“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
When I first came to know the Lord. I heard Repentance, Repent, Penitence ~ I kept asking myself what the heck this was, and what does God want me to actually do. People are just using these words that I have no idea what they mean and no one even cares to tell me what the heck is going on.
I thought, “Is this someone’s opinion?” And, “Is this someone being a biggit or judgemental? Don’t they understand that I’m new here and have no idea of what they’re talking about?!”
Some of these things I searched out myself, but it seemed like people were really hard on me. I was trying my best. I was brought to scriptures like:
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I had an unrealistic expectation of what walking with God looked like. Like many other subject matters of my life, I had tons of courage to advance into it. But before I gave it everything I had; I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t focused on the wrong heart posture before I started.
I wanted to pursue the Lord because He gave me freedom and peace in my heart. When I started wanting a deeper relationship with Him I was very skeptical because I saw so many Christians as being passive, submissive, weak-minded, gullible, and easily taken advantage of. When it came to the truth about going deeper with God I was scared because I didn’t want to “turn-into” one of those people.
15To the pure, all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure. Indeed, both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.
Just like Titus 1 talks about, I wasn’t thinking pure; I did not have enough faith to believe in what God was telling me to do; my conscious had been defiled. I was covered in sin, disobedient to what God was asking me to do and be, and I wasn’t fit to do more.
I didn’t let that stop me, I wanted to give to people unconditionally love, the same way that The Lord Jesus loves. I tried to do this right away, but I was ill-equipped to do such.
I needed to stop pretending that I had all the answers. I needed to surrender control to Christ. This wasn’t easy for me to do, because I had been so jaded and hurt in my heart. I felt the urge to control everything and everyone in my life. I wanted to manipulate my environment so I could see the outcome. I was on the verge to sacrificing my soul to gain the whole world but a voice kept calling me deeper to follow Christ. It was about that time toward the end of 2013 that I was going to jump into the deep end. Where I knew that if I was going to begin to believe something like this, I would have to take so much action and do what the Bible actually says to believe in. I had so much fear, anxiety, worry that was holding me back.
6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to help me. I pleaded with him, asked him, begged him, I wanted Him to take me a different way. I was headed right into the fire of destruction and the world as I knew it was going to be destroyed. The Lord brought me visions in my life where the sins (the good I knew to do and did not do) I committed and I asked him to forgive me. I had to come to him from a place of complete brokenness, invite him in my life to become my Lord, Master, Father and do exactly what he instructed me to do.
I had to accept his discipline and own up to my disobedience.
As soon as this happened, a surge of peace happened to pour in my heart as my body began to overflow through tears, hours of weeping bitterly, being put on my knees, just him and I. No one needed witness, for it was not for mans approval. It was at that moment, my heart changed. Jesus flooded me and put a new spirit inside of me.
The world says, “Don’t let anyone see you weak. Don’t let anyone see your pain. Don’t allow yourself to let people hurt you. Keep people at a distance, because everyone’s imperfect and if you trust them you’ll only get hurt. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
What a bunch of hogwash!
That is not how the Kingdom of God is built within and around you. Warriors are built from within. Pain, suffering, weakness is how the Lord builds you up and makes you strong. He disciplines you, due to him loving you so much to not let you fall short. He wants to spend eternity with you, and if you’re willing ~ He would rather see you temporarily hurt than to go an eternity without you.
Mentally you can become worn and broken down, becoming nothing, and be without hope. In a split second your hope is restored and The Father picks you up and lifts your head up high!
Calling out to you as a son/daughter. He builds you from there. When you’re being built, together you lay the foundation brick by brick.
The more you resist, the more it hurts, if you keep preventing this from happening what happens is that you pride and distance yourself from God the Father.
18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Jesus, bringing the Tanakh (Old Testament) to life says it even it even better.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
God wants us to not only focused on genuine relationships with others, He wants us to be a contender and fight the good fight of faith. He does not call us to be afraid of our enemies, for He is making us strong through our weakness and suffering. He is galvanizing our lives to become resilient and being able to withstand anything. Even death.
If someone disagrees with me; that’s okay, pray, ask God for help. I knew when I gave my life to Christ I had a reputation with others as being someone who was “very motivational” and I had a lot of pretenders surrounding me, pretending to enjoy my company because of the way I made them feel, pretend to be my friend, pretend to have my best interests in mind. They surrounded me and I was too shallow to see it.
Birds of a feather flock together.
People that would want to work with me as a friend, coworker, or business, would keep me around in their life because of what I could offer them, they wanted and desired to be built up, but were too broken to go the distance themselves.
They talked a big game, but when it came to stepping into the ring, they weren’t going to show up. They were quitters. At the time, that was exactly who I was as well. A shallow, superficial, quitter. Focusing on all of my surroundings around me instead of looking inside my heart.
I kept trying to force myself into something that I knew I was supposed to do, but then get scared and run away from all of my problems and opportunities.
I was myself surrounded by shallow waters with no depth in clear sight.
My fear was larger than my willpower. All I wanted was freedom and the open water. I wanted adventure. I craved release from drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, and wanted to follow the calling of God on my life to its sweet beginning then to Heaven.
It started when I changed my mindset from, “wow all of these people are shallow and seem to know very little” to, “Let me be that man who leads by example.”
I began to desire to know Jesus, what was going on that made Him give his life up for me, and what was the history of this God that He loved. I did not just want to listen to someone else talk about Him; I grew hungry and took all the passion I had for all these other hobbies and things that I did to ‘feel good/be comfortable’ and gave them to God.
I just asked for more and for God to enlarge my territory. That He would entrust me with more as I would become more obedient. I wanted to go deeper with knowing about Jesus.
As soon as my heart began to change, I met a Man of God who took me into his life as a son and became my Spiritual Father. We met for coffee, lunches, watched movies, played games, sat around and talked with him and his family for hours, attended his Bible Studies. I had all of these questions about God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, The Old Testament, New Testament, Freedom, Love, Hypocritical Christians, Submitting to Authority, Fear, Proper Intimacy, Courtship, Proper Relationships, Marriage, Missions, Family, and so much more.
I hadn’t grown up going to church or putting on my Sunday’s best outfit every week to go and look good in front of people. So I had no idea what life was supposed to be like. Him and I would spend hours and hours talking, digging through the Bible, and doing studies.
I heard a lot of hard words that discouraged me a lot. I kept remembering the visions that God had given me, and I reminded myself of the promise I made God that I would not quit on Him as long as He never quit on me. I soon realized that kinds of conversations were not meant to be condemned.
People should question why they believe what they believe.
I looked back on my life and I cannot remember a time in my life where I had anyone in my life talk to me the way my spiritual father did. I knew he was different from the rest of the people that God had placed in my life, he actually cared enough about me to not let me live my life being deceived about what a God-Fearing Man looks like.
He believed in me, believed I was worth it. He extended his hand as a brother and supported me and without him walking in his purpose and his calling I would of probably blended in with all the other lukewarm Christians out there. I asked and God poured out.
7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets.”
I became a contender, one who stands in the way of the enemy. One who fights for the truth, purity, and righteousness. I resist the enemies schemes, I stumble, fall, but I will not miss my mark. I will complete my mission and my purpose here on Earth. How about you?
Are you a pretender or contender?
Go and prove it.
Become a contender.
“Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall.
The archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.”
- Be Broken
- Return to purity
- Be truly sorry and confess
- Turn from sin and cut out the uncleanliness of your heart
- Do not fear
- Confess to God and your Brothers and Sisters will help
- Put your whole heart in it ~ Take Courage
- Stand firm! Don’t Quit!
12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Harmonize, work together! Be an ant, not a mole.
Be blessed, not stressed!
Gloried not worried!
Loved not Gloved!
~AB aka Coach Pineapple #ForTheWin