Reaching to the Love of God
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5
Recently I experienced a fervent increase in prayer for the experience of God’s Love in my heart. I prayed that my faith increase. Reading and diving deeper into scripture provided a rich ground for my appeals.
I have been taught that the great Intercessor, The Holy Spirit would guide my prayers, even cleanse the veil of tears that clouded my own unknowing. My great Shepherd, Christ Jesus is always listening from His Throne upon the Altar next to The Father.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
With my arms reaching up and hands extended, fingers themselves pointed towards an invisible yet tangible one that I sensed could see their tips, I prayed. With my own senses and mortal eyes and mind, I could not fathom the gaze of the loving eyes that held a gaze upon me as I worded my prayer.
“Father, I know that you are there. By the power of your Spirit, help me to know your Love. I need You, only You and nothing more. My entire existence depends only on You. Anything other than You can and will fall away, shift, fail, lose and die. You alone are Life. I can rely on nothing but you…
My own heart sees and knows nothing and nothing. Apart from You, I am nothing. Help me to know you. Help me to see You and to feel you in my heart. Open my eyes to the depth of You. Lead me to Your Love.
Father, in this hour I long to know you and meet with Your Love. I hold open my arms, my hands outstretched waiting for you. This is an hour of urgent and deepest need for you and nothing apart from you. I am waiting, Father. Lord Jesus, I bid your Love.”
It was nighttime. I waiting in a sustained stillness. I lay in a darkness that felt safe with my arms lifted in a cupped reach. My heart wept as I persisted in prayer. I appealed like a child speaking to the one that had made a promise. I believed completely in My Father’s Promise. I don’t think that I had ever before in my life had so much belief that my Father would keep his promise or that he saw and heard me as vividly calling than in these waiting moments.
As I waited in anticipation, I could only hear my breath and feel the flush of my own river of tears. Then in a soft shift, I felt my nostrils open and the air around me open as if I were in a new atmosphere. I began to breathe in with an experience unknown to me.
I noticed that my chest was rising and falling with a new fullness as if something other than me were drawing breath in and out from a source beyond me. Air which felt rarified and magnified by something other than oxygen seemed to ventilate itself into me. I was the recipient.
Job 27:3 For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils.
Softly, I did not feel like the “Breather”. It felt like I was being breathed by Spirit or perhaps Love. I was gently overcome by peace. “It” as breath or air, seemed able to sweep into my being. I felt “lifted” as if weightless and carried yet still in the same place where I lay. My heart and chest felt opened and I experienced a sense of “parting” down the center where the Breath seemed to circulate and then turn back to its source which was far beyond to the One that I had prayed to. I kept gazing towards The Lord during it all.
Isaiah 42.5 “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it.”
I did not know how long this lasted at the time. I felt a sense of timelessness and expansiveness. I experienced complete Peace unlike any other I ever have known. I remember noticing afterward that it was not a “feeling”. There were no feelings to this experience, it transcended feeling and emotion. It was not something that could come and go or rise and fall as we experience with our mortal heart or senses. This Peace was far beyond and something of an eternal nature.
After an unknown amount of time, The Breathe and Breathing receded like a gentle flow motioning itself back to where it came from. I recall the difference between my own breathing as it returned. It was so limited by comparison. But the gift of this blessing remained.
My first thoughts were of gratitude. I also felt great joy. I thought about scripture and much went through my heart about The Promises of God. It is all true, I thought! I have felt The Word as an experience of living Breath. I experienced Christ, who was God, “Logos” (Word) Jesus and One with God as Love and the answer to my Prayer. The Living Spirit is the Word of God, again His word is God-Breathed. I asked to Know Love.
Lord Jesus is known by The Holy Spirit, which is referred to in scripture as Ruah, the Hebrew word from wind or breath. The Holy Breath had lifted and infused my mortal heart and frame. God is Triune, The Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. I am yet learning and assimilating this experience. Answers surely do not come from a part of me that could write or analyze. I will learn from what is Holy, from Prayer and from Scripture.
Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Acts 17:25 “nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since
He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”
I had asked to know the Love of Christ Jesus. The answer came as I was given His Peace by the Power of His Holy Spirit. His Presence was undeniable. His Love was not to be questioned. We question God. We do not understand why there is suffering. We do not see past our circumstances. In the weeks afterward, life lessons came forward but the richness of the experience is still to unfold.
I did see that it was my own veiled heart that puts the question marks there. I was immersed in what divided me from His Love and had not fully given up to Him. You might say that we look to revive ourselves of the Lord’s good Waters from the wrong well. We go to the ones that we have gone to a hundred times before and they are dry but familiar. We go to the ones that are outside of ourselves, that we believe can offer peace and comfort from the world. We go to what might fill our heart’s thirst for a day or a night and it may seem like good religion but it still is not God. It is not His True Spirit, not His One Eternal and Sovereign Loved that has known us from The Beginning. There is only One Lord that is Our Great Shepherd he does not recede.
The next morning I soaked in the verse from
1 John 4:19 “We love him because he loved us first”.
My Prayer was answered. All came in a beautiful windfall. I asked to be loved but I already was. I had been reversing the order. Like a child, or as the Bible describes us- I had still kept part of my “orphan” mentality. I saw myself as “not unified with Him nor basking in His Love. I was asking “With Him” yet I have received Grace. I was sanctified and justified by Faith. He already Loved me. I was the one asking the wrong question. I was the one whose “face” was seeing a distortion in the mirror.
1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
He loved me first. Jesus lived a sinless and sacrificial life for me, he suffered and bore all the sins of mankind on the cross and was resurrected so that I could be born into His Grace and know a Love as great as His, as great as His Father’s Love for HIm.
1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
And so I remain.
It has been many days since that night of prayer and the experience of “being breathed”. But my heart is altered. I have experienced that being Loved by The Lord causes us to Love and that Love then deepens and motions forwards.
That Light, shining brightly will be convicting, humbling and offer the Power of The Holy Spirit to help me, all to transform. It will also provide the dearest of comfort as I dwell in the Love of my Great Shepherd, Lord Jesus. With a breath and a prayer, hearts can be stilled so that we hear His Voice. With prayer and His prompting and the intercession of The Holy Spirit, each daily walk can be led by Love because He has Loved us all, still Loves and remains with us in resurrected Power.
Lord, help us all to remain in your steadfast love. Lead us by your gentle and sweet calling in all nights. Let your Light Shine before us. Be the breath of Spirit that causes us live according to your will.
© 2018 Linda Willows