with Jeremy Westcott –
Walking with God
I am really excited that more people are joining us on this amazing journey of discovering our sonship: who we are as sons of God, in relationship with Him, both the relational aspect and the governmental. It is a journey, not a destination. We are walking with God, not going ahead of Him nor getting behind Him; not going left or right, not running, but just walking closely with Him in intimate relationship. The path is not always straight and you cannot always see ahead but God knows where we are going: to a place of restoration and a deeper place of intimacy and creativity in our sonship.
It has been a wild ride so far and it shows no sign of slowing down! I believe you are probably reading this because you know there is more and are hungry for more; and you are probably willing to push the boundaries and go further and higher because of that. The Father desires that all the limitations and restrictions placed on us by religion are removed; everything that hinders us from going to the places God wants us to go and actually outworking our destiny. He does not want us to be limited or restricted in any way: therefore there are some challenges on the journey of deconstruction that challenge what we thought was true about God and about ourselves, and which will change our thinking.
My journey has been one of deepening intimacy which has revealed who God is as my Father, Mother, Brother and Friend. God is not male or female – God is a spirit, and encompasses everything because He is infinite. He knows all things and He is everywhere. So knowing the reality of the true nature of who God is can only come in an intimate face-to-face encounter; it cannot be intellectually known, it is relational and therefore we get to know God by experience. When we do encounter Him, then he reveals our true identity as sons.
So the God I thought I knew 20 years ago – or even 12 – is now a distant memory. He is not what religion taught me He was; He is not what I was conditioned to believe by church; He’s so much better than that. He is so good, so loving, so kind, so thoughtful, so passionate, beyond what I could have ever imagined until I met Him face to face and began to experience Him as He revealed Himself to me.
Now thankfully He did not do that all in one go because it would have completely shattered my mind (which is why the Father has therefore deconstructed my thinking and greatly expanded my consciousness).
Like most people, I was conditioned to believe you only went to heaven when you died. In fact, so many of the things I believed about God were programmed into me by religious doctrines and theological understandings which I know now were never true. But I believed they were true because that is what other people believed, at least in whatever stream I was in at the time. I started off in the Methodist church, went on to the Brethren and eventually started a charismatic church, so I had been on a journey of discovering things in a way, but that was nothing compared to engaging God face to face in the realms of heaven, or within me in a place of intimacy.
So all of the doctrines that were programmed into me about who He was – the angry God, the God who needs appeasing, the Old Testament God as opposed to the New Testament God – all of these confusing things – I finally realised I only believed they were true because I had never actually met Him. One day, He said to me “How much of what you know about me comes directly from Me and how much of it has come from reading, listening to sermons and other people?” And I had to admit that probably 99% of what I thought I knew was actually not from personal experience and therefore was only information, not true knowledge.
The truth that God is love – and that His love is unconditional – is so difficult for people to grasp because of the way we have been programmed. And all of us have been programmed by what we have been taught, it is not restricted to religion: you could be brought up in an atheist household and programmed to believe that God does not exist or you could be brought up in religious settings which determined what you believe about God and the Bible (and everything else).
So for me this has been a long, sometimes arduous journey to come to the knowledge of the truth and come to a realisation that God really is love; that His love is unconditional and He wants us to experience it so we can come into a reality where we love as He loves. This programming has taken a long time for me to be free from and I’m sure there are things I still believe which may not be true but I do not yet know to be false. You only know what you know, but the more you spend time with Father, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, then what you know changes. And it always changes for the better: everything that I have experienced of God has only ever been better than I ever thought it could be.
The God that I now know is so much better than the previous one I thought I knew. Even the experiences I had, and some of them were good experiences on my journey, which were really fun at the time, but now I realise how limited it all was and that it was only drawing me to go further into something new and greater.
I believe actually this is probably the most important and the biggest key truth that has made the most impact in my life though over the last 10-12 years. The reason that this truth has been attacked and twisted in many different ways is because it is so important that we understand and experience it, because when we experience that unconditional love, it brings freedom. It releases us to be ourselves and it stops us from believing we have to perform to earn it or deserve it.
Live loved, love living, live loving
A phrase that I quote very often (because the Father said this to me so many times) is “Live loved, love living and live loving.” He said it as an encouragement and a motivation that this is simply how we can live. We can live loved: that does not mean live trying to be loved, or trying to earn love, or to deserve love, or to be good enough for love. Just live loved, accepting that we are loved in a completely unconditional way: that is the key to this understanding and this experience. And if we are living in that place of living loved, then we can love living. Life is joyous! I look forward to every day because there is more to experience, more to explore, more to just rest in and to just be.
And then we can live loving. This is where the rubber really hits the road because to live loving means we demonstrate the love that we have received to others. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”, and so people strive to love others, because it is hard sometimes when they are perhaps not very nice to you. When you look at how they are behaving, you may well think “I don’t want to love them. Look how they have treated me! Look how they hurt me!” If you have been involved in church for very long, you know how easy it is to be hurt by people, whether deliberately or by accident: in relationships it is hard to maintain a loving attitude to someone all the time. And to everybody? That is really difficult: but it is possible, because that is the way God has loved us and He wants us to love other people in the same way.
So just take a moment to reflect and ask the Father: is there anything in your programming that hindering you from receiving and experiencing unconditional love as He really wants you to experience it? Then I encourage you to hand all those things over to Him so that you’re no longer holding onto your beliefs or any other thing which is contradictory to the reality that God loves you unconditionally. Only when you experience that unconditional love for yourself will it be possible for you to love others unconditionally too.
This series of blog posts on ‘Unconditional Love’ are excerpted from Mike’s teaching in our monthly Patreon Group Zooms. Scroll down to watch the video.
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