Saturday, April 19, 2008

Live Deep-Love Deeper-Be Found In Jesus!

  • I was raised in the Catholic Church and taught a deep reverence and dutiful respect for God! As I grew up in the Catholic Church, I experienced “working for God”, doing all I could do to please Him, to be approved by Him and yet never truly feeling I could come close to Him.
  • At nineteen years old, February 14th 1975 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I received a joy, a light, a new kind of love that totally encompassed me. I opened a bible for the first time in my life and began partaking of a new manner of soul nourishment, saturating all the barren, parched places of my heart. The Lord gifted me with the primary gifts of intercession and exhortation and gave me undergirding gifts of hospitality, giving and administration to motivate and activate my primary gifts. I “lived to serve” to do, as my childhood heritage demanded, instead of what my new life in me testified of: “loving to serve” being found in Jesus, loving deeply!
  • I left the Catholic Church a year after I was saved. My first real pastor that I encountered on my journey towards Lordship, just fed into my childhood “religiosity” and I became a full-fledged “doer”. I strived so hard to please this pastor, but to no avail. After years of really hard work, he ended up telling me that I would never amount to anything because I was uneducated! He assured me that I would never rise higher in his staff or be given a title or a position, no matter how hard I worked or how much I accomplished. I had hit a dead end! My dreams were destroyed with a death blow as he continued to share with me that the gifts God had given me could not be used by me, because I was not good enough or smart enough for them. I had no title, no position and no earthly certification. I was once again finishing 2nd best… something that had dogged me throughout my life! My dreams died hard that day!
  • Working!! Doing!! I was left with no hope and deep regret that I had worked so hard… all those years… that it had kept me from loving deeply. I did not have the time to love deeply! I was working too hard… doing! I thought I had to work hard to be excellent, yet I only ended up performing shallowly! I had moments and glimpses of loving deeply, but only to be unbalanced each time by striving harder, trying to achieve a title, trying to be positioned higher and pushing myself beyond my human limits to keep up the image of doing Christianity at a “cut above” all others; which was a requirement of an elders wife in this church, a duty that was totally exhausting for me as I sought a success that was approval based and way out of my reach.
  • All during this season of my life, Jesus was wooing me towards Him! He was using the disappointed hopes, the second best self image, the unfilled religiosity, the death of my dreams for approval, the unattainable title and position and my people pleasing mentality… for my good!
  • My gifts were bubbling up inside of me, but I willed them down by a self image that was barricaded with “you are not good enough”. I pushed down the gifts God freely gave me, waiting to use them when I was good enough for them, when I had gained approval and I continued to work harder to prove that I was good enough, to try to please this pastor and gain his consent! I did my utmost not unto God’s Highest, but to be rewarded with approval, title and position. I became steeped in religiosity, regret, guilt and self-abasement! I pressed myself to work harder, instead of love deeper. I pushed myself to attain the standards I was held to: “You must dress a cut above others; you must be at prayer every morning at 6am, you must do this and do that, be this way, act this way to be approved!” Yet doing all of what was required of me, never led me to a deeper love, but to be led by duty, tasks and doing more and more to try to please, to try to be good enough. Yes, I did end up in a heap on the floor of the foundation of my personal dreams!!! But God….
  • Jesus used all of these life-experiences and He took these things and worked in the unseen to shatter my childhood life-perceptions that had gripped my self image in dead works. My Potter was breaking me and shaping me, molding me anew!
  • On my path to Lordship, God used the associate pastor of this church to begin me on my road to true freedom. I was standing in a prayer meeting full of words of exhortation that God had given me, I felt them bubbling up in me, yet my self-image kept willing them down because I knew I was not approved to speak them. This associate pastor freed me as he said to me: “be found in God…. you have His gifts in you… He is with you…. don’t be afraid…speak out the Words He has given you… it is His Voice in you… use it…. speak it…” His confidence in me, gave me the courage to speak out, to use the gifts God had given me. From that day forward, I began an exciting adventure as I yielded to the Lord, and began to be found in Him, not myself but in Him! In His Presence, my relationship began to be moved out from under the task master of doing, to the Love of God, to being His and being positioned in His Grace!
  • Over the years that followed, the Lord taught me so much about loving deeper; He began to work out His salvation in me day by day, teaching me and showing me how to “be” instead of “do” and how to “deeply-love-being” instead of “shallow-dutiful-doing”. I began loving God deeper and loving others unconditionally, I learned what it was like to “grow” (live) through life, not just “go” (dutiful) through it!
  • I was saved on February 14th, 1975, but My road to Lordship culminated in my youngest daughters junior year of high school after we had been in a car accident and had to be rescued by her boyfriend’s family. It was their act of sacrificial love that cut deeply at my “religious heart”, laying it open and showing me the critical, judgmental, religious, dutiful, heartless person I truly had been. At two o’clock in the morning, I sat cross-legged on the bathroom floor of this home in Atlanta, bowed before God. I wholly faced My God and I threw off the hindrance of “religiosity” that kept me from loving God deeper, loving others unconditionally! Immediately, I experienced an undeserving love so unfathomable, that it cut away all the remaining strings of an unforgiving, critical, merciless, judgmental spirit and I surrendered my life totally to the Lordship of Christ Jesus, to “be” completely His! Life was no longer about me trying to prove myself, trying to be good enough… and me trying to make my family good enough… and me trying to make others live up to my standard of “religiosity”; it was all about Him, being found willessly in Jesus, serving only Him.
  • I changed that fateful night, from a dutiful-affiliation to God to a heart-relationship with God; Spirit-to-spirit from doing-performing to being-living! I was no longer an overwhelmed servant with a long task list; but a spirit-led “seasoned servant” with a “living legacy” who was no longer tasked by approval, but tasked by the Spirit of God by His power and might!
  • The first noticeable change was in our home life and it began to change dramatically. My children say AMEN to that! In our home, it was all about doing for approval! Performing religious tasks! Our family “doings” yoked our “being found in Him” with a heavy performance bondage, that set “religiosity” as a precedence in our home! There was no mercy, no forgiveness, no forgetting, no unconditional love! “I told you so!” was a commonly used phrase. I used to make my kids have devotions, make them read their bibles and keep journals… and I would check that they had written in their journals each day before they were allowed to do anything else…. doing… AHH Lord God… But now… it is about being… being in relationship with Him and each other and sharing Jesus…. Loving deeply! We are free to love Jesus and love each other deeply! No regrets!! I know I am leaving a Living Legacy for my children and grandchildren because I am being found in Jesus, loving deep!!
  • To this day, I am still a servant who loves to do, but my do now has a common denominator of being! I am being found in Jesus! My legacy is no longer dead works but it is a living legacy of love!
  • One day, a long time ago an associate pastor obeyed God and encouraged me to be found in Jesus. It changed the course of my life! So today I pay that forward and encourage you to: Love Deep! Be found in Jesus! Humble yourself at the feet of Jesus because the successful life is not about striving to do human works, to get a higher position or a better title… it is all about Jesus and His Love! Success is being faithful to love Jesus, being found in Him, led by His Holy Spirit each day being God’s broken vessel of Light that pierces the night with His redeeming power and love! Love Deeply! Glow His Glory! God Bless You Much… Indeed! Kimberly Mac PS.........Dear Family and Friends: I heard a sermon today from called “Love Deeper” by Pastor Tom Mullins. This sermon is definitely what I call “The Bridegroom’s Voice”. The Church is the Bride of Christ and now is the time that Jesus, The Bridegroom is preparing His Bride for the Wedding Celebration. Please pass on this sermon to everyone you know… it is The Bridegroom’s Voice, it is the Holy Spirit dressing-preparing the Church for a season of time such as this! I strongly encourage you, family and friends to make a divine appointment for your spirit to be “dressed”, take time out of your schedule this week and listen to this sermon. Go to the website above, look down on the left hand side of the web page and you will see: “check out the archives”, click on this and find the sermon called: “Love Deeper” Tom Mullins 4/13/08. Listen and be blessed, be prepared and be changed in Christ Jesus!

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