I was driving into Ellel Grange this week for our weekly team communion. Many different thoughts were passing through my mind, when I quite unexpectedly became aware that the Lord was trying to get my attention! It was as if I was listening in to a conversation between God and one of His people. It was a man who was speaking to the Lord, but it could just as easily have been a woman.
The man was a believer offering up to God everything that was good about his life – all the things he thought God would want and could use. He was really happy to be giving to God his gifts and abilities, his experience, his knowledge, his understanding, in fact everything he thought God would want to use.
But then I saw his crestfallen face, as he realised that what he was offering to God was not what God really wanted! For God was looking over his shoulder at a very dark and hidden area of his life, which he was doing everything he possibly could to hide. “That’s what I really want,” the Lord was saying!
“But,” the man replied, “that part of me is so dirty, unclean, even filthy, surely you don’t want all that? I’m really ashamed of those things. You can’t possibly want those, Lord. You can’t do anything with them.”
But the Lord was persistent, “Yes,” He said, “that’s what I really want. You’ve offered me the good, but unless I have the bad and the ugly as well, you can never be really clean. And you’ll be spending all your energies trying to overcome them and keep that part of you hidden from me! And while you’re doing that you’ll never enter into the best that I have waiting for you! You will always be spiritually tired, fighting a battle that you can never win. Unless you give me the bad and the ugly you will spend much of your life going round in circles, trying in your own strength to deal with them, but failing time and time again and then coming back to me to say sorry – again, but never letting me into the mess. Your prideful independence is your own worst enemy.”
“You see,” said the Lord, “it was the mess that I died for and unless you give it to me it will always be your master.”
“But, Lord, you don’t really understand. All that muck you can see, that’s the real me, it’s filthy, it’s who I really am.”
“Exactly,” said Jesus, “it’s who you really are. But don’t you realise that unless I have you all, you can never be whole. You will always be trying to hide something of yourself from me. You will be choosing to be divided on the inside – cutting the real you off from me. I’ve always known about that bit of you which, because of your shame, you’ve always tried to hide. But don’t you understand that’s exactly why I died – to deal with the stuff that you can never deal with? I bore the shame of your sin – it’s already dealt with.
“I know all about the real you – and I really love the real you. And can’t you see that unless you give it to me, as far as you’re concerned my death was in vain! For here you are, carrying around all that filthy muck and ugliness on the inside, hoping that you’ll be able to keep it hidden and that it won’t get in the way of your relationship with Me. But the truth is this – unless I have that bit as well, you can never have the depth of relationship with Me that you long for. And as long as you are spending so much energy protecting your sin and your pain, you will never know the real joy of what it’s like to be free. Satan loves to exhaust my children by tempting them to fight battles that I have already won.”
I was deep in thought as I pulled into the car park at Ellel Grange. I was acutely aware of the presence of the Lord knowing that I had a message that I had to share. In a few minutes I would be taking the bread and the wine and as I walked towards the building I knew that I, too, had some personal business to do with God. “Lord,” I said, “will you look over my shoulder and tell me what You see. I want you to have it – all of it.”
I have preached on the cross hundreds of times and shared in communion thousands of times, but last Tuesday morning I was privileged to understand at a new depth what Jesus died for. And then as I took communion the Lord showed me how so many people fail to enter into the wholeness and healing that the Lord longs for them to enjoy, because they’re hanging on to unclean trash, thinking that God wouldn’t want it! But the truth is, He really does want the bad and the ugly of our lives, as well as what we deem to be good! That way we really can be whole.
Then tonight, as I was leafing through the Scriptures, I came across this question from the book of Job, “How can a mortal be righteous before God?” Job 9:2. There is only one answer to that eternal question – and that is by being clothed in the righteousness of the eternal Son of God who even loves the bad bits and longs for us to give those to Him – for those are the bits He really wants so that he can change us from the inside out!
Thank you Peter for such an inspiring and important message. I have battled with the dark side of my nature and felt like it was my job to suppress and deny it out of existence. Guess what? It seemed to get stronger still. It is some comfort to know that others share these difficulties. I have asked God to help me in giving all this filth and muck to Him and I trust that He will do just that.
May God continue to bless Ellel ministeries.
I have been reading Your blog since You started it and also “The seeds” for a couple of years now. Thank You for the great work!!! I am an Operasinger and my life/time is quite irregular and makes it hard with regular activities, like church sevices, Bible groups, due to performances on Sundays, travelling etc.
Today I got especially touched by Your message. It has been my prayer lately that The Lord will show me all that`s in the way of my relationship to Him.
I have the most wonderful oportunities to sing with the best orchestras in Concert Houses and Operas and so serve The Lord with my voice and heart. I never go on stage without blessing whoever is in the hall or on stage with me and I believe it makes a difference in the lives of these people.
BUT as long as I remember, I always struggle with the feeling that I am not good enough and it sometimes almost paralizes me. Something ” Bad and Ugly” has rooted itself, I am not quite sure what or whwere from, and the enemy knows well what to use in situations to try to be in the way of God`s Glory.
Anyway, Your message today touched something in my heart and I had a deep prayer experience and I feel that The Holy Sprit is at work.
I am sure You can`t read all the messages that You get but perhaps somebody else will and pass on to You, that there is an Opera Singer out there in the world, who is greately thankful of the work of Ellel Ministries. You do give me great support an inspiration for my work as a singer/ performer that with all my heart want so serve The Lord with the gift He has given me!
I like to wish You, Your wife, Family and all leaders and helpers of the ministry God`s blessing, Wisdom, Strenght and Protection for the good work that you do!
For most of my childhood,adolescence and into my twenties, I have struggled with a dark side of me. My mother raise myself and my siblings to be God Fearing but at around 14 or 15 years of age I got lost and part of the reason that stopped me from returning to the love of God were my dark deeds. I felt I was not worthy and he would not want me. I recently decided I could not go on as I was and the blog you have share d with us of this man’s conversation with God sounds exactly like a conversation I myself had with God and as soon as I let him into my dark world,I felt free. I am now learning to confront the people in my family who I hurt with my actions and testifying to the next generation as to where I took a wrong turn and how being cloaked by God’s love has set me free! Thank you for sharing and may you continue to be blessed with these inights that help so many.
Thanks so much for your blog. I just got to it today. The Lord sent it at the right time. It is so wonderful to know he wants all of me, the shame, the sin, the ugly and the past that can drag us down if we don’t give it to the Lord and forgive ourselves. Praise God, that’s what he died for, my sin, all of me. That’s the only way I can be made whole.
Thank you for this. I was moved to tears as I have been struggling with this for the past weeks and I so “wanted to be good” that I forgot how GOOD GOD is. To be able to see me for who I am and still love me, I can’t quite believe it but it is true.
I am breathless. God is good, all the time. I have been strugling the last 3 weeks with my own sinfullness. It came to a point where I just told God: “That’s it – I cannot go on”. How do I become holy when I have so many hidden sins? Judgemental, quick to say things about other people, etc. etc. Holy on the outside, but dark and dirty on the inside.
And now the King comes and talks to me through your blog. Thank you Peter – this is amazing. I surely need to surrender ALL. Please pray for me that Jesus will help me to give myself 100% to Him and not hold back anything. I don’t really know how to do it, but I will trust Him to guide me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What a mighty God we serve. It is a blessing that you have reminded us again today.
May God Bless You.
Bless you my dear Brother Peter for always being so obedient to bringing God’s Word to uplift and encourage us all. Your Blog today has spoken deeply to me already. I woke this morning carrying such a heavyness and feeling so fatigued and as I spoke to my Abba Father I discerned He wanted me to read your Blog today. I now know why…. Already, my heavyness is ebbing away as I know that the Lord is ministering to me as I type this reply.
Praise God and thank Him for Ellel Ministeries. May you all continue to be so blessed as you remain obedient and faithful in your servanthood.
Such truth…and the truth will set us free…our enemy holds in bondage because of the bad and ugly in our lives, he reminds us of our past mistakes and rub our faces in our own messes, but Father God comes, lifts us out of our own mess, washes us clean with the blood of Jesus and then He gives us a bright white clean without stain garment…He gives us a fresh start…and when we wonder away from His glory the enemy comes and he starts rubbing our faces in our past mistakes again, making us believe that there is no hope…but…if we go back to God and stay there, there is always hope, love, understanding and upliftment. Dear Peter, thank you for bring the wonderful message above, and reminding us that God REALLY do care, thank you Jesus for working through Peter to reach our inner most pains and questions.
I am in tears. I must do a speech the 29th of October and God said I must speak about cleaning your spiritual house, yourself. For the third or fourth time since God is showing me what to speak about, I stopped at a specific place. My brain goes numb. I do not know what to say further on. This morning I told God I am getting frustrated, because I honestly do not know what to say further on. The question came into my head. “Why must I clean my house”. When I opened my emails, this was the first one to come through. God gave me my answer, of why I must clean my house. I am so thankful that God is such a wonderful God, that always comes through for his beloved one’s.
Thanx Peter for being so transparent – I have been forwarding your blog to a few of my friends that struggle with deep hurt of the past and that simply cant let go. It has made the world of difference – hearing it from “someone” else in such a direct and practical way! I get your blog sometimes late at night on my BB and read it emmediately – there is nothing beter that a testimony!
Thank you for sharing. I am planning to read this over and over again, Thanks Peter.
WOW!! what a breath of *fresh* Holy-Spirit air!! thank you Papa for speaking through Peter in such a liberating way!! I’m done with holding onto my junk.. it’s ALL Yours!! =)
Thank you – you may write to email@example.com
My brother (in Christ) and I have been teaching on the Holy Spirit. I believe that we should read your letter before the class. It will give greater dimension to learning from the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing this!
I would like to share my story with you, but it won’t let me copy and paste my story.
Do you have another address?
Thank you Peter. This is beautiful and a wonderful insight to share.