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Ref: The woman He is in love with!

25 October 2009 3 Comments

Today is Sunday, October 25th, 2009, and I just finished reading a best-selling book which has greatly impacted my life! It’s entitled “The Shack” (by W. P. Young) and it’s the story of a man who, after carrying the burden and anguish of guilt for the loss of his daughter in traumatic circumstances, meets with God in unusual settings and goes through a healing process that will restore his soul and change his life forever.

I don’t intent to tell you the whole story here, as you will probably want to read the book on your own and go through that healing process together with Mack (the main character of the book), as well as with “Papa” (God), Jesus and “Sarayu” (Holy Spirit). But there are some passages that have spoken to me in a particular way and I purpose to write more than one article about it. Please be sure to check back in the coming days.

There are some passages that I recently shared with our “Team Destiny”, a circle of dear friends and coaches that I’m honored to not only work with, but also to share my heart with, and I was encouraged to write about it, because it is prophetic about what we are presently doing with our “Words From Jesus”.

It’s taken out of a conversation that Mack has with Jesus, while sitting on a the dock of a lake (chapter 12), right after he had a beautiful glimpse of Heaven. Jesus answers one of his questions and tells him:

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“Mack, our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head —
you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold. Instead it’s a new cleansing of this universe, so it will indeed look a lot like here.”

“Then what’s with the pearly gates and gold stuff?”

“That, my brother,” Jesus began, lying back on the dock and closing his eyes against the warmth and brightness of the day, “is a picture of me and the woman I’m in love with.”

Mack looked at him to see if he was joking, but it was obvious he wasn’t.

“It is a picture of my bride, the Church: individuals who together form a spiritual city with a living river flowing through the middle, and on both shores trees growing with fruit that will heal the hurt and sorrows of the nations. And this city is always open, and each gate into it is made of a single pearl . . .” He opened one eye and looked at Mack. “That would be me!” He saw Mack’s question and explained, “Pearls, Mack. The only precious stone made by pain, suffering and—finally—death.”

“I get it. You are the way in, but—” Mack paused, searching for the right words. “You’re talking about the church as this woman you’re in love with; I’m pretty sure I haven’t met her.” He turned away slightly. “She’s not the place I go on Sundays,” Mack said more to himself, unsure if that was safe to say out loud.

“Mack, that’s because you’re only seeing the institution, a man-made system. That’s not what I came to build. What I see are people and their lives, a living breathing community of all those who love me, not buildings and programs.”

Mack was a bit taken back to hear Jesus talking about “church” this way, but then again, it didn’t really surprise him. It was a relief. “So how do I become part of that church?” he asked. “This woman you seem to be so gaga over.”

“It’s simple, Mack. It’s all about relationships and simply sharing life. What we are doing right now —just doing this— and being open and available to others around us. My church is all about people and life is all about relationships. You can’t build it. It’s my job and I’m actually pretty good at it,” Jesus said with a chuckle. (“The Shack”, W.P. Young)
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As I was reading these passages, I couldn’t help but feel what my friend, dr. Randy Peck, calls “Holy Spirit tingles” on my back, as this is what the Lord has been telling me recently, regarding the new online movement that He has started with our “Words From Jesus”!

Using the words of the passages above, this is becoming “a living breathing community of all those who love (Jesus)” and are “being open and available to others around, by letting the rivers of His living waters through to reach the ends of the world and “heal the hurt and sorrows of the nations”. (See “The story of Bamboo … my life!”)

The picture of Jesus’ bride, as “individuals who together form a spiritual city with a living river flowing through the middle, and on both shores trees growing with fruit that will heal the hurt and sorrows of the nations” reminds me of a “Vision from Jesus” that I received years ago, entitled VFJ: A tree in God’s Kingdom!, and the following “Words from Jesus”, entitled Fruits from a tree!

In both of these the Lord spoke of those “whose delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law do they meditate day and night” as being today’s “trees planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in their season” (Psalms 1:2,3), and I can’t help but seeing it all coming together with the vision that Jesus has for His End-time Bride!

My prayer is that we can take to heart these prophetic words above and ask the Lord to help us fulfill our destiny and become part of “the woman that He is in love with”!

May the Lord bless you with “rivers of living water” (John 7:38)!

3 Comments »

  • Jerry Graham said:

    Renato,
    Great to see that you’ve read one of my favorite books and were obviously as stricken with it as I was. (I blogged a 4-part series on the book back in January. [ http://thecoachingpair.com/blog/the-shack/ ]). The book, highly controversial because it challenges people’s pet theological positions, truly makes you think — if you read it as the novel that it is and not as a theology book. In a nut shell, I found the book to be a giant, highly-intricate word-picture of God’s love for us. Thank you for sharing your insights and I look forward to your future posts about The Shack as well.
    God bless,
    Jerry

  • Renato Amato (author) said:

    Thank you Jerry! It’s been fun to click on your link here above and read all your articles on “The Shack”, as well as the theological controversies that it has stirred up between those who are more attached to legalism and orthodoxy vs. those who are more open to the voice of God’s Spirit! I believe that Wm.Paul Young has done a wonderful job of getting us all to question our belief system and make sure its aligned with God’s perspective of things, and I hope it will draw us closer to Him to put on “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)!

    As for me, I appreciate the assurance of God’s love and understanding of our human nature that I draw from the conversations that God has with Mack in the book, and I would recommend anyone to read it on their own, with no prejudice, and let the voice of God Spirit speak to their hearts.

  • Randy Peck said:

    Dear Renato,

    Thank you for sharing such an inspirational and prophetic message about the The Shack and God’s unconditional love.

    As I read this, tears welled up in my eyes and I was overcome with the presence of the LORD.

    Because of your humility and total consecration to God, He has used you to start this new online movement called “Words From Jesus!”

    I am so thankful to God for providing this Internet venue for His children to hear from Him and then share with the WORLD.

    Many blessings to manifest the fullness of God’s glory!

    Randy
    “Blessed to be a blessing”
    THE CONNECTOR and The Journal Guy