A fear of being lost.

Ralph,

It's me again. However, this time my content is different. One of a heavy heart, a fear of being lost, and an ear tickled by Satan.

My question...how do you become a witness to those around you, those who are lost or new to Christ, when you have blown your witness totally? When for almost a year you have proven yourself to be a hypocrite. When people who don't believe actually say to you.."And you call yourself a Christian?"

I have been around the people I work with for almost a year now. I have made it known that I believe in Jesus and I call myself a Christian. However, I have only called myself a Christian. I have in now way truly lived it. Yeah sure I have ministered to a few people, but felt it a vain because of the person they saw later. It's like taking financial advice from someone who is filing bankruptcy. You just don't do it...ya know what I mean?

I have my good days and bad. More bad I feel. I have talked in ways that would make a sailor blush. I have lusted and talked about some of the women at work like a horny prisoner who been locked up for ten years and I have bashed others while talking with co-workers.

I can't seem to stop, no matter how much I pray. I feel my prayers are hitting the ceiling. I remember the scripture James 5:16...The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)

I feel that since I am no were near righteous, my prayers are weak and totally ineffective. I am Paul when he talks about how he does what he does not want to do and the things he want to do he does not.

I have told my pastor that my spiritual life is at a total stand still. My studying has stopped, and my private quiet one on one prayer has stopped. I want HIM so badly I can't move. You ever have to go to the bathroom so bad that you can't move and if you did you would mess yourself? That is what my spiritual life feels like. I cry at songs that say what I am feeling, but I have trouble living the life for Him I want to life. I don't know how to totally give it to Him, and since I don't know how I find myself seeking the things for self until I 'hear' from Him or 'figure it out'. I don't know how to hear Him. Is it me just thinking this stuff up, or is it God telling me to do something? I don't know. I so badly want to go to the throne of judgment and hear him say "Well done good and faithful servant" but I don't think it's going to happen.

I feel my heart aches for Him, but I can't seem to get in touch. The scripture that tells us that the Holy Spirit will confirm with our spirit that we are a child of His scares me....because I still doubt my salvation...If the Holy Spirit was truly in me and confirming with mine...I would have no doubt.

How do I overcome. Yes, I know...with Christ Jesus. Maybe I am just to impatient. I want to be His tool now, and know what He wants me to do now, and be 'perfect' for Him now. I know He builds me in His own time. This will sound silly, but I am afraid my time will come before He is finished. I am on shifting sands. I am just so confused. My faith is so weak.

There are days I feel like EVERYTHING for Him. Give up EVERYTHING!!! My life (physically) my life (job, life-style, way of living $$) EVERYTHING. But how will the bills get paid, how do I put up with the wife, blah, blah, blah. Were is my faith.

Don't get me wrong. I know He is working on me and building me. I have many trials and testing of faith (James 1:2) and some I fail and some I make it...with Him. I have many temptations (1 Cor 10:13) and some I stand up under and others I don't. I just don't have the faith the "He who has started a good work in me will see it through to the day of the Lord".

I don't know how to continue...spiritually.

My response is in Green:

Hi, again. I think what you are going through is relatively common. That is not good, but still I think it happens a lot.

I want to start at the end of your message, you said: I don't know how to continue...spiritually. Okay, then start all over again. Go back to the cross. We as Christians are called the Bride of Christ. So you have been an unfaithful bride. The only hope for an unfaithful bride is grace and mercy from the groom after the bride is totally honest. Go to your Groom and tell Him you have been unfaithful and that you want that relationship back. He will help you, because He loves you.

Here is another way to think of this. Christ is the solid rock and the world is quicksand. You have been trying to have one foot planted on the Rock and the other stuck in quicksand. Let me ask you, which one will be pulled on harder, the one on the Rock or the one in quicksand? That is the problem, the world exerts a very strong pull. Either we totally get away from it or we will get sucked in.

Many people will quote this verse and tell you what they think their cross is, but look at it closely: (Luke 9:23 NIV) Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

What do you think a cross represents? Is it the people you have to put up with at work? Is it some health problem you have? I will tell you straight out that it is not either of those. Think about who Jesus was talking to when He said that. These people were under Roman control. They understood what the cross meant. It is not a burden it was an instrument of death. It would be like Jesus saying "Take up your electric chair and follow me." He means that to follow Him you have to die. Self much be put to death every day so that He can live through us. Unless we die to ourselves we will not allow Him to be our Lord and guide our lives. This is not a one time deal, it is something that we have to continue to do. Every morning we have the choice whether to make Christ Lord of our lives or to make ourselves lord of our lives. He will not force His way in, we have to invite Him to take control.

I think you have already seen what happens when we are in control. It is a mess. This is such a hard concept, but we have to give it all to God daily. If we think we can do it on our own we will fail. Trying harder will not help, we can't do it no matter how hard we try. Only God can give us victory.

So where does that leave you? I think if you get right with God things will change. Sometimes devotions are difficult. Satan will make it hard to get around to reading your Bible and praying, but you have to fight it and try to do it as often as possible. What many people don't seem to understand is that we should want to do our Bible reading and our praying. It should not be a burden, if it is there is a deeper problem. See if we love Christ as a bride should love her groom, then we will want to please Him, we will want to know Him more and we will want to read His word and talk to Him. I think you are at that point, but you have to push through to victory over Satan in this area. If you don't feel like praying, pray anyway. If you don't feel like reading the Bible, read it anyway. If you don't feel like praising God, praise Him anyway. You will be surprised what happens, God will lift you up and help you.

Nothing we do is dependant on our works, however, that does not mean that we don't have to 'work' sometimes to get to a place where God is waiting for us. People use the works thing to kind of say that we don't have to read our Bible or pray or even go to church. Well maybe that is right, but you won't ever be free and grow unless you do those things. It won't make any difference in your salvation, which is totally taken care of without our works, but it is like growing physically. You don't have to do anything nor can you do anything to make yourself grow, yet in a way you can because if you don't eat you won't grow as fast and for that matter will die. So do you make yourself grow? Not exactly, but you sure can stand in the way of that growth.

As far as your witness goes. There is nothing you can do to change what has already happened. I would not even try. I would get right with God and start living what you preach, but quit preaching it around the people who know you were a hypocrite. Witness to them by the way you live your life now. Just silently go about being the Christian God wants you to be. Believe me they will see the difference and if it is God's will they might even come ask you what is different. If they do then you can tell them that you finally got right with God. That will have much more of an impact on them then if you go around talking about it, because they will just wait for you to screw up again. Of course, you should also pray about this, and allow God to lead you, this is just my opinion.

Keep praying and keep your eyes on Christ. Don't allow Satan to convince you that there is not hope because you have blown it too badly. He will only tell you that to keep you from getting on the right road. Jesus called him the father of lies and for good reason.

Take care.

Ralph

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