Summary: Will you allow God to transform you so that what transpires in your life inspires?
I had a dear friend comment on something I posted on Facebook thanking me for sharing my life as my writings are inspiring. Below is what I replied and hopefully it will be inspiring to someone as well.
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
That is only because of Jesus. Flawed and weak as I am, my writings would be much, much different if it were not for Him. Whatever transpires in my life that inspires comes from Him. Whatever doesn’t inspire comes from me.
Indeed, if someone did a study of my sermons they would see a change in the last couple of years after I heard God say, “Will you let me be God?” He has also allowed me some insight to who I am without Him and that has created a desire to be more edifying in my writing.
Having spent so much time in a group that preaches grace on one hand, but lives in judgment and condemnation, I do sometimes have a relapse. While I would not change much of the content of my past sermons, I would change the delivery. While being bold and direct is how much of the Gospel was preached, it was not preached with the tenor that my peers and I have oft delivered it.
We tended to forget where we came from and to remember how frail we are and how good we were at hiding that frailty to maintain some form of perfection in our appearance. After all, a preacher must be perfect and we cannot allow our members to see our weaknesses or they will not respect us.
Sadly, that kind of mentality leads to hypocrisy and self-righteousness excusing our own sin while bashing other people’s sins. Instead of using compassionate language for the sinner and harsh words for the Pharisees and Sadducees we reversed it and became rude and crude in the name of boldness and taking a stand.
Indeed, our Bible sword was long and honed to be able to split hairs from a spider, but was made out of rubber as we studied and applied it to our own lives. We would rejoice as we lopped off the head of the ungodly and the backslid, but would not even allow it to mess up one strand of our own hair. We cared not who we offended be it sinner or weak sheep. We were men of God showing no quarter to the enemy, not realizing that in all our purported boldness we were as much an enemy to the Gospel as the devil for we did not portray Jesus as Savior extending arms of forgiveness in grace.as is His mission in this age.
We wanted to be the Judge and it is with judgment He returns and we do not have the call to bear that sword. We are called to rescue and redeem. Yes, speaking the truth in LOVE and calling sin, what it is, but not in the harshness we so often used. You can warn someone of sin and righteousness, but it should be because you want to lead them to salvation from Hell, not snicker and be glad if they do die lost.
I had asked God to purge me so He could use me more. Had I known what that would entail, I would not have asked for that , but I am glad I did. It has changed my life and is still changing it. Indeed, I have so much left to be purged that I am astounded He even wants to bother with me, but then that is the love and grace I thought I knew about after my conversion in ’75. I was a babe thinking I was a sage on the subject.
There are several things that have been spoken over me that I have yet to see, but I look forward to the day when they come to pass. I once wanted to be like Paul and Peter looking only at their victories, not their failures and the process of their tempering. I do have many of their weaknesses.
That was another of my flaws, wanting to be like men instead of being like Jesus. We are called to be conformed to His image. not the heroes of the faith. Indeed, that hinders our growth for we are not called to their ministry for their time, but for our ministry in this time. That means we will be shaped differently and Jesus will manifest Himself in us and to us the way He wants to work with our generation. We are to learn from their example, but we are His work for this time. They are light, but as the darkness deepens in our time God may make our lives much brighter than theirs so that we can see clearly in the deepest, darkest caverns to bring His love and salvation to the people dwelling in that darkness.