Installment 73

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As I began my interactive prayer on November 5, 2013, I was led to begin with a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos who has created love.

The Divine took the blessing about love and expounded upon the concept. I share the Divine’s portion of the interactive prayer uninterrupted:

Yes, I have created love, but the word ‘love’ does not serve what you call love very well. Love is so much more than what you perceive to be love. Love is beyond love, in a sense, because the word ‘love’ cannot truly capture love. So allow me to share some things about love.

Love is remarkable. Remarkable in the sense that it is felt, yet unseen, yet seen, seen in the sense that others observe the quality of love, but it is more like wind in the trees, a force on an object, force unseen.

Love is amazing. Amazing in the fact that love can stop a person in their tracks, save a lost and dying man from killing himself, stop a woman on her way to market to stoop down and cuddle a child. Amazing in that two people, or three, can feel the amazing powerful touch of love, sensing it in the entire being and once felt, none ever want to be without.

Love is powerful. Powerful in the fact that it can turn dark into light, but light into luminescence. This means whatever the starting point, love makes everything better, more pure, more enlightened, more worth living, more worth having.

Love is forgetful. Forgetful in the fact that love ‘keeps no record of wrongs’. Love truly does not care the transgression of days gone by, love truly does not care that transgression occurred today. Love forgets the transgression, overcomes the fault, love forgets the pain, moves on toward the goal – love requited, fulfilled, enjoyed, forever. Love.

Now, how does that make you feel?

There is so much there regarding love that it simply seems proper to have presented it without interruption. Perhaps there is no greater challenge for humanity than to love another, especially in the face of betrayal, hurt, and pain. Yet, the goal of love is to receive requited love that is fulfilled, enjoyed, lasting forever. Powerful imagery, is it not?

 
On November 6, 2013 I engaged in interactive prayer. I began: I am here father. You are kind and generous; what would you like to tell me? The Divine responded:

You need not flatter me. I am kind. I am generous, but more importantly I am what I am, the great I AM, I exist, always have, yet know no time. Strange is it not?

That is intriguing to me. We as believers spend so much time giving God praise. That is what I felt I was doing with the way I began my prayer, but the Divine declared that I was trying to flatter.

When was the last time we considered that our praise would be interpreted by the Divine as flattery? I wasn’t trying to flatter, as in butter up or smooth talk, or cajole the Divine. I was simply presenting praise, compliments, and the Divine responded uniquely.

The Divine declared that kindness and generousness comes from the Divine’s own essence. That is a significant contrast to humanity. Humanity gives kindness and provides generously, but sadly those are often provided with attached strings, expecting reciprocity.

That is not what the Divine declared. The Divine is what the Divine is, generosity and kindness simply are because that is who the Divine is, having always existed as such, and always will.

After that the Divine asked:

Now what do you want?

I responded: I did not know I needed anything? The Divine responded:

Sure you do. Ask.

So, I inquired about my wife Mary. The Divine gave insight, then asked:

What else do you want to know?

So I asked about my friend and confident. The Divine gave insight. I replied: Okay. Anything else you want to tell me? The Divine responded:

’Peek-a-boo. I see you.’ Tell me what time is it.

So, I answered: 10.11PM CST by my clock. The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

I answered: My time? The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

I answered: Time for bed. The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

I answered: Morning? The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

So I looked back at the “Peek-a-boo” statement, and answered: Time for me to grow up? The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

Not certain of the proper answer, I replied: I don’t know. Will you tell me? The Divine responded:

No. What time is it?

So I gave another answer: Time to watch for her. The Divine responded:

Closer. So what time is it?

I went back to the statement “Peek-a-boo. I see you.” Then a new idea came to mind. I answered: Time to bring a child into the world. The Divine responded:

There you go.

Candidly, my reader should be able to see from my answers that I was not even beginning to see where the Divine intended. The entire session of Q and A for the answer about a child, then the Divine added:

Now, remember the cuddly coo is important. All children need it. Even you needed it. You have my love, Abba.

I have to add why I think the Divine added that.

I like children, children are fun, adult children can be a great reward. I can testify that my children have grown into young adults, capable of speaking their minds, defending their thoughts and decisions, and provide me moments of great reward. I longed for that, and now I get to experience the reward of those twenty years of labor.

But I have to add that I am not a big fan of the interactive nature of adults to infants and toddlers, never have been. Want to see an adult lose their rationality and maturity, place a child in front of them, they lean down, and make noises and faces like an infant. What is it about babies and toddlers that make adults do such?

I am not in favor of it, never was. Yet, the Divine tells me to “grow up” by doing the very thing I find difficult to enjoy. Not for my benefit, but the child’s. So, for me at least, there is a purpose for looking ridiculous, it helps the little one who needs interactivity and reassurance, a type of expression of love, even if it makes the adults look nonsensical.

 
On November 7, 2013, I prayed. I began: Blessed are you…. The Divine interrupted:

Stop.

I replied: Yes, Abba. The Divine responded:

Why do you feel the need to begin with a blessing?

I answered: To set my mind in the mood of praise, adoration. The Divine responded:

But why? Do you feel I need it?

I answered: Need? No. Worth it? Yes. The Divine responded:

How about I tell you when to give a blessing, because I want you to relax for a while, become less formal.

Think about that. The Divine told me to chill, become less formal. Formality is all I was expected to have.

Formality of statements: Please; Thank you.
Formality of relationships: Yes sir; No sir, Yes ma’am; No ma’am.
Formality of procedures: whether social constructs or religious constructs.

So formality was ingrained in me. I was taught that it was reverence. That formality, etiquette if one will, is not only proper with the Divine, but demanded, expected, and anything less is less than righteous.

I know that there are plenty of Believers who are quite informal, and some of them are quite proud of their informality. The same applies to Believers who are formal.

But I cannot escape what the Divine was leading me to understand. At least from me, formality is not needed in every instance. To add to the writer of Ecclesiastes, there is a time for formality, and there is a time for informality.

 
On November 9, 2013 we attended worship. During praise and worship, I engaged in interactive prayer. I was led to begin with a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who gives joy. The Divine responded:

Nice one. Another.

I replied: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who creates all things new. The Divine responded:

Much better. But I’d like another.

So I replied: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who is worthy to be praised. The Divine responded:

Good. Now one for Yeshua, your savior and master.

I replied: Blessed are Yeshua, my master, King of the World, who is worthy to be my master. The Divine responded:

Nice. One more.

I replied: Blessed are you Yeshua, my master, King of the World, who is praised above all others. The Divine responded:

Excellent. Now for you. Listen.

It was at that moment during praise and worship that I heard the following lyrics: This is my blood, poured out for you, it is the blood of the new covenant. It was then that the Divine interjected:

You are new.

Later in the prayer, the Divine added:

Now for something special. Your wives are ready, Esther especially, but Rachel is becoming more ready by the day, she is frightened but so [were] you two,

That is an interesting way to begin this section. Again the Divine speaks of wives in the plural, enumerates Esther and this lady called Rachel. Mary being ready for this marriage was something I discussed in the previous Installment.

What is difficult to process is that I have never met this other lady of whom the Divine refers. So what does it mean that she is frightened?

From the prayer, the only thing that can be surmised is that both Mary and I are the “you two”. When Mary first recognized that we were being led to this style of marriage, she was frightened. Who wouldn’t be? But I was frightened too, especially of how others would react, and it took me until 2016 to get over that fear. That means that the lady the Divine refers to as Rachel feels (felt?) similar.

From what immediately followed that, it seems that fright is actually part of the process of coming to terms with the marriage. Consider what the Divine added:

the struggle is part of the reality to walk this path, for without that struggle, your personal wrestling with me, none, none of you would be capable of carrying out this path,

So coming to terms with our own individual fright is part of the struggle. Part of that struggle is taking our personal individual annoyance, irritation, frustration, or whatever to the Divine. Mary did such. I’ve done such. I am supposing that the one to whom the Divine refers will do similar.

The reason I suspect that is because I have this feeling that we are all coming from a predominately monogamous background. If that feeling is true, then that means that each of us has to confront that reality and be willing to become something different. Doing that is no easy task, it can be quite frightening to step outside the expectations of family and religion.

If that feeling is true, then one of the ways we make this marriage a success is having spent time with God, and having determined that this is the right thing for each of us. That leads into what the Divine conveyed next:

the path requires each of you to find the strength to become who you need to be because the walk is more arduous than monogamy,

Some might consider that a foregone conclusion. But really consider what is at the heart of the issue. Breaking with family expectations. Breaking with religious doctrines. Confronting social norms. Navigating those challenges with grace, while demonstrating faith and integrity.

Like it or not, the majority of monogamists do not challenge family expectations, religious doctrines or social norms. That is NOT an insult. It’s just reality. But monogamy does have its challenges which is why the Divine conveyed that:

one husband and one wife can execute the faith rather well,

However, the challenges to one husband having multiple wives, and the challenges that those two women face with meeting people from their family, their faith background, and in social spheres is a dynamic that no monogamous woman has to experience. So consider that the Divine added:

but to walk before me with three is another level entirely, it truly requires each of you to die to self, and live for the other, this is not always evidenced in the marriage between man and woman, yes some achieve that type of self-sacrifice, but it is the few. This matrimony requires you to have died before ever coming to the matrimonial altar, you have, Esther has, Rachel is about to, once there all is ready, so be ready.

That is a tremendous thought that we are required to step into another level entirely. For starters, it does seem proper to conclude that if a multi-wife family was managed in similitude to monogamy that there would be issues. What exactly? I am not certain.

But to reduce potential hazards beginning with our own home, the Divine conveyed that each of us have to die to self. This is a typical Christian concept. But one look at the general behavior of Christians reveals most Christians have not died to their self.

Dying to one’s self truly means putting the needs of the others before your self. How often is that modeled in Christianity? Not often. Consider the history of Western Christianity – accusations and divisions. The list seems nearly endless, some splits are over paltry matters like building design, yet other splits occur because of interpretation of roles and responsibilities.

If Christianity has a difficult time modeling the concept of dying to self, the Christians who have not truly died to self will automatically create a home environment that has friction. As a Christian, I have seen several examples in monogamy where no split occurs, but those marital partners never really died to their own self. Oh, their marriage was “intact” but their home is usually tension filled and not fully satisfying.

Sadly, it seems that the failure rate of marriages is at an all time high. That situation has left many who do not want to be married, or not want to marry again.

With those things in mind, I don’t want failure in a marriage of two wives, and I don’t think my wife or future wife want marital failure. One of the ways in which we prevent failure is learning to put the other person and their needs before our own, modeling the very essence of Messiah himself.

Now what is most interesting is that the Divine said that dying to self was required before ever making it to the marital altar. The Divine conveyed that I had, and Mary had.

Well, I can say that Mary did. She has had her moments of hurdles, but she has maintained a dedicated devotion to this decision. When she has had her moments of concern, she prays. She steadies. She moves forward. Since somewhere in 2013, she hasn’t changed from that temperament.

Me, not so much so. I can say that I died to my self, because I have grown in my ability to make decisions for Mary’s benefit, even beyond what was done long before the events of 2012 and 2013.

But I had not died to my self with regard to how other people saw me. That took all the way until 2016. Let’s face it, we all want to be accepted, and we want others to accept us for who we are. But acceptance is not always given, and sometimes it comes down to absolute rejection.

I had to determine what it was worth to me. Would I accept myself? By that I mean would I truly die to my self, and accept that acceptance and/or rejection given by others has no bearing on my existence because my ego had truly died?

When you have truly died to your self, your ego has nothing to lose, because it has given it’s self away. Therefore rejection or acceptance means nothing. Only in this manner can one be truly ready to serve the greater needs of the family.

Ego. Ego has to die.

Ego alive means: me, my, mine, I.

I want. It’s mine. My stuff. Give me.

An ego dead is not beaten, it is not a slave, it is not tortured into submission, it is not a prisoner.

An ego dead is not humiliated, it is not shamed, it is not mortified, it is not dishonored.

An ego dead simply means that it is not a competition.

An ego dead simply means that seeing my wife successful means more to me than finding my own success, but helping her find her success means that I have success.

Before 2016, I had to prove that I was worth being heard. Before 2016, I had to prove that my life was valid. Before 2016, I had to have a chorus of approval to provide me with the strength to be me.

I had to learn that my ego needed to die. Ego requires approval from others to see value in one’s self. Ego retains the invaluable, thinking it has value. Others agreeing with how I believe I am being directed has no value. Others giving me and mine their approval is immaterial. Ego requires that everyone provide their acceptance and approval.

An ego dead, knows it is already approved, approved by the ones that matter most, my conscience before the Creator, my life before my wife and future wife, and to a lesser decree, but still important, my life before our children that I lived a life worthy.

That is what I had to learn. I had given of myself, but that particular part of my ego also had to die.

So the marital altar is waiting. It was waiting because it took me so long to learn the lesson about my ego. The marital altar still waits, waits on the Divine’s leading, and for this lady the Divine refers to as Rachel.

Blessings and Shalom

2016.06.24

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