I am a third generation Christian and a pastor's kid. One October Sunday when I was 6, my dad was unwell so I went with my cousin to church. That day there was a visiting lady speaker who took the Sunday school. I can't remember what she talked about but at the end of her talk she gave an invite for anyone who wanted to 'give their heart to Jesus'. Those who did were asked to put their hands up and pray with her, and afterwards say ‘I belong to Jesus and He belongs to me’. I am an introvert and as I say a pastor's kid and so these factors very much kept my hand down. But I prayed along with the lady and everyone else said the words, afterwards I confessed to my cousin what I had done. It was something that I understood and wanted to do but felt convicted that I had not put my hand up and therefore I was not properly ‘saved’. I wanted to feel the amazing change in my life that everyone talked about however the more I doubted the more that everyone assured me that I was OK.
I could say a lot more about this – but why share it at all you might say - it sounds negative. I think that I have been prompted to and maybe it might be because I suspect that I am not alone amongst pastor’s kids and those from families with a Christian heritage in finding it difficult to come to a place of reconciliation and assurance with God. What happened as a result of all this is I guess that I built up a protective wall of ideas, theories and theologies that in fact, far from getting me near to God became a wall to keep me away. My breakthroughs have come in part from discovering that for real:
Jesus really loves ME – His death on the cross was an offering for MY sin. He really wants a relationship with ME – He wants to walk day today with ME like He walked with Adam in the garden of Eden. He is NEVER going to do things my way even if ‘my way’ is theologically sound – whatever He does He will do His way and unless I am willing to humble myself and accept that I will get nothing. This is very hard for those of us who believe they know the ‘rightness’ of a thing. It may be right and it may be scriptural but it is possibly and even probably that it is not the thing that we need to hold on to at this moment, if all we feel is frustration and hardness of heart. Abandon rationality - listen carefully to what God is really saying and let him strip away the layers to get at the real issues and deal with them. Psalm 139:23 ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts’. Yes it’s very tough but when He is finished the result is to be overwhelmed with love for Him and all He is. In that place He fulfils our deepest desires and outdoes all our expectations.
1 Corinthians 2:12 ‘That we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us’.
Author: Chris Pearson
May God bless and enrich your life
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