Forever Family

"God wants us to hear Him despite the noise."

I STOOD ALONE in a field beneath a sunlit sky, the scene outwardly beautiful, but inside I was empty. No one saw me. No one cared. The devil in my ear repeated these phrases endlessly, and in that moment, I forgot what Jesus said.

Jesus said the devil was the father of lies. Jesus said the devil was a murderer from the beginning. In Genesis, at the time of creation, the devil's goal was to kill man. Right then, I wasn't thinking about that. Nor the words of the apostle Paul, that the devil, our enemy, makes himself look like light. And so loneliness crept in. Although Jesus said He would never leave me or forsake me, and in my heart, I knew this, here was the field and me alone in it, and all I knew was everyone else must be happier.

Isolation is a killer the devil uses to destroy people, just like Jesus said he would do. The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. Jesus came to give abundant life, and part of the abundance of life He gives are fruitful relationships. I dislike using church phraseology if it can be avoided. We have phrases for everything in God's Word, but it does no good to use them if we have no idea what they mean. To be "fruitful" is to be productive. A fruitful orange tree has many oranges. A fruitful rose bush has many roses. Fruitful relationships have many connections. One person continually seeks the other to share time and words from the heart together, and thus there is no loneliness.

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.” (Ephesians 3:12 NLT)

Another part of abundant life is knowing our heavenly Father. Jesus came to restore the connection. Here is another often repeated phrase that people do not understand and so they do not put it into action. What does it mean to restore our connection with God? That day I stood in the field, feeling left out, in the end, I made a choice to seek God, intending to find Him. Simplified, I decided to make Him real to me and to walk every single day in His presence. I began to talk to Him like He stood next to me. One of my favorite ministers stated it this way recently. We must choose to make God real, as if He stands before us. We choose to live in His manifest presence.

This is a tremendous thought. An older song by a popular singer puts God at a distance. I never liked those lyrics. He is not way up there but right here inside me. Jesus lives in my heart, so why can't I talk to Him? And why can't I hear Him reply? Truth is, I can. This is why the Holy Spirit was sent to earth. God is no longer words in a book nor a well-crafted sermon, but a personal intimate Friend. That said, we have to become aware of Him or like anything else we do not pay attention to, He goes silent.

Awareness we understand. We can be aware of a certain perfume and know it without seeing the label. We are aware of particular seasons. Stand in the Smoky Mountains in October, and you will know it is fall. In this same manner, when we pray in the Spirit, when we read the Word of God, and when we worship, we should be aware of His nearness. Spending regular time with Him makes us sensitive to Him. I hear the back door lock turning, only a soft sound, at times when other things are going. God wants us to hear Him despite the noise. But we are only able when we decide to. It is a choice.

The most amazing thing has happened since I made that choice that day. I have discovered God's intense love for me. In seeking Him, I found Him. Or better said, He found me. My seeking to know His presence at all times allowed Him to do in me and with me what ignoring Him does not. He is gentle and kind. He knocks at the door, but we have to open it. Often, He isn't speaking words. Instead, I feel Him there with me. I know His longing for me. I have grown to understand His heart. And greatest of all, all those lies of the devil which stranded me in loneliness have gone away.

Loneliness is a lie of epic proportions. The very idea we even think we are alone goes against the gospel which Jesus spoke. Our Savior died and rose again so that He could become a permanent eternal part of us. He came to show us the Father. He sent another Comforter to teach and guide us, then He promised He would never forsake us. That's never for eternity. Our lives as God's children are not meant to be cold and fearful while we sit on the pew and slightly sinful when we are not. Nor will we only see Jesus when we all get to heaven. Instead, it is that the God of heaven who loves us will give us as much of Him as we hunger for, and He has no limitations on it. But instead, a desire for His children to know Him.

In our knowing, we will never look back. There is nothing for me in the empty field. Or rather, it is that there is everything because my Father is there, and my Savior, and my precious Holy Spirit. I am not alone but forever family.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:16-20)

Image by David Zydd from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author