I was raised in a Christian home. I went to a Christian school. I asked
Jesus to be my Saviour at a fairly young age. I followed all the rules. I
was a real good kid. But there was a problem. I was bored and depressed. I
was all ready to go to Heaven -- all I had to do was wait around until the
end of the world, which everyone assured me would be any day now. The older
I got, the more miserable I became.
Then, about a year and a half ago, God began to show me what the problem was.
It started when Ron, the pastor of the church I attend, gave us a series of
sermons which all related to one thing: the real goal of the church, which
is maturity. I didn't know what it meant to be spiritually mature, so I
began to search through the Bible. I wanted to know what maturity meant. I
wanted to know how to get there. As I searched, God showed me a little bit
more and a little bit more. The more He showed me, the more I realized how
insufficient my faith had been. The more I saw, the more I wanted to see.
I started to see just how much of the religion I was raised with was just
the doctrines of men. I had faith in what generations of men who had lived
before me had said and done, but no idea at all of what was really important.
You've probably heard the expression, "He can't see the forest for the trees."
Well, with me it was that I couldn't see Christ for the church. Everything
that the organization had taught had been the dead works of the flesh. The
words of men passed down from generation to generation.
And God showed me what was really important. Christ. Not just the
historical figure of Jesus the outside fact of what He had done to
save me but the present-day Spirit of Christ, inside me, right here,
right now. The actual presence of the Living God whose desire it is to
intimately communicate with each one of us. Then I got really excited. I
made my goal the same as that of the apostle Paul in
Philippians 3:10-11: "That I may know [Christ], and the power of His
resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable
unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the
Over this last year and a half, I have seen God work in ways I never would
have imagined. And it hasn't been easy. At times it's been painful and scary.
I had no job, and I knew in my head that God would provide me with something,
but in my heart, I still worried. He has given me a better
job than I could have imagined I would get. I've
been isolated from my closest friends, but God blessed me with a godly
woman to encourage me. I've
had other Christians tell me that the things which God has been showing me
are too spiritual, intimating that that barren religion that used to
be all I knew is the only way to be a Christian. But God has been renewing
my mind. And every day I look forward to His continued working.
It's the greatest thing in the world to realize that I don't have to wait
until I'm dead to be with God. I can enjoy Christ right now. And praise be
to God, you can too.
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