Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SINCERELY WRONG

"For false christs and false prophets will
rise and show great signs and wonders
to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
(Matthew 24:24)

Growing up I desperately wanted to be accepted, to be one of the crowd. I hated feeling 'different,' and as though I was always on the outside looking in. I hated being made fun of and being picked last for teams. I hated not having the kind of family everybody else seemed to have.

Later, in my teens, I dreamed of falling in love and getting married to someone I would grow old with. I dreamed of having a solid, close-knit family that enjoyed each other's company and did things together. And I did fall in love and get married and have a family, but my husband and I did not grow old together, and the many mistakes I made as a single mom pretty much killed any chance for the strong, bonded family I had yearned for.

After my husband passed away, I went through a time of searching for roots, for something that would make me feel grounded, that would give me a sense of purpose. Long story short, I discovered New Age and the occult and felt as though I had finally come home. Astrology, metaphysics, the concept of karma and reincarnation, opened up a whole new world that seemed to provide all the answers that had heretofore eluded me. I had finally found my roots, and what I sincerely believed to be truth. My days of searching were over.

I embraced these new ideologies with a passion and eventually became a numerologist. As such, I started doing readings for folks and was even published, which brought me the acceptance I had so craved in my early years. Now, all of a sudden, I was seen as an expert. People were actually seeking me out to tell them what the future had in store.

How I got from there to here is not really what this post is about. If you are interested in that part, you can check out the My Testimony link on my sidebar or click here for a free download of my book. This post is about how my vulnerability led to my believing a lie, and how that led to my misleading other people and getting them to buy into that lie too. I was not consciously deceiving anyone, I was just sincerely wrong, and if I can reach even one person through this post who is living under the same kind of deception I was back then and help you see the light, then baring my soul like this will have been worthwhile.

If I were to see you headed towards some imminent danger, such as a gaping hole in the sidewalk ahead of you, it would be unconscionable of me not to warn you of what lay ahead, and I would not hesitate to do so--even yanking you aside if necessary. So why the hesitation when the danger is spiritual, and therefore invisible? I guess, in my case, it's fear of rejection, of being judged, all the things I struggled with at the beginning of my life, but I know that I can't let those things stop me any longer. There's too much at stake.

Don't be deceived, as I was, into thinking that there are many paths to God, or that we get to Heaven by being 'good.' Although we were created to have fellowship with God, Adam and Eve's sin caused us to be born into a fallen world. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and "The wages of sin is death." Because of sin there is a great gulf that separates us from God, and there is no way we can cross it through our own efforts. There is only one path that can lead us to eternal life, and that is Jesus, "the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through [Him]" (John 14:6).

The good news is that "God so loved the world (you and me included) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). In fact, God loves you so much that even if you were the only person on this Earth, He would still have sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be set free.

This gift of salvation that is being handed to you can only be received by grace, through faith. It cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). And as much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose His will on you or force you to accept it. The choice is yours.

Jesus stands at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting for you to answer (Revelation 3:20). I pray that you would open the door before it is too late, and accept His invitation to enter your life, forgive your sins, and make you a new creation.