Thursday, October 12, 2006

More of My Story

More of My Story

Part of my "story" is that I was a very legalistic person for the first few years as Christian. I was a youth pastor and would teach how we were to try to keep ourselves pure to keep our holiness.

I came to a point when I realized that I was teaching one standard and living another... I would teach that God's standard was like a high bar and the higher the bar, the more we pleased God. I am not saying all AoG teach this. The one I had previously attended the pastor was one of the most humble and godly men I have ever know. We still keep in touch and he does not agree with me either...

Yet, in this church there was a lot that was not right... there was the "blab it and grab it bunch" who held the pastor in bondage with their tithes. We were sort of a striped and polka dotted, pink, red, black and blue sort of church. I was influenced and very heavy on the progressive sanctification teaching of John Wesley.

As I said I taught to aim high on the high bar, yet found myself doing all the "right" things, prayer (at least 1 hour more is better), 1 hour Bible reading (more is better, Praying in tongues as much as possible, keep a prayer journal and still not reaching the standard I set for others.

I found though that the one, who spoke in tongues the most, had a dirtiest mouth; the one who "blabbed it and grabbed it" was working her husband to death and was the biggest gossip. I am not saying these things are related, only that where sin was Grace did abound. Somehow these people seemed to think of themselves as "right with God" and when I slipped up I was not. So, one learned to hide their true self n fear of losing position.

I thought my last prayer to God would be, "You better show me what I am missing, cuz I can't live like this anymore. I don't want to be a schizophrenic Christian." That is when I heard this man on the radio preach Grace... and I hated him with a great passion. I can relate to Paul and his zealousness as I wanted to destroy this man and his ministry for lying! The more he taught the more I searched out the scriptures... I read his book and was not fully convinced... then I read through Hebrews. I was very careful to let the arguments build in context... rechecking the context over and over to see if the main verses that I used to teach one could fall away and lose salvation came from Hebrews 6 and 10.

When I finished I was astounded that these verses were actually about people like me, that I was not trusting in the fullness of Christ. I am not saying I was not saved, but I was not walking in the fullness of God' Grace.

This is the hardest part of the story for me to tell... But as I finished Hebrews, I heard God ask, "What is keeping you from accepting what you have just learned?"... I answered with out hesitation with one word... and it startled me... "Pride".

I was and still do struggle with pride. Yet I depend not on myself, but on God's Grace. I see that we are to imitate Jesus' relationship with the Father... Where many call the miracles of Jesus, should be saying the miracles of God, through Jesus. As in John 5: 19. Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

We are to be totally dependant on Jesus for all things. To let He who gave His life for us, give His Life to us, to Live His Life through us. We are a New Creation... behold all things have been made new.

As I walk in this way, I do not battle hatred or anger, unless I let the situation get the better of me, which does happen at times. Yet, the person I was is not the person I am now.

Now you know the rest of the story,


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