In January 2011, Richard touched on a subject that had been close to me – videogames. He posted a screenshot from the company that publishes the game World of Warcraft – not one I had been addicted to, but I had tried it for a little while and I was well aware of its content. The picture was a screenshot from Blizzard’s website showing their various games, and a demonic character image for each.
I know there are many Christians sucked into the world of videogames, like I was. And I know there are so many who entertain themselves with secular media. A lot of them think it’s okay. A lot of them don’t care. A lot of them claim it’s innocent and doesn’t affect them, but the fact is it does, and an unwillingness to part with it is just proof of that fact. A lot of them have been fooled by Satan into thinking they can have that entertainment and God too. But I can testify that it really is Satanic bondage and it will, not may, but will, hinder your relationship with the Lord. If you really want a deeper relationship with the Lord and to experience more of His precious presence and His peace, you need to let it go. Let Him strip away the things that hinder your relationship with Him.
I am convinced that those times a believer may get a taste of His presence while still holding on to these things – they are not God saying it’s okay for you to hold on to the world. He’s giving you a taste of what you could have if you let it go and seek Him with all your heart. It’s a taste…of a taste…of what eternity in His presence will be like! You can have so much more of God if you seek Him with all your heart instead of wanting Him and the world, too.
By the time that this day came, and I made my first comment on one of Richard’s posts, I had realized how polarized things really are. Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said “Anyone who isn’t with Me opposes Me, and anyone who isn’t working with Me is actually working against Me,” in Matthew 12:30. The people behind Hollywood, behind the music industry, behind the videogames, and so on, are not working with Jesus, but against Him. Though some do it in ignorance, a lot of them are doing it deliberately.
Through comments on this post, Richard ended up finding out that I worked in Second Life as a content creator. He informed me that some years prior, he had been approached by the parent company of Second Life, QTLabs, with a job offer. They had seen his website, and samples of his work, and were impressed with it. What they were offering him was essentially a dream job…and he turned it down to serve Jesus Christ.
We spoke a little in private messages. I wanted to learn from him and learn some about him, but I also wanted to share with someone who was serious about God that I wanted to be, too – and I longed for friendship with someone who was truly devoted to Christ.
He shared the link to the website he built for his written Testimony, and told me about the Testimony in Music and Song that I could find there, too. You can read Richard’s Testimony of Jesus Christ, find the mp3, and listen to it yourself, here). I downloaded the mp3 and played it over and over again as I slowly read over his entire written testimony part by part. I was amazed by the experiences he had with the Lord that he had written about. The experience of reading it helped to build my own faith. It was inspiring. I was also amazed at how similar we were in many ways.
At the same time, I was trying to get deeper in my own walk with God, and I was wondering to myself why I wasn’t having these amazing experiences myself? Little did I know what God had in store for my future! But the devil used it to try to convince me that there was something wrong with me, I wasn’t good enough (well that part was true) and tried to tell me that God hadn’t really accepted me or forgiven me and all my seeking of Him would prove to be in vain.
I ended up wondering, and worrying. Did the Lord accept me? Did He really love me now? I spent so long running and ignoring Him and grieving Him but now I had finally stopped running away and was running towards Him…but was it too late? I agonized over it internally for days and I asked God those questions, wondering if or how I’d ever get an answer. And God answered! In a way that I have often since looked back on and been reassured by.
On February 28th, of 2011, Richard sent me a message on Facebook:
“Jesus Loves You!!!
Yesterday afternoon while I was listening to the group of songs that I had picked out, the song “Jesus Loves Me” played and the Holy Spirit moved within me, comforting me, and imparted that SPECIFICALLY… Jesus Loves You, TOO!!!
My “radio thingy” is posted… listen, be blessed… KNOWING that YOU can sing ALL of these songs as much as I can…”
The video below, is the video he posted on Facebook and asked me to listen to…
I listened to the songs. It was one of those times where I decided to focus on them, instead of splitting my attention like I usually did. So I played them, listening carefully…and before long, (during the song, Jesus Loves Me) I started weeping, and just spent some time in the presence of the Lord. Yes, Jesus loves me…how amazing is that?
It meant so very much to me, because of how I’d been wondering and worried. I had been thinking, “Okay, I surrender my life to Jesus Christ, I give up my will, my desires, and choose Jesus and His way. I will follow Him from now on. But does He accept me, now, after all I‘ve done to grieve Him? Does He really love me? This incident was the answer in a very big way.
Later that day I sent Richard a roughly two page long message that I had just started writing before he sent his message to me – but I’d gotten tired and fallen asleep. I took my time writing it, and poured out my heart, including vulnerabilities I felt. I shared with him two devotions I had read not very long before writing the message that were still on my heart, and shared with him my desire to grow in the Lord.
As a literal ‘babe in Christ’ I was starving for spiritual food. I was soaking in as much bible reading, as many devotionals, sermons, and other materials that I could find. Yet, even then, even though I was cutting back on my consumption of secular things and was listening to more and more Christian music, I still didn’t totally let go of the secular entertainment hindrance. I shake my head as I think of how my time was split between seeking God and still chasing after the world’s vanity. It was like walking around with a spiritual bear trap on my leg.
Richard sent me a reply, in which he told me that it was no small thing that the Holy Spirit told him to tell me “Jesus loves you”, and that I didn’t grasp the significance of it, yet.
Here’s a portion of his message to me:
…And then there are the Words that are just as plain, sure, and certain but more like your own thoughts… MORE than a ‘gut feeling’ (which He, also, uses quite often) but not like ‘loud’ words, either… but, ‘just’ a “still small voice” but STILL… saying CLEAR and DISTINCT Words!!!
These are the kind of Words that He used yesterday… FOR YOU!!!
When that song started to play… the Holy Spirit “moved” within me making it CLEAR and CERTAIN that Jesus loved me… and as He did He said, “Tell her that!!!”
And usually when He speaks like this (it’s hard to explain but) it’s like the Holy Spirit ‘implants’ the rest of the ‘background information’ and it’s all just suddenly there… and you KNOW the WHO and you KNOW the WHAT!!!
And, in this case, the WHO is YOU!!! And Jesus LOVES YOU!!! And He made it a point to get me to tell YOU!!!
And, my luv… again, the more you say/write… the more I understand WHY He would do something like that for YOU!!!
You are one Precious, PRECIOUS, Child… and your heart is SO right with God… but, yes, you, like MANY (due to “a lack of understanding,” of the “religious leaders”), have been just about (if not) “starved to death”…
That being said… there is, NOW, MORE spiritual life in you… and MORE spiritual wisdom in you… than there is in MANY of the ones that go to church!!!
And, my luv, He KNOWS what you have done for Him… and YOU have the love of God… and He loved YOU first… and He won’t give YOU up… either!!! And you have NOTHING to worry about… just KEEP TRUSTING in Him… He WILL help you… and you WILL “improve”… and YOU WILL be nourished!!!
And, all of this… is what came from my ‘spiritual heart’… stirred by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus loves me…this I know (without a doubt, now) because He used the Bible, and also used His precious Servant and Prophet, Richard, to tell me so!
And I had to tell him…he didn’t know everything either! I thanked him for his message (and I was truly thankful, and still am, it meant more to me than he will ever know), but there was more. God spoke to me the night before, giving me clear instructions that there was something I had to go to Richard’s apartment and do. But, I didn’t tell Richard what the thing was, that I was told to do – I felt very strongly that I shouldn’t.
I was reading in the book of John, when I got to the part where Jesus washed the disciples feet. When I got to where in verse 14 Jesus said, “…since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” it was like He was speaking directly to me, then, saying “his” instead of “each others”…. “You ought to wash his [Richard’s] feet.”
I mulled that one over a little, somehow knowing this was God speaking to me. Me? Go to someone else’s house and wash their feet? A strange idea, to be sure, to me, the shy person that I was (and am). But I decided I’d do it anyway, because I was sure that it was God Himself telling me to do it!
Satan tried very hard to discourage me from following the instructions I’d been given. But I resisted. Further instructions came after. “Perfume his feet.” Like the woman who brought the alabaster box, a symbol of love. I went searching for perfume – at the time I didn’t own much, but among what I did have was a tiny vial of perfume, which I set aside for the purpose.
I didn’t have any idea what would come out of this. I knew I loved Richard. I had really started to fall in love with him when I read his testimony and the longer I spent reading his posts and speaking with him in private messages the more I loved him – but I wasn’t going to act on it.
I can remember praying about that upcoming visit and saying something to the effect that, “yes, I do love him, but I don’t expect he would love me…but whatever happens I want to at least be his friend! Even just being his friend would be good enough.”
At that time I didn’t yet know about his experience on the 28th of February. You can read his account later on in part 7.
We tried to arrange a time to meet at his place so that I could do this thing that the Lord had told me to do. At this point, I still didn’t see the significance of it, I just knew it was very, very important.