Consistency of Actions

Boker Tov,

Shabbat Shalom,

Early this morning, I woke up with three words, “consistency of actions”. One of my favorite songs is by Chuck Girard, “Here I Am”. It is a song that describes the faithfulness of Father. It begins with:

Here I am, down on my knees,
Outside the sun is rising
I’m moved by the voice of the wind,
And the sun on the horizon

At this very moment, the sun is rising; the sun is on the horizon. The song continues, with “how blessed am I to worship You.” By this time in the song, I am in tears, not because of the beauty of the music, but realizing how truly blessed I am to worship a Creator Who is consistent in His actions – evident in the sunrise each morning. Like His Truth, the sunrise is firmly fixed at His appointed time each morning. There is something else that is firmly fixed each morning – His tender mercies are renewed every morning. Praise His Name!

There have been times in my own life where I have not been “consistent in actions”, faithful in the words I spoke, “till death do us part”. Yes, I have been divorced twice (not something you probably expected to hear this morning, right?) If you are the type to “compare” who I am now, based upon who I was then…you don’t have to. My sin has already been judged, and I have gotten back up once again to continue my journey of salvation. It’s hard to judge someone when you realize how many times you have fallen down, and how many times He has picked you back up again.

My two divorces left me in utter devastation. I lost it all. I was stripped of all. I lost complete confidence in anybody’s “consistency of actions”, including Abba’s. For a time, I entered a very rebellious stage. I didn’t care about my own “consistency of actions”, because I never saw it in the people I thought that loved me, cared for me. Maybe it was there, but I was too blinded by my own selfishness. The brokenness inside did not produce humility, but a selfish pride that left me a very ugly, angry person.

I grew up a very quiet person. I had a difficult time even looking people in the eyes while talking to them. I was very shy and introverted. I did not have a revengeful bone in my body. I remember the lunches my mom used to pack me in brown paper sacks. I remember coming home on the bus still holding that brown paper sack. Though I ate my lunch, I did not want to throw away my brown paper sack, because my mom had packed my lunch in it.

I never wanted to hurt people, or make them ashamed of me. As I grew up, my motivation to please people grew. As it grew, so did my rejection complex. If the people I desired to please and make happy did not receive my ‘actions’, I felt rejected. The rejection only caused me to try that much harder to please people. This is what I carried into my first two marriages.

Looking back, I can see clearly that the ‘people pleasing and rejection’ cycle eventually gave birth to a selfish, untrusting heart. I am not saying the failed marriages were not my fault, because I do recognize that it was by my own hand they failed, regardless of what the other people did.

We bow our will to whomever we wish to please. That is simple fact.

It was in this ‘selfish and untrusting state’, that I met Rebecca (Rivkah). When I say met, I mean getting to know better, because she had been a friend of the family for many years. At that time in my life, I had zero confidence in anyone’s “consistency of actions”; not even my own. I didn’t care though, because my lack to any commitment gave me the license to come and go as I pleased, without having to please anyone anymore. The tenderness I held as a little child, in believing in people, trusting in people, had become my worst enemy.

As my friendship grew with Rivkah, I began to see something I had thought I would never see again – “consistency of actions” At first I believed that her consistency was merely a manipulative method to get what she wanted. After all, what I had been through in the past left me no other choice to believe any different. However, it was her consistency in the way she treated me that helped me realize my own selfishness. Because of Rivkah, who I know now was sent as my gift from Abba, I began reaching out beyond myself again, and had a desire to change.

I went to Israel with my mom in October of 2011. I went there seeking answers to my own life, seeking my heart, seeking my own ways. Isn’t this what we do sometimes, under the cloak of “well, I’m trying to get God’s directions for my life.” We hide our own selfishness and coat it with a chocolate frosting of pretending were ‘seeking God’s will.’ How messed up is that, right?

Shortly after we arrived in Israel, I opened up and shared with my mom how I was trying to get God’s direction for my life. Through her wisdom gained through years and years of experience, her response left me jolted, yet peaceful. She said, “Don’t seek direction for your life, but find out what is on His (Abba’s) heart, and your path will become clear.”

After she said this, I did something that most people never do; I put into actions her wisdom. Thank you mom for speaking the truth to me! Thank you for allowing Abba to speak through you, those words that day. For you may not realize it, but it was Abba that was saying, “seek the passions on My heart, and your own path will become clear.”

To wrap up this micro-testimony, I want to say that the words I woke up to this morning, “consistency of actions”, was the foundation upon why I fell in love and married my wife Rivkah. In tears, I write this because it was her “goodness” towards me that broke up the hard foundation of selfish pride, lack of trust and bitterness. I often times tell myself that I do not deserve her “consistency of actions”, but just as I do, she reminds me once again, that her love for me isn’t based upon my “deserving” it or not, but upon her selflessness to meet my needs every moment of every day. Abba used Rivkah to allow me to see His faithfulness in a brand new light. She draws me back to herself every day by the loving-kindness she shows in the covenant loyalty of our marriage.

It was by love that we “chose and preferred” each other – it is by loving-kindness (commitment to our vows) that we keep one another. A beautiful example of our relationship with our Beloved.

Isn’t this what Abba does for us every single morning? He shows us His “consistency of actions”, His faithfulness as the sun rises. He has chosen “you”, preferred you, out of all other people in this world. What an awesome thought, yes? The choosing, the preferring is the action of love. Do not say you love someone without immediate proof of that love. “He so loved, that He gave His only Son…” The action is the giving.

In this season of Elul, the season of repentance in preparing to receive our Beloved, what can we give back to Him that shows Him how much we love Him? What possibly could we have that He would want or need? We have our will. It is time to lay it down in utter brokenness and humility through true repentance.

Jeremiah says that He draws us with His loving-kindness. He saw us from afar and loved us. He saw how far we had fallen, and still chose us to show His very nature in. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance, the Scriptures says.

If you are as I was then, bitter towards anyone showing you goodness, mistaking it for manipulation just to get their way; know this…If you will begin seeking what is on the heart of Father, and stop seeking your own passions, you might wake up one day and realize that your Father in Heaven isn’t into manipulating you to get some kind of reward, but shows His goodness, His sweetness towards you simply because He chose you to reveal Himself to. And because of this love, we must now choose Him in laying down our will, our passions, and all of the bitterness we hold onto for security sake – for it is the only action of love He will accept.

For to love Him, is to give up on our own abilities to be “happy”. For to seek Him with all of your heart, simply means to stop seeking yourself with all of your heart.

Find out the passion on His heart, and your own path will become clear. I did it and I discovered something; the passion of His heart was to give me a wife who shows me everyday the goodness of His heart. The passion of showing “consistency of actions”, to win me over and over again. It is because of the gift He gave me in Rivkah, that I can finally see what He has been trying to tell me all of my life; it isn’t acceptance in the eyes of the people in my life that really matters, but my “consistency of actions” in obedience to Yahuweh. If I daily choose Him, daily prefer what He prefers through my actions, His ‘goodness’ will continue to follow me all the days of my life. I finally chose Him over my own bitterness and pain. Why? Because He was “consistent in actions”, great in patience, mercy and kindness. If we shut out everyone in our life as I did, we become a barrier to all of the goodness He wants to show us; for many times He shows us His goodness through people. After all, to love Him is to love our brother (read 1st John). It is in loving others that we show Him we love Him.

Yet, as strong as my barrier was, He never ceased in showing me goodness. It wasn’t until I allowed His goodness to break down my barrier of pain and rejection, that I began to experience what He has always wanted for me – the freedom of joy in His presence that comes from His overwhelming goodness; not based upon my own deeds of ‘righteousness’, but solely because He loved me first.

Here is the verse of the day which I did not see until after I posted this – wow, what confirmation:

“You show me the path of life; In Your presence is joy to satisfaction; At Your right hand are pleasures forever” – Psalm 16:11

Dedicated to my wife Rivkah, who saw me through Father’s eyes, not what I was, but who I would become. It was by her “consistency of actions”, that I finally began to see what she saw all along in me.

Dedicated to my mom, who finally opened my eyes to the joy of shifting the pursuit of my selfish desires to pursuing the One who would eventually heal my devastations through the gift of “consistency of actions”.

"Yahuweh appeared to me from afar, saying,“I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I shall draw you with kindness."  Jeremiah 31:3

“Yahuweh appeared to me from afar, saying,“I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I shall draw you with kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

2 Comments:

  1. Wow Praise Yeshuah

  2. Derek, this testimony was so well delivered and I just want to thank you for sharing your story. We’ve never met, but I feel a deep love for you and Rivkah and I’ve enjoyed your stories of preparing for your move, the move and everything you and Rivkah write. I look forward to meeting you someday and perhaps seeing your mom again. I found you in my email today while I’m waiting for my computer to allow me access to today’s Torah readings. Amazing how often I’m unable to access certain information pertaining to scripture, my Shabbat music, and various things like that. This has been one of those mornings, but I can be patient and I’m using my phone while I’m waiting.
    Shabbat Shalom, Sheila

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