Loving God (One Man’s Journey)
By Michael Didier
I asked “Jesus into my life” (whatever that means) as a child more than 50 years ago. My family never opened a Bible or even went to church. For me, in those childhood and teen years, my faith consisted of doing what “I thought” was the right way to conduct my life; but I had no examples of the way I should go. I simply believed and did the things that that all my “Christian” friends did.
But there was emptiness in my life that I could not explain, something was missing. So at the age of 19 I started searching. Associating with people who were involved in the drug culture led me in a way that did not provide many answers.
One afternoon I sat by a lake and thought about what I need to “get by” in this world. The answer that first came to me was “food, water and clothing (warmth)”; but there was something even more important than those, which I identified as “truth.” With truth I would always be going in a positive direction in my life; “truth” must be sought!
Armed with this knowledge I returned to school, which I swore I would never do; I was never what anyone would call a “good student”. The next three years were spent at a two-year community college while I also worked part-time. To my surprise I was now a very good student, and even more surprising I became a leader of the Campus Christian Fellowship. There were six of us when we began and over 60 when I left to attend Wheaton College in the next town over. Now, 40 years later, I am ashamed to think what I “taught” those dear friends and fellow students. I was the blind leading the blind.
Contrary to my time at the community college where every one of us had to fight for our faith and appreciated what we had; the two years I had at Wheaton College were much more difficult as many students there seemed to take their faith for granted. I was still a good student but most students there were much more capable than I. As a resident adviser I was able to get my room and board paid and influence the students on my floor at the same time.
During these five years of college I realized that I could have a positive effect on the lives of the students, so I decided that I wanted to become a dean of students as I had great respect for the Dean of Students at Wheaton .
That summer I had to do a practicum for my bachelor degree in Christian Education. Honeyrock Camp was a facility maintained by Wheaton College in the North woods of Wisconsin. It was there that I met the woman who I would love a lifetime; her name was Judy. She said that I was different from others in that I liked to talk about things of God. Judy was correct, that has always been important to me.
There were two places in which I could do my masters work in College Student Services Administration, one was in Oregon (close to Judy) the other was in Michigan (far from Judy). I went to Oregon and after my first year there Judy and I were married.
We lived and ran a dormitory during our first year of marriage. Becoming a Dean of Students never became a reality for me as I was entering the workplace at the beginning of the equal opportunity era and had many say that they would only hire me if I were a minority or a woman. Since Judy was a teacher we took a team position running a small dormitory in central Oregon. Because of those two years and two prior, I decided that I really did not enjoy working with students who did not want to grow.
We heard about a church in the Seattle area that was starting a school and decided to visit. It was an exciting place filled with people who loved God and wanted to serve Him (at least as best they knew how). Judy got a position as a teacher and we decided to move there. I was still unemployed but we decided I would volunteer at the school until they got on their feet. The next ten years I went from volunteer, to the Assistant to the Principal, to Assistant Principal and was even the Elementary Principal for several years. Unfortunately, or maybe thankfully, while I loved the children, parents, and teachers, I have never been very good at playing “the system” so I left the school to be an entrepreneur. Now I only had to satisfy myself and my customers. My biggest loss in leaving the school was not being able to work with my bride. Judy and I had been working together each day since we were married 11 years before; for me that was my greatest loss but it was also a start of a new adventure.
Judy and I never lacked for anything, been cold, or gone hungry; our Father in heaven has always proved Himself faithful. I believe this is so because I always sought to serve Him as best I could.
My desire for “truth” has never failed. The friends Judy and I had over the years were her friends. Their husbands were my friends because they came with their wives or they taught with my wife. I have never been interested in baseball, basketball, football, fishing, etc.. The conversation topics that interested me were political, social, family issues and of course issues relating my faith in the Creator.
As our children grew (we had three – two boys and a little girl) I, like most dads, attended practically every sporting event my children were participating in. In addition I became a Boy Scout leader and required each of the boys (Wes and Jonny) to participate until they made First Class Scout. Fortunately, at least that is what I thought at the time, they continued and went on in their scouting endeavors and became accomplished in many areas. But my life was still empty!
One Easter eve I did some research about origins of that holiday. Here is what I found; Meet Easter. To my surprise Judy had no interested in what I had found.
Finally, around the time of the new millennium, I began to do something that I had never done; I began to read Yehovah’s word (Genesis through Malachi). The first time through I just read. The second time through I looked for all the places on a map I had found and began to become more familiar with it. The third time through I looked at how all the individuals related to one another. And after those three times I fell in love with the Creator. He and His eternal and unchanging way was what I had been looking for since my late teens.
I also read two books which speak about the political and social aspects of our faith as it relates to the Kingdom of God and the systems of the world (the state). The first was called “Christian Patriotism” written at the turn of the 20th century and the other “Covenant of the gods“, was written by a man who is a historian, Bible scholar and lawyer.
I started to ask myself some very difficult questions:
– What makes us God’s people? And which nation really is “under God?”
– If the fourth commandment says Saturday is the Sabbath and that we are to keep it holy, why do we worship on Sunday and ignore holiness altogether?
– If Jeremiah 10 forbids Christmas trees why do we do it? Well that opens up another whole can of worms. (Again see Man’s Holidays or God’s Holy Days)
– Is saying “I believe in Christ” enough? What does repentance have to do with salvation? And what did we repent of anyway? Should we still be doing what we repented of? Would that be true repentance? And what makes Jesus a “christ”?
– What really is faith anyway? (Precept 10 – Faith)
– I began to ask myself, “Is there was anything that I had been taught in my Romanized Christianity that had any solid Biblical foundation?” (Introduction to Precepts) The answer, precious little, to none!
Needless to say, but I will, the more questions I asked the more “friends” I lost. First I was asked to leave the Boy Scouts by the pastor (I did not want to say the pledge of Allegiance to a flag of a CORPORATION). Then I was asked to leave the church by my wife who did not want me to ask the pastor the sincere questions which I had.
But I could not keep my mouth shut as I began to see how important it was to come out of the world. I talked to everyone I saw. I gave up my driver’s license, stopped using my SSN and did everything I could to void all my unholy covenants covenants with the world and their elohim. My goal now was to make myself 100% Yehovah’s man.
I began to share what I was learning at our dinner table with my family and to my dismay my wife, the woman I thought was bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, was rolling her eyes.
Within months my wife of 24 years filed for divorce saying that she wanted “her children” to “grow up normal.” She still does not realize that “normal” is the broad way that leads to destruction.
Well, I fought the court for four years, I put liens on judges, commissioners, the DA and her lawyer. I spent 8 months in county jail because I promised my children that I would never leave them except in handcuffs. I wept every day, each time my thoughts turned to my family, for 2 long years. I lost everything, but found the most important thing of all; I found the way that leads to life and my life has never been more fulfilled. Would I go back? Not in a million years.
The title of this article is called “Loving God – One Man’s Journey”, for me this has been a process. The first commandment says:
“I am Yehovah, your Elohim, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall have no other elohim existing before My face.” (Exo 20:2-3)
(Strong’s #430 elohim – gods, defined this word as “lawmakers or judges,” – Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Definitions)
This commandment must be pretty important since our heavenly Father put it first. But have we ever left our Egypt? In 2000, I did! Please read “Naturalization Process.”
In Deuteronomy 6:1-5, the chapter immediately following the ten commandments, it says:
“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which Yehovah (most Bibles say, “the LORD”) your Elohim commanded me to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou might fear Yehovah thy Elohim, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as Yehovah Elohim (THE Ruler and Judge) of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that flows with milk and honey.”
Jesus (Yeshua) picked up on the next two verses in Deuteronomy 6 when he was listing the first of the two most important commandments of Yehovah saying:
“Hear, O Israel: Yehovah, our Elohim, Yehovah, is first! And thou shall love Yehovah, thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)
In my mind, all is a lot!
Between the second commandment and the third we are told by Yehovah:
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I Yehovah thy Elohim am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5-6)
His commandments, as opposed to their commandments? Who are these false “gods” that we are not supposed to serve? Answer: Any other elohim (lawmakers or judges) but Yehovah! It appears that loving the Creator and obeying Him are intimately related. For we are not doing the former unless we are doing the latter also. (See Loving God 101).
The second of the two greatest commandments which Jesus referred to was this:
“And the second is like it [the first], namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31, Leviticus 19:18)
People love to quote this verse “thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself,” but precious few people understand who the “thou” is and who his neighbor is. Let’s take a careful look at it in context from which it is quoted and ask ourselves, “How is this verse ‘like the first?‘”
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger (ger): I am Yehovah your Elohim. ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your Elohim: I am Yehovah. ‘You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your Elohim: I am Yehovah. ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am Yehovah. ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am Yehovah . ‘You shall keep My statutes.” (Leviticus 19:9-19)
In context we see that even loving our neighbor is not possible unless we are following Yehovah’s commandments, judgments and ordinances which tell us how we are to love them and find out who they actually are.
Go to “How does a Gentile become a Ger,” a citizen, of Yehovah’s kingdom?
And after you read that series of articles; then find out who the “thou” is who is to love his neighbor. Go to “The Ger becomes the Ezrach,” the born in the land man.
So much to learn and so little time; a lifetime is hardly enough!