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Love Me Where You're At By Francis Frangipane

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Love Me Where You're At By Francis Frangipane Empty Love Me Where You're At By Francis Frangipane

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Nov 2010, 1:24 pm

Love Me Where You're At
By Francis Frangipane


I have discovered that, as we seek the Lord, our most difficult periods can
be transformed into wonderful breakthroughs into God's love. For me, one
such season occurred during the years 1979 to1981. The association of churches
with which I was aligned had fallen under spiritual deception. Not only were
its core doctrines increasingly seeded with New Age influences, but
immorality crept in, and key leaders began leaving their wives for other
women. I could no longer remain silent. As a result, in 1979 I left my congregation in
Detroit, Michigan, where I had served as pastor, and traveled to the
organization' s regional headquarters in Iowa. I came to plead for repentance. However,
after meeting with the senior leaders, I was asked to leave the group.
So here we were - we had left our church, we had no money, and we had four
little children; we couldn't even afford basic housing. Desperate for
anything, we finally found an old farmhouse in rural Washington, Iowa. The home was
over a hundred years old, but it actually looked much older. After
negotiating with the landlord, we were given a year of free rent provided I did basic
repairs to the house, such as cleaning and painting.
Even so, the house needed more than I could provide. The furnace did not
work well, so we installed a wood burner stove in the kitchen. That first
winter, it turned out, was one of the coldest in Iowa's history. Frost formed on the
inside walls, spreading a foot or two around each window; wind chills
dropped to 60 below, and even colder on several occasions.
To keep warm each night, the whole family cuddled tightly on one large
mattress on the dining room floor, about 18 feet from the wood burner in the
kitchen.
A fan behind the stove nudged warm air in our direction. My nightly project,
of course, was to build enough heat in the stove to keep us warm until
morning.
While I worked the fire, I also would pray and seek God. The wood burner
became a kind of altar to me, for each night as I prayed, I offered to God
my unfulfilled dreams and the pain of my spiritual isolation. Yes, I knew the Lord was
aware of our situation. Though we had virtually nothing, He showed Himself
to us in dozens of little ways. I just didn't know what He wanted of me.
As the seasons came and went, another child was born, and then we fostered a
young girl from Vietnam, giving us six children. Still, as the family grew,
the little area around the wood burner became a hallowed place to me. Even
in the summer, I would sit on the chair next to the stove and pray and
worship.
I would like to say I found the joy of the Lord during this time, but in
truth, though I gradually adjusted to my situation, I felt an abiding misery
in my soul. Our deep poverty was an issue (I barely made $6,000 a year), but
more than that, I felt like I had missed the Lord. My continual prayer was,
"Lord, what do You want of me?"
Three years of seeking God passed, and I still carried an emptiness inside.
What was God's will for me? I had started a couple Bible studies and spoken
a few times in churches, but I so identified with being a pastor that, until
I was engaged again in full-time ministry, I feared I had lost touch with
God's call on my life.
In spite of this inner emptiness concerning ministry, I actually was growing
spiritually, especially in areas that were previously untilled. I went
through the Gospels, hungry to study and obey the words of Christ. Previously, I had
unconsciously defined a successful ministry as something born of my
performance.
During this time, however, the Lord reduced me to simply being a disciple of
Jesus Christ.
Indeed, a number of things I thought were biblical I discovered were really
just religious traditions. The Lord desired that I take inventory of my
heart
and examine those few truths for which I would be willing to die. He said
the truths for which I would die, for these I should live.
Frankly, things like the timing of the rapture or nuances about worship
style or spiritual gifts dropped in their priority, though I still
considered them important. Rising to the top of my focus was a passion to be a true follower of Jesus Christ - to obey His teachings and approach life not merely as a
critic but more as an encourager. I also found myself increasingly free to
enjoy and learn from Christians from other streams and perspectives.
Yet, these changes, though deep and lasting, occurred slowly, almost
imperceptibly. They were happening quietly in my heart, and only in
hindsight did I see what the Lord had done. Throughout this time, I was preoccupied with feelings of detachment from God's will. My prayer to know the Lord's plan
for me continued daily.

The Breakthrough
One day, as I stood in the kitchen pantry, I repeated again my abiding
prayer: "Lord, what do You want of me?" In a sudden flash of illumination,
the Lord answered. Speaking directly to my heart, He said, "Love Me where you're at."
In this time and season, remember, I was not a pastor or minister. I was a
television repairman doing odd jobs on the side to provide for my family. I
hated what I was doing. In my previous church I taught against TV and now I was
"laying hands" on television sets and raising them from the dead! The Lord's
answer cut straight to my heart. I was awed at its simplicity! I asked,
"Love You where I am at? Lord, is that all You want of me?" To this He
responded,
"This is all I will ever require of you."
In that eternal moment peace flooded my soul and I was released from the
false expectation of ministry-driven service. God was not looking at what I
did for Him, but who I became to Him in love. The issue in His heart was not
whether I pastored, but whether I loved Him. To love the Lord in whatever
station
I found myself - even as a television repairman - this I could do!
A deep and remarkable transformation occurred in me. My identity was no
longer in being a pastor but rather in becoming a true lover of God. Having
settled my priorities, amazingly, just a couple days later I was invited to pastor a
church in Marion, Iowa. In spite of all my previous anxiety about returning
to ministry, I did not jump at the opportunity. For I had found what the
Lord truly desired of me. Though I eventually accepted this call, my focus
was not merely on leading a church but on loving God.

What God Seeks
More than one's ministry, God seeks our love. His great commandment is that
we love Him, ultimately, with all our mind, all our heart, and all our soul
and strength. If we love Him, we will fulfill all He requires of us (John
14:15). And it is as we love Him that He orchestrates all things to work
together
for our good (Rom. 8:28).
Beloved, loving God is not hard. We can fulfill any assignment - auto
mechanic or housewife, doctor or college student - and still give great
pleasure to our heavenly Father. We do not need ministry titles to love the Lord.
Indeed, God measures the value of our lives by the depth of our love. This
is what
He requires of every true God-seeker: to love Him where we are at.
Lord Jesus, the revelation of Your love has swept me off my feet. Lord, You
have drawn me and I run after You. Master, even in the mundane things of
life,
I shall express my love for You. Consume me in Your love.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This message was adapted from a chapter in Pastor Frangipane's newest book,
And I Will Be Found By You published by Arrow Publications. Available at
www.arrowbookstore.com
Available in
paperback
and
eBook
Reprint Agreement
Your interest in duplicating and re-sending this material is a joy to us. We only ask that you also provide website information for the Ministries of Francis Frangipane. The only exception is if the article is actually an excerpt from a book by another publisher. In this case they have asked that they be listed as the reference. Finally, any questions about the teachings of Francis Frangipane can be sent to
info@frangipane.org.

God bless your pursue of His heart.

Reprint Agreement
Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is permitted provided that
complete source and website information for the Ministries of Francis
Frangipane are included, unless the article is an excerpt from a book by another
publisher. If so, please contact the cited publisher for reprint permission
for articles that are sold. Finally, material may not be taken out of context to slander or defame this ministry.
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