I know that I have shared parts of this before, but my prayer is that you might hear the lessons l continue to learn from current revelations of the Word concerning these past events and be able to use it for an such associations in your own life! When we returned from Bible College and three years in Oklahoma to our home town in California, I was drastically surprised to see how much people, places and things that had been a major part of our lives in California had changed!
Looking back on it now, I tend to believe that it was actually Piper and I who had dramatically changed due to our three years of total submersion in the Word of God through my Bible College training and the teaching and fellowship we experienced in the home church we attended there. Simply put, some of the major influences in our family’s lives that we expected to give us a lot of encouragement, emotional support and physical assistance… did not!
One of my biggest (and best!) surprises has been the extended family members, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers who seemed to come out of the woodwork to undergird us in our deepest time of need. And it’s happened over and over again in California and here in North Carolina! Through it all I have personally come to rejoice and depend in the fact that GOD IS Sooooo GOOD for “he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)
Now, I’m not implying that God had anything to do with the changes that we experienced, but I firmly believe that He used the situations in order to point us completely and unrestrictedly to Him! I can honestly say without any hesitation that I have NEVER been closer in my relationship to God and His Word than I have been over the last ten years. In reality… I had no other choice! As my old support system collapsed under me, I HAD to grab on to the Father’s hand that He extended to me or I would have sunk in the midst of the storm that was blowing all around me! (and believe me with the hurricane that blew through here last year… I have seen what can happen to something that is not firmly grounded as the winds blew and the rain came down in torrents!)
John 15:5 in The Message Bible shares Jesus’ words to us by saying in modern language, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. When you’ve joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” The idea of being in a relationship with someone that is both intimate and organic perfectly describes the connection that Piper and I have had to develop with Papa God throughout the events of this attack on my wife’s health.
Intimate infers “an association, knowledge, understanding, etc, arising from close personal connection or familiar experience,” while organic “denotes a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole.” (both definitions come from the online dictionary, powered by Oxford Dictionaries.)
One of the first things that totally confused, frustrated and to be truthful… angered me the most… was the way some individuals made angry accusations, gave (unwanted nor needed) advice and passed on incorrect information to others about us, was the hard-felt revelation that after many years of interactions with them, that they really had no idea of who we were, what made us tick, our personality styles and many other important characteristics that have sculptured us into who we are today. Our relationship was and is definitely NOT what this scripture calls intimate and organic… In fact… far from it... although I think it is getting better!
With all this confusion going on, it was almost as if I was forced to turn every part of us over to Papa God and His Word. And it has been… as proven over and over again… the best decision we’ve ever made! In John 15:7 Jesus also said: “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (KJV) If you were to look up the original Greek for “words” you would find out that it is not the word for “logos” or the written word of God but instead “rhema” which implies “a word that is actually alive in your inner man – your spirit – and is beyond your ‘head’ or intellect. It is a word from God that is beyond your memorization. In other words, a rhema word is an abiding word, and there’s power in the abiding Word of God.” (How to Speak the Word of God with the Voice of Jesus, by Dr. Leroy Thompson Sr. pg 2)
A rhema word is a personal revelation from Papa God for you that is “a live word from Heaven, a quickened word, that you can use as a sword (See Ephesians 6:17) to cut (negative or needful) situations down.” (ibid, pg 7) So we are talking about particular scriptures or inputs from God through our spirits that line up with the Word that are very personal to you! It is like those “words” from Papa God have become intimately associated with who you are! You and that word have become “fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole!”
That’s exactly what Jesus is referring to when He talks about us “abiding” in Him and His Word “abiding” in us. It is very intimate, organic and personal! And like with my experience… sometimes that type of relationship is almost forced upon us… if we are to survive some of the valleys that we walk through in this life! But, it is a kind of forced arrangement in which we have a choice in. For me there was NO other way to go! How about you… what would you do?
Have a great weekend, have fun, stay safe and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How personal am I expecting my relationship with Papa God and His Word to be today?”