I grew up in church. Every Sunday we were there as a family doing the ‘church thing’. I saw many hypocrites, it was a very religious environment void of any discussion of relationship with our Lord and Savior. I did not like it and had no use for it. What I saw and experienced there would drive me far from the Fathers’ house.
That all changed on March 3rd, 2001. It was a Saturday and I remember it as clear as a bell. I went to the men’s breakfast at church, yes, I was attending again because Our Father has been drawing me back to Him heavily. I went to update our associate pastor on my call to minister at the races when my dam of desperation broke and I was welcomed back into the arms of a loving Father. On my knees sobbing, I gave my life to Christ. I was changed forever that day.
Thirteen years later, I could not imagine what my life would be like without my relationship with our heavenly Father. He is my source, my direction, my rock, my strong place. I can go to Him at any moment and have His complete attention, He loves me unconditionally, even when I mess up.
If you find yourself in a place of desperation, a place of not knowing what or where or who, turn your eyes to our Father in heaven, talk with Him, walk with Him and your life will never be the same…I guarantee it!
by Os Hillman
“These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:7
One of the great tragedies of the Christian life is that if we fail to enter into a relationship with God that is born of the Holy Spirit, we are left with a religion, not a relationship. Many a person today lives with an intellectual belief in God, but without a relationship that is based on two-way communication. This is the greatest tragedy of all. It’s like having a brand-new car but never having the gas to run it. It can’t move you anywhere. It only looks pretty, but one cannot enjoy the ride or smell the newness inside.
Peter tells us that until our faith is proved genuine, we will never be able to give praise, glory, and honor to Jesus, because until such testing He will not be revealed in our lives. Peter describes this in the verse before: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Pet. 1:6). Trials are designed to bring us to a level of trust and experience with God that we would never know otherwise. These “faith experiences” with God allow us to know firsthand the faithfulness of God, the love of God, and the personal nature of God. If you cannot recount several instances when God has met you personally, then chances are your faith has not been born of the Holy Spirit into a living relationship with God. It is easy to fall prey to a relationship to God that never experiences His real presence; rather, it is based on knowledge only. This is a tragic place to be.
If this is where you have been in your Christian experience, ask God today to make Himself real to you. Ask Him to show you His personal nature and love. He desires to do this. Those whom He has called know His voice. He will show Himself to those who are His. “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him” (Jn. 14:21b).