Sunday, February 22, 2009

My God

As a little girl, I grew up always knowing about the Lord. My Dad was a lay-preacher, filling the gap for ministers who were on holiday or ill. Fifty weeks a year we would find ourselves in different churches. This had it's pros and cons. It was fun travelling around as the "preacher's kids", often being invited out for lunch and widening our circle of friends. It also meant my sister and I being "special music" almost every Sunday, not making deep connections and often living more in an 'adult' world.

With no weekly consistancy, it also meant assumptions. Any Sunday School we visited always presumed my sister and I had obviously already confessed our sins and given our lives to the Lord. We were held as the example. The teachers expected more. I'll never forget the one day the class we were visiting was suppose to recite the "Ten Commandmants" order. For lack of volunteers the teacher turned and looked at my sister and I announcing that we would be able to do it. All eyes focused on us as we turned every shade of red possible. Unable to fulfill her wishes, I remember being so embarrassed.

It was quietly, on my own that I finally made a decision to follow Jesus. I was reading a book entitled, "Joy Sparten of Parsonage Hill". Joy's Dad was a parson, yet she came to a place of realization that she couldn't get to heaven because of her parents position or salvation. A personal decision had to be made. I still vividly recall kneeling beside my bed, with the sound of my sister practicing the piano in the background, and asking Jesus to forgive my sins and come live in me. I never really told anyone, as for years it had been assumed anyway. Now the assumption became reality. I no longer was covered by guilt. My life DID belong to Jesus.

In today's reading several times we read, "I am the LORD your God". A flood of memories have captured my heart. He is MY God. No more pretense. No more falsehood. He is MY God. A decision was made. Sins confessed. A heart surrendered.

So often I've met others who, growing up in Christian homes and always attending church, feel there has never been a time they haven't known Christ. Yes, they may have always known about Him, but knowing Him personally is different. Galatians 4 differentiates between knowing about God and being known by God. Romans 10:9 tells us that we must confess with our mouth and believe with our heart. There must be a point of decision. You might not know the date and time (I don't), but I remember the moment. The moment my heart surrendered and I became God's forever child.

Today do you truly know Him as the "LORD your God"? If you do, I would love to hear your salvation story. Please share briefly in the comments. If you haven't ever made that personal committment, today could be the day. Maybe you've lived your life under others assumptions. They won't help you for eternity.

I want to close with this story.

I met a girl years ago who had attended church since she was a child. Had gone through all the right "classes". Said all the right words. Participated in all activities whenever the church doors were opened. As she grew older she even began teaching Sunday School and leading in ministry areas.

One summer in the late '90's a Billy Graham crusade came within driving distance to her town. A large group from her church decided to attend. For the very first time she heard the message that she needed to confess her wrong doings and make a personal decision to receive and follow the Lord. When the invitation was given, although filled with anxiety amongst all of those who for years had felt she knew Christ personally, she stood up and walked to the front. Sadly, many thought she was crazy. They thought she was carrying this "knowing Jesus" thing a bit too far. She responded that night, but friendships became strained. Others didn't understand.

Only a few short weeks later my son started Kindergarten. I met this mom the very first day. I immediately recognized Christ in her. Within days I invited her over for tea. She shared with me the testimony above and how she had been praying for a Christian friend; someone who would understand the decision she had made. God answered when He directed my husband and I to enroll our son in the Public School system. That was not an easy decision and a post for another day, but confirmation came that very first day as the Lord had prepared the way for this friendship.

Again, I ask today, is He the "LORD your God"? He can be. That's the first step. Receive Him as "your God". Then, making Him "LORD" of your life is another. The life of a Christ-follower is far from dull. There is always a new point of surrender and a deeper following. Take whatever next step God is asking of you today.

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Joy in The Truth said...

Joy, I loved reading this sharing of your testimony. Thank you! My heart is touched.

Those are the words that kept popping out to me during the daily reading "I am the LORD your God". Hush my mouth. I'm breathless just thinking about it.

Our Heavenly Father so holy, yet so beautifully tender.

lisasmith said...

Joy, I am crying...such a sweet moment you shared with the Lord. Thanks for sharing here.

Friend, I hope we get to have tea together soon!!! You know if I am anywhere near you I will leap tall buildings in a single bound to connect with you face to face. What joy!