There was a time when I was young and foolish riding on the winds of desire and prosperity, now I am old, rejoicing only in the light of His glory. We all have a story to tell. Some stories would shock our sensibilities while others might help us to recall our own struggles if we were honest. Contrary to our earlier experiences in the home of our blessed parents we all tend to go in our own direction realized by the eventual outcome of our siblings and childhood friends. The winds of change can be harsh and unforgiving in a world that is quickly rejecting the moral imperatives of our religious upbringing. We all have a story to tell even if some of our anchors are more secure than others in our early ethical teachings about what is right and wrong. As we recall the horror of wrong choices it’s most difficult to put them into words, but essential to realize just how far we have come by the grace of God. Being cast into a world of lawlessness and unimaginable evil it’s a wonder that my very brief homelessness on the streets of New York City didn’t leave an irrevocable mark on my consciousness. Each step of the way, unknown at the time, God gracefully brought forth deliverance from the horrific consequences of a life gone astray. Although there would be more years ahead of wrong choices and their inevitable consequences, in time the path ahead would become clear.
Some say, “Christianity is a crutch,” for the lame and the bewildered. However, concerning the true meaning of life, it is much more than a crutch, because it enables us to take our first steps into the light. We had heard the old, old story many years ago as a child about the gift of God that would give us a glorious new life in Christ. However, it took the witness of a blessed woman in my employ to remind me about the glorious new life in Christ that I was visibly missing. This day of praying to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior would open the door to an amazing journey. Although the journey would be filled with deep valleys and tall mountains, it would put me on a path that would see the hand of God miraculously working in my life every step of the way. In the beginning, it’s been a life of intense study from Seminary to the pastoral ministry allowing God to write His indisputable words on my heart, it was the journey that put them into practice, realizing that my life was being transformed. Yes, God was using His anointed words in the Bible, but also every experience and every blessed person who came into my life brought forth great change. From entertaining angels unaware to witnessing the power of His healing miracles when praying for others in the Spirit, God has been at work in my life growing me spiritually from one degree of glory to another (II Corinthians 3:18). God is transforming my life into a brand-new creation where old things have truly passed away (II Corinthians 5:17).
What may have seemed like a crutch in the beginning was in reality a message that changed my life inevitably. Hopefully, every believer understands the message of the Cross where Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, born of a virgin, chose to die on the Cross as an atonement, an acceptable sacrifice, for the sins of all humanity for those who believe in His death and resurrection from the dead in three days. As believers, we follow Christ in His death on the Cross as we die to self, our old sin nature, and are raised with Christ from the grave by putting on our new life in Christ. In faith, we follow Jesus Christ in the total transformation of our life into a new creation. In faith, we trust in God exclusively to give us everything we need for life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4), to be transformed into the perfect image of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This has been an amazing journey of learning that we can’t, but He can, which is the next big step into the light of God’s glory. Jesus Christ is more than a Savior and Redeemer; He is more than our Lord; He is our helper. Without Christ in our lives, then change would be impossible, and transformation would never be a reality. We can’t, but He can by trusting in God exclusively to lead us into the light of His glory.
Trusting in God exclusively is a major step, unfortunately leaving many professed believers behind either slipping deeper into the pit of normalcy or drifting back into the world controlled by the powers of darkness. As life progresses there are inevitable consequences, not only from our choices but from the choices of others, that can lead to times of unparalleled grief and suffering. There were times when the depth of depression came knocking on the door of my heart where I am now long past the many tears of grief. On our journey to the light of God’s glory, most will be faced with another decision to seek God’s exclusive counsel or seek counsel from the fallen world of mankind. Thank God, His beloved counsel has lifted me out of the pit of despair many glorious times solidifying my trust in God exclusively. Over the years I have learned that there are many different occasions where we are put into a position where we must trust in God exclusively. In the beginning, it was not always easy. There was a time when I was attempting to help a distraught person in his empty apartment who was possessed by an evil spirit. With the hairs standing up on the back of my head, I called aloud to my God who quickly intervened in the situation delivering the man and giving me further guidance on how to help. Trusting in God exclusively is a major step in our journey.
Stepping out on faith and trusting in God exclusively can bring forth the greatest blessings beyond our wildest imagination. In my first pastorate while driving along the avenue I spotted a dirty and disheveled old man walking on the side, and almost immediately I felt in my spirit that I should inquire of his needs. After inviting him to our home for a hot meal and an invitation to spend the night in our spare room, I was shocked to learn that he was a retired priest walking to a retreat in the mountains of our little town. It was not long before I realized that we were entertaining an angel unaware telling me things I have treasured in my heart to this day. All glory to God. I have witnessed God’s little miracles, such as working all things together for good, many times throughout the years and even once experienced the multiplying of food on an insufficient table of provisions. Perhaps it is the occasional healing miracles that mostly amaze me of His wonderful working power in His wounded children. I don’t ever pray unless I feel led to do so in the name of Jesus Christ. When I do pray for a person that I can reach out and gently touch in the name of Christ, it is a wonder to hear them cry out that they have been healed. Although I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit, I never use them for show, often in private, and only for the good of God’s children in the Kingdom. With every single experience, another truth is learned from the Spirit and one step further is made into the light of God’s glory.
Well, I am older now and with the exception of my writings I am retired from the pastoral ministry, but the journey continues. As I step further into the light, I have witnessed the deplorable situation of the fallen world. My greatest sadness, however, is the great falling away of those who claim to be believers in Christ. I can prophesy about what I see now and what is soon coming upon the whole world, but I am afraid it will not change the inevitable. I can share the gospel with my family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances but I will always leave the initial calling up to God and the choice to those who hear it through my written messages or in a face-to-face contact. I pray that all who hear this message will join me as we step together into the light of God’s glory. It is a wonderful place to be to hear His still small voice like beautiful music enlarging our hearts. It is a wonder to witness all of His miracles that bring great joy to the depths of our hearts. Most of all it is a wonder to experience His amazing love flowing through us to others. It is a wonder to experience His peace that defies understanding. As we walk in the glory of God’s light, we know with all assurance no matter how bad it gets God will always be with us, He will never leave us or forsake us. Finally, with all the brief pain and suffering I have experienced on the journey I would not trade this wonderful life that God has given to me for anything in the world. I am stepping into the light of God’s glory. I hope that you join me.
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