In 1985, I made a daring confession to God. “Dear Lord, forgive me even before I speak! I am so very frustrated! But if this is all there is, if this is what you sent Jesus to do, I am afraid You have wasted Your time.” What I saw back then is not much different than what I see today. I was crushed, broken at the lack of genuine, Christ-centered passion. I was shocked at how so many had accepted the current state of ‘church’ as what Jesus actually came to set up. I had run a business for over 30 years. For me, it was insane to think that Jesus, who said He would build His own church, was actually content with what passed for the church He is building. There was so little care for the poor, the downtrodden, the sick, the lonely. Ever among the so-called enlightened ones, the Charismatics, the Pentecostals, there such a void in their hearts when it came to those among whom Jesus Himself, lived, loved and made the ultimate sacrifice for.
“Dear Lord Jesus, there has to be more than this! There has to me more than speaking in tongues, prophecy, casting out devils, etc, etc, etc! Dear Jesus, I am so weary of this. I am so hungry, so unfulfilled.” Although I was quite afraid of confessing this to God, I knew I had to tell someone. If I would tell almost anyone on earth, I would have gotten the typical religious retort, “Search your life! You are in sin somewhere!”
Now I knew I was a sinner saved by grace. I knew that not everything was “under His feet.” But my heart yearned for the reality that scriptures described that many had experienced in the past. So yes, I searched my life and I was free of unconfessed sin. So I had to conclude, after too much soul searching, that there was something else at work here. I continued my prayer, “Dearest Father, If I am be rebellious, I do not see it. Please help me. If I am impatient, please show me. I don’t sense it. All I sense is a profound desire, passion to know You more deeply than I know you now.” Then I thought I heard Him say, “I, too, have a profound passion for you to know me better.”
I was stunned, shocked, yet, truly ecstatic but cautious, unsure. I wanted to rebuke the devil for lying to me. I wanted to set out a fleece to determine if God had truly spoken to me. But then I knew, somehow, it was God talking. A peace, joy and anticipation just overwhelmed me. I knew in my spirit that it was time to begin living in the relationship I said I so desperately wanted.
So, no fleeces, no devil rebuking. I would respond to what I was certain I was hearing deep within my heart, in spite of what others had told me. I was stepping out on a journey for which, at least for me, there was no trail, no markers, only the light of His presence to lead me.
I soon discovered that this journey was very much mine alone. There would be few who would understand, even fewer who would extend the grace I needed for the days ahead of me. But as the old saying goes, there were two sets of footsteps on the ground as I walked. He would be with me to guide, teach, embolden, protect and love. Now I understood like I never did before. “Who is this coming out of the wilderness, leaning on the arm of her Beloved?” It was me.