It has been almost two weeks since I last wrote and published an Installment for “My Story”. The first part of that time was Passover, which lasted about a week. Then it turned into scheduling issues because I had several personal projects that had to be taken care of, like auto repairs.
After Passover, I did not really feel too well, either. I just felt really down, even had problems locating everyday things like my debit card. I thought I had lost the card. I went to the bank. Talked with the teller. That same teller helped me find my card. The card was IN my wallet.
I mean, really? But that is how bad I was feeling. Certainly not my usual energetic self. But here I am, ready to resume. So let me share some from my interactive prayer from May 19, 2013. For this Installment, I am only highlighting some things.
Personal instruction to me with a reminder of where God leads:
You are to follow me. I will lead in paths of righteousness.
Personal instructions for me about my wives:
Love your wives.
Pray for them, with them. Love them wholly, completely, lively. Unified.
Why does God do what God does?
I share with you, from my loving kindness, my grace, my heart. I give because it feels good. I give blessings because I love. I give because of righteousness.
Keep proper focus for following God:
Follow me. Not out of honor, [not out of] duty, [not out of] sacrifice, but out of love, love for me, love for them, love for yourself.
What is in God’s heart?
My heart is for kindness, goodness, loving kindness.
Specific directions for me:
Continue in righteousness. Serve others.
Descriptions about my wives, and directions for me:
Your wives are kindness, mercy, tender feminine vessels, with loving kindness, tenderness, servant’s hearts. They will look to you for servitude example. Be that example.
Concepts for me about marriage:
Do not command. Do not demand. Serve. Always serve. Be tender, not feminine, but tender. Love them, hold them, caress them, be tender in words, in speech.
Instructions for our marriage:
Open yourselves to each other, open to frailty, hurt, deception, but don’t deceive, be honest, have fidelity.
Instructions to me about marriage:
Serve them with honesty, purity, kindness.
Instructions about faith:
My son, always seek my face. Seek my will. Follow me.
Reminder about protection and focus:
I am your refuge in times of trial and weakness. I am your refuge in times of blessings, remember me in prosperity[.]
This was encouraging:
You will make music, because you will find joy. Live in joy.
Thoughts about how to view life:
Live in freedom, be wise to prolong your days. …be wise to enjoy the blessings of this life longer and that your days may be prolonged. Wisdom is powerful, but it is not Me [God]. Wisdom is from me [God]. Seek me, [seek] not wisdom, but I will give wisdom for your walk, your deliverance, your salvation, your prosperity, your family. Encourage wisdom, but wisdom governed by love and compassion, compassion and love. Purity of heart is not wisdom, wisdom is not purity of heart. Purity of heart comes from faith, belief in me, my power.
My prayer life changed. And changed in a huge way. I can’t say that those things are ground breaking, no.
But I can say that when the Divine is willing to meet you in prayer, and share Divine encouragement, insight, wisdom, the Divine becomes more than God, the Divine becomes like a father, a father who loves his children and wants the best for them.
Here are some things from my interactive prayer on May 24, 2013:
As for you, your family, your guest(s), love them as you would love me. Serve them, even when it hurts, only then can and will they see you completely devoted to me, the one true living God.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that is a tall order, requiring much. But how is that not exactly what Jesus teaches?
You are my son. My words are your guide, your mainstay. Read them. Imbibe them. Live them. Then others will find it easer to follow your instructions.
I take it that “My words” refers to the Bible and also to what God has helped me learn during my prayers. His words, his directions are truly my mainstay, it is where I spend my time.
Lead in my ways, and people will follow. …you are a servant of righteousness, a man after my heart. … Live as one free. Made free by me. Set free from man’s misunderstandings, man’s misinterpretations, man’s mishaps.
While the above uses the word “man” it is used in the sense of “humanity”. Personally, sometimes I find it quite difficult to lead. That is because so much within religion is about humanity and how humanity thinks it knows what God wants.
Yes, humanity reads the Bible. Yes, humanity studies the Bible. Yes, humanity preaches the Bible. Yes, humanity sets up religion based upon the Bible.
But that doesn’t mean that humanity and its various religious outlets carry out spirituality perfectly. Only one was able to accomplish that. I am a disciple of the Anointed, but certainly NOT the anointed. Knowing that humanity has so many problems is why I am pleased that God’s grace covers the transgressions not just of the flesh, but also of the mind, the very instrument that shapes faith into a religion.
You will continue to grow, learn, mature, continue seeking me, continue learning me, learning the Bible, my words. In them are words of life, words of instruction, words of wisdom. In them you will find life, life not salvation. Life is what you do daily, life is what you experience, your interaction with those around you. Life is not limited to the afterlife, to the resurrection, life is what happens from birth to death, this too is life, life temporary, not eternal, but life anyway. Live life. Enjoy life. Enjoy life through the Spirit, and all things will be pure and joyful.
I have continued to do the things from the first sentence. I do find it intriguing how the Divine described the Bible, and how the Divine described life. The Divine verified ownership of the Bible, but then went on to describe the importance of living life. I think that the information about life is one of the best things that happened to me in prayer.
I feel like for much of my religious life the focus was on the eternal, the judgment, the ramifications of physical life. There were teachings that emphasized the need to withdraw from living life, not participating in activity, anything from not drinking to not having certain occupations.
In the context of things, the Divine is NOT encouraging uncontrolled, unrestrained, rebellious behavior. But the Divine IS encouraging me and my family to enjoy life, and that the focus of our earthly existence is not fully lived when only focused on the afterlife, eternity. In essence, God created this life to be enjoyed, lived, lived in his presence, lived in his blessings, with laughter, joy and merriment. The very thing that I feel I have not fully experienced.
Personally, I can NOT even begin to describe how liberating that is.
I was trained up to be uber cautious. Cautious with my time. Cautious with my faith. Cautious with my worship. Cautious. Cautious. Cautious. Because there would be judgment, and I didn’t want to be found wanting. In a word, I was taught to fear, and I feared God’s wrath.
That is part of the reason why I gave my life to being a disciple. I made sure I shared my faith. I made sure I was in church. I made sure I involved myself with church activities. I made sure I taught classes. I made sure I knew the Bible. I made sure that I conducted myself in ministry as boldly and blamelessly as possible.
I still devote myself to the Divine, through Jesus as Messiah, but there is far more freedom in living life and expressing faith than I was ever led to believe. It is this freedom of life that the Devine has encouraged me to live.
Before I close out this Installment, I want to share another interactive prayer event, this time from May 27, 2013.
You, you have to believe, have greater faith, greater trust in me, I will provide.
With that I prayed asking, “So how do I have greater faith?”
You must seek me. Seek me more than you have. You were on an intellectual quest. I rewarded that quest, journey. But faith is not intellectual, faith is heart. Heart is the source of faith. You have heart, and have the heart, you must “set aside” your intellect to have the heart for seeking.
In my journal, I recorded my reaction: shaking [my] head in disbelief.
One HAS to understand that I grew up in a religious heritage that places a lot of focus on intellect, the maturation of the intellect using the Scriptures and, in a sense, places intellectual faith above heart-felt faith.
So from a youth, I have reasoned from the Scriptures. Later, I went to a Bible School to learn how to better reason from the Scriptures in order to find answers for my faith. Reasoning from the Scriptures, to me, in many ways, was faith and a manifestation of my faith. That was the intellectual quest/journey.
To this day, I reason from the Scriptures. I use my intellect to understand context: history, culture, society, literature, among other contextual items. I use my intellect to examine those things against Theological perspectives. I use my intellect to find reconciliation for doctrinal, dogmatic, and Scriptural disputes.
ALL of that uses the mind to understand God and the Bible. The mind SHOULD be utilized in one’s discipleship. The Scriptures themselves uphold the idea that we ARE to reason from the Scriptures.
BUT that is not seeking God from the heart and is not having faith from the heart. Learning that difference was a tremendous moment for me.
I still want to have an excellent Biblical apologetics approach for God, Messiah, belief, doctrine, and hope.
But faith is rooted way deep inside the person. Faith does not exclude the mind. Yet, faith is rooted not in the mind. Rather, faith is rooted in the heart.
That means then that one’s mind is used for explaining what is in one’s heart. That also means the mind will utilize: apologetics, music, poetry, among other things, to reveal the content of one’s heart.
The heart motivates. The heart wants to speak. The heart wants to live. The mind and intellect help the heart find expression.
The Divine gave more clarity:
You see, your mind doesn’t understand what I am saying, but your heart does. Your heart yearns to be as free as your mind. And when freed, and working together with your mind, and your spirit, Whoa! Look out. Unstoppable. Unstoppable in the sense that you will be fully persuaded in your heart, soul, and mind. The mind is powerful. But the heart is the motivator, the heart motivates to action, the mind guides the heart in the action.
… Your heart is screaming to be let out, freed, but your mind is convinced that the world, others around you, will condemn your heart.
Your heart does not care about them. Care about them in the sense that you care about what they say about you, your mind does, because it contains the structure by which things are assessed, classified, categorized. Your heart feels, and feelings do not judge. They, feelings, simply are, exist. But feelings also guide your actions, almost when to act, but not strategy, heart overcomes strategy. In the sense that it has the power of motivation to achieve the strategy and persevere when the strategy is inadequate.
What was my reaction to that? My journal records that I wrote “Funny, that he is teaching me about my heart through my brain.”
Think about it. The mind thinks, contemplates. But the heart motivates, inspires. Not the other way around. The heart is inspired to “build” something; the mind is what contemplates the strategy to achieve it – like building a bridge, a skyscraper, or an automobile.
So in my prayer, I asked “So how do you train my heart?”
Here is the Divine’s answer:
Seek mine. Not with your mind. Yes, you use your mind to read my words, to understand, like you are now, but the mind is not the heart, the heart yearns for more than what the intellect can give, which is why intellectual study and [intellectual] pursuits do not satisfy. Seek my heart and you will find fulfillment for your heart.
The Divine went on to help me see:
The heart is … more than feeling, yet not the mind. It [the heart] is the part of you that motivates, urges, you to press on when fear wants to hold you still.
After more interactive prayer, the Divine concluded saying:
… People believe when the heart is exposed. Exposed to betrayal, hurt, joy, pain, torture, but most importantly love. Love can persuade people in ways that no one understands. Not sexual, sensual love, but dedicated, devotional, convicted, heart-felt love, genuine deep-residing soul love for others. This kind of love really does not feel pain, oh yes it is aware of the pain, but the pain is tolerable, bearable, endurable because love works like anesthesia, but [love] is not anesthesia, nor is love a drug. Love comes from the heart, the motivator – heart. Heart takes men places the mind simply cannot. Find your heart. Find me.
One would think (a pun there) that I was ready, that my heart had been found. Not really, I had partially found my heart. Enough to motivate myself, knowing that I didn’t want to lose what I had learned or what I had been given.
In the days that followed the prayers that I include in this Installment, I gave myself to more prayer, more interpersonal dialogue, and deep soul searching. After those things, my heart helped motivate me to reach out. I was led to communicate with the lady that I had corresponded with previously.
Here in 2016, I consider my heart ready for two wives. But back then I was finding my heart and was not yet fully ready for a marriage with two wives.
Blessings and Shalom