At church last night, I gave a teeny tiny testimony to which name of God I knew him best with. Some of the names of God are in the post entitled "Being Still Before the Lord" on 6/11/11. The one that I knew Him with was Jehovah Shammah, the Lord who is always there (Ezekiel 48:35). He has shown me how He was by my side through all the things in my life from my ignorance of Him, to my blatant rejection of Him, to my slow path of seeking Him with a tiny bit of my heart, to seeking Him with my whole being. I once was a pretend Christian, then an atheist, then turned agnostic, and now have come to personally know Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). His revelation now is constant and increases in measure for me. I am so grateful that He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord that gives me victory (Exodus 17:15), and He just continues to fight for me, and when necessary with me, to bring me the truth that I desire and contend for.
This morning the Lord just reminded me of the Christian character of a few He chose to draw me near to Him, and how He desires for me to display those same character traits. For this, I will only focus on one of the women. There was a woman in college that touched my heart with the kindness of God. She was a bible-based, Christ-centered Christian who I considered a goody-two shoes, but still enjoyed her friendship. I had been seeking God for about 3 yrs at that point, but didn't care to talk about Him nor did I have any regard for Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Somehow He always came up in our conversations though, and I would always let her know exactly how I felt regarding whatever aspect of the Divine Godhead we were talking. Go figure, me letting someone know exactly how I felt, right? LOLOL. Anyways, at that point in time, I had not accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and invited Him to be Lord of my life, and I certainly had not accepted the bible as the infallible word of God. I would talk about how a bunch of old men, maybe with good intentions, wrote the bible but it was just that, a book written by a bunch of old men. I lived a life filled with low cut v-necks, heavy drinking on weekends, and a pretty arrogant attitude that I knew what life was about and wasn't open to anything someone thought that they may have been able to teach me. She was always very sweet about her beliefs, and never pushed them on to me, just allowing God touch my heart anywhere that I was in error. I imagine she prayed for me, multiple times, but have never asked her about it. We stayed friends all through college and after, and God used us both to bring truth to one another in our different seasons.
Sidenote, people seem to think that God can only speak truth through those that follow Him with abandoned love, and that just isn't true. If God can talk through a donkey to get someones attention, he could certainly talk through a human even without them consecrating themselves unto Him and His intense and unfailing love for us ;)
The thing that struck me most looking back over our friendship was that she never once argued with me. She knew what she believed, and she did not compromise her beliefs. When you're right, you are right. You don't need to argue. Truth will always reveal itself. I was so hard-hearted towards the things of God that if she would have tried to get me to see His love and provision, I would have turned further away from Him. I wasn't ready, I needed God to show me that He was who He said He was, not a human. I think that sometimes Christians, with the absolute best of intentions, actually hinder the work God is doing in someone's life. We try to be the light He has called us to be, but it's our flesh that's doing it. We don't always wait on the Spirit of the Lord to guide us, b/c we know what's right and we're going to stand on it and FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT for Him! God is Jehovah Tsebaioth, He is the Lord of Hosts, He can wage a victorious war without our hearts running ahead of His Spirit in order to bring truth to the nations and/or His children, lol.
Thankfully God weighs our hearts, and He knows when our passion and zeal for Him has gotten ahead of where He's at, and He calls us back to Him. There is absolutely no fear in perfect love. There is no condemnation in God. He desires us to know Him so intimately that we follow His Spirit, which moves differently in each situation, and Thank God for that. There is no formula for being a Christian, it's a sensitivity to His Spirit and what He's doing. It's a discernment in the things of God. It's making mistakes so that we can learn. It's being able to constantly forgive, and yes I mean constantly. There are two plans for our lives, God's plan, and Satan's. God will never force us to follow Him, we were created for love, that would completely go against why He made us. He always give us a choice, and even when we think we're not making one, we've already made one. ETA: It's His loving kindness that brings us to repentance. It's not His righteousness being hammered into our heads with a tiny hope some might make it into our hearts. It's His dimension of being El Shaddai, the all-powerful and all-sufficient One (Genesis 17:1), that draws us and brings us to the place where we need to be.
I am grateful for the women God has used to touch my heart, and for the work that He's done and will continue to do in me. I would never have made it to this place in my walk with Him had He not placed me in the church I'm at, and surrounded me with true followers of Christ that call forth His truth and precepts in me. I would never want to go back to the weak belief of Christianity I once was deceived into believing. My life is purposeful and meaningful and I will shout it from the mountains that I love the Lord, my God. I know I rub people the wrong way, some of it's my flesh being ahead of God, and some of it's the offense of Jesus Christ to those in darkness. I am so enjoying what God is doing, that I can't help but want Him to speed it up. His timing is rarely ours though, and that's okay too. I trust that He's the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:17; 22:13), and can use all things for His glory, and therefore thank Him in all things whether I understand or not. I know that He never rejoices in my pain, but that He's got a plan to deliver me. Praise God for He is the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), and the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), among many more wonderful names.