Every now and then I get a letter that just blows me away. I received two such letters this weekend and want to share them both with you—one today and one tomorrow. While I’m grateful God used something I wrote as a tool in someone’s life, I know well that the kind of work this letter describes has his fingerprints all over it, not mine. I share letters like this because I know this sister is not alone. There are many like her who have lost the simplicity of relationship with a loving Father to a religious overlay of self-effort. If that’s you, perhaps her story will inspire you and you, too, will hear God’s voice wooing you back to himself.
In 1994 God let me know, in a supernatural way, that He was in fact ‘out there’. (I came from a non-religious background). In 1996 I stepped in to a church because I realised I needed to learn a few things, and realised I wasn’t getting there without help. There they taught me what Jesus was doing in the story (I had not figured that part out yet) and that God wanted to be my Father and was looking for a relationship. Wonderful! I dove straight into that and within a few months I was baptised with the spirit and in water, and I started to hear His voice. Amazing things were happening all over my life. I truly felt myself to be His daughter, and felt close to Him everyday, this lasted for nearly 2 years.
Then there was this conference about Gods holiness. Here they presented the Holy and demanding- God and Judge. I felt like I had neglected this part of Him, and tried to integrate it into our relationship. It was a great struggle. I just could not get those two sides of Him (or so I believed) to make up one Person. Now I realise that this is where I lost my close relationship with God. I have been asking myself over the last three years where I lost it, reading your book made me remember that conference and the following struggle.
Four years ago God asked me to leave my church and follow Him to learn other things. It hurt because I loved that church and had many friends I knew that would not understand, but I wanted to follow God no matter what. I don’t think I have to tell you what happened, you probably know very well about rejection and losing people you thought were friends. We started meeting at home, just my friend and me. Later my husband and someone else joined, and sometimes we had visitors. A few months back I read the story you wrote about the New Zealanders (LINK) that stopped ‘doing church’. I had felt dissatisfied with our Sunday morning meetings and really felt that God asked us to give it up for the moment. I also realised His motivation was wanting a closer relationship with each of us. So we agreed to stop meeting regularly and just ‘go with the flow’, see how He would lead me. Since then I really have been focusing on getting back the relation I once had, but as you might guess, in all the wrong ways.
What really opened my eyes was the question at the lake: “Peter do you love me?” And the comment: “Why would God Almighty be concerned with the love of a man who betrayed Him?”
It literally took my breath away. For the last few weeks I have heard God ask me: “Do you love me?” over and over again. Of course I loved Him! But because He kept asking I got nervous about what is was that He wanted me to do. If He keeps asking, it must be something major! – I thought. With this story the revelation came: “He doesn’t want me to do something, He just wants my love! He has been asking me if I would please just love Him.” At this point I had to stop reading for
After this, every chapter in your book gave me this happy shout inside: “Yes, this is it! This is what went wrong, this is what I once had, this is what I have been missing!” I know I have to watch my step over the next few months and be careful not to try and earn His approval with my best efforts, but I once had it, I know it is Gods biggest desire to get that back, so I have no doubt that it will be back! Over the past few days, reading your book we have already cleared a lot of misconceptions of mine out of the way, and He has been showing me where several thing went wrong, of how my perception was wrong.
For a simple: thank you, it has become quite a story, but… Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!