How Passionate Our Lover Is!

As I read certain things, or do certain studies I'm compelled to write, thoughts, ideas just well up in me and I simply want them to all pour out. However, these things aren't always easy to articulate. Sometimes, you are left to feel these things never being able to fully express your emotions. I have just finished reading one of my favorite books again, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. I have lent it to a friend at work and she is already half way through the book herself. I love Francine as a writer in general. She cuts to the deepest part of human emotion. God has truly given her this as her ministry. I have now begun her book "Atonement Child" and it proves to be equally as good. I felt like I would write a little something about the book Redeeming Love. I have put an excerpt of a dream that Angel (Sarah) has when she comes back under captivity of her former, for lack of a better word, pimp on the Writer's Corner. I am going to use it to blog today. I feel compelled to do more than just my normal thoughts.

If you have never gotten the opportunity to go through or even read John Eldridge and Brent Curtis's book "Sacred Romance" I highly recommend it. It is powerful and moving, and it allows you to look at Jesus, our Savior as so much more than the God of Sunday School. God created us for companionship, and after the fall His heart has been inflamed with wooing us back into His arms. He is restless, unfettered, passionate, wild, a great powerful mystery, His hand far out reaches the Heavens, and his Love is boundless, and is heart longs for us. How utterly and completely amazing. However, the journey is often not roses and sweet nothings, it is a refiner's fire. He is also a very jealous God, and He commands no other gods before Him. My Pastor always talks about in the last day when we stand before the Lord, all "our" works will be burned to dust, and the ash will fall at our feet, and blown away by the wind, a nothing, a vain attempt to control what is not ours. So, it is with us now. God doesn't want us to store up our treasures in Heaven. My Pastor elaborated on a great example, the Potter. As long as the clay on the board is pliable and smooth, all the Potter has to do is guide the clay slightly with his fingertips to create his masterpiece, but when the clay starts to resist the Potter's light pressure, and decides it wants to go this way instead of that, that is when the Potter brings out the knife and cuts the clay to create His desired look. We are all designed for a great purpose, and God is the expert Potter. A lot of times we don't want to go back in the fire, but we are not through cooking yet, and it must be done. Like a rough stone smoothed by a rolling river, so is God with us.

I learned so many new things the second time through "Redeeming Love". I saw God's hand more prevently through every page. How the wonderful character Michael Hosea reflected Christ's love for the church fully through his love for his wife. It is profound and moving how God works. See, "Redeeming Love" was the first story that Francine wrote after becoming a Christian. Writing was always something that she felt she could do, it was her outlet, and even consumed her beyond care for her husband and children. When she got saved, she literally could not write. She learned to fall in love with God's word, and realized that He was working it so that he could take the talent He gave her for writing and use it for her glory. When the Bible Study group her and her husband were a part of studied the book of Hosea, she knew immediately that this was the love story she was meant to write, and did so. Thus, began the beginning of her ministry for God.

I encourage you now to take just a moment to read the Excerpt from Redeeming Love on the Writer's Corner. I timed myself, it doesn't even take five minutes...

How often have we felt like Angel running desperately, dark, fear, resentment, closing in all around us, while the enemy is close at our heels, begging for help, but every corner we turn there is none that will help or none to help, and just when it cannot get any worse we fall face first into the muck and disgusting garabage that we have created. The rats scurry, and we mire up in it, weary, tired and alone. How often have I tried to climb the mound of my own filth to reach a higher ground, only to face my worst nightmare. Shivering in a corner I cling to past memeories. Good times to bring me some peace, but in the end those paths are closed off to me and the contents of my life and myself go tumbling over into the raging sea.

Once back on land, Angel realizes that the filth is decaying her and she begs for death. She sees strong wonderful Michael in the distance, with pure sweet Miriam, and feels her filth consume her even more. As Michael's gaze reflects the compassion and concern for her, she is ashamed and wishes that she would die so that he wouldn't have to see her like that. The flame, the truth, the God that woos her is so hypnotic and He reveals Himself to Angel finally, and despite her filth, her grime, she is Sarah in His eyes, she is never Angel, battered prostitute who is hard as stone, but she is redeemed in His site as the creation He intended her to be, Sarah, bearer of a nation, pure and complete, soft and tender, an angel with broken wings.

The outpouring of names always brings a chill to my spine and tears to my eyes...
Yahweh: I Am
El Shaddai: God Almighty
Jehovah-Mekoddishkem: Lord our Sanctifier
El Elyon: God Most Hight
El Elom: Everlasting and Eternal God
Elohim: mighty, strong

Then comes the moment that God takes Angel's filth upon himself, and thus she is made clean, she dies so that she might live. He takes the shame from her, creates her new, and sets a passion, a warmth in her soul for Him. His wooing is taking hold, and the sweet fragrance permiates through every part of her being. She is becoming His and there is nothing she can do about it.

God is working a mighty new work in all of us. He is a pursuer, and His desire will be quinched. He will never give up on us. The flame of His passion never decreases, it only increases. Every trial, every heartache, every amount of suffering, every physical element, every joy, every little act of mercy, every laugh, every tear, every part of our being is wound up in His plan, and He truly does work everything for good. Let me leave you with this part of Hosea...

Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
'I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.'
"Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready,
I will take back my wool and my linen,
indended to cover her nakedness.
So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
I will stop all celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days - all her appointed feasts.
I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,
"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her."
Hosea 2:6-7;9-14


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