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Gomer - Hosea's Wife - A Difficult Lesson in Unfaithfulness (Part 4 - His Faithful Redeeming Love) - A Personal Testimon
"He only uses these methods because nothing else will do, and he would sooner that you should enter into heaven with every bone broken, than that you should descend into hell with the full use of your powers" ~ Spurgeon
The prior three messages were difficult and heavy. Calling to mind from Romans that it is good to..
consider the goodness and severity of God ~ Romans 11:22
Part One invites an atmosphere of honesty to look squarely at our sin with no excuses and to refrain from trying to squirm off from under God's uncomfortable confrontations and disciplines.
Part Two addresses the problem of legitimate needs and the awful results of trying to fulfill them with anything and everything but God. Part of my personal story begins.
Part Three gives a living and animated example, in the form of my testimony, to the issue concerning Hosea and his wife as well as God and Israel through my personal story. It's a much messy and uncomfortable account but I hope in all it's ugliness God shines glorious in terms of His love and redemption that is limitless!
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! ~ II Corinthians 9:15
I hope the continuation and conclusion of my story will offer a breath of fresh air and broadcast brightly in this final part of this series the greatness and depth of God's great faithful love that pursues us to the ends of the earth.
Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life ~ Psalm 23:6
New Age Counseling
I left off in Part 3 with beginnings of God's confrontations with me that led to my repentance and the breaking up of the fallow fruitless ground of my life as Hosea put it. I also mentioned in Part three that I had taken up with New Age counseling. As the Lord began to work with me at the realization that I was a seriously messed up and broken person, I decided to look for help and made a quick search through the phone book for a counselor and randomly selected one that just so happened to be of the "New Age" variety. I thought nothing of it to begin with. In fact, I rather enjoyed all the parent blaming and victim mentality escape tactics it lent to me at the time.
There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness ~ Proverbs 30:11-12
It told me that I was born perfect and was simply damaged by my upbringing and experiences and was therefore destined and justified to behave so miserably.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself ~ Ezekiel 18:20
Much to my own horror I far surpassed the sins I so ruthlessly held against my parents.
The methods of counsel became a bit strange and uncomfortable that caused questions to arise in my heart and led me to thoughts and questions about the God I once knew as an early teen.
We were first asked to select a meditative spirit guide. Jesus was certainly an option but it was also made clear that your options were many and varied.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me ~ Isaiah 45:5
You shall have no other gods before Me. ~ Exodus 20:3
All the methodology of the counseling was based upon the theory that you behave badly because you need love. To some degree this was true in that I did not know God's fatherly love in its fullness. How could I have when I was looking for it in all the wrong places. Nonetheless our heart cries for and craves Him and nothing else will do.
God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father! ~ Galatians 4:6
There was a method that was used that was called regression therapy where it was thought you could go back into a painful childhood experience and change it by reliving it and changing the memories to a more desirable outcome in your mind. All I can say in reference to this is "Nothing but the blood of Jesus..." All else is a fig leaf!
I know a place, a wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace
Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us
Were nailed there with Him
There at the cross ~ Vineyard Music
Also the counselor would do things like "holding" sessions where he would hold me like a baby and try to tell me that he loved me in an attempt at re-parenting. Besides the fact that it was intensely awkward, I found it not very effective, nor was it believable. I could not reason within myself how someone who really didn't know me, other than what I chose to reveal to Him, could possibly claim to love me, not to mention the fact that he was being paid to do this. What I could believe however is a reasoning I found in Isaiah
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. ~ Isaiah 1
This made total sense to me. A God who knew every nasty evil thing about me and invited me to come and be washed in the blood of His son. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it. What kind of love is deeper than that? This I could believe!
The final event that really broke through my conscience was during a workshop when we were asked to practice learning how to put ourselves into a meditative trance. Alarm bells began to sound as my mind reeled back to an event I experienced when I was bout twelve.
I was at a sleep over which included a nighttime occult activity of trying to levitate one of the girls in a basement only lit by a candle. I don't recall what was all being chanted in the attempt do so, but I do remember the hair on the back of my neck standing on end mid way through it.
I felt something behind me and I slowly turned my head to try to see what it was. What I saw terrified me. There were holographic evil monkey like creatures crawling up the basement wall. They looked much like the curly tailed winged monkeys on the Wizard of OZ. I began screaming at the top of my lungs at which point the lights were turned on and this part of the party was over. I tried to explain to all what I saw and not sure if they believed me or not but it scared everyone enough to quit doing it. My mother had warned me of not participating in such things, and now I knew why.
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord ~ Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God ~ Leviticus 19:31
when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? ~ Isaiah 8:19
My mothers warning and my previous experience led me to not participate in the activity of attempting to trance myself, and I asked to be excused. I attempted to tell the counselor about my experience and how I thought this was something that was within the same context of tampering with things we shouldn't tamper with and he seemed annoyed.
The educational portion of this counseling process concerned learning about universal laws and truths that initially made sense and sounded a little bit like Bible things but they didn't acknowledge God in anyway shape or form.
I mentioned in Part Three that I returned to the Bible that I had long ago stuffed under my couch because I didn't like what it said and it was at this point in my journey that I picked it back up and this is what I read
Men...having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! ~ II Timothy 3:4
It was like a thousand light bulbs turned on in my understanding and I knew I needed to leave and turn back wholeheartedly to the God of my youth.
Restore me, and I will return,
For You are the Lord my God ~ Jeremiah 31:18
As I began to read the Biblical truths even further, I began to see how tricky the New Age teachings were in that some of them did run parallel to biblical teaching and it appeared that they understood how God designed things to function and were trying to tap into the blessings and benefits of God without acknowledging Him, nor being accountable for personal sin that leads to repentance and salvation through the one and only door of Christ alone.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber ~ John 10:1
I left New Age counseling and set myself to seek the Lord. Second Chronicles says that...
he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. II Chronicles 12:14
And so I followed these instructions...
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you ~ Hosea 10:12
Let The Healing Begin
It was at this point that I joined a Bible Study that my mother was attending. The teacher's name was Jean Karau. I expected to be bored but instead I could feel the life of God's Word being imparted to me as she taught us. I hung on every word and revelation she shared and could hardly wait until the next week so I could discover more. I always left enthralled with God and wanting to live life faithfully to Him. His truth was truly living water! I sat under her teaching for a little under 20 years. She took us from Genesis through Revelation and showed us Jesus all the way through.
She birthed in me a true and sincere love for God as He revealed Himself to me in His Word as my perfect Father, Friend, Husband, Brother, Savior, Deliverer, Counselor, Lover of my soul, Shepherd, Lord, Healer...that still lives on today! All that He was showing me began to trump all that I had experienced and healing began
I discovered that my parents were not God nor was anyone else that I placed such ridiculous expectations on. What do you need? He's got it!
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him ~ Psalm 62:5
Can I just say in reference to the above revelation. No one has to stay stuck in past experiences or past choices. Our God is everything we need. He is all sufficient, He is all wise and He is all powerful and there is nothing He can't do. All He asks us to do is believe! Believing isn't always easy but it is necessary. All things in life worthwhile are not easy. Staying stuck is not easy, living in sin is not easy, nothing is easy so we might as well do as do as Jean Karau would say "Let's just haul off and trust Him!" He is good!
It was at this time too, that God led me to write a letter to my parents that thanked them for everything good about them that I could remember. I had wasted so much time on focusing on their faults and using them as an excuse to my own shame that it was time to turn the tide in the other direction. What the Lord showed me is that focus is powerful and it is a choice. The good things were just as true as the bad and I had a choice as to what I would give power to. There are no perfect parents but God and what I found was myself set free to love them as they were and they became my friends.
I also began attending a church where I could grow and learn, which I did and still am growing and learning and much more. I get so excited about His goodness and want so desperately to share it that I feel much like the disciples of old who said...
we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. ~ Acts 4:20
Healing is also still happening and the journey hasn't been perfect. The effects of some of my choices have rippled into the future as with sin it always does. But my faith is not wavering for God to continue His redeeming work in my life and my family and this ship is moving forward!
Hosea's text ends with Israel's admittance and confession and mine as well...
“Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. Assyria shall not save us, We will not ride on horses, Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.” ~ Hosea 14:2-3
To which God replies..
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him... ~ Hosea 14:4
I conclude with the promise God gave to me concerning all of this. He gave it to me upon my return from the exile I was in, because of my sin, and I can't think of anything more fitting and beautiful that God could have given me that is so specific to my story. This is my paraphrase of Isaiah 54 based upon the study of each of it's words...
“Shriek and squeal with excitement, useless, unproductive, and unfruitful one, you who has not brought forth
Break out into joyful shouts and proclamations. Cry out and shine you who has not writhed and labored with anxious anticipation of an expected outcome
For exceedingly greater are the sons of ruined, wasted, spoiled, depressed, abandoned, empty, and forsaken one, then the descendants of one married says YHVH
(His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which have been to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature ~ II Peter 1:3-4
To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think ~ Ephesians 3:20)
Widen and enlarge the place of your previously unstable and transient habitation and the curtains from your resting place in the wilderness spread and stretch out
Do not hold back or restrain, lengthen (symbol of enduring) your cords and your stakes (faith in Christ Jesus the nail in a sure place - Is 22:3)
Strengthen, make firm, and confirm, be undaunted and immovable, establish, maintain and secure it.
(Abraham...who believed God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did, who contrary to hope, in hope, believed...not being weak in faith....He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what He had promised, He was also able to perform) ~ Romans 4:13-22
For on the right hand and on the left (everywhere - in every direction) you shall breakthrough and burst out.
And your seed, nations they shall possess and occupy. And cities made desolate, ruined, and destroyed will be inhabited.
(They will build the old waste places, raise up the foundations of many generations and be called the repairer of the breach, restorer of streets to dwell in) ~ Isaiah 58:12
Not shall you fear, for you shall not be ashamed or disappointed and will not be humiliated or embarrassed, for you shall not be disgraced or dishonored for the shame of your idolatrous youth.
You shall forget the scorn, contempt, and despising of your widowhood (condition of exile and expulsion) you shall not remember anymore.
For your master, husband, and maker YHVH of the hosts of heaven and earth, the man in charge, is His name and He is your Kinsman Redeemer, The Holy One, pure right, true, like no other, famous one of those over whom allow Him to rule, The God of all the earth (every sphere of life) He shall be called.
As a woman forsaken, abandoned, and left a heap of ruins, grieved and carved with pain in spirit and a young woman when you were rejected, has called and summons you says your God.
In a small moment I left you forsaken, but with great mercies, compassion, and deep affection, I will take hold of and receive you and gather you (fragmented, torn to pieces life) up
In a flood and outpouring of rage and indignation, I hid my face for a moment from you, but with everlasting, faithful, loyal, promissory, love will I have the utmost of compassion and tender affection towards you, says your Kinsman Redeemer YHVH
For this is as the waters of Noah (judgement) to me, for as I have sworn (confirmed by sacrifice) that the sweeping through as the waters of Noah should never again cover the earth so I have sworn no more will I burst with rage upon you or yell in rebuke at you
For the mountains shall be removed and give way. Those insurmountable seemingly impossible obstacles...
(Whoever says to this mountain be removed and be cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done he will have whatever he says.) ~ Mark 11:25
Treasures in the upturned mountains - He overturns the mountains...and His eye sees every precious thing ~ Job 28:9
...and the hills (barrage of smaller issues) shall shake violently and fall away
But my loyal, faithful, mercy and promised love, will not depart or give way and the covenant and alliance of my peace and complete wholeness shall not be shaken or falter says YHVH who has deep affection and compassion on you.
Oh you afflicted, needy, and humiliated one, scattered, storm tossed, and troubled, not comforted or consoled
Behold God's demonstrated power. I will make rest and set in brilliant glistening colors, your stones and your foundations with sapphire (symbol of sincerity, faithfulness and favor)
(Simeon-sapphire/hearing Levi/ connected to doing Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock) ~ Matthew 7:24
And I will set like rubies (symbol of strength in praise. rare and durable) your sunrise or sunset
(From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same my Lord's name is to be praised) ~ Psalm 113:3
And your gates to stones of fiery sparkling glorious gems (carbuncle)
(Carbuncle - abiding in the sun (Son) sunlight mood booster and stress reducer - “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit ~ John 15:5
And all your borders and boundaries of delightful stones and all your sons shall be disciples of YHVH and exceedingly great shall be their wholeness and well being in all aspects of life here and eternal...
...In righteousness shall be fixed, prepared, secured, and made ready. you shall be far from violence, injury, or fraud, for you shall not fear destruction for it shall not come near you. ~ Isaiah 54
I cannot say enough about my awesome God "Who saved a wretch like me"!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ~ Acts 16:31
© 2015 Tamarajo