Is This Your Life?
"I don't know what to do Precious Lord," the young man said after he had gotten drunk the night before. "I really want to serve you Father. I really want to change, but" He never completes the sentence. The awesome silence in the room is as smothering as a blanket. Several times he attempts to complete the "but" part, yet for the moment he feels he hasn't really repented. It is not until after he got his life back into the center of God's will (this is pertaining to Christians, mostly). He was once in God's will the moment he attained Christ's salvation.
What Is Wrong With This Guy's Prayer?
You may be asking that right now. What this young man (let's call him Eddie) doesn't realize is that God is not going to hear our prayers if we don't mean them. Too many times, we treat God like an umbrella--we only use Him when it's raining. Many Christians, myself also at times, try to get along in life by only using God when we are in trouble or when we just want to ask a quick, little prayer with no real attitude of repentance. I've thought, in the past, that I could sin the same sin over and over and just keep asking repentance every time, but in my mind, I haven't really repented. True repentance brings forth physical evidence. When I became a Christian, I began acting a little different. Since I was saved early on in life, my life really didn't change drastically, but now that I look back on my life and I can truly say that if I hadn't had Christ this late in life, I would be a teenage drunk like Eddie.
The "But" Prayers
How many of us use the word "but" in our prayers (obviously at times this might be okay)? I do a lot it seems. The famous prayer that plenty of Christians pray, I believe, is the infamous, "I want to do your will Father, but" Then we add various words such as: "I can't do it," or "I don't have the time." My most-used saying is "I really don't think that's your will," when I KNOW ALL ALONG that it is. The unintelligent of we humans is astounding. How can WE be so stupid? God has given us the gift of grace, and as Ray Boltz says in "Do You Still Feel the Nails?"--"We treat your precious grace so carelessly."
You may be asking, "Hey! Once we're saved, we can still be a Christian and sin right?" Yes, but I think it is a continual sinful attitude & lifestyle, with no feelings of remorse that proves you could not be saved at all. If you are totally involved in a sinful lifestyle & you don't have the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart and you are not being chastised at all, I would WORRY if I were you. I would seriously doubt my salvation if I were you! If you haven't noticed, I do believe in eternal security. It is not my purpose presently to support the doctrine in this paper, but if you notify me via e-mail or ICQ, I'd be happy to help. To prove my point about seriously wondering if you're if you aren't being chastised, just look over at Hebrews 12:6-8, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." If you have no hint of chastisement in your life in which you are continuing in a lifestyle of sin, tben the Bible says you aren't the Heavenly Father's child!
IS IT TOO LATE???
If you haven't paid attention to most of this at all, then listen to this part! Is it too late? NO! You're still living to read this aren't you! God never forsakes a Child of His! He's waiting for your return. Come back to Him, for He's waiting with open arms! I Chronicles 7:14-15 tells us that "If my people , who are called by my name, [I will talk about this later] shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and hear their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in that place." God knows if we mean business, and if we attempt to "get right" with Him, He'll hear our pleas and help us out. You may say that we aren't chosen. Jesus Christ, though, said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."-John 15:16.
If you have truly made a change in your life, contact me by whatever means necessary (e-mail or ICQ, etc.). I would LOVE to hear from you! It is important to NOT PLAY GAMES WITH GOD. I know how it is-you get all emotional and hyped-up, but you never really make a true lasting change. I can't discern the exact moment in the past year that I started to get back to the Bible study I did when I was younger. I can tell you a big change was. We changed churches, and now I know why. We had to young preachers about 4-7 years older than me announce their call to preach while I was there. That was the first time I had seen someone close to my age really on fire in a while that were really my friends. Sure I had seem guest speakers and people on television, sure, but I had never experienced it firsthand. One of the preachers, Benjie, was very complacent in His Christian life, when God started making drastic changes. This man realized the AWESOME truths in the Bible. You could see him come alive again.
Can YOUR Life Make a Difference?
If Eddie was real, I could imagine him telling us what he's learned about the Christian Walk. He might tell us:
Don't play games with God. He knows you're heart. He was with us before we were even born. He has a plan for your life, just as he did mine. I used to drink on the weekends with my friends, then I started smoking some heavy stuff. Then, I went to church one day. It was a little old church. Smyrna Baptist [author's note: name of my church.] was the name. The preacher preached on repentance and I kept on thinking, would God accept me back? Have I gone too far? I was miserable during those times before that. Each time I would ask forgiveness for my alcohol problem, it was so empty. I felt awful because so many things were happening to me! My life was a wreck. I know now that it was the Lord's chastisement. Anyhow, I went down to that altar. It was the best thing, next to salvation, that has ever happened to me. I decided to join that day and I went out and told everyone that I was back in the Lord's will. Now, I STILL mess up, but he knows I mean business now! Praise God for His excellent mercy! The well of forgiveness never runs dry.
My friend, or you like Eddie was? Do you want God's forgiveness for your backsliding lifestyle? He will forgive you--all you have to do is ask with the utmost sincerity! If you have doubted your salvation, talk to me! I would love to talk with because it is important to me that you know you're saved and likewise God Himself, is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."-2 Peter 3:9.
Recommended Article, "The Scars of Sin" by Ray C. Stedman.
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