Doer; Not Just A Hearer

To strive means a lot of things in the Greek. Luke 13:24 is where Jesus says “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able”.  That scripture is very important for this post.

Tuesday I was listening to a message called “Enter Into The Straight Gate” and that actually did a lot for me. I don’t know how its connected but my mentality changed to that of a mature adult instead of a childish one. It felt as if my eyes were opened or as if I woke up from a very long slumber. This thing and that thing made more sense. I could say “I don’t want this to happen” and “I don’t want that to happen”. I could speak against the devil and against the negative things I was agreeing with – poverty being one of them. I could make the decisions to do positive and spiritual things that glorify God and truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. Then I realized this was not going to last and I have a description for that as well.

My life is like me constantly moving on a big giant circle path. There are walls made of stone so high up in the air that I cannot climb over them even if I tried. The only escape from that path is through locked stone doors. Lines are drawn for various events in my life and the area in between those lines are colored different colors. Obstacles will be placed in some of those areas and together they make up my trials. Areas with no obstacles are my blessings. Daily the lines are redrawn and obstacles are moved around, some areas have more and some have less. However, there is one fixed area that does not change nor is it colored. That area is where I was at Tuesday. My mentality is that of a child at least 98% of the time and that leaves 2% being mature. Those lines outline that area end up marking the moments of me being mature, with no influence of childishness.

While being mature, I prayed that I did not want that mentality to go. That’s when I got the description of how my mental changes work. I cannot stop that progress and I can’t cut across to the other side. The doors are right behind every obstacle course and if I pass the trial, I get to go through a door to another circle with the same set up as the last. The main difference is, the trials are different. More specifically, the one I just passed is no longer a part of the problem. The start of the new circle of life path is a blessing before moving onward. There are grace periods between trials when I don’t pass them before another one starts back up – that’s the area that was supposed to be a blessing if I did pass. When I fail a trial I get to go through it again and it seems harder the next time around. So if anything, when I fail a trial I need to immediately start praying “Lord please help me pass it the next time”.

With that being said, some things I said Tuesday stuck around. One of the things was the poverty problem. I ended up speaking against it and found out Wednesday I had a lot more money in the bank than usual.  Needless to say, I got excited over it. By God I was able to save and only by him. Knowing me like I do, there was no way in myself that I could have done that. Then I wrote yesterday’s long post about the testimony of 2 and sent the link to someone I knew. I’m sorry but now I’m going to go into a lot of history for the major impact of what I stated in the first paragraph.

Back when I was 12 or 13 I met someone online. It was a girl from the Bahamas and over the course of time she trusted me with her msn password. I signed in under her name and met a boy she was going to school with. He grew up in a Christian home so he had Christian values and I was a lost sinner. Somehow we became friends. While being a lost and wicked sinner, I put him through a living hell more than once and yet he stayed. All my heartbreaks and my frustrations I took out on him and we had arguments as well but overall, he never forsook me. I forsook him a couple times and stopped talking to him for a year or two at a time but always found myself unblocking him and talking to him again. When I got religious like the Pharisees, him and me got along great. There were debates about scriptures but overall we were happy because we were both trying to serve God.  I met a pastor who taught me things outside of what most religious people teach and I learned a lot of things that are scriptural. Signs and wonders from heaven backed up his teachings, just like scripture say. Learning from him instilled some things in me that this friend and me could not agree on as well as some things that he said motivated him. Over the course of a year of being religious, things happened and I ended up slipping out of that church. I went back either 5 – 6 months later and that’s why there is a space on the blog in 2011 of no activity for that period of time. When I went back, I found life in Christ Jesus. So I started this new path that lead me to the first circular …………environment. There are no words in my creative dictionary to describe what the circle thing is. The direction to that environment was different than the direction my friend was going.

Because of the different directions and different paths we were on, which posed a problem. I was a new babe in Christ and easily influenced by outside sources and could easily stray away from where God wanted me to go. So my pastor instructed me to stop talking to the friend of 7 years. It was difficult to do but I had to give him closure before leaving. We stopped talking on depressing terms. Right before I was told that, we had a debate over the view on doctors and I knew that eventually I would have to stop talking to him but I didn’t know when. Before I got saved, God put that in my heart. It kind of sounds like before I got saved, God was telling me that there was going to come a point in time when I needed to forsake the closest person to me. Looking back on it now, it was a good thing because I wouldn’t be where I am at now if I had not listened. I would have a different life than I have now and I don’t know if it would have been better or worse…. probably worse because if I had refused it would have been open rebellion.

In 2012 and the start of 2013, things happened. I learned so much and those doctrines are written in my heart. They are as permanent as the 10 commandments God wrote in stone and the second set that Moses carved in stone after breaking the first set. I am rooted in what I have been taught. Pastor apologized he could not help me anymore because I had reached a point where I was no longer growing in God. There was a quick sand pit I had fallen into and in truthfulness, I did not cry out for help. I did not want help anymore no matter how much my lips said I did. So I was referred to a local church and that email pulled me out of the quicksand. All that was visible was my hand; the rest of my body was already buried. A rope was lassoed around my wrist and someone pulled me out. I would like to say Christ was there to pull me out, especially with my reaction to the news. There was a complete change in my attitude, my outlook on life and my emotions. I honestly could feel what Pastor was describing about being a new creature in Christ. That change led me to the local church and about that time a coworker was going to a Pentecostal church. She was telling me about how great the pastor there was and how loving the church was and if she didn’t say that the pastor speaks in tongues, I would not have ever went.

A couple weeks into my new church, I got curious and I went to hers one Sunday afternoon. The first service told me that I should not go back and scriptures I had been taught were being brought back to my remembrance. What brought me back was the emotional responses to what he was talking about – anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. On the inside my spirit was saying, “ouch, first service and he hit the nail on the head” and those emotions in my soul started to rage. In response to that happening, I went back. Second service told me again I should not be there. Third service told me I shouldn’t be there. There was what they call a “shut in” and I was going to use that opportunity to leave.  By that time, I had the pastor’s number and we were texting and talking and Facebook chatting. Everything that I put my first pastor through over the course of a year I unconsciously ended up putting the Pentecostal pastor through in the time of a month. Didn’t understand why my emotions and behavior was the way it was, especially as fast as it was. Actually, I still don’t understand.

During the shut in, I had questions I wanted to ask. There was like a list of 10 and what he was preaching on answered 5. I asked one and got an answer for another 3. That was the final confirmation that I really did not belong there and I needed to leave. My mind was made up to leave. After the shut in, I still went back. My feet took me back on the orders of my subconscious while my conscious was saying “no”. Another couple of services and the way I was treating the pastor changed. I was no longer being rebellious and hateful; I was beginning to start respecting him and having a sense of gratitude and love for him. This whole emotional and mental response towards him and grieving because his doctrines did not line up with what I was taught took a toll on me. Also, not leaving took a toll on me. I ended up being thrown into a state of mental torment and a chaotic stress booster. During all that, my first pastor ended up passing away as well. To top what I was going through and trying to deal with, that grief was not a welcomed experience so I bottled it up. I still haven’t technically really grieved yet over his death.

However, the Pentecostal pastor said I did not need 2 teachers in my head. I had three with the sermons from the first pastor and I was like, “you know, you’re right”. So I started to compare and pay attention to the two that were alive. The one I was referred to was teaching sermons that could line up with what was inside me more than the Pentecostal church. Then there’s that fact that I knew from day one I shouldn’t have been there. By that time, I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to let go of the congregation or of the pastor because I had a love in my heart for them. However, I made the decision to leave them instead of the church I was told to go to. I made one last visit and that day I had joy and I was smiling from ear to ear. The joy came about through a prayer asking God for his joy, not so much as me leaving the church. Out of all the visits, the last one was the one when I decided to testify and I was sick to top it all off. The next few days, I told the coworker it was going to be hard not going back because I did enjoy the fellowship and I did love the people. It was indeed hard but I could not go back because I spoke the words “God did not lead me here” and he didn’t. Every now and then I can swing by for a service but not a weekly thing like I was doing.

All that brings me back to now. I write long posts because people read them and agree with what I say enough to like them. I try and tell all this to someone in the church I am in, I am bound to get to a part where someone disagrees with what I have to say. My response is, “meh”. Really, this is a testimony from my experience with God and if you want to take it then you can. If you disagree with it then you disagree with it, I am not going to argue. I copied the link to the post Testimony of 2 and pasted it in my Bahamian friend’s Facebook inbox. For some reason I just felt like sending him a message saying that I was back to writing and here was a link to my blog. I didn’t know why at the time just like I didn’t know why I stayed at the Pentecostal church so long. Today I listened to a message at work named “Mystery Babylon”. That message sparked a thought which in turn led to a memory which led to what I believe is the reason why I went to the church as well as messaged my friend.

The thought was along the lines of “me and XY (friend’s name) can testify to each other about what God has done for us and we can use scripture if we want to but don’t talk doctrines. Then I can also see about mending the friendship and we can talk about things and flesh out ideas and such” I posted a Facebook post talking about the relationship with that friend and how I would compromise for him. By the end of the post I basically stated how I would compromise – we can talk to each other about a lot of things but just don’t talk about the doctrines we have been taught. I then messaged him that post and basically elaborated on that a bit more. Told him that if we talked on doctrines I would end up leaving again because I didn’t want to have a fight that left us more or less hating each other. Basically I’m trying to pick up a friendship that was dropped off on bad terms. The fact I’m talking to him again sounds like rebellion and yes that thought went through my mind – now that pastor’s dead, I’m finding myself rebelling against what he said by talking to XY. As soon as I found out pastor was dead, I had a desire to talk to XY and I prayed on it. I asked that if it was God’s will to put a deeper desire in my heart and the end result was – the desire left and never said a word to him.

Thinking on that brought up scripture when Paul said he wanted to go to Asia and God said no. Later on God said go to Asia and Pastor was talking about being in God’s will (in another message) and how you could be out of God’s will when you want to do something at the wrong time. There was no actual craving desire to message XY; I just did it and no clue as to why or why now. Thinking on that and the message I left my friend and what I would say later on brought back the word “Strive”.

The meaning of the word strive in Luke 13:24 in the Greek means to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something): – fight, labor fervently, strive. When looking up words in the concordance, everything has a number. This word is spelt άγωνίζομαι and its meaning is pronounced ag-o-nid’-zom-ahee ; it comes from another word whose number is 73. So I tapped on the blue 73 and it brought me to another word for strive. It’s spelling is άγών and the pronunciation is ag-one’. It means properly, a place of assembly (as if led), i.e. (by implication) a contest (held there); figuratively, an effort or anxiety: – conflict, contention, fight, race. What I want to focus on is the fact that both of them has the meaning “fight” in them. Put that with the word “press” which has a meaning “to persecute and to suffer persecution, press forward” and there’s a pattern.

To me, to strive and to press is to fight you’re way and to suffer through what you need to in order to get to your end goal. My end goal is to finish my race and I am striving to the finish line. That speaks a lot because I have a conviction in which I did not know I had. I was silently saying to myself, God and all his angels and the devil an all his angels (Revelation describes them as angels) what was going on. I was talking about the post I was going to leave on Facebook with how I left (forsook) the preacher friend who I cared for deeply due to doctrinal differences. So what makes XY think I won’t leave because of those same reasons? I talk carnal things to a lot of people because those are the only people I find myself around and for good reason. I’ll be with the lost and witness to them in subtle ways (at work). I would rather spend my time doing that then trying to witness to a religious person because religious people are hostile when you go against their doctrines. I don’t care who a person is, if I see myself falling or notice their influence on me is drawing me away from God then I will forsake them. I am striving towards God and I will fight whoever is resisting me (spiritually fight). I continued the conviction testimony by saying, “I don’t care how important to me a person is, I will not turn away from God and if it means I end up being completely alone in life with just me and Jesus, then so be it”.

That conviction blew my mind away and brought a sense of joy to my heart. Paul counted what he lost as dung for the gain of Christ. I’m basically saying the same thing, whoever tries to draw me away from God is counted as dung and I will forsake them as I press and strive towards God. I’m like a dog returning to its vomit when it comes to XY and that’s fine for now. If he pulls me down, then that changes everything. I’ll leave and never return for God is more important than a close friend. It’s been a year since we last talked and I’ve grown and have been rooted since last time so I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen.

I do believe that I met the Pentecostal preacher so I could have that experience of turning away someone I care for for the sake of Jesus. He was the Word made flesh so when you look at your bible, your looking at the written version of Christ. I turned from the preacher because I did not agree with most of the things he was saying about Christ for someone who I could at least half way agree with. Turning away from that preacher allows me the privilege to say, “if I did that with him, don’t think I won’t do it with you” to anyone I know.

Even though I turned from the preacher because of doctrines and the fact God did not send me to his church (at least to stay), I still want to fellowship with him because he has love oozing off of him. There’s still a need for me to be ministered love to with the patience and longsuffering mentality to forgive. I wasn’t as open to receive it the first time I was exposed to it and now I kind of crave it.

This whole post, as long as it is, really is about me talking about understanding. I listened to a message and unplanned circumstances led me to a spoken conviction. That conviction in a nutshell tells me that I understand the message as a basic whole and I am taking that message and applying it to my life. In essence, I’m starting to become a doer of the word and not just a hearer only. Then there’s this testimony and that testimony about me doing this, taking authority over that and how my stress is easing up here and there. My yoke is becoming easier and my burden is becoming lighter and only by the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus. That maturing I wanted Tuesday is starting to take root in me and its starting to grow. What good fruit I was producing is being plucked and is leaving room for more good fruit. The branches yielding bad fruit is being trimmed away. I have a spoken sentence I want to uphold. That sentence is – I will make myself ready. Those maturity lines have actually claimed more ground. As a whole, my mentality is a tad bit more mature now than it was Monday night. That gives me hope and joy and so does that sentence. I typed it and I’m smiling and wiping tears from my eyes before they fall down my cheeks. No one will hold me back and when I said the conviction at work, the song “I need you more” started to play. I sung along with joy and in between the actual song and the extras added in as a concert song, I prayed “Lord, if you have to drag me then please do.” At the end of the prayer I asked “God, what do you want from me?” How many of his children ask that today?

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~ by davisddesigns on March 9, 2013.

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