“How it Began, How It Continues, & Wherever God’s Going with It…”
Many in the worldly understanding would consider and base your Christian life off of how old they are literally, how long they have attended a church building for services, or who they claim to be because of a title or something of that sort to explain how they ‘became’ or ‘are’ a Christian; but that’s not how the Holy Spirit showed me. It clearly says that God looks at the heart in the Scriptures, so for someone to say they’ve been ‘saved’ for so many years matter-of-factly is really difficult to determine with their own understanding because only God truly knows the hearts of His own (1Samuel 16:7; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; 1 Samuel 2:3; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Job 10:4). With that being said, I am not going to tell you how long I’ve been ‘saved’ or when it all began because really, as time went on in my walk with the Lord, I realized I was walking with Him from the beginning (I just didn’t know it was Him speaking to me at the time; as I wasn’t taught that God spoke, nor anything about the Holy Spirit). There were many times I didn’t listen to His leading (and I paid the price for my actions); but many times in my life, I realized He was the Guide in my choices; as He knew where my life would end up. As I matured more in Him, He would bring up past events in my life that I never considered was Him all along, directing me for what was to come.
Ultimately, what it boiled down to was, when HE decided to really get a hold of me for good (John 15:16). And when I mean good (no pun intended), I mean when He wanted me to take Him seriously, learn to walk away from my sinful nature (through obeying Him completely—repenting), learn from HIS teachings through Scripture and everyday life experiences guided by Him alone instead, and grow in HIS understanding of what real love is through pain and sufferings under trial for His Son’s glory and His own glory as well (John 12:28; Matthew 11:25-27; 17:5). These trials are what refine a person to be more like Him, as long as they’re willing to listen to God’s ways of handling the situations He confronts you with. THIS is what brings both Him and His Son glory, and what pleases Him. The Holy Spirit is the One who assists you through this refinement.
It’s similar to the process of chemical refinement however, from a spiritual understanding. Our ‘chemical makeup’ is actually a spirit. But when that spirit is effected by God’s affliction sometimes through physical means, a natural causing (Isaiah 53:1-12) or by dark elements/spirits leading the fleshly nature away from His holy way which are an added causing then the element will either be destroyed or be purified by God’s holy presence. If purified and the inner impurities are removed, then the purity can shine through (His pure nature) and make clear to others what they are lacking in order to handle good and evil rightly. Usually when discussing impurities in science, the threshold level is often lower at an impure site. Relating this in spiritual terms—when one is impure, their ways of deciphering or judging what is good and evil is lacking in understanding or true judgment, and is at a lower standard, the motives are selfish in nature (James 3:13-18; Isaiah 5:20-21).
I thank the Lord for choosing me to go through all the refinements necessary to be more like Him and to know Him better. This process has taken me away from my former career in healthcare. It has thrown out the window all that I thought I knew from my education from the world on into my college degree and beyond. This walk has challenged me in putting my most important relationship first (with God) and ridding of the ones that don’t promote the goodness of God. It has removed all things out of my life that aren’t pleasing to Him. And most importantly, it has changed me, transformed me into who I was always supposed to be. My identity has been truly revealed and rightly placed in God (Ephesians 2:10; John 1:12-13; 15:15; Colossians 3:3-4). Now, I no longer wonder who I am and what I was put on this earth for. The purpose has been made clear—to God be the glory.
I won’t say it’s been easy by no means. I’ve gone from walking away completely from my old life. I was tested and tried in trusting Him and allowing faith to grow in me through His ways. From emptying my bank account to nothing, walking away from all my possible help (friends and family), to getting rid of all that I had, to not having a stable home and instead traveling and staying with whom God leads for me to stay with, to being persecuted by strangers because I preached what God showed to say, to being rejected by my family because they didn’t understand God’s ways, and ALL to the glory of God! And, much done while still a single woman (until God placed a Godly man in my life that He commanded me to love and marry). I know some may not be required to walk through things that I have, but it has been said, “to who much is given, much is required,” (Luke 12:48)—meaning, to be given much of God, there is much required to receive all that He has to offer. He requires a time of testing and refining in order to be prepared for the glory of Himself (Exodus 33:17-19; John 14:21; Isaiah 40:1-31). I thank God that He has continued to strengthen me in His power through my weakness, as I now and will proceed to receive more of Him because after all, He is everything. God is the inheritance I have sought for, much greater than anything this world has to offer…well worth the cost (Luke 14:26-33).