I love reading about the work God is doing in people to set them free in his life. This letter comes from a brother I stayed with on a recent trip out of state. I love what he shares here about his growing relationship with Father and his freedom in Christ. I share it to encourage others in that same process. I think everything he’s hearing here is from the heart of the Father. God’s been speaking this way to him for a long time, but now he is recognizing that it is God, and the old tapes playing in his head of performance and condemnation were never him. That’s the beginning of some really incredible things.
I suppose I hear at least a hundred times a day, “relax..”. I never realized just how much of my life has been based on performance, or how deeply engrained has been the idea that somehow I must produce the things that Jesus wants to see in me. You can well imagine the sense of relief and freedom I am feeling. Your CDs are a big help, but more importantly I am hearing more clearly than ever before directly from Father Himself. How wonderful!
All the things I used to do that were spiritual (more religious, actually) are being overhauled into a new dynamic. Now, I find that my days are filled more with fellowship with Him and that the things I used to do to get close to Him are woven into our relationship as I walk through each day. And in that I am discovering how desperately I have always needed a Father, one that I never had. And He is revealing Himself as my Father! Man, oh man!!!
The other day I was struggling through some setbacks and disappointments when I just lost it and threw a mini-tantrum. After I calmed down, I went back to Father to apologize. Same old perspective – You are Holy God and who am I to challenge you like that, etc. What he said stunned me. He said, David, you never had a father to whom you could express yourself like that. And when you did it would have been better if you hadn’t. Then he immediately showed me a picture of how I have been with my sons when they did the same thing, reminding me that I didn’t punish them but let them vent, encouraged them and came along side of them to work through the issues with them.
Wayne, I have never made the connection until now – honestly. God showed me that that’s how he is! Matter of fact he said – “You are my son! I understand and here I am to work through it with you. We are partners in this.” Isn’t that amazing? He actually said that to me.
Then a little while later I was thinking about Scripture and pondering something I had read. Father said, “you know, the problem is that all along you’ve viewed the Scripture from the perspective of ‘must do’, ‘must perform’, ‘must make happen’. All along the Scripture has been intended to be viewed from the perspective of discovery of who I am and who you are and all that I have for you and intend to work in you but only in the context of relationship with me.” This is amazing—probably elementary to you but a real revelation to me.
So, this is how my journey is starting out, Wayne. I understand now what you meant about Father’s “tangible” love. I think I’m experiencing it. It’s not an emotion but something a lot deeper. There’s a connection that’s never been there before and the reason I know it’s true is because it is there day after day, all day, – not fleeting like emotions. I am beginning to have a sense of sonship with my Father. And He is answering the literally lifelong cry of my heart – to know Him and know His love.
I can’t get my mind around the freedom and peace I am experiencing. I can’t get my mind around this sense of being a son and having a father. It’s amazing.
Isn’t this incredible? It’s a great record of what it looks like when religious thinking gives way to relational life in Christ!