Summary: All My Life. All For Him.
If I could change one thing
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I remember a while back, I was on a Sabbatical for the summer months. I needed to spend some time refocusing and reenergizing my spirit. I spent the summer visiting a number of churches and connecting with the people there. It was a great experience for me as I had the opportunity to see how other churches and other people connect with Christ.
During my time, I located a church, Life Fellowship, that was okay by my standards.
Just so every one of us is on the same page; allow me to share my thoughts with you leading up to that church service. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my life. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about direction. That’s not anything new to me either. In the journey of life, we are all heading somewhere and I am one of those kinds of people who really like knowing where I am going.
While I admit that my life isn’t where I expect it to be, I like to exercise some control. First and foremost, I want to know what I should be doing and not sitting around doing nothing. I want to be in a church and serve the church. I want to shepherd people and love them.
When I think about my life though, I tend to think about the negatives alongside the positives. Yes, I’ve served in the church for a number of years. Yes, I have a degree and yes I actually have a job that I don’t hate for the first time in many years.
Then I think about the struggles I face. I think about the fact that yes, I face opposition from within the body of Christ. I think, probably too much about the other believers out there who have taken their stand against me. That is the by-product of living in a fallen world. I have sinned and continue to and the principles of those sins affect others. Sometimes, it affects others in way of judgment and slander against you; sometimes it affects others through hurt and mistrust.
It’s not easy to face opposition, regardless of whether or not the opposition comes from the enemy or those who claim to believe and follow Christ but accuse and condemn you. They pay no attention to Scriptures that call for unity, and to not slander or say anything that does not bring encouragement.
The sad reality is that we are fallen and live with the cancer of sin, which is slowly eroding our lives away. The sin does nothing good and while the grace of God covers our sins, its effects live on.
So, here I am, sitting all alone in church, when the pastor calls everyone up to take communion. I go to the front, get a piece of bread and juice and return to my seat. Silently I sit while the remainder of the church gathers their communion, and I simply begin to pray. It felt good to be in the presence of the Almighty again.
As I was praying, I felt the Lord say to me, “I am drawing you closer.” I was blown away because I knew it was the voice of God. I knew his voice and I knew he was speaking to me. Those words meant more to me than anything because I feel such distance most of the time. I feel like I let God down with my lack of prayer and devotional life style. I feel like I’ve allowed other things to become idols in my life and God has to play second.
I continued to sit there in silence when I heard him speak again, “Let it go.” The dreaded words I needed to hear from a loving Father. I need to let it go-everything-the hurt that I have caused and the hurt that has come my way. I have to let go of my plans and my hope to be a pastor of a church. I have to let go of my desire to plan out sermon series. I have to let go of my plans for community groups and allow God to be God in my life. I need to let go of my frustrations with everything that is wrong with my life and realize that God is on the throne and God is in control.
I need to let go of my false sense of insecurity and know that Jesus is holding me through the storms of life I am facing. I need to let go of the hope I place in financial status and know that God holds tomorrow.