I was about 8 years old. There was a re-run of the Sherman Hemsley sitcom Amen on as I shot across the living room to avoid getting yelled at by my grandpa. He had accused me more than once of being a better door than a window.
The front door was open and the storm door had the window raised. It was summer.
My mom was sitting in a purple naugahyde recliner. I got on my knees by the chair and whispered to mom I need to talk to you.
She asked what it was about and I remember telling her I felt bad. Something was wrong and I didn’t know what it was. I felt like I was bad and it needed fixing. Mom talked to me about Jesus and the next Sunday I hit the altar.
I cried a lot. Mom cried even more. I was celebrated by those in attendance. I felt GREAT…. and then came Monday.
I wasn’t different, I wasn’t magically transformed I did all the same things I always did.
That was the first round in a cycle that would plague me until my late teens when Pastor Dean Rhoades told me what I’m going to tell you now.
It’s not about how you are feeling its about commitment.
There you have it. One of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever heard.
It was there in his office that something I took as one hundred percent truth was wiped away like crumbs from a tablecloth. It wasn’t Gods responsibility to change me. God wanted me to come to Him exactly as I was baggage, bad habits and all.
It was a changed heart my commitment to stay with Him and His promise to stay with me that would change my life. It was those two things that would burn out and off all the sin, hurts and habits in my future.
Im not saying that God never works that way. I know people that went to cross one way and left another. I think we all know at least one person that as soon as they proclaimed Jesus lord of their life were instantly changed. That is an awesome and powerful work. For me though it just didn’t happen that way.
Am I less saved? No, taking the advice of Paul “'Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil 2 13-13
I felt compelled to write this evening because I know there are people new to the faith that might read this and I want them to know that when the feeling wears off God’s still there. He’s still proud of you and He wants you to be with Him on this.
Stay the course stay committed, whether you are filled with that “first love” feeling or mired in circumstances beyond your control.
Things will come up, sin and past friends will try to get your attention and like a child in a store with their parent you may turn loose for a second and wander off but He is still there
The God that got you where you are will get you where you are going.
Just hold on to His hand a little tighter.
Thanks for reading