There are 5 stages to the growth of a Christian, 6 if you consider the “infant” stage. 1 John 2:12-14 has the child, young man, strong young man and father. Other verses in the bible help to understand all the phases better. Also, Solomon in the Song of Songs, was the perfect unmeasurably wise husband shepherd to his immature wife. Lovingly leading her by example, encouragement, promises and praises through the 4 stages of growth in metaphoric and figurative language . This blog focuses on broadening your understanding from the “The Babe in Spiritual Growth” phase in the Song of Songs blog. If you follow me I will be praying for you. I hope you enjoy!! God bless you and may you grow becoming mature, attaining to the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ” Ephesians 4:13.
- Babes are not teachers, but need to be taught.
And their thirsty souls grave learning. Don’t get me wrong. They do know some things, enough for salvation and are saved. But the majority of their time is spent drinking up the truths in the Bible. God gave man the faculty of understanding, chiefly, that he might understand divine things. This should be obvious, but any new believer quickly realizes even though they are forgiven they have a lot to learn. Though the craving may vary in differing degrees, God puts the Holy Spirit in them and they crave the spiritual nourishment of the Word of God, so that they grow to be children, young men then spiritual fathers. 1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (every command obeyed and treasured in the heart is compared to “a necklace” adorning or beautifying your neck. (compare Song of Songs 1:10; 4:9 with Prov. 1:8-9; 6:20-21) At this point I would encourage you, if you have not already, to find someone more mature than you to disciple you.
- The baby christian will believe one thing then another thing altogether different. They get tossed to and fro. (Don’t worry, your still are forgiven and saved you just need to learn more about God, Jesus, His Character and will for you as you drink up the Bible and obey you will be fine, all mature believers started there also)
Ephesians 4:14 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming”
- The babe needs to be taught the “elementary truths of God’s word.” and are “not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” Hebrews 5:11-4
- The babe is not “trained” because they have not had the time for “constant use” of what they have already learned. Hebrews 5:11-14 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Not saying that they know nothing of righteous living or the righteousness that Christ earned for them but more like “being without the matured skill that experience gives” Why? Not enough time spent learning then doing what they already know, for this is the way for the babe to grow! 🙂 The babe will pray, understand scripture, witness, confess sins, repent,fast and fellowship etc. But in order to grow they need to not necessarily do more of these but get better at them.
- Babes can be babes for a long time if you don’t take the right path for growth. Hebrews 5:12 above says that the hebrews should have been teachers by now. They didn’t have a “constant use” of what you have learned and in so doing you get “trained to distinguish good and evil.” Make you necklace of jewels beautiful around you neck by writing the commands of God on you heart. Prov. 1:8-9 and Song 1:10.
- The babe is out of hell and on her way to heaven but doesn’t have the full assurance of the fathers love to them like the child has. 1 John 2:14, Song of Songs 2:16
Simple advice for babes: READ YOUR BIBLE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE AND IMMEDIATELY OBEYING WHAT GOD’S SPIRIT CONVICTS YOU OF!
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND AS A BABY IN ORDER FOR THE FASTEST GROWTH POSSIBLE
- Let the Spirit in the Song lead you, by asking Him to teach you because He is the Author!! Then obey!!
- Make Song 1:2-4 the prayer of your heart all day long!! And if you are ever lost, which happens often, always go back to making Song 1:2-4 your hearts desire and prayer. Let your heart resonate with the text and give your heart to God. Even if you don’t know the full meaning of all the text, pray what you do understand and God will answer above and beyond what you understand or imagine.
- Drink up the bible in all your available time. Meditate on the truths as often as possible
- As you read the Bible you will get convictions, you must follow those convictions. Do what your being convicted of. Maybe you should read, memorize, or meditate more often on scripture, confess your sins daily, pray in the morning and evening, yea pray always, get someone to disciple you, clarify a truth or doctrine, say sorry to someone, put a filter on the internet, go to church, witness, the list goes on and on. Do not worry, though you don’t know much, God will teach and discipline those He loves. Heb. 12:10 The point is that as you read God’s word He will reveal to you what you out to do, how to speak and what your thinking should be, and how to keep your emotions biblical. If you ignore any conviction then this will harden your heart, it will make it harder to obey next time. Obey and God will bless you with a closer relationship with Himself thereby growing. This is your life, learning about God what His will is for you and doing it.
- Although you are in the babe phase, you should also learn some things about the child, young man, strong young man and father as well.
- It’s by repeating everything in the babe phase and looking forward to the child phase that will get you there the fastest along with the Spirits help and in His timing. You will notice yourself moving from one phase to another, make sure the first phase is fully there before thinking you are a child, yet once you are a child you still have to keep in mind Song of Songs 1:2-2:7, but start doing 2:8-3:5 then when most of your life is a child then overcome the evil one to be a young man still doing the Babe phase over and over just in greater degree’s, frequencies and durations.
The Song of Songs is a roadmap for Spiritual growth. There are many ways that the Song will get you growing to full maturity faster than you thought possible, here are a few:
- It is the roadmap for spiritual growth so rightly understood and applied you will NEVER be lost, or if you get lost or lose your first love it will get you back on track quickly.
- The Babe grows by drinking milk
- The Child grows another
- The young man has his battles
- The strong young man has his meat to chew on
- The father has it all going on
- It manifests the Love of God to the heart better than any other book
- You have Solomon the wisest man ever to have lived guiding you
- The title itself as the Song of Songs lets us know there is something better here
- It is complete so that time is not wasted thus redeeming time for our days are evil Song 1:4
Get your doctrine right! For example the first question in the catechism will let you know your purpose in life! You were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!! A puritan catechism that is good and cheap by Thomas Vincent at Amazon for $5 http://www.amazon.com/Shorter-Catechism-Explained-Scripture-Paperbacks/dp/085151314X/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1461028652&sr=8-10&keywords=catechism+puritan
Advice for a new convert from Jonathan Edwards
To Deborah Hatheway in Suffield.
A Copy of a Letter Sent to Deborah Hatheway a young woman belonging to Suffield; by the Revd Mr Edwards of Northampton.
Northampton June 3d AD 1741.
Dear Child, as you desired me to Send you in writing Some Directions, how to behave your Self in your Christian Course, I would now Answer your request. The remembrance of the Great things I have lately Seen at Suffield, and the Dear affection for those Persons, I have there Conversed with, that give good Evidences of a Saving work of God upon their hearts Inclines me to do any thing that lies in my power, to Contribute to the Spiritual Joy and Prosperity of Gods people there; and what I write to you, I would also Say to other young women there, that are your friends and Companions and the Children of God; & therefore Desire you would Communicate as you have opportunity.
1. I would advise you to keep up as Great a Strife and earnestness in Religion in all parts of it, as you wou’d do if you knew your Self to be in a State of Nature, and was Seeking Conversion. We advise persons under Convictions to be earnest, & violent for the kingdom of heaven, but when they have attained to Conversion they ought not to be less watchfull laborious and earnest in the whole work of Religion, but the more; for they are under infinitely greater obligations. for want of this many Persons in a few months after their Conversion have begun to loose the Sweet and lively Sence of things, & to grow Cold and flat and dark, & have pierced themselves thrô with many Sorrows, whereas if they had done as the Apostle did Phil: 3. 12 13 14 their path would have been as the Shining light, that Shines more & more unto the perfect Day. (“let us hurry” Song of Solomon 1:4, “mare” be swift, powerful in the power of the Spirit and fearless not fearing punishment from God because you believe Him to be loving and gracious. “I will get up now” Song 3:2)
2. Dont leave off Seeking Striving & praying for the Same things that we exhort unconverted persons to Strive for: & a degree of which you have had in Conversion. Thus pray that your Eyes may be open’d, that you may receive your Sight, that you may know your Self, & be bro’t to Gods foot, & that you may see the Glory of God & Christ & may be raised from the Dead: & have the Love of Christ Shed abroad in your heart, (by making Song of Songs 1:2-4 the cry of your heart) for those that have most of these things, had ned Still to pray for them: for there is So much blindness & hardness & Death Remaining, that they Still need to have that work of God wrought upon them further to enlighten & enliven them; that Shall be a bringing out of Darkness into Gods marvellous light. And a kind of new Conversion & Resurrection from the Dead. There are very few requests that are proper for a natural person, but that in Some Sense are proper for the Godly.
3. When you hear Sermons hear them for your Self: tho what is Spoken in them may be more especially Directed to the unconverted, or to those that in other respects are in different Circumstances from your Self. Yet let the Chief intent of your mind be, to Consider with your Self, in what respects is this that I hear Spoken, Applicable to me & what Improvement ought I to make of this for my own Souls good.
4. Thô God has forgiven & forgotten your past Sins, yet don’t forget them your Self: Often remember what a wretched bond Slave you was in Egypt, often bring to mind your particular acts of Sin before Conversion, as the Blessed Apostle Paul is often mentioning, his old blaspheming & persecuting & injuriousness, to the renewed humbling of his heart & acknowledging that he was the least of the Apostles, & not worthy to be called an Apostle, & the least of all Saints, & the Chief of all Sinners: and be often in Confessing your old Sins to God & let that text be often in your mind Ezek: 16:63. “That thou mayest remember & be Confounded & never open thy mouth any more because of thy Shame when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done Saith the Lord God.”and (Song of Songs 1:5-6)
5. Remember that you have more cause a thousand times to lament & humble your Self for Sins that have been Since Conversion than before, because of the infinitely greater Obligations that are upon you to live to God. And look upon the faithfulness of marginal Christ, in unchangeably Continuing his loving favour, & the unspeakable & Saving fruits of his everlasting love, notwithstanding all your Great unworthiness Since your Conversion, to be as wonderfull as his Grace in Converting you.
6. Be greatly abased for your remaining Sin, & never think that you lie low enough for it but yet dont be at all discouraged or disheartned by it. For thô we are exceeding Sinfull yet we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous, the preciousness of whose blood, & the merit of whose righteousness & the Greatness of whose love & faithfulness does infinitely overtop the highest mountains of our Sins. (Dark am I, yet lovely. Song 1:5. This will balance your emotions and keep you close to God. Get closer and grow faster by thinking this dark is darker and darker everyday. And that you loveliness and holiness in Christ and this loveliness is more getting more lovely, You are beautiful and God promises to make you more beautiful, this requires you to see yourself as dark and not beautiful in one sense and in another lovely in God’s eyes because your sins are washed away and you are given the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ)
7. When you engage in the Duty of Prayer or Come to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper or attend any other Duty of Divine worship, Come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did Luke 7:37-38. Come & Cast your Self down at his feet & kiss ’em, and pour forth upon him the perfumed ointment of Divine love, out of a pure & broken heart, as She pour out her precious ointment out of her pure alabaster broken box.
8. Remember that Pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the Greatest Disturber of the Souls peace & Sweet Communion with Christ, was the first Sin that ever was, & lies lowest in the foundation of Satans whole building, & is most Difficultly rooted out, & is the most hidden Secret & Deceitfull of all Lusts, & often Creeps in insensibly into the midst of Religion & Sometimes under the Disguise of Humility. (Humility it a right view of yourself in relation to God with a proper heart response)
9. That you may pass a good Judgment of the frames that you are in, always look upon those the best Discourses, and the best Comforts, that have most of these two effects viz: those that make you humble, lowest, & most like a little Child, & Secondly, Those that do most engage & fix your heart in a full & firm Disposition to Deny your Self for God, & to Spend & be Spent for him.
10. If at any time you fall into any Doubt about the State of your Soul, under darkness & Dull frames of mind, tis proper to look over past Experience, but yet Dont Consume too much of your time & Strength in poring & puzling thoughts about old Experiences, that in Dull frames appear dim & are very much out of Sight, at lest as to that which is the cream & life & Sweetness of them: But rather apply your Self with all your might, to an earnest pursuit after renewed Experiences, New light, & new lively acts of faith & love. One new Discovery of the Glory of Christs face & the fountain of his Sweet grace & love will do more towards Scattering Clouds of Darkness & Doubting, in one minute: than Examining old experiences by the best mark that Can be given; a whole year.
11. When the Exercise of grace is at a low ebb, & Corruption prevails, & by that means fear prevails, Don’t desire to have fear cast out any other way, than by the reviving & prevailing of love, for tis not agreable to the Method of Gods wise dispensations that it Should be Cast out any other way; for when love is asleep, the Saints need fear to restrain them from Sin & therefore it is So ordered, that at Such times fear Comes upon them, & that more or less as love Sinks. But when love is lively exercise, persons don’t need fear, & the prevailing of love in the heart, naturally tends to Cast out fear, as darkness in a room vanishes away as you let more & more of the pleasant beams of the Sun into it 1 John. 4 18.
12. You ought to be much in Exhorting & Counselling & warning others, especially at Such a Day as this: Heb: 10 25. & I would advise you especially, to be much in exhorting Children & young women your Equals, & when you exhort others that are men, I would advise you that you take opportunities for it, Chiefly when you are alone with them, or when only young persons are present. See 1 Tim: 2. 9, 11, 12.
13. When you counsel & warn others, do it earnestly, affectionately & thoroughly. And when you are Speaking to your Equals, let your warnings be intermixed with Expressions of your Sense of your own unworthiness, & of the Sovereign grace that makes you differ, & if you can with a good conscience, Say how that you in your Self are more unworthy than they.
14. If you would set up religious meetings of young women by yourselves, to be attended once marginal in a while, besides the other meetings that you attend I Should think it would be very proper & profitable. (In the Song of Songs “breasts” are a metaphor for “receiving and giving nourishment” the “Lilies” are other believers. The twin fawns are used as an illustration to communicate “attraction of the eye, beautiful and adorable. So when a husband or Christ see’s you fellowshipping with other believers then you are getting nourished and giving spiritual nourishment to others, this is captivating, and beautiful to the eye of Christ or husband, like “twin fawns that browse among the lilies” Song 4:5)
15. Under Special Difficulties, or when in great need of or great longings after any particular mercies, for yourself or others; Set apart a Day of Secret fasting and Prayer alone; & let the Day be Spent not only in petitions for the mercies Desired, but in Searching your heart, & looking over your past life, & Confessing your Sins before God not as is wont to be done in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal before God, of the Sins of your past life from your Childhood hitherto, before & after Conversion, with particular Circumstances & aggravations, also, very particularly & fully as possible, Spreading all the all the abominations of your heart before him.
16. Don’t let the adversaries of Religion have it to Say, that these Converts Don’t Carry themselves any better than others. See Mat: 5.47 What do ye more than others; how holily Should the Children of God, & the Redeemed & the beloved of the Son of God behave themselves, therefore walk as a Child of the light & of the Day & adorn the Doctrine of God your Saviour; & particularly be much in these things, that especially be Called Christian virtues, & make you like the Saints of God; be meek & lowly of heart & full of a pure heavenly & humble love to all & abound in deeds of love to others, & Self-denial for others, & let there be in your disposition to account others better than your Self.
17. Don’t talk of things of Religion & matters of Experience with an air of lightness and laughter which is too much the manner in many Places.
18. In all your Course, walk with God & follow Christ as a little poor helpless Child, taking hold of Christs hand, keeping your Eye on the mark of the wound on his hands & Side, whence came the blood that Cleanses you from Sin & hiding your nakedness under the Skirt of the white Shining Robe of his Righteousness.
19. Pray much for the Church of God & especially that he would Carry on his Glorious work that he has now begun; & be much in Prayer for the Ministers of Christ, & particularly I would beg a Special interest in your Prayers, & the Prayers of your Christian Companions, both when your alone & when you are together for your affectionate friend, that Rejoyces over you, & desires to be your Servant In Jesus Christ.
Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.