We arrived the Lovestream Interview quite early than we expected. Wyle Walker was already there having conversations with some fellows whom he had met. Wyle was an ER doctor at Wisconsin hospital in Madison, but besides that travels round the country to reach souls whom God was guiding his heart to.
Our conversation was based on his past and recent journeys and how it blessed the lives of fellow believers whom he had been with in the last twenty-five years.
Bob says, Hi Walker. It’s good to see you after many years. I doubt you had any idea we would be talking again.
Walker replies, (laughs) I think I had an idea about that last week or so before you emailed me. Hey, you’d need to see how much Carlin laughed then. It’s amazing! How’s Diane and everyone else?
Bob answers, We’re doing good these days with all the help Father is sending us. Diane travelled to South Africa after we visited Ohio a couple days ago. You know, we discovered some poor, destitute fellows whom God was guiding us to. I’m sure they needed the help right away. However, Spurgeon and Brenda would be sending some help to her days from now.
Walker says, Quite similar to what Carlin and I are doing in Paris. The last time we checked you in Brent, we’re told you had gone to Paris. . .
Bob comments, And that makes some sense, if you ask me. But I don’t recall if we met. Did we?
Walker answers, No, we didn’t. The moment we got to the airport, news reached our ears that you’re off to New York. It was quite a miss then. Though, Father already had things for us to do, different places to be at that time. We met lots of believers who were hungry to meet other believers who loved Jesus and are not on that track of people who castigated those who don’t do what they do and favor those who do what they do. It was a journey I hope to have again.
Bob assures, If Father wills, you will. I know how well those whom you talked with are feeling blessed. I do. I met Jesse the other day and she told me how blessed she was to have discovered that there’s certainly nothing for her to do to make Father love her so much and nothing to make him love her less. . .
Walker completes Bob’s unfinished statement, He just loves her so much.
Bob agrees, Exactly, Walker. So tell me what you talked about over there that drew Jesse’s heart to that extent of really discovering that freedom. Was it most of those things you talked about on T.V. or the radio? You know. . . church. . . fellowship with Jesus. . . or. . .?
Walker replies, I think what we talked about was the last you mentioned. When we got to the home of a couple who had been running a local church but had it closed down because of the problem of finance to run it, I met about sixteen persons or more who were just so desperate to know what I was bringing with me. Some thought I was coming over to preach and share tracts of invitation to believers in Paris to come to a certain meeting or so. I told them I came with Jesus. If anything, I wouldn’t have cared anyway but I discovered they knew little about the life Jesus had really offered them. Some talked about fellowship and how far they really miss meeting God at church ’cause it looked like they were just missing out on everything.
Bob agrees, Yeah, I agree with you. I felt that way twenty somewhat years ago. I thought I was really missing out, couldn’t reach God or even make him love me anyway.
Walker continues, (laughs) Haha, learning to live in the Father’s affection is a bit of a process. Realizing his love, there are times when we oft think his love depends on how mechanical we just get to be. If we do this stuff, he’s gonna give us all the bogos blessings we are looking for, and if we don’t do as much as we can, he’s just going to love less.
Bob says, Yeah, that’s true. John captures more of what Jesus told his disciples about his Father’s affection for them. He never gave any requirement for them to meet before they know they were loved. They’re already, if not there would be no need to have him come to die for humanity. I can’t tell how many times I’ve heard it rephrased as being loved based on meeting some requirements. Imagine if anyone who heard the story just rephrased like this would ever want to go close to such a God. Would anyone ever love his neighbour if the Father loved us because we met a certain requirement?
Walker replies, I don’t think I would. A friend of mine whom I knew in New Zealand once told me that if Jesus loved him because he met a certain obligation, he thinks there would be thesame action for him to express toward others. We are to follow his example and if he ever did that, we would just be doing thesame.
Bob comments, That’s right.
Walker continues, God is so loving, even if there are words spoken by many to pose him as an angry God who throws fear into people’s lives to endear them to him.
Bob agrees, Even if. I recall meeting some folks in Wisconsin University who called me over at lunch and said, Bob, we don’t know if the God you’re talking about is quite different from the Old Testament. The one you talk about is so filled with love and compassion. I was like, no difference.
Walker laughs and gives a nod. No difference. He’s the same who was in the OT and still is. You know how many people struggle with that? God is just so wicked! Why should he order Israel to destroy other nations? He even destroyed Israel through Babylonia, and bla and bla. No difference. There was just a reason and it was the same that made the sacrifices as oft as possible with the High Priest walking into the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifices once a year. I tell those who argue about this: first sin came, he brought the law but no one was freed through it. He made every attempt to blot sin and each moment he tried to, it always had to affect the human life. He really can’t tolerate sin. . .
Bob comments, He can’t. And he loved them but they were just too misguided by their leaders, so they couldn’t notice.
Walker says, Exactly. He was just trying to push through sin to get to them. He loved them really. I think God was trying to terminate sin from the human race but each time he did, it wasn’t at all working. It kept spreading again and again, and those sacrifices were results of the presence of sin. If sin was blotted once for all as Jesus did, those sacrifices would be no more.
Bob agrees, Yeah, I agree with you. Jesus’ death was all that was needed. Since then, I’ve not heard any news that God was requiring sacrifices again to get sin out. Or have you?
Walker replies, No, I haven’t. There’s none at all. God is the loving one he was in the OT just as he is now. I went through scripture some days ago and looked at Jesus’ compassionate heart in dealing with people. Why should he have told the crowd to sit while there was possibility that he could just send them away? Five thousand was fed from a little boy’s lunch and four thousand too. Why would Jesus ever sit in a Gentile’s house to eat bread? Or why didn’t Jesus kick the woman who was a prostitute but had her perfume on his feet? He didn’t kick the adulterous woman either. . .
Bob interrupts, I bet, he didn’t. . . The first time I came across that, I was wondering how the city would look like if Jesus was the Judge in our courts. When he should have done the same, he helped her understand that he was the compassionate Father he always had been. Imagine him saying, I’m not going to punish you either. From this day on, sin no more, for you’re forgiven.
Walker laughs, Certainly. It’s the love of God when we realize how unconditional it is that liberates us from having any doubt. God never requires anything from us before he loves us. He already does, and that’s why he came to guide us to safety. We don’t need laws anymore for that. John was well convinced about his love and there was no fear in him about that.
Bob says, Yeah. . . you know what you get if you tell an Evangelical that? I worked as a pastor, though just training, but there was much experience.
Walker cuts in, Hallelujah!
Bob laughs, Yeah. We’re oft taught that the best way to keep people coming was to let them have the fear of God. Note, we’re all to have it. But it took me years later after being kicked from Inner Life City before I even had any idea what this fear of God was. It had nothing to do with being so afraid of him or filled with dread that we don’t even realize when it shoves us from him. It was wrapped in the love in our heart. Fear means respect for someone, not dread or feeling or the feeling of terror. I think that’s the difference between biblical, godly fear and the other kind of fear. The fear of God is built on our affection for him. Love isn’t built in fear ’cause you can’t find love in it. If you love him, you will respect him.
Walker agrees, Sure. And most Evangelicals do argue that too.
Bob continues, They do. Most do. Was John having that fear toward him or he was fully convinced that God loved him and all he could do was to love him in return? He was fully convinced about it. While Peter entertained fear that night, John was bold enough to ask the question.
Walker exposes, True. There’s no way we can respect God without loving him. Though some feel they are respecting him since they try to do all they can, so he won’t get angry with them. Certainly, that’s not respect at all. It’s a way of life that gets people into those claws of trying to respect God, not because they love him but are just so scared of what he might do to them. John said, Perfect love cast out fear. True respect comes from loving God and loving others just the way he loved us.
Bob agrees, You’re right. It seems loving others conditionally is the result of thinking we had to love God by being in dread of him before he ever could love us. Being at church was really history, if you ask me, but I can’t forget those things which took place there. It looked as if most who were doing the auditorium cleaning, organizing the service or taking over Sunday school were doing God that just to earn his favor and make him love them than he did previously. There were arguments on who’ll sing the songs, who’ll play the drums and which pastor in the church do you like most?
Wyle comments, Yes, we had a lot of that in the congregation I pastored. I did that too. Actively working as senior pastor, committed to the institution because I believed those were the things necessary to build up Christianity. They’re just bags of activities.
Bob agrees, Bags of doings which we try to carry out to meet those standards. Believing that I had to love Father first before he would get himself to love me was the very reason why I never could love others freely. People needed to be tied to certain obligatory requirements or tests which they are to meet before there’s any symbol of love.
Wyle says, That’s really conditional!
Bob continues, It is. John said God first loved us before we ever could love him. He’s certainly not saying ‘if you don’t, I will get that whip on you and anything else that concerns you’. That’s going to be a kind of statement excluding the truth about willingness.
Wyle comments, And a bargain, certainly.
Bob continues, Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Father intends that we become convinced of his love for us and fills our heart with love for him. Realizing the wonderful point to which he loves us, we will freely love others the same.
Wyle says, I had dinner with a friend a couple of weeks ago. Collins Smith is a Technician, self employed who’s struggling in that side of loving others. Smith told me that day that he had tried to love others affectionately without expecting anything else from them. But each moment he does, he always felt hurt when he realize people do things which he never believed they would ever do. I believe we will get hurt in the process of loving others especially when we love them so they can love us in return.
Bob agrees, Yes. That’s for sure. And when we love so deeply, we’ll also get hurt sometimes.
Wyle continues, Oh, yeah, I never thought of that. We are able to love others because God first loved us even when we were filthy. To the measure to which we recognize his love in our heart, we will be able to freely love others the same. Smitty was actually trying to love. He was certainly giving out what he felt he didn’t have.
Bob comments, That hurts.
Wyle continues, Of course. He was giving out what he didn’t have and that was the reason why he felt hurt when others didn’t love him in return. It’s like searching for love which is impossible to find with men.
Bob agrees, Yeah. This Century has more people trying to find love in the wrong side. If someone could just step out and say, You’re searching for love. I can love you but that’s not the love that can fill your heart. You just have to stop searching.
Wyle agrees, Yeah, and the one in search of love can be pointed to the Father to realize he already loves him. There’s always joy in knowing he does, and most people don’t realize the freedom it brings. These days what people need isn’t some stated principles to guide them to freedom. What they need is to know that someone loves them and no matter what happens, he’s not going to give up on them.
Bob says, You know, from what you just said, you remind me of several friends who came and explained how they found freedom in Jesus. Most people do all the stupid things because of the feeling of rejection, no sense of love and all that; and the institutions which they attend spend time placing much obligations on them, redefining rules to prevent them from even doing those crazy things. . .
Wyle states, Pornography, getting drunk, nightclubbing . . .
Bob continues, Yeah. And there was no sense of freedom. Three months back, one told me he felt he was free but it was just fables. He got back to those sins when he got bored and was having no institutional needs to meet that day.
Wyle says, Which means those obligations only kept him from those sins for a short time.
Bob agrees, Yes. And it never brought the freedom he needed. Jesus invited everyone to come to him with their imperfections, just the way they are.
Walker stretches, Just the way they are. Don’t try to change yourselves, it just won’t work. I’m all the way here to do this job you can’t do for yourself. Just come to me. If I had a dollar for that. . .
Bob laughs, Oh, that’s funny! But I agree. He will give rest. We can’t find freedom when we continue in the wrong thing. The love of Jesus liberates and builds in our heart the desire to freely love him in return. When we discover that men may build in us the feeling of rejection and sense of worthlessness, we may act too bad with all that. However, freedom comes the moment we realize that Father loves us the way we are and is willing to help us get past that point to a life of freedom and maturity.
Wyle says, People mayn’t want to understand that though. This may drag their hearts to imagine if the fault is with God or others who reside around them. It’s his love—when we get into a full knowledge of it—that heals the hurt in our lives. Every other thing we do will just help hide it.
Bob agrees, Yes, that’s right.
Wyle continues, His love is the healing balm we can ever receive from such a loving Father. I was 15 when I began smoking. At 18, I had become a professional who could direct the smokes through my ears as most professional smokers do these days. I wasted many years doing that because I was badly affected by my mom’s death when I turned fifteen.
Bob comments, I never knew you smoked before. You don’t look like one who did.
Wyle smiles, Yeah. Not everyone have an idea of that dark side but I only tell it to those who are going through the same at a moment. My mom died of cancer three days after my birthday was celebrated. I was a Christian guy then, but all of that slipped away after mom died. I thought that since God loved her, he won’t let her suffer so. I prayed many times for God to heal her but I felt he never did. I remember thinking how foolish my dad was when he said God loved my mom a lot and that we don’t have to expect things to be good everytime.
Bob says, I bet that did choke your ears those times.
Wyle laughs admittedly, It did.
Bob confesses, But he was right.
Wyle agrees, He was. That’s the truth! We took her to three hospitals. The doctors gave us the same reply. Her disease was incurable. Dad fell to his face and wept for his wife and praised God for loving her that much. It was as if I was watching a movie. Why would dad thank God when mom died? There was nothing so precious to him like mom. He would call her sweetie, and mom would reply with the love of my life. To think how dad could thank Jesus in spite of all that happened amazed me.
Bob says, I’m really sorry about that. I can tell how many people struggle with the same or something different but still point them to a moment when they must make a choice. I’m sure you saw something that moment, right?
Wyle continues, Yeah, I discovered we’ll surely go through such in this broken world but that doesn’t tell God ceased to love my mom. She knew he did which was why she still held on to that love, knowing if she died, she would have the freedom from it all to rest only in his arms. But not everyone end in death in such moments—God does heal some and he chooses not to heal some.
Bob agrees, Yes, and that’s a big stuff to wonder too. Perhaps, we’ll explore that in another podcast.
Wyle continues, No problem. I’m open for that. God’s affection for us doesn’t mean we won’t go through troubles. He permits them and assures us of his love to guide us through each circumstance if we will just trust him. When we come out on the other side, looking back at all we went through, we’ll be grateful. We become more compassionate to others when we realize how compassionate he had been to us; especially when we made errors.
Bob agrees, Of course. It’s deception to think that Father’s love is a place to hide from circumstance. He didn’t promise that we won’t go through moments like that. Paul needed freedom from a thorn in the flesh. God replied him ‘no’ and promised sufficient grace to go through the moment. His love will always release the strength needed for the moment.
Wyle says, His affection and the prayers of my mom was what captivated my heart. If my dying mom could love God so much, in spite of all she was going through, then she was convinced of his love to a degree I’m still exploring.
Bob agrees, As long as we’re on earth, we will continue exploring the depth of his love toward us and others whom he will draw closer to himself.
Wyle laughs, That’s for sure.
Bob asks, So what will you be doing this weekend? Will you be shopping, taking rest at home or. . .?
Wyle replies, Neither. I really don’t spend time shopping. Most times, I’m in a home or restaurant helping people sort out what it is to follow Jesus in spite of what they have gone through in the past or what they are going through in the present. There are so many people to help, and I don’t think I will have time doing anything else but simply living as Jesus lived.
Bob confesses (as he laughs), That’s a lot more pleasant than I would say, Walker.
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From Bob’s book—SAILING THROUGH THE OCEAN OF LIFE