Yes it is true. It isn’t often that I spend time in the word, but when I do, a little bit more of His heavenly mysteries are revealed. Writing these blogs are a way of helping me to get more deeply into the word, and growing in His truths. It’s part of the treasure hunt, that God prepared for his children, to find His fullness and their identity in Him.
Even though I don’t often read the bible, I am passionate about God because I am starting to see who He really is – to me. For many years I was involved in the church and did everything I could, to “do” and “say” the right thing. To be blunt, it got me nowhere. I actually got so disillusioned that I was ready to walk away from the church, even though deep down I knew I could never let go of ‘God’ himself. It wasn’t until 2012, that I walked into a “spirit-filled” church, where I could say, my life took a turn for the better. I started to believe that the mysteries of God, were for me too. They were for me to uncover and be delighted with, too.
Church hopping was looked down on (and probably still is for many churches), and definitely was not going to give anyone ‘favour’ with church leadership. My pastor would say, “We spend so much time, investing into people’s lives, and then they leave!”. I really did feel for her. For a number of years, my church was supportive and even sent me regular missions funds. It was another reason, why I didn’t feel I could leave this church. It was out of loyalty that I stayed, until I could take it no more.
We would often sing songs in church, whose words were passionate and intimately deep with our creator. I would look around at people’s faces, some would shed tears, but the majority would have a blank look on their face. Others I could tell they were just enjoying ‘the song’. I knew their hearts were far from Him. And mine was too. Probably because of pain, frustration, loneliness or the lack of experiencing intimacy with Him. There was no life in the people around me. Even though words of life were being sung, they weren’t penetrating people’s hearts. I pleaded with one leader, and said, “We are missing something”, I just feel so…so… ‘blehh’, so…bored”. At the time I really didn’t know how to express this sense of void.
When I finally got the courage to move on and do the unspeakable church hopping thing, I landed at a place, where the people were friendly. They spoke to me! They actually seemed interested in me. As a newcomer this gives a church BIG brownie points. One lady even brought me to the front for worship. This is something I had never done in an Australian church. The next few moments moved my heart so drastically, and indelibly, that I knew I had just encountered Him.
What was left of me was a spiritual skeleton, but yet filled with hope. I had come hungry, thirsty and panting for living waters. Suddenly this peace came over me, a presence that was so sweet and divine. I could feel it in the air around me, I could sense it tugging on my emotional heart strings. The worshippers seemed to truly be in awe of the One they were glorifying. They seemed to be in love with Him. One worship lady, who was quite heavy-set, didn’t care that it took energy to dance around the stage the way she did. I thought at one point she was going to fall off the stage, that’s how engrossed she was.
The next minute I was crying… Then I was bawling. And then I found I couldn’t stop. My cry started with bit of teariness here and there, but all of a sudden I felt a full-fledged heavy sobbing cry coming from the pit of my stomach. It came from a deep place of grief, longing and yearning. It must have gone on for what seemed like forever. I was desperately trying to keep it together. “How embarrassing”, I said to myself. “OMG and there aren’t any bloody tissues anywhere in sight, great!”. But in the meantime, my spirit felt like it had just experienced the most cathartic spiritual encounter, ever.
I didn’t realise until now, that this was God pouring out His love on me, in a place where His Holy Spirit was free to move, and free to minister to His hurting children. It wasn’t that the Holy Spirit wasn’t ministering at the previous church, He was. It was however, that the Holy spirit was often quenched in this place, and wasn’t given the freedom to cause people to grow in Him, without the religious attitudes, or controlling nature of some leadership approaches. It was like there was a spiritual ceiling beyond which the church and its people couldn’t venture.
I don’t wish to go too much further into church shortfalls as we’ve got to realise that none of us are perfect. Those in leadership who possess qualities that may hinder the move of God, probably need a lot of healing themselves and/or may need to spend much more time in His presence to receive revelation in particular to do with Grace. It is however unfortunate that they are ‘leading’ a flock, but are unable to create space where the Holy Spirit is free to supernaturally minister to individual needs of the flock.
Having gone through such a time of transition, I have learnt, that God really is alive and that I can access the throne room of God, where I go beyond the curtain, and into the most Holy of Holies. Now when I read the Word, I need to read it WITH the Holy Spirit. Without Him, they are just a bunch of rules and words that sound like a clanging cymbal. But when His love leads me and guides me through the stories, the love songs, the poems, and revelations: it becomes a love letter from Him to me. Now that is something worth delving into, and spending my time on.