Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God's Forgiveness


Dear Pearl,

I know sins are forgiven, but how can I ask God what his will is for me when I have sinned so in my past - a sin I can barely live with?  I read of the woman washing Christ's feet with her tears and I shed tears for her (Luke7:37,38).  I know how she feels; as a girl I was so messed up and under such an influence that it was extremely overpowering in my actions. I feel afraid to approach God.
I remembered your article on sin and will read it once again. 
I also was hoping that you would tell the story Obadiah was talking about at the "4woman" forum, something about you and a birdfeeder."


Hello again,

good morning Emoji

You say...
"how can I ask God what his will is for me when I have sinned so in my past - a sin I can barely live with?"
I am not saying that my own sin which I am going to talk about to you, is similar to the sin you refer to here; but I'm sure it corresponds in some ways, including "I was so messed up and under such an influence that it was extremely overpowering in my actions.".
Also to be kept in mind, is that although this particular sin of mine may not well compare to yours, other sins of mine, which are not a part of this story, likely do.
Coincidentally, the story you ask about is a good reply to your feelings about your past sin.

Here is the story Obadiah was referring to...

When I first aligned myself to the organization due to what I thought was God's direction, I still had foremost in my mind, the contact of Holy Spirit and the visions.
I had no idea how the two would fit together, but had a sense of patience. I figured that if God had both given me the visions, and had also directed me to the organization, that sooner or later, I would come to understand His will in His own time, and how both fit together.
I thought my only obligation, was to put faith in His direction, despite my ignorance.  
After about 35 years...I had as Jesus referred to, grown lukewarm. As a typical member of the Congregation, I had gotten used to the chasm between the endless stagnant routine, which was devoid of what I knew God's spirit to feel like. I had gotten used to waiting for it all to make sense, while I subjected myself to the elders and their injurious yoke. I had grown drowsy, and didn't realize that I had turned my back on spirit, despite the astonishing favor and grace it had shown me. I abandoned it, to learn from those who I knew was not the voice of my Lord.
But so much worse than all this....When I was rousing out of my stupor, I realized that I was an idolator!

Oh how long I had been estranged from my God! For me, it was most of my life. I still didn't know what the visions meant, but knew that whatever the wonderful purpose God had in mind when he gave me them,
I had betrayed it! I had in my ignorance, treated it with contempt. 
I thought about how the world and all life on it, is suffering while it waits for God's kingdom, and how the visions likely had significance in it's being accomplished.
How guilty I was, that I had cast aside God's will, and as a possible result, so many souls in the earth may have suffered and died unnecessarily.
How horrible to be called by God (due to my own begging for mercy and insight, along with a vow to give him my life),
and not keep my vow to serve only him!...after being shown such favor and grace...to just walk away and break my promise, in order to worship and obey, a loathsome abomination, set up as a counterfeit Temple! 


I know inside, that being shown those visions was not for nothing (Num.12:6; Eph.4:11,12).

I knew it was all for a purpose, that I was shown them. Despite not yet understanding them, I knew that I had ignored that purpose,
and that this deserved death.
Was God done with me?
Had He chosen someone else more responsive and faithful, and entrusted them with what I had been given?
Did He still want me for anything at all? 

There was no scripture that I could turn to, which would tell me God's heart toward me personally! 

In my heart...I remembered back to that night of visions. I remembered how I had prayed just before they began. I remembered the grace of having God reply to me, and to even have spoken with Christ, and even to have been carried by him in flight, with my life completely in his hands, while he spoke his assurances in my ear.
Oh I wanted to rip my heart out. How could I have left him!?! 
I said a prayer. I lauded God for his past mercy toward me, that he should have heard the prayer of a sinner and responded with such treasures.
I asked him if he remembered my heart back then, and asked him to please look at it now.
Could he please see that I was blind and ignorant, and swept away in a deception more powerful than human discernment? 
If he answered so long ago, could he please answer again? 
I told him that if he was done with me, I certainly understand that, I deserved it. 
But I begged him to let me know if he was done. I thought, if he is done, then I know He will not forgive me of my lame sacrifices to Him. 

If he is not done, then I know I must return to seeking his guidance with all my soul, and I must get back on track and pick up where I left off so many years ago, and finally accomplish what I had been called for. 
I knew that the visions still had an unfulfilled purpose with me; and if God was not done with me...perhaps I could finally see their purpose through.
How would I know if God still wanted to use me?
How could I know if God still wanted me as His slave, after being an idolator

What then came to mind, was the account of Gideon and the fleece (which Obadiah mentioned to Joe -- http://4womaninthewildernessforum.yuku.com/topic/8/Possible-teaching-method#.UrRGtMRDuHg).
What also came to mind, was the doctrines of the org. which state that God does not answer prayers that way anymore.
Then I remembered God's statement, that He does not change. Why would he not answer? Certainly, he is able!
Why was that account of God answering Gideon in the Bible, if it is not to teach us?
And then I remembered John16:23,24; 14:13,14; 1John5:14. There Jesus promised, that anything we sincerely ask according to God's will, he will hear and give. 
Was it not God's will to discipline someone who asks for correction? I did not believe a loving God would not even reply to a heart sincerely asking for guidance regarding slaving for him (James1:5,6).
So I decided, to ask in the same way outlined in the scriptures. I used Gideon's story as a guide. I knew I would have to choose a sign.
I would need to be cautious, because I knew that Satan could be close by, and watching.
Satan likely knew I had just woken up to the idolatry, because I spoke of it freely to Obadiah, even explaining my need for God's guidance.
I remembered how when Daniel prayed, the angelic messenger that bore his answer was restrained and delayed by Satanic forces.I didn't want anything to get in the way of a clear answer, so I took all this into consideration. I knew I needed to choose a sign carefully, so that Satan (being the masterful reader of human behavior), would not be able to guess it and manipulate it.
I decided it should involve something I did every day, because this would make it harder for Satan to identify.

Each day I would fill the bird feeder on my porch. As soon as I would open my front door each day, all the waiting birds would cause a great flurry as they took off.
Only after the feeder was full again, and I had gone back into the house, would they begin to gradually return. 
While I was praying about the details of the sign I sought, I felt a strong urge to have Obadiah witness what was about to happen. I think now, that perhaps our Father knew that Obadiah was on the fence (his daughters are the apple of his eye, and he knew the implications of where my faith was leading) and he needed to experience a testimony regarding truth. 

This was the sign I silently asked for:
When I go out on the porch, have all the birds remain where they are. Let them all stay put, until I choose one with my mind.
The moment I make up my mind about which bird I have chosen...have all the birds fly away, except that chosen one.
Then let me walk up to that bird and offer my open hand, and have the bird come to my hand. Let the bird stay in my hand at it's own will, until I pray that it fly away, and then let it fly away.
If you do this for me God, I will know that you still want me to be your slave. 

Well, I was nervous, because it was a tall order. What would I do if God didn't answer?
That thought was too horrible for me, imagining being so abandoned by God, that he refuses to hear your prayers!
Just before going out, I asked Obadiah to keep an eye on me through the window.

I opened the door quite tense, expecting the usual flurry.
Nothing. It felt quite odd, to have such timid creatures surround me without fear. I think I stopped breathing for the feeling of God's love.
Oh yes, I remembered, now I must choose one.
My mind scanned over so many, but as it did and moved on past the one I chose, I had chosen... one of the Goldfinches. 
Immediately, all flurried away except that one. My heart could hardly beat.
I walked up to the little bird and reached out my open palm. He immediately came and landed upon it.
Suddenly, a strong wind kicked up almost knocking me down, and yet to my surprise, the little bird grabbed my finger tightly instead of letting the wind startle him into flight. 
I was so touched by the lack of fear in this little soul, that I hunched over the railing and cupped my hands like a nest.
I petted the bird's head and talked to it, while it tilted its head and looked at me as if listening. I started to cry, and pray out loud to God, thanking him for his mercy and forgiveness. 
Well during this long prayer, that little bird just acted like my hand was his home. I did not hold him with any restriction. At all times he could freely move. 

Then I remembered Obadiah at the window. I turned to him to show him the bird in my hand. I could hear him say in a muffle...."What's wrong with the bird?"
I just smiled through my tears, and said, "Nothing!"
I went back to the railing and thanked the little bird, and I also thanked aloud any angel that might be nearby, though unseen, for helping me to receive our Father's message.
I said in my mind...."Okay Father, let him join the others now."
Immediately, and without prompting, the little bird fluttered out of my hand, and took off. 
I have no doubt in my heart that God once again answered my prayer.
Since then, I have had many such clear answers.
God will answer the prayers of the sincere, when they are genuinely seeking His will in their heart.
I have no doubt that our heavenly Father is so forgiving. And I have no doubt about what I have been called to do for Him. 
I hope these acts of God give you confidence in His Name,
and in His great forgiveness. 

Love in Christ,

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