1 Jn 2:24
Twenty-two years later I sat at the local Assembly of God on a Sunday morning, one lowly figure in a sea of 500 people. I was there alone, or so I thought, my backslidden husband was still running from God. As I sat in the pew during the prayer, a wretched sinner mind you, I heard the Lord's voice say to me "I love you and I want to have a loving relationship with you." It caught me by surprise. There was no altar call that morning, but I made one. I figured that if God had gone so far to speak to me, then I could go the rest of the way. The call was so strong that I stood up and walked to the front of the sanctuary unaware of the 500 people who were staring at me. The Pastor saved me from looking like a total idiot by actually giving an altar call. A lovely, red haired lady came and prayed with me and as we prayed it felt as if a 5,000 lb weight lifted off my shoulders. I literally floated out of church that day. My life was forever changed from then on and oh how far along it has all come.
So when the devil tries to discourage me, I think back to the very first thing I heard when I knew that God was speaking to me. I was a sinner. My marriage was failing. I was unhappy in my career. I was a negative, totally defeated, unlovely person. I had already once started to end my life but thoughts of God and "that hell to shun" stopped me. Thank God for Baptists! I remember back to the things I heard at first and I'm reminded that if God loved me when I was unlovely, He still loves me yet today with that same love. I certainly wasn't perfect then and I'm certainly not perfect now but I'm just as loved by God either way. So no matter what is happening to me, no matter how bad my day is going, and even if I'm allowing the devil to plant bad thought seeds in my head, God's love for me remains the same that it was the very first day when He wooed me to an altar with whispers of His love for me.
I can return to that sacred place in my mind and I remember that "the things I heard at first" are still true today!
-That doctrine that first brought the revelation of the Messiah to my heart.
-That doctrine that, once received, changed me from the inside out.
-God desires to love me and to be loved by me. What a thought!