So I know I said I would post something regarding what I learned while in the wilderness, however, this had to come first. Earlier this week I was really convicted. Convicted because of my doubt, my worry. To my shame I still struggle with doubt, and as a result, that issue permeated throughout the rest of my life. Just this past Monday I still felt uncomfortable around my friends. I still felt like I didn't belong, I still felt like a liar.
Tuesday I prayed to God after hearing a sermon from Greg Laurie. A verse from Jeremiah stuck out to me. Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." I had always thought that crying out to God was foolish. To ask Him for a sign made you weak, however, the very character from the bible that I relate to was made strong by this "weakness". Doubting Thomas was made strong because of his doubt. The Lord went on to say though, that Blessed is he who does not see and believes.
I cried out to God this morning. It was at that point He shattered me. It was at that point I realized how badly I needed Him. No amount of ministry, christian friends, or success was going to get me His grace. I already had it. It belonged to me, I simply had to believe. So this morning I prayed the most honest prayer I have every prayed in my life. I asked God to forgive me of my unbelief, thanked Him for my belief and told Him I refused to look for signs, I refused to rely on my eyes to see Him. At that point I was parked at work. Then I asked Him to speak to me. So I grabbed my devotional book, but then quickly put it down. God speaks to us everyday I realized. The bible isn't just the bible, it is HIS WORD. HIS WORD! Read it and guess what, He is speaking to you! I don't need a fancy devo from some smart scholar, I just need the word. I had no idea what to read, so I just kept reading a book I was already finishing. Titus. He spoke, LOUD AND CLEAR! It was so awesome. I can't even describe it. I knew it was Him. I had my moment. Finally!
Here is the verse: Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
God is amazing.
So I have two things I want to tell you and two challenges for you. First thing. Unless lead to, I will no longer use this blog as a way to throw my doubts and worries around. I refuse. I am done talking about it, now it's time to do something about it. Time to let Him work. Second, I will no longer blog on anything outside of His will. What he says to me, what he speaks, is what I'll type. Nothing more, nothing less.
My first challenge to you, well it is actually a cry for help from a brother. If you ever hear me speak of doubt or worry, slap me, please, then pray. :-)
"The weakest faith in Christ is more liberating than the strongest faith in anything else" - Tim Keller. Secondly, when you get a moment, check out a sermon from a man by the name of Timothy Keller, it is called "Doubt: What to do with all my doubts". This man truly is blessed. He has something for everyone.
I pray that you might be encouraged by my little mini-story. I know I have said this a thousand times, but I really am finished with it. I gave it up, finally, to God. Stepping out in faith now. Whatever happens from here on, is His. In a sense, now I can finally say without a doubt, I am saved. I am His. Done deal. Love you guys!
Oh, and don't worry, the next post will be on the ranch experience, I promise.