Counsels and Direction for those in this Blessed Marriage
Let it be the main endeavor of a soul married to Christ, to keep herself still in that point wherein she may keep him; and so keep him, that she may still say, and feel what she says, “My beloved is mine, and I am my beloveds: To this end, let her still cast, and consider with herself, what those things are which he loves most, and make her most lovely in his eyes: for the Spirit of this lover, loves to be there where His love is.
Therefore if there eve an praise, any virtue, think on those things, and set them as pearls, and jewels about your soul, to make her glorious and amiable in his sight. Let the face of the soul, even the image of the most excellent Deity, shine brightly in His eyes, being anointed with fresh oil; and let her be lovely to him by those ointments which make him lovely to her.
Let her often go out of the body, yea out of the world by heavenly contemplations; and treading on the top of the earth with the bottom of her feet, to look over the world, into that upper world, where her treasure, her joy, her beloved dwells. Let her stand in this watch-tower, and look out for her lover, as the watch-man looks out for the morning; and then the day spring from on high shall visit her. Turn thy face away from the enchantments of this world, from dreams of earthly profit and preferment, and turn you face to the wilderness, even turn this world in a wilderness, and a nothing before your face; and the Spirit of God shall come upon you, and you will see the vision of the Almighty. And when this Sun of the soul shines upon her, let the eye of the soul, made clear and piercing by faith, (like the eye of an Eagle) look on the Sun, for this Sun looks on the eye that looks on Him, yea he loves the eye of a faith working unto love, and cries out that he is wounded by this one of her eyes. Song 4:9
It is His own speech to the soul, seek my face continually: and it is an answer which he loves to receive from the soul, “Thy face, O Lord, will I seek.” And thus beholding Christ Jesus with open face, you will see, and feel things unutterable; you will also be changed from beauty to beauty, from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. The more the soul see’s, and is seen of Him, the more lovely will she grow, and the more lovely she is, the more will He delight to see and be seen of her.
Again, if with that hearty lover, whose heart was according to the heart of his well-beloved, you can truly say,
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
Having procured His coming, you will also stay Him from going: You heart will watch Him, and keep him, and hold him; for where he is so watched and held from going, he is willing to abide. The story is well known, that though he seemed as though he would have gone further, yet when they constrained him,m he went in to tarry with them. Luke 24:28. And though he should after some time vanish out of sight, yet if our hearts be thinking and talking of him, he will soon stand in the midst of them, and bring his peace with Him.
And that you may keep His Love fresh, and fervent to you, keep your own love fresh and fervent to Him. For love draws love, and fervent love makes love fervent like itself. Love is like burning coals, and burning coals will kindle coals that are not burning. Therefore kindle your love, and make it to flame, by thinking on his beauty, on His sweetness, on His goodness. Kindle it by renewing the old taste of Him, which you have formerly tasted.
Kindle your love, by reviving the images of loves past: put yourself into the same thoughts wherein you where, when you did enjoy Him. And so if your mind be fitted, and put into a state of enjoying, it is likely that He will come into a mind so fitted, and you shall enjoy Him. And if He come not yet to sup with you, stir up your spiritual concupiscence, and therewith let the soul lust mightily for him, and let her lust for him, and let her lusts and desires ascend up to him in strong cries and invocations, and then by his Spirit he will descend unto you.
Be careful that there be a perpetual consent of your will unto His will, and a perpetual issuing of thoughts and actions from this consent and conformity. In the house of this husband there must be but one will, and that is the husbands. The wives will must be melted into the will of the husband, and her will must not live, but her husbands will must live in her. and then this husband will delight to be much at home, where he may be Master; and he will delight often to give the unity of fruition, where there is an unity of will and affection: but where the wives will crosses the will of the Husband, there is He wearied away, and that house is to him as a place of continual dropping, offensive, and indeed unfit to entertain that Lord who is the King of glory.
A King loves to be in his Kingdom where he commands and is obeyed; and therefore if you will have this King to visit and dwell with you, let him command and reign in you: for He has told you Himself, “If any man love me, and keep my commandments, I will love him, and will appear plainly to him.”
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Wherefore if the soul desire to please herself by the fruition of his presence, let her especially and mainly strive to please Him: for by pleasing Him, she will be pleased by him, whose pleasure is infinitely greater than that which arises out of her pleasing of herself. Let her give away her own will for his will, and in so doing she will be a double gainer: for she changes a worse will for a better, and with all gains Him whose the better will is, and who is infinitely better than herself.
Wherefore strive to please Him, and to give him his will, yea strive to give it much and mainly; for the more you give it, the more you receive into you a most excellent will, and a most excellent husband. Thus will you please yourself most, by pleasing Him, and not yourself. What husband is there, who seeing his wife to neglect herself for Him, but he will love and cherish that wife the more, the more she neglects herself for him! And then by how much his love and cherishing is more advantageable and pleasing than her own, so much is her gain advanced, by loving and pleasing him more than herself.
(page 294) And because there is some beauty and good in the creature, (though indeed subject to vanity, and blasted with a curse) and there is a law of the members reigning in the worst, and not wholly rooted out of the best, which loves to look on the creature, and by looking lusts after it; let the soul married to Christ be very wary how she turned her eye, and fixes it on the creature. For if her eye go much after it, and settle long upon it, her love is likely to come after her eye. She may look on it, and behold the (deceptive) goodness of it, but in beholding the goodness of it, she must again look from it, to that transcendent, original, and infinite goodness of her husband, of whom this goodness was borrowed. For by him all things where made, that were made. Again, she may look on it to see the vanity of it (sin), that by seeing the vanity of it, she may look from it to her Lord and Husband, in whom is stability, and perpetual felicity. And yet again she may look on it, to see the curse that is cast upon it, and in the terribleness of that curse, she may see the horror of sin, that looking from it again to her Lord and Saviour, she may see the excellency of his love, and inestimable value of his person, who has taken away the curse, and the sin from his beloved Spouse, and gives her a blessed use of the creature, and full blessedness in the eternal fruition of the Creator.
Thus looking to the creature, by looking to it, she looks form it, she rests not in it, but passes by it to her only True rest. and indeed by these and the like removals the soul should ever be kept loose from the world. For as when we would not have things to glue and fasten, we do often touch, and turn, and move them; So the soul being apt to glue and fasten to the world, we must by these and the like meditations often touch and remove her, that so she may be kept continually looking from it.
But because the cement which joins the soul to the world is the flesh, and she must adulterate first with this old husband, before she can prostitute her self to the world; let the soul take especial care to watch and resist the approaches of this sly, but deadly enemy, that comes in the shape of a lover. This is he whom the True Husband, whose name is Jealous perfectly hates, for there is perfect contrariety between them. Therefore so much as you admit the flesh, so much you expel you Lord and Saviour.
But so much as you banish the flesh, so much room do you make for Christ to come into you by His Spirit. Therefore be thou so far from loosing our husband, for this old adulterer, that you gain him the more, by expelling and killing the other. The flesh is good for nothing but to be slain, and therein there is this gain, that the more he dies, the more you love and life loves thee, and liveth in thee.
Therefore whereas the flesh would make it your pleasure to live after the flesh, do thou make it your pleasure to kill the flesh: let the hunting, pursuing, and killing of the lusts of the flesh be you pastime and pleasure, even the hunting and destroying of these foxes, that would destroy your vineyard. And then will the Lord of the vineyard get up early to his vineyard, the vine shall flourish, and the tender grapes appear, and there shall he give you his loves.
But if through you own remises, or the fleshes importunity, the soul by concupiscence has conceived sin, make haste to the fountains set open for Judah and Jerusalem to wash, and to be clean. Wash your self in tears and blood; the Spirit of penitence, contrition, and conversion washes white, and the blood of the Lamb washes whiter than snow. And by the cleansing Spirit is given to you the cleansing blood. That false husband whom you have pleased, he has defiled you, and your true husband whom you have offended, he it is that must wash you: Therefore he came by water and blood, to wash you guilt with his blood, to wash your guilt with his blood, and your filth by his Spirit; that thus being washed you may be without spot and blemish, and again lovely in his eyes, and acceptable in the eyes of his Father.
And being thus made fair by his washing, he will yet again embrace you, and put you evil out of his remembrance, by his own overcoming goodness. But then let his goodness overcoming your evil, teach you to overcome your own evil with goodness. Hate and resist all sin, and especially that sin by which you have most offended so loving a husband; and hate and resist that false husband who tempted you to sin. Love your true husband the more, the more you have offended him, and the more he has forgiven you.
And the more you love him, the more you strive not to offend him. and if thus after you sin, you are the farther from sin, more fair in holiness, and fuller of love to they heavenly husband, you shall hear tom his mouth the voice of joy and gladness, and will feel from His mouth a kiss of peace in your soul. And this spiritual kiss shall drop a spiritual ointment, the very pledge and seal of pardon and peace; even a testimony of his Spirit speaking to your spirit, ” Your sins are forgiven you.
And having regained Him, make your self more and more one with him, and increase your communion with him. Touch him hard with your faith, suck him strongly with your love, that more virtue may come out of him, to cure that issue of sin yet abiding in the remnant of the flesh, and to make you more one and uniform with Him.
For as a bough, the more he sucks from the tree, the larger is his union with the tree, and the more is his likeness to the tree, so the more a soul draws from Christ, the more is the one with him, and the more is she like him. And again, the more she is like him, the more will he delight to be one with her; and thus shall she go on in an endless circle of happiness. The highest and happiest, and sweetest harmony is, when the soul is in an union with her Saviour and Husband: every touch and sound of the soul thus tuned to Christ Jesus, resounds in Him, touches and moves him. and as with the sound of outward music the Spirit of God came upon the Phrophet; so with the sound of this inward music 9 be it in holy contemplations, ardency’s, desires, invocations, resolutions, the Spirit of Christ Jesus comes more powerfully and plentifully into the soul. and when he comes, do you draw from him that Spiritual Sap and nourishment, by which you may grow up to the stature appointed you. By the supply of this head grow up to this head in a due proportion, even to the fulness of that part which you hold in his body. And let not the head be the head of a man, yea of the fairest and goodliest of men, and you a starved, crooked or mishappen hand or foot, but both strive to be a member proportionable to so comely a Head.
And that thou may thus grow, let not swelling, but growth be the end of thy sucking. Desire the sincere milk, and wine of the Deity, that you may grow thereby, 1 Pt 2. in solid substance, not in frothy and puffy imaginations. Grow you in the real excellence of a Divine Nature, and not in the empty swellings of a fleshly pride. for the flesh has sometimes a desire of spiritual excellencies, but it is for a fleshly end, even to puff itself up by them. But seek not these pearls, (that feed your spiritual pride, so as to talk much of experience or think highly of yourself), to cast it to these swine, nor this Bread of Heaven to give it to such dogs.
Rather buffet this flesh and beat it down, lest a messenger of Satan be sent to buffet it, and so when you look for a good Spirit to exalt you, an evil spirit be sent to beat and humble you. Christ comes into thee, not to feed, but to kill the flesh; Wherefore you end and his are contrary, if you desire his coming to feed that, which He comes to kill. If then you would have him come indeed into you, join with him in the proposal of on and the same end; even the exaltation of the Spirit, and the death of the flesh; allow not fleshly swelling to be an end; no not a subsequent, of you meeting with Christ; but kill it, if after this meeting it arise in thee.
The flesh has no part nor portion in this service; but to be slain by it; therefore let not this left hand of the flesh, know, what the right hand of the Spirit does in thee: but be thou wholly Spiritual, in a Spiritual business, and by it grow more spiritual, and, not more, but less carnal.
Again, desire not these sweetnesses of spiritual union, only because they are sweet; for in this flesh also may have it’s part, both in desire and fruition. Be not like the children of Israel, in the wilderness, who desired meat for their lusts: for of such a desire there is an ill beginning, and an ill end may be expected, since lust is both the beginning and the end of it. But blessed is the land, when her princes eat for strength and not for riot; and blessed is the Church when her nobles eat this spiritual food for spiritual strength, and not for lust and luxury. It is a kind of luxury to make taste, and not strength the main end of eating: but let the sweetness of the taste be used as an encouragement unto eating for strength. Out of the strong one comes this sweetness, that by this sweetness you may be made partaker of His strength.
Wherefore having found this honey, eat with Jonathan, that you may be strengthened in service to be done, and against enemies to be refined. Eat that thou may strengthen you faith, and that the eyes of the inner man being enlightened, you may the more clearly discern the riches of glory given to you in Christ Jesus. Strengthen you faith also, that you may more fully, and closely cleave unto him with you will, whom you have seen with your understanding to be the treasure of perfect felicity. Ye let not you faith leave growing from strength to strength, until it bring you beyond faith unto vision.
Eat that you may strengthen you hope, and that you may hope the more perfectly to receive the full fruition of that sweetness, and blessedness, whereof here by this eating you have received the foretastes and pledges. Eat that you may strengthen you love, and that you may love, and that you may love Him with a love above all loves, whom you have seen and tasted to be fairer and sweeter than all that can be loved. And by strengthening you love to him, strengthen also you love to his will, and to his law the copy of his will. The sweetness which you taste, must needs love the law, for they are twins; this sweetness being shed into our souls, and the law written in our hearts by one and the same spirit.
And as the sweetness brings with it a love of the law, making it sweet to us, (even sweeter than honey, and the honeycomb,) so does the law lead us to the fulness and fountain of this Sweetness. Be thou also strengthened by this sweetness, more strongly to resist the enemies of your soul, and of your Lord and Saviour. Let the sweetness of the spirit turn the sweetness of the flesh into bitterness, and the sweetness of the world into contempt: and let it make you to spit out against the taste of all temptations, which the evil spirit will offer you. for how sweet forever the same temptations may now seem in your mouth, they will at last be turned into an everlasting bitterness and gnashing of teeth. But the sweetness of your husband grows like a river, until it come and bring you to a boundless Ocean of perpetual sweetness.
Breifly, let this sweetness now tasted by you, fill your heart and soul, and life with sweetness. Let you garments smell of myrrh, cassia, and frankincense; let thy conversation yield forth the sweet fruits of righteousness, sweet figs, and sweet grapes, that cheer God and man. Judge 9:11-13 Having received sweetness from Christ, sweeten others also; and being strengthened by this sweetness strengthen you brethren.
1. Be not discouraged, if he come not so often to you, nor stay so long with you as you desire. The baits of a traveler are short, and his journey long. The meals of Elijah were but two, but his journey was forty days. This kind of food has in it an eternal nourishment, and therefore it may strengthen long, though but shortly taken. Besides, if you have this meat so long and so fully as you desire, it may be you would not so long and so fully desire and love it, as now you do. There is a loathing upon fulness, and a restiveness upon spiritual fatness, as upon the bodily. Therefore Jeshurun being fat, Deut. 32:25 and Israel being fully and daily fed with Manna, falls to loathing it. But your husband, who is wisdom in perfection, and knows you better than you know yourself, prevents this dangerous fulness and fatness, and carries his kindness in so temperate a moderation, between glutting and starving, that the soul be neither to fat nor to lean. and indeed as she is then most comely in the eye of her husband, so is she then most healthy, active, and fit for the services of her husband. Wherefore let her be content with these turns of coming and going, with short meals, and long journeys.
If the meals be sufficient to bring us to our journeys end, even to God’s holy Mountain, we may well be contented. For these journeys and labors that her seem to be long in regard of the rests that come between them, shall bring us at last to an eternal rest which has no interposition of labors. And then it shall be no sorrow of heart to us, that through short rests, and longer labors, we have arrived to that state of happiness, which has in it no labor, but is all sweet holy rest.
2. Again be not discouraged, if He come not still when you think that you have prepared your soul, and made the bed of love for Him. You may perchance be short of that fitnes which you yourself think, but God is a God of pure eyes, and you even you know nothing by yourself are not free from impurity. He will have you yet more fitted for his coming, by a narrower search of your own blemishes and unfitness: yea He will have you fitted for His coming, by being composed and decent without his coming. He will have you fitted and trimmed by faith (and patience), as well as by love, and teach you to believe his love, when you feel it not, as well as web you feel it. And indeed that is most like faith, which believes what it feels not, but how can show this virtue, if still you have feeling. He expects perchance that the old stock of assurances in visitations and sensible approaches should have lasted longer with you, and you should not so soon have need of new tokens of love on his part, and new feelings on thine own.
The former tastes and tokens of his love, should have longer told you, that he still loves you, though you do not still receive tokens from Him and fast of His love. True it is that he seldom fails to meet a soul, duly trimmed and prepared for him. Nevertheless He is still free, and perchance will have it sometimes to appear so. And if he do thus at sometimes when we are prepared, then at other times, He comes being unexpected; and so by a compensation gives us that which we asked, though only with a difference of time. And indeed his dispensations are wiser then our desires, and it is fittest that times and seasons should be in his hands and not ours, especially for his own gifts.
For we indeed do not always open our mouths in due season, but He always opened his hand, and fills us with his blessings in due season; and accordingly though the spouse sometimes seek him and find him not, yet another time He is found of her that seeks Him not, For when she is sleeping, he comes knocking; and says, open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled. Wherefore let us look mainly to our own part; to have our lamps trimmed with faith, and love; and let us trust him with his own part; the choice of the times and seasons of His coming.
3. Yea again and again, be not discouraged, though hitherto you have not felt the spiritual kisses of Christ Jesus, the ecstasies of His wine, nor the ravishments of his union. It may be the house of thy Lord and Saviour is not yet come, nor the day wherein He will say, This day will you be with me in Paradise. This day was the last day to him, to whom it was fist said, and it may be one of your latter days wherein it shall be said to thee, this day will I be with you, and make a Paradise within you.
Yet let not these days be late days, much less last days, by your delays, however so late they may be His dispensations. Remember Him in your youth, and first days, and be thou as a servant ever ready and hearkening when his Lord will come and knock, that when he knocks, you may open, and he may come in and dwell with you forever. It is just that the giver should choose His own time for his own gifts; and it is just that if you refuse his time, he should refuse yours, and then will he be like one that turns aside to the flocks of our companions.
And you be not discouraged, who have small, and but small tastes of these spiritual joys. He that made us knows our frame, and what is the fittest proportion both for our age, and measure. There are babes in Christ, and we seldom give wine (in great measure) to children, because it is to high for them. Christ gave his doctrine so as they were able to bear it. as by the strength of the same Spirit the joy may be converted into Spiritual advantage, and not perverted by the flesh into carnal voluptuousness, (false) security or (spiritual pride) swelling: the soul must be faithful in little, before she be an owner of much; and therefore there is commonly some time of trial and acquaintance between Christ and the soul, before he will trust her with great familiarity, and give her the great and high degrees of his hidden joys.
Besides, it must be known and considered, that Christ Jesus has some parts, whole measure even at their full growth is so small, as the infancy of other parts. a finger in his full growth is not so big as the leg of an infant. and such little parts may have less feeling of these joys, because of their littleness; and yet they may be as lively as the greater, for a finger lives as well as an arm. (Ex. 16: 17 The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and somelittle.18 When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered [o]as much as he should eat.)
And indeed let such especially look that their life be sound in them, and that shall they know by the actions of life. If faith and love be active in them, then are they lively and living. For it is no other but the life of Christ in them which makes faith and love to be lively and operative in them Gal. 2:20, 5:6, 1 John 3:14, and then let them not fear (punishment unless continuing in unrepentant sin) for they are passed from death to life. On these fruits therefore let them especially look, for though they have not here many (sensible) sweetnesses and joys, yet if they have many fruits of faith and love, they shall hereafter have a greater measure of joy in heaven, than those who have had here greater joys than they, and have not improved them (as they should have done) to a fruitfulness greater than theirs whose joys were lesser.
4. Be not discouraged! Yet further if this matter be duly weighed, we shall see in God’s dispensations a greater wisdom and equity for commonly those that have the greatest consolations, have also the greatest tribulations. And the one are so balanced with the other, that the soul is kept in an evenness, the tribulations not making her to sink, by reason of the counterpoising consolations, nor the consolations over much weighing her down into pride, (for pride though seeming to look upward is an infernal thing) because of the counterbalancing tribulations. Wherefore if you envy another mans consolations, why do you not also envy his tribulations: if you wish to be rapt with Paul into the third heaven, with also to be in labors often, in watchings often, in peril by sea, in perils by land,m and under that load of sufferings which hey fulfilled for Christ. But withal take heed what you wish, lest you own wishes being granted do sink you. If you know not your own strength, God knows it, and what your vessel is able to bear both of the one and the other 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
And be thou contented, if with less tribulations he give you less consolations, this lesser measure of both being fitted for a lesser vessel, and yet the same proportion between both, in the lesser that is in the greater.
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.
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