You Loved Her Once

One night I was working late at my computer and was very tired. In my fatigued state of mind, I suddenly found myself thinking about something that happened many years ago. I was replaying memories from a relationship I had in college. These were not good thoughts.

So I finished working at my computer and went to bed still indulging in these memories. Did I forget to mention my wife was laying in bed next to me? She was sound asleep by this time but she was still my wife. As I laid there, I knew these thoughts had to go so I started resisting them. As I did, the light started coming on and I realized what was happening. My enemy, the devil, brought these thoughts to get me going the wrong way. He waits for opportunities like this when I am weak and tired, then he sends his fiery darts to trip me up and entangle me in the sins of my past.

So when I realized it was him I said, “Well you know what I think devil? I think this whole thing was just one of your stinking schemes from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, I think you were scheming about this thing years ago, trying to destroy me before I ever knew what was going on. I think you and your demon spirits were the inspiration behind every last perverted part of it and I think it’s time for you to go now!”

As soon as I said that, I felt a jolt of the Holy Ghost go all through me and I started laughing. Then I got another jolt and started laughing more. That old devil works great under cover of darkness, but how he hates it when the light is shined on him. But the greatest part of this story is what happened next.

The next morning was Sunday. The bad thoughts from the night before were long gone. I was not thinking about my old girlfriend at all. But at the end of the morning church service, the Lord suddenly put her on my heart very intensely. I know that might sound strange that God would cause a man to be thinking about his old girlfriend, especially a married man, and especially in church. But this was not in a wrong way like it was the night before. This time, I was remembering her as a person whom I had once cared about, but I saw that she was lost and far away from God. She had rejected God from her life.

Then the Lord said to me, “You loved her once.” I asked the Lord, “Why are you telling me this?”

I did not understand why the Lord said that. Wasn’t I supposed to forget about her? I did not understand in my mind, but the Lord did something in my heart. I felt broken for this lost soul that was once so important to me. I felt so burdened for her that I was crying and praying for God to move on her heart and draw her to himself. I asked him to send laborers to show her the way wherever she was. I did not want her to die lost and go to hell.

Then the Lord started revealing things to me. First, He showed me what to do the next time the devil brings those old memories to me. If that happens again, I am to start praying for that person to be saved. The devil will work for me like a prayer partner, helping to remind me to intercede for lost souls. Every time he reminds me, I’ll start praying immediately. The devil probably won’t want to play that game for very long.

Second, the reason why the Lord said to me “You loved her once” was not because He wanted me to meditate on that old relationship. God wasn’t so much concerned with my past as He was with her future. He was saying, “This person was very important to you at one time in your life. She was your friend and you cared for her and you loved her. Today, you have found the way of life and you are blessed, but your friend is still lost. Won’t you take time now to call on heaven to save your friend? Won’t you take a little time to remember your friend? Even though she has long since left your life, and today you have no idea where she might be, don’t you still care about her enough to ask me to do a work in her life so that I can bring her to know me and receive eternal life? Don’t you want to have all of your friends and loved ones with you and me in eternity?”

Third, the Lord taught me a lesson that I wish I had known years ago. I could have avoided a lot of my mistakes if only I had known. He showed me that He created us to learn through relationships. For example, if a baby encounters a friendly dog, he has established in his mind a relationship with this animal called “dog”. Then the next time he comes across another dog, he relates to that dog through what he knows about his experiences from that first dog. If the first dog was friendly, then he expects the new dog to be friendly. If the first dog was clumsy and slobbered all over him, then he expects the new dog to be like that too.

This same pattern of learning through relationships affects every area of our lives because we are see people today through the experiences from relationships in our past. To go a step further with that, the more meaningful the relationship is to you, the more impact it makes on you and the more it affects the way you see other people in your life today. The more you open up your heart to receive someone into your life, the more impact they have on your life. For most of us, our lives have been tremendously impacted by a handful of people with whom we have had very close relationships.

If we truly understand how we all learn through our relationships, then we start to realize why it is so important to guard your heart and guard your affections. Be very careful whom you open up your heart to receive into your innermost chambers. These are the people that will be leaving the biggest imprint upon your life. Wisdom would be to do what Jesus told us to do when he said “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and all your strength.” The Bible also says that we are to set our affections on things above and not on things on the earth. If we love God and give Him first place in our lives, then He will be the one making the most lasting imprints on our lives. The more we give Him first place, the more He is able to change us so that we will begin to see other people through our experiences that come from our relationship with him. That is why the Bible says the pure in heart will see God. The ones who spend time with Him will begin to see the hand and the heart of God in and through everything that comes into their lives including the other people that come into their lives.

I have said all of this to get to this point. It has taken me all these years to sort out things that were done in ignorance years ago. It has taken me all these years to get an understanding of how what I did back then is affecting me here now. If only I would have understood back then what I understand today, I could have avoided some major detours. We are here on this earth for a very little while. God has a plan, a purpose, and a destiny for each one of us here. But to fulfill what God has for us to fulfill, we need to have wisdom and understanding to stay on the path that He is leading us on. When we open our hearts to pursue ungodly relationships, we take a detour from that path.

That afternoon I sat down with my two children and I explained to them how they can stay on the straight path that God has for them. They are only six and eight years old but I wanted to plant words of wisdom in their hearts that God has one special person for them to live with as their mates, not five or ten or twenty. I wanted them to know why they should open their heart to God but guard their heart from ungodly relationships, especially with the opposite sex.

It amazes me how God took an attack sent from the devil and turned it around so the devil now works for me as my prayer partner. I don’t think that was what that old devil had in mind. Thank you Jesus. You even use our failures to bring about something good!

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