Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exploring the Word

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope
without wavering, for He who promised is
faithful." - (Hebrews 10:23)

So at the end of Part I, the day came when I felt ready to turn my life over to Jesus, and as the invitation was given on the program I was watching, I put my hand on the TV screen, repeated the sinner’s prayer, and asked Him to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I accepted the gift of salvation with the unwavering faith of a little child, and as I continued to spend time in the Word, I accepted every other promise just as unwaveringly. It was like God said it, so I believe it!

Slowly, slowly, the Bible was becoming my authority, and when I saw what it said about the importance of fellowship with other believers, and of being part of a body, I decided to look for a church to attend. What an eye opener that was. Up to that point I had thought that all believers believed the same thing, but that's not the way it was at all. Never in my wildest imagination could I have conceived how much division I was about to encounter.

There were believers, for example, who praised the Lord loudly and joyfully, singing and dancing before Him like David in the Old Testament must have done(2 Samuel 6:14), whereas other believers said that was a no-no, and frowned upon the practice of raising hands or clapping during worship. Some believers believed in miracles, and healing, and the gifts of the spirit, whereas others claimed those things were no longer for today. So who was right, and who was wrong?

My heart's desire was to do what was right, and so I began wavering. I became kind of like Peter who started walking on the water when Jesus bid him "come," but then took his eyes off of Him, started looking at the wind and the raging sea instead, and began to sink (Matthew 14:24-31). I began putting more faith in some of the sermons I heard than in what I saw in the Word, and was letting the words of others color my thinking.

James 1:6b-8 issues a warning against being double minded and wavering in our faith, but that's just what I began doing. If I heard something that confirmed what I believed, it strengthened my faith for the moment, but then if I heard something else spoken against it, I would start wavering again. It was a constant dilemma.

However, one thing could not be denied. The Lord had done some amazing things in my life that I kept track of on bits and pieces of paper. Several years ago, I copied all these incidents into a notebook, which I continue to add to today, and whenever I feel discouraged or depressed, or am facing a seemingly hopeless situation, I leaf through its pages and am reminded of the Lord's goodness and grace. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it here on my Great-Granny blog.

Shortly after that, I started another notebook, a little fat one entitled, "It Is Written..." I divided it into tabbed sections, each one dealing with an issue I struggle with in my own personal life--Anger, Fear, Health, Discouragement, Spiritual Warfare, Who I am in the Lord, and so on--and every time I find a verse that speaks to my heart, I write it down in the appropriate section.

This little reference book has come to my rescue on more than one occasion when I wasn't thinking clearly, or when I've been having trouble remembering where to find a certain verse. It's been such a blessing that I've even added it to my hard drive so I can share it with whoever else might like a copy of it. If that 'whoever else' happens to be you, please send me your e-mail and I'll be more than happy to send you one. It is completely free, and there are no strings attached.

Finally, I've taken to marking up my Bibles. I underline verses that jump out at me, sometimes put little hearts next to them, and whenever one of the promises is actually manifested in my life, I put a little TP next to it (Tested and Proven). That way I no longer have to waver or be influenced by someone else's thoughts.

Now when I hear someone say these promises are not for today, I can tell them they've arrived too late with their message, because I've already seen those miracles manifest in my life. That is evidence that cannot be disputed.

PART III Taste and See that the Lord is Good


JulieMom said...

Thank you for sharing! God is certainly almighty and working in our lives.

What a blessing to hear how He drew you, and that you responded!

And I love the idea of your personal promise book. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

We receive Jesus as our Savior, we automatically believe our lives will be easier. This is so far from the truth. We find ourselves in situations such as you about what is the right church for me. Do I praise the Lord out loud or do I praise Him silently? Religion has made worshipping and praising God more complicated than it should be. The Bible says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord which tells me God loves it when you praise Him out loud!

Wow, you have truly come a long way in your faith my friend. I love the way you have your notebooks with scriptures! I love the way you try and tested God's word! I admire you my friend!

Off to part 3!

Lori said...

Yes, living through some stuff and seeing truth unfold in your life is all you need. Whatever others say simply doesn't matter! I love testimonies. See ya at part 3:)