We have the Relationship We Want with God
September 6, 2015
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #453.
(J) Well, speaking of “Get Along with God,” what you said, Jennifer, reminded me of something I wrote back in 2013, but it was actually from a poem I had written in the 90’s. And it was “Penny for the Plate.” And I said, “My heart has treasured like a bag lady the refuse and scum of the world. As I step before His holy throne, my offering, my oil, my presented gift are empty bottles mauled by the mouth of the world, left with remnants of spit and backwash and fit only for the dogs; rags soiled by the stain and smell of those things that man chooses to wash down the drain,” which for me you remember is really big, huge, stinky, oooo, yuk, dirty, filthy, ick. “Why would this King of Kings bother with these abhorrent things? Because these were the articles of my worship, artifacts which stood between my unbridled passion, my yielded heart and ungarnished devotion. These were my treasures and life savings, the penny for the plate.” It was all I had to offer, so He received it because it was what I loved, that stood between me and Him. And it was what I loved, and so to give Him what I loved was a love for Him. That’s why He receives our abhorrent things, because they’re connected to our heart, and when we lay those down, we give those to Him, that connects our heart. That’s a worship. That’s an honoring of Him and giving Him worship. So, yes! Like you, I didn’t have any good to give. I only had wretched, so when I came to give wretched, that was all I had. But He said, “That, it’s you. I want you. I want your heart. I want you, and that’s what you are. And so, when you’re giving that, that’s everything you have.” That is the penny for the plate. That is all the widow had. And she had the mite, and that was my mite. And that was everything. That was greater than all the offerings given that day, because it was all she had. So, that’s why it’s so beautiful to Him. I’m going to put that back up on “Get Along with God” if we can, because that’s… The whole post is pretty awesome, but that “POW!” You know, right?
(Jennifer) And that’s the thing, John, if you say that that’s what you want instead of Him, He lets you choose that. He does. He lets you choose that. And if you want to be a so-called normal Christian, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day, He’ll let you choose that. That’s, I think I want to clarify. That’s what I meant by whatever your relationship with Him, it’s what you’ve chosen. And the reason that that’s not a slam is because that means you can decide differently. You can choose differently. You can bow. You can say, “I’m tired of me, God. I’m sorry. Please, I want You.” Satan says that’s all there is, and that’s all you’ll ever have, and that is not what the Lord said. The Lord says where there’s life, there’s hope. And so..
(Carole) I just keep thinking of this and Mary Magdalene and the referral to her when the Word says, “Those who are forgiven much, love much.” And He, that’s the only thing He calls us to do is to love Him, and I can’t do that. But when He forgives me, when I repent, when He brings me to repentance and He forgives me and He shows me again His blood; when He washes me and He purges me, I fall in love with Him. It isn’t something that I have to do. He causes me to love Him, when He restores me to Himself, when I bring Him who I am and who I am not. When I was, before I even came this morning, I was, for whatever reason I just got stuck again on Psalm 51 which is David’s whole chapter of confession after his sin with Bathsheba, and as he confesses his sin to the Lord, he says, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, uphold me with a willing spirit, then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners shall be converted and return to You.” And in the posts, you were so honest about that process of who you are and coming to the Lord and His forgiveness of you. That is what goes out as a fragrance of Him and draws us to Him. It is after that burning. It is after that dying, and the restoration of that relationship with Him that that fragrance rises and draws many, and gives us the permission to be that honest
(Martha) We are laughing because I’ve been sitting here now for two and half hours taping this and suddenly I was uncomfortable. I reached back and I have on a Velcro curler I’m sitting on, so I pull it out and everybody sees it, and they laugh at me, so… There’s comic relief that happens in our midst all the time, because we are sheep.
You know, sometimes, oh many times over the 35, 40… Is it 40 years now, John? It is 40 years I’ve been with the Lord.
(J) Oh, it’s longer that that.
(Martha) Longer than that? Over 40 years. I’ve always…
(Carole) I met you 40 years ago and you were way with the Lord 40 years ago.
(Martha) Good grief. I think it’s 48. So be it. I’ve always grieved at how few there be that find it. I’ve always been unable to understand why you would decide against it, because you’re right, Jennifer, it is a definite choice. The terrible thing is God has His choice too.
(Martha) And you can reject it for a very long time, and then the only thing left for you is judgment. The only thing left is for God to come down with a boom and create the fear of God in you, and that’s what we sort of stand for as a group, and you three especially are willing to testify to that boom. But I want to read from Billheimer, my old, long term friend and mentor, and I want to be more into his revelation of the Bride. John’s mentioned The Bridal in this conversation. “If God knew from all eternity…” This is from Destined for the Throne, page 25. He quotes Matthew 7, “Wide is the gate, broad is the way that leads to destruction. Many there be that go there because narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.” And I always say, “God, did you really mean this few,” because most people left Jesus, and most people who have come through my path have come and gone. There’s few. Then he writes, “If God knew from all eternity that the net result of all His creative activity including the plan of redemption would be only this tiny minority, then it may be presumed that this small group was the object of God’s previous plans, purposes and creative enterprise. Therefore, it follows that is was for the sake of this small group that the universe was originated. It was not for them that the angels, the inhabitants of the unseen world were brought into being. It was for this small group that the earth and the world were formed. For their sake to possess them God, Himself, entered the stream of history in the incarnation, and this small group is called the Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he goes on to say, “The final and ultimate outcome…” These things are so real to me right now. “The goal of events from eternity to eternity, the finished product of all the ages is the spotless Bride of Christ united with Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb and seated with her heavenly Bridegroom upon the throne of the universe, ruling and reigning with Him over an ever increasing and expanding kingdom. He entered the stream of human history for this one purpose, to claim His beloved, meaning the Bride. Thus the church and only the Church is the key to an explanation of history.” And that is absolutely astounding.