My Spiritual Journey
And there it was, staring at it for some time gave no leeway whatsoever. It was simple, straightforward, and brutal in its pure truth. I am speaking of Luke 6:46, “Why do ye call me Lord, Lord, but do not the things I say?” This scripture put me on the first of many paths. However, it was not the beginning. No, I first believed at the age of 8. Then, I received a calling to ministry at 14.
So, what took me so long to realize it? As chief amongst the Christians who got things wrong, I was a poster boy for everything wrong in a Christian walk. I fooled myself into thinking I could maintain a true walk with God while being of the flesh. I played professional heavy metal, destroyed my marriage, and hurt those around me with selfishness. My eyes couldn’t see it, and my emotions were so deep and dark I didn’t allow myself to feel. So much pride and puffed-up personality, and so easily angered, those who loved me were too afraid to tell me what I was doing wrong. And, of course, I had no ability to hear them.
Don’t ask me why, but God still used me through it. My calling was real, the gifts for it were real, but the servant wasn’t. So I learned, “Be authentic, not something you are not.” I needed to be the person I pretended to be. I knew so much about Jesus. That was what I thought was important for eternal life, and it is. However, it is only halfway. It was much more important that Jesus knows who I am, as Matthew 7:22 says. I am a guy who believed, zealous even. I knew him, but he knew me not. My fruit was rotten from a flesh-like walk. My testimony was the testimony of a Nicolaitan, full of sinful compromise.
While reading Psalms 5, I realized I was doing evil. I was telling what I thought were white lies even and especially to myself. Exhibiting haughty behavior, thinking God loved me despite my iniquities, so it was okay. It’s a terrible heresy.
I didn’t realize how good God is. His justice from the fact of his goodness. I only believed in his love, his grace, but not his majestic goodness. God is so good that he hates “all who do evil.” Yet, there is John 3:16! God loves us so much. I weighed in on these two scriptures like an apologetics teacher in Ratio Christi. In my conclusion, both are the infallible word of God, so both are true. I pictured God holding back his wrath from my evil with his hand full of grace while beckoning me to him with the other.
At CLI for Ministry Training and Equipping
Next was a big question, how can I repent and stay there? I had so many habitual sins. The answer was impossible without God. I literally had to give myself over, not just my belief, not just all my gifts. I had to give all the bad things I kept secret, thinking I hid them from an omniscient, omnipotent God.
Finally, I gave everything over to God until I found myself face down on the floor. I asked a simple question with a fervent heart, “What will you have me do, Lord?” (I could finally honestly say, Lord) The Lord’s reply was scripture as always. Distinctly, I heard like thunder in my spirit, “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations.” And then quietly and with calm assurance, “Equip yourself.”
Those words brought me to the Christian Leaders Institute for ministry training and equipping. I am on God’s mission, 40 years after being called. I have learned to wait on him so God won’t ever need to wait on me again!