“Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
I like to start with these two verses because I think they reflect my life experiences very well, and how I still feel about things today.
I grew up in a Christian home, which is a great blessing to me, but my early childhood was studded with a passive rebellion against the Lord. I would sleep during the service or fight with my younger brothers, not that I remember the fighting that clearly but more the punishment that came after.
In my early teens I then started listening more to the gospel message and, being part of a dispensational church, I was convinced that all I had to do was accept the free gift of God with my own strength, I just had to make a decision for Christ. And that didn’t work out too well.
Until the age of 16 I struggled with a lot of issues in my life then leading me to the question, “Am I really a believer, or am I just going to church every Sunday and pretending to be one and trying to please my parents and the people around me.”
It was then in a church in Wales that the Pastor Gareth Edwards finished his sermon with the words, “Give it all up.” I was not only deeply convicted of my sin but I also made the decision that I was no longer going to be somewhere ‘in between’, but was going to fully commit myself to the Lord Christ Jesus. No more worrying, I would fully depend on Christ being my strength, my shield and my salvation.
This was a milestone, but I still couldn’t tell you in human terms if that was the exact point of my salvation, as I can see the Lord continuously working in my life. From there on things were still tough, I was still facing issues and I was still struggling, and the Lord God still had to “beat me up” and constantly convict me of things that were going wrong,and still is to this day. And if there is something that he has being teaching me all through the years, it is that the more I rely on my own power to solve my problems then firstly I won’t get anywhere and usually things get worse, and secondly I become self-centered and miss out on all hope, comfort and strength which can only be found in Christ Jesus.
Talking about this, “A Mighty Fortress is our God” from Martin Luther comes to mind, where you find these words in the second verse:
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.
And I know that still now I face many problems, but one especially: committing all my strength and energy to God and his church, and praying that God our Father will still in his mercy work good deeds through me, not in human greatness, but even in the little things: that is enough.