for so much less than what the Father wants for us and HAS for us. Do we expect Him to speak to us? Have you carved out time to be with Him, and to be still and listen? So often, if we have a prayer time, we come into it with our mouths going 90 miles an hour begging God for all the needs in our lives. We dump it all and then go. We leave without hearing from HIm, without receiving the comfort and peace He wants to give. And often we have no expectation whatsoever that He will answer. We can be caught up in that age old lie that we don't deserve His attention. We haven't lived in a way that is " good enough." And often we are scared to hear Him. We expect Him to come with a wagging finger of judgement. So many times we leave just as overwhelmed as we came, and without the direction we so desperately seek. But we never stopped talking! It was all about us and our needs. And it is often all about our misconceptions of who He is and how He feels about us. It's time. It's time to KNOW the One in whom we believe. He is LOVE. And your Father is wildly in love with you. It's time to step into this truth: THERE IS MORE.
This is not the time or space to have a long teaching on prayer, but let me say this. It's time for the people of God to simplify and reset. The Lord is looking for people who are hungry for a deeper and deeper intimacy with Him. He wants to fill us and flood us with His love, with Himself! And from that place of overflowing, He wants us to flow out of us onto our families, our communities and our world. There has never been more of a need than now for the people of God to look like Jesus, act like Jesus, love like Jesus and do what He did for the hurting, broken world He came into. He has poured His Spirit in us so He can still do all of that. But now it is in us, with us and through us. What an incredible privilege! But this will only happen as we remain in union with Him and are growing our roots down deeper and deeper into the soil of His marvelous love.
"The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. You must remain in life-union with Me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine....As you live in union with Me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you, but when you live separated from Me you are powerless." (John 15: 3-5)
So how do we break out of the false things we believe about God, the things that keep us from knowing His love and receiving His love? How do we begin to take Him at HIs Word and believe that He WANTS us to be intimately joined to Him and be able to receive His love? For all of us it is a journey. Commit to being on it!
Decide that you will not partner with any thought or belief that is not what your Heavenly Father thinks of YOU. There is a savvy enemy who rejected God's love. He hates you and wants to do anything he can to keep you from experiencing that love. Because when you are saturated in it, filled with it, you leak Jesus' love everywhere and then you've become a huge threat to hell! We are in boot camp for the battle of our lives. We have to choose to "take every thought captive in obedience to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) That means when thoughts of who we aren't- assail us, we have to battle with Scriptures that remind us who God says we are. We also must have dedicated prayer time. If you fail over and over with keeping that commitment, just get up, dust off and start over. So often, when starting an exercise program, people are over zealous and decide to run 7 days a week. They last less than a week! Start with 10 minutes every day. Start with something that is actually reasonable for a beginning. Show up, be still and just sit! You don't have to say anything. Just make this your appointment with God and don't let anything disturb those moments. Sometimes we hear and sometimes we don't. What is so important is to give Him that time.
Bill Johnson, a beloved pastor, says if you have 10 minutes, worship for 8. You can tell God everything you need in that last 2 minutes. He knows it all anyway!
So why and how do we worship? Why? We need to shift our focus from our needs and worries to who God really is. Praise and worship puts us into the mindset of heaven. There's no lack in heaven, no sickness, no worry, no fear etc. There is awe and wonder and endless praise for the God who is totally worthy of our praise and able to do ALL things. And here's the best, He WANTS to! He is a lavish lover of His children. And He wants to tell you He loves you every day. Our hearts, minds and souls need to be soaked in that highest truth. How do we worship? I love to listen to praise music, read the praise Psalms, sing and just soak in who He is. Whatever works for you, DO IT.
It's time to simplify and reset. Cease striving. I sense this is a season where our precious Heavenly Father wants to teach us the gift of resting in His love. He wants us to experience it individually, not because of what you've done or not done. Not because of your goodness or holiness or great discipline, though all of those are beautiful. But if they come from your efforts, from your striving, you'll wear out. God doesn't love us WHEN we change, He loves us SO THAT we can change. When we are saturated with His love, all of those virtues grow in us because of the overflow of His love working in us to transform us step by step.
Today I am praying that a deep gift of peace and rest fall on each of us. I pray for hunger for us, a growing, insatiable hunger for more and more of Him. I pray that the enemy has no place to set a trap for you, to distract you or lie to you. And I pray that you won't take his bait. FIGHT! This is not about what FEELS true. This is about what IS true. There will always be an enemy...always be voices telling us who we aren't. KNOW THAT! And choose to anchor with what HE says is truth. The highest truth there is- is that the Father rejoices over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17) And I pray that today THIS truth seeps into every fiber of your being and causes you to seek the One who is waiting to sing His love to you, waiting to bring you into places you've never dreamed possible. "Now to Him who is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly more than all we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes or dreams, according to His power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)
The Father loves you to the moon and back. All of heaven is cheering you on from the grandstand of heaven. (Hebrews 12:1) Throughout salvation history the Lord has raised up saints (not perfect people, but PASSIONATE people who chose to take Him at His Word.) We are this generation's saints in the making. It will not come from striving, but from resting against His Heart like John the apostle. Close your eyes just for a moment. Look for His face. He's there smiling at you, seeking you, longing for your love and trust. Stay with this. Simplify and reset. Learning to rest and receive His love IS the main thing. From that, all the rest will flow. May every gift and grace be multiplied to you. Let's seek Him with everything we are. He's everything we're longing for!
All glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We give You praise and thanks. We give You ourselves, all we are and all we have. Give us the grace to rest, to trust, to believe Your love for us. Let us hear You singing over us, and let it transform us body, mind and soul. Grow our roots deeper and deeper and set us on fire with more of You. We give You all the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.
With so much love to each of you. Let's keep each other in prayer.