Yesterday, God stripped me of my lofty idea that I am pursuing Him. (If you follow Lou Engle’s preachings, you must have heard him speak about God as the one who hotly pursues us, and that it’s not the other way around. I mean, yes we do pursue God but it’s all a response to His pursuit of us.) Anyway, my point is, I have been doing my best, trying to draw as close to God as possible. I fast. I read my Bible. I pray long and hard. I tell the Holy Spirit everyday to use me however He wishes. Or just simply, Love on me God. It had been a blessed walk. I’ve been experiencing an increase in joy, revelation, fruits of the Spirit, increased tenderness in my heart… I feel very blessed.
But yesterday… was different. Yes Lou Engle, I know that God hotly pursues me. And it has been my favorite thing to quote what you said about God sometimes coming to us in a song, hotly pursuing us… I understood it perfectly, or so I thought, until yesterday.
I do have a richly fulfilling time with the Word of God. Sometimes, I’d read 10 chapters in one sitting and in the course of that sitting I’d have to stop three, four or several times because I would weep and weep and weep at the revelation God is giving. There are weeks when this would happen for consecutive days… But like I said, yesterday was different.
I sat on my bed. Worshipped with the guitar, as usual. Waited on God. Waited.
Now I know He has been trying to tell me this last week but yesterday I finally “heard Him speak,” Return to me. Return to me.
Then BAM! With one wave of His hand, the scales fell from my eyes and I saw my heart. It was backslidden.
All of a sudden I felt God so close, and that nearness reminded me of a scent years back. In an instant, my soul had been awakened to its hunger and longing for that scent that it has forgotten. It has not forgotten God but it has forgotten how His inner chambers felt like. How it is to be inside a place where all your senses get literally (and I mean literally) captivated by The One. No lapses. No buffering time. No mild static. Just captivated with adoration for Him.
Then, there were mornings I’d wake up and before I could start praying I already sense His thick love around me as if He were a heavy mist that covered my room. All of a sudden I was reminded of a season when God was so precious to me that each word of the song Breathe pierced through me like gentle forceful raindrops. The words, “This is the air I breathe, Your holy presence living in me” then would literally explode from my heart to the point that I could hardly sing and all that came out of my lungs was a shout of desperation hardly understandable or controllable.
Yesterday, I felt God come. And he did not bring a big dream or a glittery destiny. He brought Himself, He showed His face, and reminded me that I need Him. That I need ‘us’ to go back to the way we used to be. But I have accumulated baggage inside my heart. I pleaded with God asking Him to “Take me back.”
“Take me back… Take me back…” these were the words I found myself praying over and over and over and over. I felt like a young girl stuck in mud. I could not bring myself to run into Intimacy’s loving embrace. Things had entangled my hands and feet and heart. I needed God to take me. Take me back. There was no other way, except if He would carry me. I had slipped so far away and all I had was a scent of the past, the scent of first love. I don’t know my way back. But I would keep on whispering… Take Me Back.
This afternoon, Kuya Phillip share to the worship team something different that happened to him yesterday while he was driving home. Two hours of traffic had been a time well spent in God’s presence. Worship music was playing in the car. He was alone then all of a sudden God came and he just wept and wept. And God was hotly pursuing him. He felt that God wanted to revive the fire of first love. It is a fire that came from God’s belly. And it is a fire that only God can ignite.
I shared with the team what happened to me. It was obvious that God is now hotly pursuing us with a call to return to our first love. We didn’t fabricate it, He just came wooing us. It is sheer grace. Sheer mercy. Sheer love and longing of a God who chose to love us first.
I thought I had been pursuing God. But yesterday, I really learned a comforting lesson. It is God who pursues. Thus, I am no longer worried about friends who have walked away from Abba. God is orchestrating their day of visitation. And when God comes to them, He will remind them what they are missing. Hold your breath for as long as you could then try to breathe again. That is how kissing God feels like. He is the air we breathe. And when He comes like fresh air in an oxygen-depleted vacuum (which is where we are when far away from Him), it is not difficult to realize that everything else is worth considering rubbish compared to one breathe of God.