Receiving the Unconditional Love of God

Receiving the Unconditional Love of God

Dr. Craig von BuseckBy Dr. Craig von Buseck10 Minutes

Craig von Buseck: In your testimony you talk about the balance between your sins and your good works. When and how did the light go on for you in understanding salvation through the grace and love of God?

Isik Abla: After I became a Christian it took awhile for me to stop performing because I was so ‘works-oriented’ – only this time it was to gain good points from Jesus. So it was very tiring because I possibly served in every ministry in the local church. I became this ‘super-Christian’ and then I became this ‘super-burned-out-Christian.’ Then I came to a realization in the 4th year of my walk with Christ that I wasn’t enjoying my life. There was no joy in serving. There was no love. It was only works.

I felt duty and I felt obligated.

I remember when someone was sick at the church and needed someone to cook I was the first person to call. I ended up cooking for everyone and I couldn’t say no. I had my own family that I was neglecting. I was also neglecting my walk with the Lord and my devotional time because I was a people pleaser. I didn’t know in that process that I wasn’t pleasing God.

But God started showing me His truth. “You were an abused Muslim woman,” He spoke to my heart, “but you are becoming a doormat now. This is not my will for you, because you have no joy.” I think joy and love have always been a scale for me of measurement. “Am I right with God? Am I in the will of God?” I had no joy and I felt like the signs of depression were coming back. There was no happiness in serving – there was no love.

At that point I went to this seminar with the people who wrote the book about boundaries. They changed my life. I had never heard of boundaries before. “I want to do this,” I thought.

I had been taught that if you had boundaries you were a mean person. But God started showing me, if you want to have a healthy relationship with Me, if you want to grow deeper spiritually with Me, you need boundaries in your life.

CVB: Absolutely.

Isik: That was the time that I learned that I already had the unconditional love of God – no matter what I did or didn’t do. I didn’t have to earn it, I just had to receive it. And that was supernatural, because with my natural mind I was so programmed I could not understand. When I didn’t do something I felt like a failure. So I was trapped in this mindset. God used others to help get me out of that.

Today I can tell you it’s very easy for me to say no. It gives such freedom to be able to say yes to the things God is calling me to do and to say no to the things God is not calling me to do.

Now, there are always some things that I commit to and later I say, “That was a mistake.” We are all human. But over the years God brought me to a place that I don’t feel guilty if I am not doing something – unless He really tells me to do it.

CVB: You often talk about the Holy Spirit in your ministry. That is a radical concept for a Muslim. Tell us about your journey in understanding the Holy Spirit and how you came to allow Him to move through you.

Isik: Well at first I was not going to a church where the Holy Spirit was emphasized. But I started hearing God’s inner voice. It was His voice, not my voice. So I was hearing this gentle whisper and it was very sweet. But I didn’t know how to continue that relationship. Then I went to a new church that taught from the Word of God about the Holy Spirit as a Person of the Trinity. I started highlighting in my Bible that He is the Spirit of truth. He is the Comforter. He is the Counselor. The Holy Spirit will tell you, Jesus said, what you need to say.

I started really meditating on those words, praying, and inviting the Holy Spirit to come, in Jesus’ name.

CVB: Amen.

Isik: I prayed that He would reveal His truth to me. I do a lot of deliverance ministry and counseling, and the first thing I say is ‘Holy Spirit, spirit of truth, reveal your truth to me right now.’ I started learning how to be in tune with Him. God is always sending us His word and He is always speaking to us, but sometimes it is like a TV channel – we need to tune in to Him. When we have other TV channels playing or other music on we cannot really hear from Him. So we need to quiet everything. This was an exercise that I used as I learned to follow His voice.

And it’s not only about hearing, but it’s also about being obedient to the voice that you hear.

CVB: Tell me a little bit about your time with the Lord in prayer and how that has grown over time. How have you learned to discern the voice of God?

Isik: Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, I will abide in you. And if you abide in Me you bear much fruit.” We look at Mary and Jesus said she was chosen for the “better part.” Similar to Mary was John. He was always closest to Jesus. I call them two introverts, in that they always wanted to be around Jesus. I kind of tend to be like that.

I learned over the years that I don’t have to pray 5 times a day as an obligation like a Muslim. But if I want to have a more fruitful and a blessed life, I need to abide.

And it takes time. Sometimes we think that money is a good thing to give to God, but the best thing is time. Even the Sabbath is denying yourself from doing everything and giving it to Him – but it bears fruit in you.

So I have a very disciplined prayer life. The first thing in the morning when I wake up, I don’t talk to anybody before Jesus. I have to meet with God first. Nobody can talk to me before Jesus – not even my husband.

We need to have our quiet time during the day and build our relationship with the Lord. Take time to thank Him and say, “I need you right now.” That’s another discipline in my life – thanking God all day long.

Years ago God spoke to my heart and said, “My children don’t tell me I am good.” That broke my heart. I started to cry and I said, “God, you are good.” Every day I tell Him how good He is. I have a non-religious relationship with Him where I send Him kisses in the morning! But I know that He loves it.

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Click here to learn about Isik Abla’s ministry through “Dream Church Live” and when to watch it on Inspiration TV.