I Want You Back!

i-want-you-back-godEveryone has had situations in their life that have deeply wounded and hurt them. 

I am not talking about situations where someone hurt your feelings, and in two or three days you are over it.

The situations I am talking about are those moments in time when trauma happens in your life that causes you such emotional pain you don’t know how to breath. Sharp stabs of pain pierce your heart, and you don’t know how you will be able to survive the next moment let alone the next hour, day or years of life you have left on planet earth.  Your life will never be the same.  It seems like every cell in your body screams out, “No!”

The cause of those gut wrenching moments are different in everyone’s lives.  For some, it is the passing of a loved one.  For others it may be divorce, separation or abandonment.   Other times, it may be a sudden illness or accident that leaves a person’s life changed for ever.

In my life, I have lived time after time after time with the pain stabbing me because of rejection. 

Rejection happens when you love someone, and you want them in your life forever.  You care about them, you love them, and you want to forever be with that person to love them and care for them and live life with them. 

However, for some reason that person chooses to reject and spurn your love and walk away.  They are not interested in being with you.  They may even tell you how much they dislike you or hate you; they walk away and you are left with a heart that is stabbed with pain.

Usually a sermon, devotional or story on this topic would share advice on how to survive through the pain.  It is true that I can tell you the answer is going to God – He does carry us through every pain. 

However, what I want us to do is instead of looking at our own pain; I want us to think about how deep that pain is when it happens to another person.  I want us to focus on one person – the person who has been the most rejected in history.  There is one person who stands out as the most rejected ever!  That person is God.

God has lived every moment of every day since He created His children with millions and millions and millions of His children rejecting Him.  God’s heart has screamed in pain as continually His children reject Him.

In the book of Hosea, God was rejected by His children; the children of Israel.  God chose a prophet, Hosea, to re-enact the story of what the children of Israel were doing.  He wanted them to see in front of their own eyes the story of how He loved them and how they turned and walked away from Him.

Israel had forsaken God and played the harlot with other gods.  Israel murdered, stole, worshipped other gods — in fact, the Bible says the more Israel multiplied the more they sinned.

God had to punish Israel; He is holy and righteous.  A good dad must correct his children.  A good dad cannot allow his children to keep running out into the street in front of cars, because he sees that they will get hurt or killed.  He loves them too much to leave them to do whatever they want.

When people reject us, we don’t want to feel the pain so we often then choose to in turn reject the person who walked away from us.  We say, “They don’t want me so I will just put up a wall and not think about them again.  I will forget them and get on with my life.”  That is not what God wants.

Jesus asked us to live differently.  He said in the Kingdom of God life is different.  We are to turn the other cheek when someone hits us.  We are to love those who hate us. 

God is and always will be the same.  The Bible says He never changes.  His character is pure true love.  God in the Old Testament, in the book of Hosea, did punish His children; however, the story does not end there.  God then began to share His heart for His children.

First of all, He remembered.  He remembered the good times with His children.  He remembered how He loved them, cared for them, delivered them from Egypt, and led them.  God had blessed His children. 

“And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.” (Hosea 2:8)

Then after remembering, in Chapter 11 of Hosea, it says that God yearned over His people.  The rejected heart of the Father had those piercing pains that would never leave as long as His children rejected Him.  Here is what God said . . .

“How can I give you up . . . How can I surrender you . . . My heart is turned over within Me and all My compassions are kindled.” (Hosea 11:8)

Doesn’t that sound like us when we love someone and they totally reject us or leave us?  If you have a child that has rejected you or anyone you deeply love reject you, the pain hits you and you cry out, “How can I give you up?  How can I surrender you?  How can I live day after day without you?  Please come home!”

God felt that pain for Israel when they rejected Him. Deep gut wrenching cries from a heart of love.  

But then, God made this loving call to Israel.  He told them if they would only return to Him … 

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her . . . and she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 

‘It will come about in that day,’ declares the LORD , ‘That you will call Me Ishi (my husband) and will no longer call Me Baali (my master). ”  (Hosea 2:14-16)

God wanted and yearned for restored relationship!

“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD .”  (Hosea 2:19-20)

God promised Israel if she would return He would bless her. 

Just like the prodigal in the New Testament when he returned home to his Father, God doesn’t accuse us or punish us if we return, repent and turn to Him.  God opens His arms and runs to us as the Prodigal’s father did when he saw him afar off.  The father then threw a party to celebrate because his son was home – that is what God wants to do!  The Bible says even the angels rejoice when a child comes home.  

Have you rejected God?  Are you in one of the following three categories?

YOU HAVE NEVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.  Has God called you to Him or is He calling you now as you read this;  but, you so far in life have rejected Him and walked away.  You have said, “No, I want nothing to do with God.”  Yet, everyday you worship other gods.  A god is what is our source of life – what is it that you rely on for fulfillment – that is a god.   Does your god really give you peace and fulfillment?  Can you trust him to give you eternal life when you die? 

YOU ARE A PRODIGAL – YOU ONCE HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD BUT WALKED AWAY.  Did you at one time follow God, like Israel; but your love grew warm and then cold?  Did you walk away like the prodigal?   Did you reject God and no longer have a relationship with Him and traded His love and care for gods that you think bring you more fulfillment?   

YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; BUT IT IS LUKE WARM – HE IS NOT REALLY GOD OF ALL YOUR LIFE.  Are you in a lukewarm relationship with God?  Do you perhaps go to church now and then or maybe every week; however, when He calls you to prayer and to spend time with Him you are too busy?  Has He asked you to do things; but, you have not surrendered and said yes to follow Him?   Do you spend your days in pursuit of wealth, accomplishment, status, success, or whatever else it is that is most important for you to obtain during this life? Where does God fit?  Does God look at you and hurt – does pain rack His being because of His deep love for you but you have rejected Him?

3317397_sOne of the things I have asked God is that when I go to Heaven I want to sit on God’s lap and hear His heartbeat.

Recently, God showed me that He wanted to share some of His heartbeat with me now.  Amazingly, it was not all cuddles and hugs which is what I was wanting and expecting.  Instead, He allowed me to be intimate with Him, and He shared the part of His heart with me that feels such pain and rejection and cries for His children to come home.  The very pain we feel when we are rejected – He feels every moment. 

God allowed me to feel on a very low level through my life what He feels like.  The Bible says that God is love.  He is perfect love.  God showed me that a human being could not handle the pain He feels. 

Perfect love plus rejection is pain beyond what a human can imagine.  God told me all the rejection I have felt (all the stabbing pain) is just a small peak into what it is like to feeling His heart beat for His children that have walked away and rejected Him. 

He also asked me to call His children home to Him.  “Be a voice, Esther.  Please call my children home to Me.”

Perfect God Love + Rejection =

PAIN beyond what any human could imagine

Please hear your Heavenly Father’s cry, “Come home! I want my children home.  I love you – please come back to me!  How can I give you up?  I love you!  I want to lavish my love on you!  Turn around, repent and come back to me.”

My prayer for you …

“I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to you and call you to the Father long after you have finished reading this blog.  I pray that this very day you will turn and return to God.

I pray that the angels will rejoice in Heaven as children come home.  They rejoice as they know relationship restored is the Father’s heart.  They know that every child of God that returns to God and puts Him first in their life lessons the pain in God’s heart.

Oh how You love us God!  Oh what a heart You have … a heart full of pain because You have true perfect love for Your children and You yearn for them to come home and be in restored relationship with You.”

esther-signature

 

What Really Matters?

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“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.  Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  (1 Timothy 4:16)

Today, I was very frustrated with myself.  Sometimes, it does not take a lot to distract me from what really matters.  The cares of life and many other things can so easily distract us from keeping the main thing the main thing.

In the book of Timothy, Paul from a heart of love, wrote to Timothy instructing him to keep a close watch on himself and what was taught.  Reading this reminded me that it is good to ask ourselves hard questions.

When we go to our family doctor for an annual checkup, they ask us a lot of questions that delve into helping them get a picture of what is going on with our physical being.  Depending on the answers we give to the questions, there may be even more questions that delve even deeper into potential problems.

Most of us put importance on having a physical checkup; however, often we neglect to with the help of the Holy Spirit do a spiritual checkup on ourselves.  Yet, this is exactly what Paul was asking Timothy to do.

Some questions I asked myself today were:

  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Am I doing only the things God asks me to do?
  • Am I wasting time doing things that when I die will mean nothing because they just consume my time with no purpose?
  • When I die (or when Jesus returns if that happens first), what are the things I will then look back at and wish I had done differently?
  • When I die, of all the things I do on a daily basis, what ones will be important in eternity?
  • What are the distractions that so easily draw me away from the peace of God that we have when we constantly abide in Him?
  • What distractions take me away from spending the amount of time I should with God each day, sitting at His feet, listening, talking, reading His word?
  • Is there anything in my life that is not 100% surrendered to God – in other words is there anything that stops me from obeying God or is there anything He could ask me that I would say no to?
  • What sins do I struggle with?  Have I asked the Holy Spirit to transform that area of my life?
  • Is God my first love? 

Our days on earth are numbered.  Oh how sad it will be for those who God called but the cares of life distracted them from following and obeying God.  Perhaps it is not even a care that is a distraction — it could be a fear or a person or allowing frustrations and your environment to pull you away from the gentle voice that beckons you to come and follow Him.  It is amazing what a distraction can be. 

How sad it is that millions are dying not knowing God and so few are willing to give up their lives to rescue others. 

What is even sadder is that the state of so many Christian’s hearts who sit in the pew every Sunday.  They are lukewarm Christians.  There is no sign of any care or compassion for the lost. 

If you honestly search your heart — Do you feel God’s love for the lost?  Do you care?  Do you care that most of the people you see every day – people who you look into their face and eyes – will die and spend an eternity in hell with unending torment?  Do you care that many of them live in hell just the way their lives are lived from day to day — they live in pain and hopelessness.

Have you had pain and suffering touch your life to where you could hardly breathe, and the only thing that let you survive was that you had God to carry you?  Do you care that millions live through pain and suffering — many live with worse situations than you ever lived through; but, they have no one to turn to?

What matters in your life?  What were you born for?  If God grants you a few minutes to think while you are dying (you don’t instantly drop dead), what regrets will you have in how you responded to the call of God on your life?  Will your life have had any purpose or was it all work, fun, pain, etc., and nothing to show for it that will last into eternity when your last earthly breath exhales from your body?

Throughout history, thousands have given their life to spread the Gospel.  Today in India and most countries of the world Christians are being martyred for their faith.  I heard of a pastor in India that only a couple of weeks ago was murdered because he loved Jesus.  I believe he was younger than me.

Are you truly 100% surrendered to God’s will for your life?  Is God the love of your life?  Did He really ask us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel?  What will you do with the rest of your days on earth?

While I am sitting writing this, Joel is playing the fiddle in the next room.  It is like God is giving him the music that goes along with what I am writing – only Joel doesn’t know that.  The song he just finished playing was “All to Jesus I Surrender”.  Now he is playing,”Oh, Lord Your Beautiful” by Keith Green.   I will, because of Joel playing that song, now use it in this blog because the message of the song fits this. 

Please right now pray and ask God to soften your heart and speak to you.  THEN, prayerfully listen to the following video with your eyes closed and your heart and mind focused on God.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to you.  Choose this day that the remainder of your days will have a purpose and meaning – choose God’s way!  Don’t be lukewarm!

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (1 Timothy 6:7)

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)

~ Esther

So MANY Words . . .

1 Thessalonians 5-11

Words have power to create and influence for good or for evil.  In the beginning, God spoke everything into existence.  When God finished creating,

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…” (Genesis 1:31)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Proverbs 18:21)

When we speak, our words can powerfully influence another person.  Do we influence for good or evil? 

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul talks about Christian conduct.  In verse 18, he says, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  It is God’s will for us to encourage one another.  Why?  So we can puff each other up?  No!

This week, circumstances in my life taught me the reason for this verse.  One night, I could not sleep.  Recently, some very unkind words had been spoken to me.  The enemy used those very words to all night long speak into my mind, “Esther, you are . . .  Esther, you make people feel . . .  Esther, you are not like other people and God can’t use you . . .  Esther, you might as well give up . . .  Esther, you hurt people instead of help them . . .” 

It was the most horrible night!  I had to pray so many times asking for God’s help.  It was so easy to believe all the lies.  Am I perfect and never say anything wrong?  No, I say so many things wrong – AND! the enemy also uses our words and twists them to be received by people in ways they were never intended.

The attack the enemy walloped me with that night was so extensive it took me into the next evening before the effects of it were broken.  What broke it off was a person saying an encouraging word to me.  They said that God had used me to help someone.

Satan is a liar!  If we surrender our wills and repent of our sins, God can use us.  He can transform us.  He can make us like Him.  We cannot change ourselves – but, if we want to be changed and ask God to change us, He will do the work.  The work He begins in us He is faithful to complete.

I know how imperfect I am.  I know I am a wretched sinner saved by grace.  I know I fail everyday; but, I also know my heart is to love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul and to serve Him.  I want to be transformed into His image (to be like Him); just like a little girl who loves her Dad wants to be like her Dad.

God wants us to encourage one other – to spur (prompt or encourage) one another on to good deeds.  He wants our words to encourage each other so that the words we hear in our minds when we go to sleep are those that God would say to us.  God speaks to us always with love – even when He has to correct us, it is with love.  God’s voice is not accusing.  He does not condemn.  He corrects us differently than how the enemy accuses us.

Many people believe that we should not say encouraging words to each other, because we may get a big head or proud.  If you are proud, God can certainly deal with that.  Get over it – you are a sinner too!

However, when words that wound are spoken, especially by Christians to Christians, it creates an open doorway for the enemy to point an arrow into that wounded spot and make it hurt even more.  Satan laughs when unkind words are spoken that wound us, because he knows he then has a perfect spot to drive more pain into.  The more pain he can inflict the more he hopes we will give up, which is what his goal is.

“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:24, 25)

In 2009, the Lord gave me a little song about words.  The following is part of it:

So many words spoken to me; some have been kind, and some have been mean

Each little word walked into my heart – some leaving love some pain

I need to hear words that bring life.  I need to hear words that are true.

I need to hear words to stand on – I need to hear Your voice!

Jesus, Your words are true – words that I can rely on.

Jesus words are what we are to build our life on.  They are what we are to believe.  Jesus said that His sheep know His voice.  Get to know God so closely that you recognize His voice.  When the enemy attacks, like he did with me this week, you will have the confidence to know that no matter how long the attack is, the enemy will not win.  Jesus wins!  Jesus words win!  Jesus is victorious!

If you have been praying and seeking God’s will for your life – remember that in the Bible there are many things that are God’s will for your life.  God’s will is not only about what you do in service – it is also about the inward heart.  Are you an encourager?  Do you speak words to others that God would speak to them?  Do you imitate your Heavenly Father’s words to others?  Part of God’s will for you is to encourage others!

~ Esther