Thank you for joining me, and welcome to this blog’s first post! I am so excited! This endeavor has been a twinkle in my eye for a very long time, and it is finally finding outlet!
Disclaimer: This blog, like my life, is a work in progress.
I am learning, and because of that, you might see some frequent changes in the presentation of the content. Thank you in advance for your patience!
A Little Testimony
Like some of you, my life has been drastically changed by choosing to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I did that when I was around nine years old. Be assured, however, that I have slipped time and time and time again since that glorious day when angels celebrated my soul’s kingdom choice. I’ve slipped and slid into some dirty and dark depths…depths from which I doubted I would ever emerge. But by God’s good and perfect grace, He didn’t leave me there! He drew me from the darkness with His immeasurable love…love to which the enemy of mankind had blinded me for years.
Being a Christian does not promise a path free of obstacles.
Yes, even after choosing Jesus, Satan can still get his foot in the door. Being a Christian doesn’t render us immune to his attacks and the lure of the world. Being a Christian fills us with all of Jesus’ power and authority, making us a threat to Satan and his pathetic plan for mankind. Thus, he intensifies the attacks, determined to find delight in the fall of a Christian. He uses every weapon in his cowardly possession to pull us from that position of victory and to camouflage our God-given authority with hopelessness. And he is an expert in these tactics. If he sees a straight and narrow path for us, he carefully chooses just the right stumbling block, based on our perceived weaknesses.
God has already defeated Satan. The battle has already been won. We ARE victorious through Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross! Through Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, we have been handed the keys to the kingdom of God. We are positioned with Christ at the Father’s side. Satan, that fearful fiend, is under our feet!
Why, then, do we stumble so?
We are human, and since the error in Eden, we are susceptible to following the feelings of our human nature. Even after our heart-transforming acceptance of Christ, the lure of sin will present itself over and over again. It will, and it does. We will be tempted, tried and tantalized by feelings.
Did I know this, as a child of nine years? Did I understand the path that I chose? All I can truthfully say about that moment was that I saw something beautiful…something I had not seen before. I stood in a basement-level Sunday School room of a tiny Baptist church in Frenchburg, Ky, holding the hands of my Sunday School teacher, as my younger cousin looked on with a smile on her face that I will never forget. As the sunshine filtered in through the small windows, it carried with it an ethereal quality that transformed the room into nothing less than holy ground. As the melodic voice of my soft-spoken Sunday School teacher led me in the prayer of salvation, I had no notion of the future that opened up before me. All I knew was that I was enveloped in a love that was so good, so right, so wonderful, and that it felt like home. Whether I understood it then, or not, this was the touch of my Heavenly Father, as he reached downward in response to my own frail fingers stretching toward Him.
That morning, I set out on a joyful journey, indeed…a journey filled with the promises of my Lord and Savior. But it didn’t take long for the enemy to set his cruel sites on this tiny spiritual tot. Fragile as I was, still ignorant of all the power and authority that I possessed as a child of the King, I quickly fell victim to a spirit of fear that dictated nearly every inhalation and exhalation of breath. That fear followed me for years, taking on first one form, then another…Fear of inadequacy, fear of men, fear of authority, fear of failure, fear of relationships, fear of my own thoughts, depression, anxiety…I think you get the picture. Fear took me on a deadly detour, off and away from that joyful journey.
By the power and perfection of God’s plan, and after half of a lifetime of slinking through season after season in survival mode, I realized what, or rather, Who, had been missing from my walk. I had set off on an excursion without enlightenment. I had begun my adventure with only the moment in mind, and a mere vague hope of the destination. My walk through the woods would have…could have… held more enjoyment, more purpose, more preparedness, more peace. I had no idea of the benefits that could be offered by a trail guide. THE Trail Guide. The Holy Spirit.
Being a Christian, accepting, acknowledging, and embracing each of God’s distinct entities and their role in His plan, gives us direction and guidance through the stumbling blocks along the trail.
The Piece of the Path That I Had Missed
I had accepted the fact that God, in all of His omnipotence and out of His pure nature of love, was the Creator of the world. I had accepted the fact that Jesus, God’s love embodied on earth for our example and redemption, had conquered death through the cross, the tomb, and resurrection. But what had I learned about the Holy Spirit?
…He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” -Acts 19:2
Having not been exposed to any real teaching about the Holy Spirit as a new believer, I knew nothing of the Him. At best, I considered Him to be simply my own concept of my own conscience.
After decades of needlessly fighting my own battles without a vision of victory, I began to search for answers. The Bible tells us that, when we seek, we will find. (Matthew 7:7) Believe me, it is the truth! I sought what was missing, and God in all of His goodness, revealed His Holy Spirit to me! He revealed Him as my teacher (John 14:26), my relator ofthe Truth (John 15:26), my guide (John 16:13), my persuader (John 16:8), the ultimate prayer warrior over me (Romans 8:26-27), and my instructor (Acts 13:2).
And here is a really good part:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
I finally found that joy and that peace that I had yearningly read about for so long. I found the missing piece of the puzzle. I acknowledged the Holy Spirit and every supernatural quality that I read about Him, and He moved me.
In my saved state, I had continued on, making mistake after mistake, without learning from them. In my saved state, I had continued with a feeling of hopelessness that had led me to accept and to even covet labels for my “condition”. I accepted and embraced “alcoholism”, “addict”, “failure”, “bipolar”, among others. I self-medicated and I allowed the doctor of the moment to medicate me. I made decisions that not only affected my life with negativity, but also the lives of others, including my precious children.
But when I learned about and welcomed the Holy Spirit to have His way with me and my life, I found the healing that is there for EVERYONE who seeks Him! No more lying labels! No more delight in a diagnosis to explain my failures!
Why am I relating this to you?
If He did this for me, He will do it for you…Just seek Him. Invite the Trail Guide along on your life’s adventure! He will show you things along the path that you wouldn’t, COULDN’T, possibly notice without His counsel. He will prepare you for the slippery slopes and the stony ground of the trail ahead, and He will guide you through them. You will discover, through His teaching and by His prayers, a measure of joy and peace that possesses the power to overcome any obstacle.
Now, I challenge you…
Pull every scripture that you know about the Holy Spirit! Use your concordance, or even Google it, for that matter. Just seek for yourself, find the trailhead, and take a step with Him as your guide. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trail you’ve taken before…With His guidance, it will be as if it is new. He has the ability to take you down old, difficult trails with a fresh perspective that shows you all the goodness that you missed the first time.
This was a loooooong post! Thank you for your patience, and thank you for joining me on the path!