Saturday, April 16, 2011

When the Change Came

(Two years ago)  I knew God. Without a doubt He radically sought me and changed my life, when I was 18. However,  when I tried to grow in the Lord I would plateau and fizzle, plateau and fizzle.  It was a discouraging cycle. I was so frustrated. I wanted to grow in the Lord but I didnt know how!  I felt SO different when I was around Godly women. I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb, I knew my heart wasn't right before God but I didn't know why or how to change it.

I remember a precious Godly friend of mine asked me to be her accountability partner.  I was nervous. I was intimidated to be surrounded by Godly Women, but, oh I was so intimidated to have a personal conversation with one. Besides that I knew about accountability partners but I didn't know how to be held accountable, I didn't know where I was wrong.  I felt like my hearts grossness would seep out and she would see me for what I was.

In my mind I felt like I was walking around with a trench coat. I wanted to cover up all the ugliness and keep it from seeping out. That mental image is still very strong in my head. I wanted so badly to be like Christ and to grow in Him but again, I didn't know how.

When I met with her she was telling how head over heels in Love with God she was. How she just wanted to grow more and more like Him. She explained to me where she came from and all that God has brought her through and I was AMAZED at who she was in Christ even after she had been mentally, physically and sexually abused.  I remember wanting so badly to be head over heels in Love with Christ like that, but I didn't know how.

I had prayed about it before, but now I had really started praying that the Lord would show me why I couldn't grow in my relationship with Him. I mean all of the sins I had heard preached and harped on growing up I didn't struggle with. Like having sex outside of marriage, Drugs, Alcohol, gambling, cheating etc. I didn't feel I struggled with them so why was I not where I needed to be in my relationship with Christ?

One day on my way to work God drew my attention to a church sign. All it said was, "The Fruit of The Spirit."  God brought that to mind repeatedly. He said it over and over and over again. The Fruit of the spirit, Fruit of the Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit.  This went on for about a week before I finally stopped to listen.  What on earth. I know the fruit of the spirit. Its a bible school song, but what about it....Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and selfcontrol...Yeah, what about it. Then He said The Fruit of the Spirit! So I went over them again in my head, grabbed the bible and looked it up. 

(as you read scripture you can't read it like you do an ordinary book. You have to read it slowly, when you read it slowly, stopping after every written thought it allows God time to speak to your heart)

Gal. 5:22-23
(but I will start from 13)
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

As I was reminded of the Fruit of the Spirit. God revealed to me it was Much more than a bible school song. It is the evidence that a life portrays when a heart is in pursuit of Christ. Even though  I wasn't guilty of the sins I learned were wrong in Youth Group my heart was far from any of these:

Love - personally, I liked some people but I REALLY struggled when it came to loving them, especially     when it comes to the Love that God wants us to have. Unconditional love- that can only come from a heart being transformed by Christ.
Joy- Nope didn't have it.
Peace - ...

Patience- Nope definately not.

Kindness - Nope

Goodness- Struggled

Faithfulness- nope

Gentleness- nope

Self-Control- and... No

This was the beginning of the change! 

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