The Actual Work of Healing:
One of the best resources I’ve come across is called the “Father’s Love Letter,” (http://www.fathersloveletter.com/). It’s really good. I had a different recording speak to me along these lines, but I don’t think you’ll be able to find it. Perhaps God will provide you a unique message of your own. Maybe not a recording at all, but this is my story.
The church I attended was hosting a school of prophecy by Graham Cooke. I was pretty hard up for cash but wanted to go. The guy doing AV was also recording the event so that it could be sold to participants on the final day. He paid an assistant to help at the show and I was lucky enough to be picked to help so I ended up making money and attending.
It was a great event and at the end, the A/V guy pulled me aside and said he felt lead to give me a recording from an event that Graham had spoken at earlier that year. He made me promise if he gave it to me free I’d listen to it. I promised I would, and I did.
I listened to that recording, repeatedly. I decided I’d listen to it every night for a month so that it would become a part of me. I ended up listening to it every night for a year.
I’m not a personality type who does that. I’ve seen a couple movies more than once, but mainly I do not redo things. [Friends have asked if I reread a book because I could quote a line from it and even know what chapter it came from, and I always say the same thing, “I’m a slow reader and the more I like something the more I take my time with it. So I generally don’t need to reread something to be able to quote it any time in the next couple years.”]
I was obsessed with this recording, and I’d never heard anything like it. Graham spoke prophetically over the audience of that event while music played in the background. I’d done some “soaking” in God’s presence to worship music before, but this is the first and only time I heard someone speak God’s heart while I’m in such a state of worship.
I can’t explain why it worked so powerfully on me, but God knew it was the exact thing that would reach me.
I’ll discuss hearing God in more depth in the next chapter, but if you’re from a more conservative background (which I was) don’t be scared off by words like Prophecy. It just means hearing God on someone else’s behalf.
Prophesy: It just means hearing God on someone else’s behalf.
See God is very relational, so he likes to give people messages for each other. He’s not above giving you a word for a stranger or even an enemy.
The big thing here, and I mean critical, is that the person speaking must align their heart with God, with all they’ve got, before speaking it to the person it’s meant for.
Even in our flesh, we have some discernment. It’s rather easy to see what’s wrong with another person. It doesn’t take God’s divine power for you, or me, to have an opinion about what a brother or sister ought to do or avoid doing.
When we hear God for someone else we do get a window deeper into their circumstance. That’s not to make us feel vindicated about our assumptions, it’s so we’ll have empathy when we speak with them. A lot of damage has been done in the name of God, just by telling people what they already know—how screwed up they are.
Stop and think about it. You know when you did something bad. God knows about it too, and you’re aware that He does. Do you need a third party walking up and saying, hey God told me you did this bad thing and you’d better knock it off?
Would that bless you? No, not me either.
Our Healing Begins with a Restored Picture of God:
God’s character is demonstrated in a lot of scripture (I especially like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8), but we actually don’t need to know anything beyond the fact that he gave up his son, and his son willingly died, in order for us to be restored. That’s Character! It also demonstrates how he feels about us.
This is the crux of the entire debate, isn’t it? Did God bail us out begrudgingly? I mean we believe all sorts of things about redemption that are ludicrous when spoken out loud. Crucifixion is a terrible way to go, a father who lets his son die that way either doesn’t care or is cruel himself, right? Did God save us so that one day he could personally shake his finger in our faces? Did he really let something like that happen from apathy or anger?
The scriptures are clear on this. While we were yet his enemies Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
The point I’m driving at here is that we struggle to understand God. His ways are above our ways like the stars in the sky (Isaiah 55:8-9). If you read the accounts of Jesus on earth you’ve probably been struck by how far out of step Jesus was with the culture of the day. People are people and they haven’t changed that much.
God’s character is different than the people around us. He’s the King of kings and his Kingdom runs differently than the world. So as long as we’re imagining God as some idealized version of man we’re utterly failing to grasp what He’s like.
We can’t really understand the cross unless we can grasp His character and we can’t appreciate it personally until we have a personal relationship with God.
I was raised a Christian and for ages, my connection to the cross went like this: some ancestor of mine screwed up and the highest authority of the universe had to suffer to set it right, but it was pretty much his responsibility and he bounced right back in three days so…
I can tell you that if that’s your personal connection to the cross then the power of God to work in your life right now is limited.
Now I’m not saying you aren’t saved. God pretty much idiot proofed salvation, but being forgiven and living like it’s your reality are different things. In Luke 13:27 we see many people on the Day of Judgment saying they did things in His name and God saying, but I don’t know you.
Do you want to squeak into heaven eventually or do you want to have your life right now transformed by abundance?
So who is God? What’s He like?
Well, there’s no way for me or anyone to write something here that will reach past your brain and connect adequately with your heart. I can give you my answer, and I can give you what the Bible says about him and hope it might inspire you.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to have your own encounter and build your own thing. Maybe you already have. Even then, there’s always room for expanding.
So I’ll close with who God is for me and what the bible says about him for you to meditate on, or help you take a few first steps.
I recommend you get away to the wild, or the sea, and seek him for yourself. It’s not going to be a short thing. In my experience, it takes three days just to shed your life at home (obligations, family, job thoughts, etc.). So plan it.
What the Bible says about God’s character…
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 Cor 13:4-7. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
The God I know…
God has been irreverent with me. He’s been clear in what He says even if I don’t know what it means initially. Without losing his Kindness, he’s quite blunt. It comes off as honest and without guile. He’s utterly confident and consistently positive. I’ve never known Him to be curt with me, concise yes, but not as though He’s losing patience.
He’s often over the top. Expect Him to say things that are too good to be true. We suffer from black and white thinking, (so do demons by the way); God is super creative and when presented with Option A or Option B questions He’ll suggest Option W. To that point, I used to get frustrated at His silence, but now I expect it when I’m asking illegitimate questions. He doesn’t bother answering trap questions even when we don’t realize that’s what we’ve asked. When He does answer them it’s with a question in return.
For example, if you ask God why He hates you, he’ll probably not answer because He doesn’t hate you. Instead, He’ll ask, “how you’re feeling.” This can be aggravating–like he’s changing the subject. Answer him. When you do, expect more questions like, “why do you feel hated?” Then, “do you think I’m doing that to you?” At some point, you’ll start to feel silly, like when He asks, “do you really think I’d spend the last 20 minutes talking with someone I hate?”
God is the only person I know who gets angry without losing control. He might say, “I’m angry right now with you, beloved. You are carrying around grief and you won’t talk to me about it. You think you need to handle it before we talk so I don’t find out about it. Like I’ll see it as a character flaw in you. I’ve wanted to tell you that I’m the cure for your grief but you avoid Me because you’re embarrassed. We’re closer than that. I don’t care what it is, we handle these things together. Only your will can keep us apart, nothing you do or fail to do can keep us apart. I died so that there is no shame between us.”
That’s a window into the God I know.
How to plan your encounter: set aside four days to a week by yourself with as little electronic connection as possible.
- Bring a bible & journal book/pens, maybe a book like “Wild at Heart.”
- Try to pack your own food or consider fasting.
- Most importantly, expect God to speak to you because he wants to and actively does.
- Read the next chapter for a lot more great advice on hearing God for yourself.
This page under construction.
Expected update 4/18/2018