Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Readiness to Hear - Part II

So, as I have been digesting this message, wondering what it means for me exactly, I have been inspired to ask myself a question. Actually it came out of a prayer that I prayed. The prayer went like this: “Dear Lord, please help me to see people as you see them, so that I can in turn love them in the same way that you have loved me.”

And when I prayed that prayer I began to think about looking upon someone in “love”, in a “loving” way and what that would look like or feel like. And that’s when I began to think about Giselle, and how I can look at her and truly feel love towards her. I can literally feel my love for her, and know that I would readily give all areas of my life for her, and to her. And I wondered, having known how difficult it was in the past to experience that ‘connection’, why I could so easily experience that with her. And it dawned on me, immediately, that it’s because I know that I can literally be at rest with her. She sees all parts of me, and there is neither nothing that I want to hide, or feel guilty about with her. She accepts me. And in that acceptance, I can feel those areas within me, that were previously in darkness because of my fears and anxieties, begin to just ‘melt away’, to come into the light of her love for me. I feel no guile with her, even though I know that it hasn’t been removed by her, I don’t feel it towards her, because I feel the full sense of her acceptance towards me.

I realized that is what it means to feel love towards someone. And it is because of acceptance from the other person. So to truly experience the Love Commandment (John 13:34-35) as a community, we must first start to extend acceptance and love towards each other. And I believe that “acceptance” is in itself creative. And what I mean is, that I believe that God causes it to begin growing where He desires. As we show acceptance to others, it breeds within them a similar acceptance. And as we begin to accept one another, not wanting to change that person, we begin to start loving each other as God has loved us.

"Be still and know that I am God", is what He said. And John also said "God is Love", so we can rephrase that by saying:

"Be still and know that I am Love".

Or in other words:

"Experience my love by first being still, stop your striving to be something different, to change yourself, to try to be better. And when you have found that place, THEN I will deliver you. I will fashion you to be pleasing in my eye, not because I think you need to be changed before I can love you, but because I love you and want the very BEST for you. And then you will experience my Love. You will experience the Love that I have towards you. Be still. I love you."

It is when we are courageous enough to stand still before our Loving God and not try to change, that He can then truly begin to change us. And it is at that point, as a community of people loved by Him, that we can begin to truly feel His Love for us through each other.

A Readiness to Hear

It wasn’t until I entered into a relationship with Giselle, that I knew what it meant to know and feel and experience love. And it’s taken me a while to rest into this relationship as well.

Some eighteen years ago, when I started to attend a certain church in Brisbane, I was introduced to a message by a man named Leonard Evans. The name of that message was called the “Love Commandment”. I remember listening to this message a few times, and felt that it somehow gave me a perspective of God that helped me to journey through some of the times ahead. I remember feeling the “safety” of this message as I went through Bible College at a College that was “radical” in its teachings of the Holy Spirit. And when I say radical, I mean radical for me. After all, I can only talk of the context within which I found myself.

I suppose in an ironic sense, back in those times, I don’t ever believe that I truly digested everything fully in that message. (And neither did the church that I was attending either. It seemed that people were content with just a vaguely familiar understanding as opposed to a deep context of experience) Neither did I put it totally into practice in my life. In fact, I think I only knew it in my head, and really felt little of it through my experience. It’s not that I wanted it to be that way, but it was more like just “one of those things I was going to do one day”. One day I would allow myself to be changed by this message, by what God was saying to me through this message. One day was easy. It was enough for me at that time, though, to just think upon that message as a “break glass” kind of message. The church that I attended at the time was Pentecostal. And sometimes I would see “things” that kinda troubled me, or confused me. Other times I saw things that I just really didn’t like. And just like a little security blanket, I would go back to that message in my mind, and know that everything was going to be okay. I guess it was a grounding for me; an anchor or a keel.

Through the years, that same message, possibly a seed, was something that I went back to from time to time. It was something that helped me understand I guess who God was. Fast forward many years to last week, and I found myself, for reasons I can only attribute to God. Who can say why memories that have been buried for years surface again? It’s at those times, that I sit quietly and wonder if there isn’t something that I should be seeing or hearing, a message from God.

So that message jumped into my conscious last week. I remembered his name. So I googled him and didn’t find much. Then I googled again, and found something more. After a little digging, I came across the original recordings of the messages that Len Evans gave in Australia way back in 1977. So I have been listening to those messages, and letting them go further in than they ever did before.