Rejection 27 – God Loves the Real You

An amazing aspect of God’s love is that He loves us just as we are. The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”. That love is not a poetic notion. It is not just a happy thought. It is the tangible power of God’s compassion released into human lives.

And God’s love for the world is not based on how lovely and endearing the world is to God. God loves people despite the fact that they are covered in sin and shame.

So this lesson takes you into a deeper appreciation of that great love which God has toward you.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)” Ephesians 2:4,5

Just as I Am

An important step in my revelation of God’s love was to realise that God loves me even though He knows all my sins, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, fears, shame, ignorance, foolishness and so on.

God loves me just the way I really am. He is not fooled by my empty promises. He is not bribed by my negotiations. He is 100% aware of all of my terrible failings. Yet God loves me anyway! Wow!!!

I don’t have to wait until I am good enough for God, for I never will be. I don’t have to make amends for my past before I can come to God. I will never be able to do that.

The only thing I can do is drag the carcase of my stinking self into His presence, with all of my failure and shame naked to His all-seeing gaze. I can make no appeal. I can make no bargain. I am undone. I am spent. I am incapable of impressing Him for a moment.

Yet, as I come to Him, just as I really am, He pours His love on me! That is just SO amazing! And it is SO liberating!

God Loves the Real You

I was so blessed to realise that God actually loved the “real” me. God was not impressed by the image I had created and maintained. He was not attracted to my reputation or the impressions other people had of me. God loved the real, miserable, fearful and insecure me that was hidden behind my mask of popularity and success.

The image I use of this shows God’s love directed down upon the real, hidden person, behind the inflated image that other people see.

Reject 27 - The Real You

God’s love is directed to the “real” you. That miserable, fearful person is the object of God’s love. That is the Real You and that is the “you” that God loves and sent Jesus to die for. God wants the Real You to receive His love and salvation. He wants the Real You to be released into all that He has prepared for you.

Act of the Will

In my journey through all of this I discovered that love is an “act of the will”. That is why God can command us to love Him and to love our neighbour.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is similar, namely this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31

The revelation that love is an act of the will brought to me a new sense of confidence in God’s love for me and you.

Do you know why God loves you? God loves you because He chooses to love you! It’s an act of God’s will. And so there are no strings attached. God’s love is unconditional. God loves you as an act of His will and He will never change His mind!

Unconditional Love

Because God’s love for you is a matter of His choice to love you, then it is unconditional. It is not based on your age, or your potential. It is not based on your good looks, career path, willingness to serve God, or anything else you can do.

Unconditional love is something you can’t break. If God loved you because you pleased Him, then as soon as you stopped pleasing Him He could stop loving you. But, because there are no conditions, there is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you.

That’s why God describes His love as an “everlasting love”.

“The LORD appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3

God Loves YOU

Let me explain it straight for you. God loves you, just the way you REALLY are, failures and all. And God loves you, just he way your really are, because He has chosen to love you. There is nothing you can do that will stop God from loving you. You cannot even FAIL your way out of God’s love!

If you were to become the greatest enemy of God and lead thousands away from faith in God, God will still not stop loving you. If you were to step out for God and then make such as mess of things that God is mocked because of your failure, God will still not stop loving you.

Let me say it again, You cannot even FAIL your way out of God’s love!

Perfect Love Sets You Free

That kind of perfect love casts out fear. It sets people free. And it set me free from my fear, insecurity, shame, inferiority and rejection. I did not have to prove a thing. The opinions and criticisms from people counted for nothing against such overwhelming love.

That’s the love you need to receive. You need to be drenched in that love and soak in it for days. You need it to permeate your mind, emotions, personality, will, spirit, soul and body. Don’t just give God’s love a kindly assent, but press in for it, cry out for it, and make sure you experience it. It truly will set you free!

Let Me Pray For You

I want to pray again that God reveal His love to you.

“Lord, I ask You to reveal Your overwhelming love into the hearts of each person reading this. Let the love of God be shed abroad in each heart, by the Holy Spirit, so that every one of them is set free and transformed to be the people You created them to be. So reveal Your love that it dislodges all the wrong thoughts in their head and heart. Heal them with You love. Impact them with Your love. Transform them with Your love. I ask this in Jesus’ lovely and precious name. Amen.”

Rejection 26 – Overwhelming Love

While the Steps to Release describe the issues I had to deal with in overcoming rejection, insecurity, inferiority and the like in my life, it was God’s Love that actually empowered the whole process.

My inner pain, ill-defined as it was, left me feeling afraid of letting anyone into the areas of my need. I had created an external image of happiness and success, and I desperately wanted that image to be my truth. God’s invasion of my inner life seriously challenged my internal comfort zone.

Grace and Truth

Some people think that to live in happy delusion is better than living in an unhappy reality. I challenge that. No-one can truly live if they are living a lie. The people locked in mental institutions, completely deluded about who and what they are, are not better for their foolish notions. We are far better to face reality and find God’s power to be real in our true circumstances, than to live enslaved to delusion and brokenness.

While God’s Love is powerful and was the awesome antidote to my inner pain, it came with a solid dose of “reality check”. And that’s Biblical. The Bible tells us that both “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”.

“And the Word was made flesh (Jesus), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

Grace is the special favour of God, His love, His mercy and His blessings into our lives. Truth speaks of reality and facing up to the whole picture, for what it is. Both these things came at the same time, in the same person, Jesus Christ.

In the same way, God brought both His truth and His love to my heart at the same time.

Supreme Love

God loves me just the way I am. His love is supreme. His love is unsurpassable. God’s love is overwhelming.

God’s love is SO wonderful and SO powerful that it totally outweighs all the love that every other person could give. If the whole world hated you and God loved you, you could experience total joy, complete fulfilment, overwhelming satisfaction and abundant delight in being alive. That’s how supremely powerful and wonderful God’s love is

Love Revealed

God’s amazing love was revealed to me through many preachers who taught on the subject over several years. Messages about the Father heart of God, the Biblical definitions of love, the example of the Prodigal Son’s father, and the many Bible verses that talk about God’s love opened my heart and mind to realise that God truly does love me.

I had been raised in good evangelical churches and heard the gospel message of faith in Jesus Christ a thousand times. The cumulative effect of that, however, did not leave me with a sense of God’s overwhelming love. It took some time before that new truth could settle in my heart.

Slowly I came to trust what the Bible said. Slowly I came to believe that God was not some angry potentate ready to judge all who fail His standards.

jesus hugsYes Jesus Loves Me

Somehow in my Christian journey I came to think of God’s love as the nice message to tell the children. It was fine for the children to sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”. But I thought that as we become mature in our understanding we are to move away from the childish notion of God’s love, and realise our responsibilities.

I carried a weight of obligation, linked to judgements upon those who “looked back”, were “unfruitful” and so on. In the development of those ideas I lost complete sight of God’s love for me.

Yet such passages as Romans 8 spoke clearly about the impossibility of being separated from God’s love. And the love of Christ was spoken of in many places too.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38,39

“And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

I came to realise that Jesus does love me. God loves me.

Jesus Loves You!

You need a revelation of God’s love. That comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, illuminating the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who pours God’s love through your wounded heart.

“And hope does not make us ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Romans 5:5

A prayer I often pray for those needed healing from rejection and inner pain is that God’s Holy Spirit will release the Love of God through their heart, like ocean waves of God’s love sweeping over them. I want to pray that prayer for you. Then, in the next lesson I will take you even deeper into consideration of God’s Love.

Prayer for You

“Lord God, I pray for each person reading this, that You would pour Your love upon them. Let Your love be shed abroad in their heart, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Give them a revelation of Your great love for them. Let it flow over them like ocean waves of Your compassion, care, grace and blessing into their innermost being. And Lord, deliver them from rejection, shame, fear, insecurity and all inner pain. Let them enter into the joy of living in the glorious liberty of the children of God. I ask this for them, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

Used and Abused

This post is about how to begin recovery from being used and abused – and it is mostly relevant to women. But first, let’s get the bigger picture clarified….

The sexual liberation of the 1960’s and beyond has left millions of women “used and abused”. What might have seemed like ‘liberation’ has become ‘slavery’ to many. Instead of new and unbridled freedoms, people are now trapped in pain and the aftermath of abuse and exploitation.

Sexploitation

Men exploit women. Since women were made as a ‘helper’ (Genesis 2:18) ‘for the man’ (1Corinthians 11:8), womankind is predisposed to fit in with the expectations of the men in their lives. This makes them vulnerable and dependent.

This vulnerability and dependence leaves women open to sexual exploitation, or “sexploitation” as I refer to it. The men who are meant to protect women can be overcome by evil. Lust, sensuality, selfishness, eroticism, pride and other forces can invade a man’s life (assuming he has not invited them in anyway) and cause the man to think of himself, rather than his moral responsibilities before God.

Moral Responsibility

Humans are created beings, morally accountable to their creator. God is perfect and holy. So everything He made must be measured against God’s holiness. We are commanded to “Be Holy, just the same way our God is holy!” (Leviticus 19:2).

We all innately expect people to live with moral responsibility. We expect parents to care for their dependent children. We expect people to respect property rights and to restrain themselves from harming others. We expect people to tell the truth, keep their word and to meet their commitments.

When we see people who do not do these things we regard those people as out of order, criminal and socially unacceptable.

Yet the Sexual Liberation of the past half century has promoted an alternative morality. Instead of people learning to restrain their impulses, as a matter of responsibility, they are encouraged to indulge their impulses. Pleasure has been exalted above morality.

The prevailing morality is the notion of “happiness”.

Happy Little Cretans

I recall an older couple telling me about their son’s second marriage. He abandoned his first wife and his children and took up with another woman. Rather than see this as morally wrong, the parents celebrated his actions, because now he was “happy”.

The fact is that his first wife and his children are not happy. They were abandoned. He neglected them out of self-interest. His first wife, it seems, did not always please him. That was sufficient justification, it seems, for him to act in an abusive and selfish manner.

So, as I said earlier, “Happiness” has become the prevailing morality. People evaluate their choices based on what they think will make them happy. This is the very opposite of living by the code of moral responsibility.

We encourage the value of happiness in our children by giving in to their demands, offering them needless choices and telling them that they must please themselves.

Abuse Abounds

Just as in that case of the “happy” husband, millions of people are abusing others, in the quest of their own personal happiness and fulfilment. Anyone who does not fully meet the expectations of another (even if those expectations are delusional) should expect to be thrown over in the other person’s quest for self-indulgence.

Now, more than ever, women are “sexploited”. The men in their lives are far less likely to act on the basis of moral responsibility and thus protect the women. Men are much more likely now to act in pure self-interest, abusing and exploiting the vulnerable people around them.

You don’t need a degree in sociology to realise that what I am describing is tragically real.

Protecting the Gals

Protecting the womenfolk has long been a cultural and legal requirement. For centuries the law penalised a man for “Breach of Promise”. If he caused a woman or her family to believe he intended to marry her, and then abandoned that course, he was able to be charged for “Breach of Promise”.

This law was to cause men not to play with the emotions of women. It slowed down the hasty flirtations of a man, since he could be creating expectations which would come back to bite him. In Australia the statute which overturned this law of Breach of Promise was not enacted until 1971. So this is not simply an ancient and obsolete notion, but one which prevailed into the modern time.

Nowadays women rely on capsicum spray, assertiveness training, flame-throwers mounted under their car (as I saw advertised in South Africa) and their heightened wits to navigate their way through a more jungle-like modern culture. Women are no longer respected and protected, but abandoned to their own devices or used by those who can take advantage of them.

Emotional Vulnerability

Women are not only the physically weaker sex they are emotionally predisposed to look for affection and care. Some men have become effective at winning the confidence of a woman, lying to her about their intentions, playing on her emotional needs and seducing the woman into exploitation.

I recently spoke with a woman who discovered that the man who had been using her had done so to at least three other women before. She was fooled by his stories and bought into the emotional promise of his affections. He then dumped her suddenly for another woman.

The code for such men is to use and abuse the woman, then “forget her”. But the woman is not playing a user game and buys in emotionally. So she is damaged, wounded in heart, rejected, shamed and unable to “forget” what she has been through.

Get Your Heart Back

A key issue for the gals is to “get your heart back”. It is easy for a woman to give away her heart. She is designed to be in a faithful, loving relationship where she invests her emotional capacities in the success of her man. So she readily buys into that personal investment, even if she is being fooled by a user.

So, if you have been used by someone who stole your heart and then left you behind, you need to reclaim the affections you gave to him. This is virtually the same as breaking the soul-tie that is set up between two people in an affectional or physical relationship.

I lead people through a simple prayer that goes something like this…

Prayer to Reclaim Your Heart

“In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I repent of giving my heart and affections to this person who has used me. I now break the soul tie that exists between us. I revoke the hopes, dreams, expectations, emotional investment, delight and other responses which I invested into that relationship. I now reclaim my heart and affections. I take them back off that person who is unworthy of them. I place those affections and my heart at the feet of Jesus. Lord, take my heart and my wounded affections and please heal them. Teach me how to make You the centre of my affections, so I can live for You and for Your glory. Heal me of the offence, rejection, shame, abuse, hurt and wounding which I have experienced. Make me whole and take me into Your embrace, healing me and building me to be the woman You created me to be. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful and lovely name. Amen.”

Jesus Heals the Abused

Jesus Christ met and ministered to many used and abused women, who had even bought into a lifestyle of being someone else’s sex toy. He set them free and gave them back the life He created them for.

So, Jesus heals the abused, and He is ready to heal you. You were not created to be exploited. You were not created to be used and abused. You were created for His throne room. You were created to carry His glory.

Don’t settle for less. Press in to Him and find the healing, wholeness, freedom and destiny which is uniquely yours. I command you to do so, in Jesus’ powerful name.

Rejection 3 Heart Cry

The cry of the human heart is to be loved. And that sets people up for deep rejection experiences. And, as we saw in Rejection 2, this is somewhat out of our control, because we were designed as love receptors.

Above everything else that people seek, they want to be loved. And this yearning for love not only motivates us, but it brings people into some of their deepest pains.

Hidden Longing

People are unlikely to tell you that they are desperate to feel loved. It’s one of those things that people don’t talk about, especially in Western culture. So this deep heart cry to be loved functions as a hidden longing in the human heart.

People mask this longing by investing themselves in activity, success and a myriad other things. And, of course, people can find great meaning and value in things other than relationships. However, the hidden longing for loving care, affection, value to others and the like is still present in people’s lives.

Heart Crying

Not only is our desire to be loved our heart cry, our experience of not being loved makes our heart cry. Loneliness, hurt, fear, shame, heartache, pain, desperation, self-rejection, and many similar terms relate to the cry of the crying heart.

Now, people usually hide their pain, so you won’t often see this heart cry on someone’s face. Most people pull themselves together, put on their ‘stiff upper lip’ and soldier on. They may do so in hope that things will get better, or simply not wanting to add shame to their hurt feelings. However they come to it, most people cry on the inside, but keep up appearances on the outside.

Universal Pain

I expect that everyone has had moments of inner sadness and pain. A life without disappointment is hard to conceive. We all have hope for good things, and when those good things don’t materialise we have to work through a reality check, and then keep going.

So pain is a universal experience. Moments of crying on the inside are commonly understood. How we react to it and deal with it can be varied, but the initial pain is part of the human experience.

My Tears

I don’t know where my feelings of rejection and inferiority came from. I have asked God to show me and to date He has never made it clear to me. But I do know of times when I felt pain in my later years.

I can recall wetting my pillow with burning tears that ran down my cheeks late at night. I can recall the quivering lips as I tried to suppress inner hurts and disappointments. I can recall the intense feelings of insecurity, feelings of intimidation around people who made me feel inferior, and feelings of fear of being mocked or shown up in some way.

I can recall the burning heat of a face bright red with shame. I remember the burning eyes, streaming tears and glowing cheeks which I experienced too often.

I’m sure I am not unique.

Love is Powerful

That is why love is so powerful. Everyone wants to be loved. While you may not ‘love’ others in any emotional sense, you can at least care about them.

If you notice someone, talk with someone, listen to someone, show care to someone, meet someone’s needs, give consideration to someone, speak up for someone, take time for someone, you will have powerful impact in their life. That’s because everyone really wants to be loved.

If you are keen to build a bridge toward someone, then choose to make them special. Show them affection, care, compassion, consideration, respect, attentiveness, value, or the like and they will register that, unless they are totally closed to you or the world.

Important People

Someone once pointed out to me that the last thing I should ever casually talk about with a celebrity is what makes them famous. A person’s fame is usually the curse of their life. What they want to find is someone who values them as a person, not as a performer.

The same is true for people who are attractive. Many attractive women are annoyed by the amount of attention people pay to them. They learn to distrust the motives of people who look at them, smile at them and want to interact with them.

When you take an interest in the person for who they are, not for what they mean to you, you are giving them a very special gift. So always be ready to talk about the inane, or to find out what is important to that person. A star may be very relieved to talk with someone about their first dog, or the food they hate, or something equally as distant from their stardom.

The Power of Compassion

While you are still thinking about dealing with your own pain and need, take time out to show compassion to others. Remember, they have a heart cry to be loved.

Learn how to make others feel special. Learn how to listen to them and engage them in things that THEY value. Give them your time and your listening ear. Engage with their stories and their personal journey. Most people are blessed to have that kind of royal treatment, and some people are desperate for it.

Things are so bad today that people pay money to a therapist to simply listen to them and show some kind of understanding. Now that says something about how desperate the heart cry has become in Western society. Even family and neighbours are failing to show the care and concern that was once part of normal life. People are paying others to at least resemble what care and compassion look like.

Can you see a ministry opportunity in all that? I can. And I release you to go and do it!

Rejection 2 Love Receptors

Since Rejection was such a big problem for me I often reflected on why it should be such a serious issue for people. How could something as invisible and insidious as rejection be so devastating for so many people?

My reflections on the subject led me to a simple observation, which I can attest to from the Bible. So that’s the starting point in my pictorial series on the subject of Rejection.

Our Design

Mankind was made by God, for fellowship with God. And that’s a Bible truth. God made man, right back there on Day 6 of creation. And God is “Love”.

“He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” 1John 4:8

“And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” 1John 4:16

Putting those two Bible facts together enables us to recognise something about our design. Just as a radio is designed to tune in to radio signals and a television is designed to tune in to television signals, man is designed to tune in to God.

Love Receptor

If man is made to tune in to God, then man is designed as a “Love Receptor”. Somehow, among all our faculties, we have the capacity to tune in to and resonate with God. And, since God is love, that means we must be able to tune in to love.

We must have within us the capacity to fully interpret, receive and respond to the waves of God’s love which are broadcast from Him. If we could not sense love, then we could never have real fellowship with a God who is love.

You are I are ‘love receptors’. Apart from our sight, hearing, touch, taste and other senses, we have the innate ability to sense God’s most wonderful quality.

God and Man

As a love receptor we deeply desire to receive God’s love and the love and affection of our fellow man. We expect to find love from our parents, siblings and family. We expect people to be friendly to us and to be interested in us. We look for loving interaction from all we meet.

This is especially so when we are children and have not yet felt the amount of rejection and disinterest which we are likely to face in later years.

We are designed to live in the luxury of close fellowship with God and with family, friends and society. However, many people experience no sense of God’s love and also experience the feeling that they are rejected, neglected, abandoned and abused by fellow man.

Look at Life

Have you not noticed how powerful love is? People who sense love are keen to be near those who supply it. Children respond to the love shown them by others. We all love to be loved.

Some people spend their whole life looking for love. It fascinates us and impacts us like few other things do.

We celebrate our addiction to love in stories, song, poetry and lifestyle. People’s whole personalities can be transformed by the addition of a loving person into their life.

All this testifies to the fact that God has designed us as love receptors. Those who defy the need for love often do so out of their hurt. They are trying to shut down a faculty which has become a source of pain for them. But that only goes to prove the point. If they were not love receptors by design, then the absence of love, or pain through expectations of love, would not affect them.

Substitutes for Love

Craig Hill, in his Family Foundations course, points out that people who are not loved by their parents can go headlong into sexual relationships, in a quest for the love they sense they are missing. A girl who is denied her father’s love is more likely to end up in a cheap, sexual fling with a man, than a girl who is secure in the love of her dad. Similarly, a boy who feels rejected by his mum will tend to seek the affections of another woman, to fill what seems to be a void within him.

The lack of love never justifies sin. I am not suggesting that the parents are to blame for their children’s wrong choices. We must each give account for our sins. God doesn’t use psychologist couches. He has books with written records of our sins instead.

Other substitutes for love can include attention, notoriety (as with the trouble maker), fame, success, cheap popularity or sexual attraction. If people are not shown love they may well immerse themselves in a substitute, to at least get some compensation for how they feel.

Love Completes Us

Because we are love receptors, then love completes us. We are designed to be in intimate fellowship with our creator, the God of the entire universe. His love is meant to be “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5).

We are meant to receive such a revelation of God’s love that God’s ‘perfect love’ casts out all the fear we are feeling, including the fear of rejection.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:18

As you follow through this series I will eventually have more to say about God’s awesome love. By the end I trust that you are experiencing and enjoying God’s perfect love in much richer dimension and that you are wonderfully set free.