Reaching to the Love of God
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5
Recently I experienced a fervent increase in prayer for the experience of God’s Love. Reading and diving deeper into scripture provided a rich ground for my appeals.
I have been taught that the great intercessor, The Holy Spirit would guide my prayers, even cleanse the veil of tears that cloud my own unknowing. My great Shepherd, Christ Jesus is listening.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
With my arms reaching up and hands extended, fingers themselves pointed towards an invisible yet tangible one that I sensed could see their tips though I, could only vaguely sense through my belief and conviction that these endearing and vastly loving eyes held a gaze upon me as I worded my prayer.
“Father, I know that you are there. By the power of your Spirit, help me to know your Love. I need You, only You and nothing more. My entire existence depends only on You. Anything other than You can and will fall away, shift, fail, lose and die. You alone are Life. I can rely on nothing but you…
My own heart sees and knows nothing and no thing. Apart from You I am nothing. Help me to know you. Help me to see You and to feel you in my heart. Open my eyes to the depth of You. Lead me to Your Love. Father, in this hour I must know you and meet with Your Love. I hold open my arms, my hands outstretched waiting for you. This is the hour that I must know Your Love and receive You. I am waiting, Father. Lord Jesus, I bid your Love.”
It was nighttime. I waiting in a sustained stillness. I lay in the dark with my arms lifted in a cupped reach. My heart wept as I persisted in prayer speaking to The Lord in appeal, waiting like a child for one that made a promise that he would keep. I believed His promise. I don’t think that I had ever before in my life had so much belief that my Father would keep his promise or that he saw and heard me than in these waiting moments.
I could only hear my breath and feel the flush of my own river of tears. Then in a soft shift, I felt my nostrils open and the air around me open as if I were in a new atmosphere. I began to breathe in with an experience unknown to me. I noticed that my chest was rising and falling with a new fullness as if something other than me were drawing breath in and out from a source beyond me. Air, rarified and magnified by something other than oxygen seemed to ventilate itself into me. I was the recipient.
Job 27:3 For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils.
Softly, I did not feel like the “Breather”. It felt like I was being breathed by Spirit or perhaps Love. I did not know. I was gently overcome by peace. “It” as breath or air, seemed able to sweep into my being. I felt “lifted” as if weightless and carried but still in the same place where I lay. My heart and chest felt opened and I experienced a sense of “parting” down the center where the Breath seemed to circulate and then turn back to its source which was far beyond to the One that I had prayed to. I kept gazing towards Jesus Christ during it all.
Isaiah 42.5 “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it.”
I did not know how long this lasted at the time. I felt a sense of timelessness and expansiveness. I experienced complete Peace unlike any other I ever have known. I remember noticing afterward that it was not a “feeling”. It was not something that could come and go or rise and fall as we experience with our mortal heart or senses. This Peace was far beyond and something of an eternal nature.
After an unknown amount of time, The Breathe and Breathing receded like a gentle flow motioning itself back to where it came from. I recall the difference of my own breathing as it returned. It was so limited by comparison. But the gift of this blessing remained.
My first thoughts were of gratitude. I also felt great joy. I thought about scripture and much went through my heart of The Promises of God. It is all true, I thought! I could see the word lifting of the pages of Scripture. Living True. My own form had been blended with Spirit, the same Loving Spirit of God that I found in His Holy Word. I had read that scripture was “God-Breathed”. Were we God-Breathed by His Spirit of Love? This was the beginning of many new searches throughout scripture about the nature of God.
Acts 17:25 “nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since
He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”
I had asked to know the Love of Christ Jesus. The answer came as I was given His Peace by the Power of His Holy Spirit. His Presence was undeniable. His Love was not to be questioned. We question Him but it is our own veiled heart that puts the question mark there. God’s Love has never receded. He has always been there. He is faithful. He is the Great Shepherd.
The next morning I soaked in the verse from
1 John 4:19 “We love him because he loved us first”.
It answered my prayer. Everything came in a beautiful windfall. I asked to be loved but I already was. I had been reversing the order. Like a child, or as the Bible describes us- I had still kept part of the “orphan” mentality. I saw myself as “not unified with Him basking in His Love. I was asking With Him. Yet I have received Grace. I was sanctified and justified by Faith. He already Loved me. I was the one asking the wrong question. I was the one whose “face” was seeing a distortion in the mirror.
1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
He loved me first. Jesus lived a sinless and sacrificial life for me, he suffered and bore all the sins of mankind on the cross and was resurrected so that I could be born into His Grace and know a Love as great as His, as great as His Father’s Love for HIm.
1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
And so I remain.
It has been many days since that night of prayer and the experience of “being breathed”. But my heart is altered. I know that Love is peace. I have experienced that being Loved by The Lord causes us to Love. Belief heightens and Faith grows brighter like the Light of a torch in the heart that we carry on this mortal journey. That Light will both convict me of my failings and lead me to my Great Shepherd. The silence in my heart will still me so that I can hear His Voice calling me.
Lord, help us all to remain in your steadfast love. Lead us by your gentle and sweet calling in all nights. Let your Light Shine before us. Be the breath of Spirit that causes us live according to your will.
© 2018 Linda Willows