This week has been one of incredible but simple revelation.
Not too long ago on my course, Training for Supernatural Ministry, we had a talk on self parenting that really hit hard. The speaker talked about ways in which we parent ourselves rather than let God do the parenting, which covered having a strong internal moral code, being highly responsible, being careful not to cause offence, busyness, difficulty making decisions, struggling to be generous to yourself, intolerance of personal mistakes, yearning for comfort, vulnerability to criticism and looking for affirmation. He talked about these topics and how in specific ways they can be indicators of where we self parent. One of the key things about self parenting is that you are so much harder on yourself than you would be on anyone else.
One of the hardest hitting points in that talk was him sharing a personal story of when his young son dropped a heavy shoe over the stairs onto his younger toddler brother who was just learning to crawl up stairs. When he went to find his son to find out what was going on he discovered a bundle under the duvet that was shaking and crying. When he asked what was going on, he got the reply “Do I have to leave home now?”.
That’s enough to get the tears flowing thinking about how a young boy (I think he was around 4) thought he would have to leave home because of his actions. Do you feel God’s heart breaking as he sees you, his child, forcing yourself to leave home for a single mistake, when all he would do is pick you up in his arms and not let go.
The point was then made that when we are so harsh on ourselves, all God really wants to do is give encouragement and affirmation. How many times have we disciplined ourselves when God just wanted to shower us with his loving affections towards us.
Let’s just say that in that talk I was able to shout “BINGO” at the end when I noticed how hard I am on myself.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started to read a book called ‘After God’s Own Heart’ by Mike Bickle. In this book he begins to describe the life of David and how, like him, we can become people who could be labelled as after God’s own heart.
In the very first chapter I read the following and was pinned:
‘Most people beat themselves up over their weaknesses, but David saw God’s heart more clearly than most of God’s Old Testament servants and most Christians today. He understood that his deep-down determination to obey and love was valued by God, even when he came up short.‘
It’s been mentioned before how, often, when you ask for words to describe David, you get descriptions such as King, mighty, shepherd, warrior, defeated Goliath… etc. How often do we forget the descriptions such as murderer and adulterer? And yet, even with these rather massive mistakes, he is still described as a man after God’s own heart.
It was in reading this passage of the book where I suddenly had a revelation of how hard I was on myself.
Later on in the book Mike says this:
‘We often think that if our genuine intentions don’t immediately come into full fruition, they are worthless. Religious tradition has told us that only mature love for God is real love. It says when our love is immature, it’s false and hypocritical. It blames young believers for messing up.’
I have found that my main frustration, particularly in these past few months (but not limited to) where life has been tough, is that of not being able to live up to the prophetic words and the desires of my heart. I’ve had things spoken over me prophetically and I can see a way of living, a level of relationship with God that is totally abandoned and surrendered but also totally full of joy, and I so desperately want to be living that way but I just can’t manage it. It’s not like it’s something impossible to attain to, but in my weak state I’ve not had the will power or the energy to respond to life’s circumstances as I wish I could, and I’ve felt the word failure stamped over my forehead.
Not long ago, some very close friends who have seen my entire journey (the highs and the lows) over the past few months were telling me exactly what they’ve seen in me. They were explaining to me that they’d seen the bubbliness and joy diminish. They could see how financial issues and more were weighing me down. This wasn’t the entirety of the conversation but at that moment I recognised that I had been willing myself to stay strong, and to admit that those things were true would be to expose weakness and face up to the fact that I was struggling.
The revelation I had through Mike’s book gave incredible freedom and release. I finally understood that in my moments of weakness where I had no energy to respond how my heart was wanting and desiring me to, God saw my heart’s intentions and honoured that. I’ve been so built on performance and actions that I completely overlooked that God understands my weakness in its fullness and on an intimate level, but sees my heart. When I started to see it through his eyes, I saw his delight over me through those months of despair because he saw my heart for him. The whole time my love and passion for him was still burning, I was just incapable of acting on it because of my weakness and attempting to do it all in my own strength.
‘You will never enjoy God more than your revelation of God enjoying you in your weaknesses’
In that moment it unlocked my heart to receive his affections and desire for me, and in this past week God turned up. I had been asking for freedom for a while, and honestly I was getting disappointed and impatient asking God why he hadn’t brought freedom yet. But he turned up this week without me even noticing. He came so gently and did something in my heart, but it was a couple of hours before I noticed something had changed. I had a revelation of God’s powerful affections and fiery love for me in the midst of those weaknesses. It has not only allowed me to enjoy him more, but I have allowed myself to be weak. Where I would get depressed and frustrated with myself for my failures, I now see God’s love for me and I can delight in him. It’s thrust me back into his presence and where I felt I was walking at a distance from God and not always seeing him walking beside me, I can now feel his hand holding mine and the exchange of words of love sends shivers down my back and gives me butterflies in my stomach.
Not only that but it has released me into the words and destiny spoken over my life because now I can go for them and step out without fear of failing, because I know his love and thoughts towards me: