Heart of a Love Letter from God
January 10, 2016
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #471.
(J) As you all are talking, I’m moved with like really great compassion for a man that I know, who lives in doctrine, not by doctrine, but in doctrine. And I’m realizing how devaluing of himself that is, and not only himself but God. But it devalues. To live by a set of rules, it’s not even the principles of living. But to live by a set of rules and, well, doctrines and principles, I guess it is principles. You’re taking the heart out of it. You’re taking the heart out of the whole purpose. There’s a heart that’s beating in the character of God. There’s love behind it. I wrote something recently about the fact that if you read the love letter of God and try to transform it into a set of rules and study, that you just make it into a law. But it was never intended to be that. It was always intended to be a love letter. It was always intended to be connected with the heart of God connecting to your heart. It’s a heart and exchange, and so if you have dehumanized it, if you’ve pulled the heart out of it, it’s just laws. And so, I’m looking at this man, and I’m having great compassion because it says a whole lot about his own value of himself. If you don’t think that a God wants to have an intimate relation ship with you, a heart connection with you, then you will have laws, then you will have rules. You will have principles. You will have doctrines. Not that you don’t have the doctrine, not that you don’t have the principles, not that you don’t have, you know, the Scripture, because that’s truth. That is that part of it. Like you said, it’s two things holding hands kind of. But you have to have the elements of the heart behind it or… And you wonder why. Why would you have that? Why would you relegate yourself to doctrine and principles and rules rather than a heart connection behind those principles? Who is behind it that made those principle? Who is behind those doctrines? Who is behind the Scripture? Who, that’s… It’s a love letter. It’s a love letter or it’s nothing. If it’s not a love letter written by God to say, you know, “I want to connect with you. I’m doing this, I did this whole thing. I went to the cross. I died. I did the whole thing to connect with you, to tear down every barrier.” And if you let lay up the barriers of doctrine and you have an interaction with a rule and a law and a principle and a creed, that’s just tragic, because you’re losing the purpose behind it, which was a divine heart that beats and brings life to everything in this universe, connecting to a heart that was made in His image. It’s so, it’s frightening, because, you know, there was, even though the law was written on everything, there was no law in the garden. And then when they, you know, left and everything like that, they had to leave and… There was a heart and heart connection there, and then they decided they wanted to know more. They wanted to, you know, so they made a barrier, and God came and tore the barrier down. And then we build it back up. We’re always wanting a barrier. Why do we always want a barrier? Why do we always want to build something to block that heart from touching ours?
(Martha) I think it’s because we don’t understand that it is a love letter. That’s radical, John. It’s transforming to see it that way. But what you’ve just described is David. He was a man after God’s own heart, because he responded to God. I’m deep in the Psalms now, seeing them from another level than I’ve ever seen them, which I’ll talk about later. But all of his Psalms, and following him were the sons of Korah, Asaph, whoever that is, and they did the same thing. So he began this heart to heart… He told God what was in his heart and he heard what was in God’s heart. And you’ve just illuminated it there beautifully.
(Carole) They were all getting along with God. They were all living to get along with God, and that’s what to me is the difference between… They weren’t living to get along with the Talmud or the priests. They weren’t living for that. They were getting along, they were living their lives, and God was their relationship, their living relationship. Even when John was talking about on the blog the Charleston shooting, that wasn’t even a commentary to me. That was how all of that affected him with God. And he expressed that response that he had to that situation in terms of his relationship with the Lord and what the Lord was saying to him about that situation. It was living life, so that is just such a rarity. It’s such a rarity. It’s not a commentary. It a living, truly is a living getting along with God.
(Jennifer) I was thinking about that with barriers and how easily they can come up in my own life. In fact I would say that one of the things that He does with me anyway is highlights all the places where I’m building, you know. It hasn’t been an overnight thing for Him to break my habit of building neat boxes. And He, you know, that’s the thing. He is faithful. He will not, He will not let me erect those barriers and keep them. But that’s because the initial barrier has been down. And I don’t know anything about the ins and outs of salvation and who is and is not saved. And frankly, I don’t spend much time thinking about that. I know enough about me, and I wait for Him to tell me when it comes to somebody else, because that way lies madness. You know what I mean? It just does. But I had to have an encounter with Him, a very real encounter with Him. Not with His Word, although I certainly had that. Not with His requirements, though He made me aware of them. Not even with His wrath or His judgment, though I did have an encounter with both of those as well, after years and years of love. I had to have an encounter with Him. And that encounter is what makes it impossible for me to successfully erect any other barriers. They don’t stand. They won’t stand. He won’t have it. But I think about that and honestly, you know, I start building barriers either where I’m ashamed or where I’m mad at Him. That’s just the truth; where He makes me uncomfortable or where I haven’t received the Blood in full. That’s where my barriers tend to go up. I don’t know how it works with anyone else. But I box me in. I box Him where I feel unclean, like I can’t get clean. From the very beginning I think you all know there have been times where I said, “I just can’t, you can’t hug me right now. I just can’t. I can’t bear it.” It’s that, that when it sits on you. And the other part is where He’s taken my life in a direction that I haven’t surrendered to yet, and I’m resisting it, and I really don’t like Him. And I’m really not happy with Him, and I say, “Well, You gonna to do that? Well, I’m gonna do this.” And we have a little throw down, you know. That’s my relationship with God. And I’m a petulant, you know, belligerent, little child. And the fact I think I can build anything and it’s gonna stand against the Almighty is as foolish as the day is long. But it’s those two things for me where I build the barriers, shame and anger with Him where I just don’t like Him. Love Him, but I just don’t like Him, and I want Him to know that I don’t like Him. And so, I’m like, “Well, You’re not allowed in my clubhouse today.” And He says, “It’s My clubhouse, and I’m not leaving!” You know. That’s the deal.