Do you ever feel like you are a long way from God?
You wake up one day and you wonder, ... How in the world did I ever get this far away from Him. How did I ever get here?
Deep within your heart, when you hear truth, you know it.
When you hear someone utter the words of Jesus, you hear a confirming voice within you that screams, "YES, THAT'S TRUTH!" And you know it.
It makes you wish but for a moment that you could get back to where you know you ought to be ... but in disappointment, you hang your head and quickly give up the idea, because you know ... You Can't Live The Christian Life.
Well, that's me, over and over and over in my life.
Friend of mine, I have learned most things the hard way. It seemed I just lived to test things out so I could hit my thumb with every swing of the hammer. I have failed God in so many ways, everyday when I tried to live Churchianity. Slowly, I have learned that I was never supposed to try to live the "Christian Life". Rather, I was to yield my life to Him so that He might live it through me. The Bible teaches this VERY CLEARLY ... but Oh NO, I had other ideas.
Yielding your life to Christ really does change everything. But that's not what I set out to say to you this morning.
I want to get back to that voice you may hear inside you. Perhaps that voice hears the truth of Christ and you are quietly saying YES, THAT'S TRUTH. I mean, you don't want anyone to hear you and totally think your fruit loops. Actually, I don't even care about that any more. It is a foregone conclusion!
Perhaps you have accepted Christ as your Savior and you know your life isn't what it ought to be ... but you keep hearing the voice inside confirming you when you do something RIGHT, something GOOD or when you hear TRUTH. You will also hear that voice speaking to you in a VERY different way when you do things you shouldn't.
Did you ever think of thanking God that you can even hear that voice? That is the Holy Spirit living inside you as proof that you already HAVE eternal life with Christ ... OR it is the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin and calling you to accept Christ so that you CAN HAVE eternal life with Christ.
Either way, God is trying to talk to YOU! That's right! The God of the Universe isn't trying to hide. God is trying to get to you.
The effort of man trying to get to God is called "religion".
The effort of God trying to get to man is called "Christmas".
Would it surprise you to know that I don't believe in religion, at all? I believe in a person. Christ alone.
Listen to Lord Have Mercy and read the words. Is that you? Have you built other gods in your life? Have you avoided Him? Call on Him! He is there and He WILL rush to you.
Back to the voice! I know I have eternal life (John 3:16, 1 John 5:13). So, I know exactly what that voice is in my life. That is the Holy Spirit guiding me when I am off track. It is proof positive I am going to heaven (Hebrews 13:5). And I am NOT kiding myself. I know VERY WELL that I don't deserve it. It is only because of Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).
So today, I just want to encourage you. If you hear that voice, ... if you do nothing else, THANK GOD that you hear it. Most people do not appear to hear it.
To those of you who have never heard that voice ... I am aware that you may think I am from the undiscovered planet of Zinnon and that they may have held me under the water too long during swimming lessons ... but I challenge you to earnestly pray ... "God ... IF ... you are really out there ... help me to find you." Revelation 3:20.
Also, remember, ... the road back to God can begin for you right now. God isn't trying to hide from you. He is calling you to Him. No matter how many times you fall flat on your face ... He's there. How do I know? Let's just say my face is fairly flat and well covered with egg. Jesus is calling you. Will you come?
Read Luke 15:11-32 and have a great day.
Thank you for sharing a wonderful song this morning. You bless my life by sharing Christ's love. You are the best.
WOW! I needed to read this. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing this great post! I too hear our God's voice, and I am so grateful to Him that He talks to me like He does! I truly praise Him for this!
God's Blessings to you,
Thank you, Stephen, for your awesome post! I hear Him, and I pray for the strength and courage to stand up and follow Jesus every day. Keep up your strong witness for the Lord! I needed that song today. :)
Thank you. You touched my heart and soul. I will try harder.
Moving exhortation to the Body....Thank you for sharing it ...Praying it would fall on good ground....
In Him, Ella
Moving exhortation to the Body....Thank you for sharing it ...
Thank you for sharing and baring your heart.
I never wanted to live the Christian life because I thought they were way too stiff! We don't need to fit into a box we can be who we were created to be in Christ Jesus. I am an out of the box type of person and when I saw the box Christian I ran! But our God is so gracious He told me that I don't need to fit in that silly old box that I can be me and that drew me into His arms and into a God centered life. I too have fallen flat on my face so many times that I have scars that our God can see but that is ok for He loves me anyway.
My prayer is that people will see the truth of who Jesus is. Satan has really painted a bad picture of God, a lie that repells people. I pray that this lie is broken and the scales from peoples eyes will fall off so they can see the real heart of God and just how much He really loves and likes us just as we are right now with all the bagage that we carry. He accepts us just the way we are. If we are messed up in drugs and such He loves us and wants us to come home and He in His wonderful love and mercy will change us for we do not have to do a thing but accept Him for who He is and accept His gift.
Bless you Steve for stepping out, you are shinging with His light.
Very beautiful and inspiring Stephen...thank you.
Thx for the follow. Always glad to see a fellow Christ Follow. You have a gift and I see that you are using it to the fullest!
My face is rather flat as well . . . Good for us he's a living, loving, merciful God. Terrific post, Steve.
Excellent post for those who have been there, done that as well. I have learned that if you are concerned about hearing God it is proof positive that you are within HIS care, otherwise you wouldn't care at all.
On a side note, I was looking through some of your photos and the one of you, taken by your wife, where you were standing on a hillside with the sun behind you, arms raised in praise, was awesome. I enjoy all your photo's but THAT one touched my heart.
I could so relate to not being all that Christ has called me to be but loved that you pointed out if we hear God's voice convicting us, then we still know we are HIS! I like that encouraging word.
i had years when that's about all i could do with the voice. God was patient in my life. i do believe the mere act of thanking Him for His presence is significant.
i find that encouragement is a major reason that causes me to listen to things that are painfully revealing. i don't want someone to just point out my flaws. i am looking for ways to encourage others that are Biblically based. the road back to God is not a long complicated thing. i know i just turn ... and He's there.
be encouraged in all you do. nothing can earn salvation but you we labor to say thanks.
child of God,
you make many good points. i resonate with the celebration of our uniqueness. i can't be someone else. i gotta be me! i see so many talented people in all walks of life and i think ... i wish i could do that! but the Creator God isn't looking for boring robotic people. He created us with the ability to choose and He made all very unique. God needs us to be different in order to reach to others. many people i know wouldn't give me the time of day to discuss this stuff. i flat out turn them off! that's ok. God will have to use someone else, like YOU to reach them.
rose, thank you for that comment about that photo. i stood there for that photo because it is how i wish to be remembered when they stick me in a hole in the ground. i won't be in that hole. i will be with the glory surrounding the King of Kings.
that photo was for my family.
We will reach them together, you in your little corner and me in mine. You speak huge volumes and sometimes it is just a little word that starts the ball rolling. Ripples!
Day By day!Every day I woke up and try my best to live the life god wants me to.I have regard for my life and the lives of others,There are days I do better tham others.Thank The Lord for all you do right and ask for inprovement on all else!
Remember ONLY GOD is Perfect!
Peace and LOVE!
Thank-you! This post is beautiful!
This is so powerful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing. Your photos are amazing.
i luv you to death. thanks for being honest. get YOUR bible and read ephesians 2:8-9.
no mattter how much we try ... we fail. it is all grace. we don't earn salvation. we can't do enough.
pray, dear Jesus, i am a sinner. i have failed you. take control of my life. make me who you want me to be!
i luv ya dj trish.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I was just praying last night over my son because he's struggling for the first time in his life about "churchianity." I prayed specifically for a way to show him that questioning is normal. I'm going to have him read this. Maybe...just maybe it'll be the turning point. If he hears how you have struggled, and realizes it's the same struggle he has, it might lead him back. At least...I hope! I can't help but feel that this post is an answer to prayer.
i am a pastors son. my father also taught at the moody bible institute in chicago. but i gotta tell ya ... my words won't mean that much to your dear son.
keep livin' life with him because in the end, it's your words that will matter and should matter to him.
prayers for you and for him. may God make him strong through doubts and trials.
just tell him that i think he is so lucky because this world is so full of parents who don't give a rip.
press on! you are doin' great.
God bless you.
In a world when Truth is being muffled out, it's refreshing to hear someone like you speak from life's lessons.
I think I relate to a lot of what you said. My face is flat too. I'm going to remember that part where you said, "Slowly, I have learned that I was never supposed to try to live the 'Christian Life'. Rather, I was to yield my life to Him so that He might live it through me."
Those are words of wisdom. God bless Stephen. Thanks for sharing.
Thank God I hear that voice. And thanks for the reminder. I cannot imagine my life without Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Like you, I'm a sinner and recognize that Jesus is my saving grace. Steve, may God continue to bless you in your efforts to share His love.
Very inspiring NikonSniper. I am glad that you acknowlegde Jesus Christ. I have a hard time with organized religion these days... with the imperfection of people it is almost a distraction from Christlike behavior. When someone in religion believes that they have power and authority over someone else they also believe that they are better than others and it becomes easy to judge.
I really like your take on things. I need to be better at listening to the spirit and keep spirituality personal.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi, my friend! I share your comment! Good-bye
He called my name. He knew. I was lost and desperate, I called His name and He was there.
great great post. Sometimes churchy folk like me need to remember to let go of the worries of the next pot-luck get together, and get back to to relationship/communication with my Savior.
You express yourself well. Good luck in your journey through life. We could all use a little more Christianity and a little less religion!
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