When I was 39 years old I started running a weekly meeting to help support some of the vulnerable people in the local community. One week God sent this man along, everyone in the group called him ‘The Holy Man of God’. He would turn up each week with the biggest Bible I had ever seen and he would always be talking about ‘giving your life to the Lord’. At that time I thought he was ‘crazy’ however after several coffees together and lots of arguments around Mary the mother of Jesus I started to investigate some of the things he was claiming. To cut a very long story short I gave my life to the Lord and was baptised on the 9th July 2006. I purchased my first ever Bible and began the most exciting journey of my life. I knew of the Gospels but that was the extent of my knowledge of the Bible. Years of study lay ahead and I loved and still love every single second of studying the Word of God. For me it is the most amazing book ever, Amen. My extended family were, and are still are very upset with my choice to ‘give my life to the Lord’. They often tell me I am ‘brain washed’ for which I say Praise God my brain has been washed. Mediating on the Word of God keeps me safe, Praise God for His amazing provision.
What I am trying to share is that when I was baptised I had a lot to learn. I was a baby on milk; 1 Corinthians 3:2 ‘I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready’, spiritually speaking I was unable to digest the protein at this early stage.
There are many reasons for the increase in sin in my life after I got baptised and to discuss them all would take a great deal of time. I therefore offer the 3 most important lessons I learned by God’s Grace:
1. God loves me even when I sin Romans 5:8 ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. I am no longer bound in chains of the Law. God wanted my heart and my love for Him in freedom and not in fear of Him.
2. God said in his word He will turn all things for Good Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ and because God has forgiven me time and time again, His amazing Grace has taught me how to understand and forgive others. My heart now overflows with love and compassion for others.
3. The Holy Spirit did come upon me after my baptism but because of religion I could not acknowledge the Holy Spirit. However, when I learned to put away religion by faith then I entered into the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I had to learn that Christianity is not a religion but a way of life, the way of ‘Eternal Life’ Philippians 1:21 ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain’ Amen. I came to understand the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the blood of Jesus by studying God’s word and meditating on it every single day Matthew 4:4 ‘Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’. By the Grace of God I have learned many of the scriptures off by heart and this equips me In times of trouble or temptation to be fully prepared for the battle. We know we must stay alert because the devil roams around like a roaring lion waiting to devour us 1 Peter 5:8 ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’.
In summary I always wear the full armour of God Ephesians 6:10-18. My mind has been created by God for His Glory however God does not control what I think, in freedom I have choices. Sin enters in through the mind first, then the thought creates a desire, then the desire creates behaviour, and that’s when trouble often begins. We see this so often in the Bible, a few of examples are Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:6 and David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. I have learned by God’s Grace to watch my mind and what I allow into it. I guard my mind as though my life depends on it and I have a guard on duty 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Outside of Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit my carnal mind is crazy. Therefore let’s Praise God with everything we have for Christ Jesus and the Power of the Mighty Holy Spirit, Amen.
Author: Christina O’Neill
May God bless and enrich your life
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