Training

In Colossians 2 Paul tells us to work in the faith as we were trained. Too many of us, though, were not really trained. We were led to Christ and then left to wonder, never told how to take each thought captive to Christ Jesus.

I learned the Bible. At one time I knew the books of the Bible forward and back. I was tops at “Sword Drill.” I had memorized many verses and could find others very quickly.

Knowing words, though, didn’t mean the Word was in me the way it needed to be. When I faced hard times I didn’t know where to turn to find answers. I didn’t understand how to face life head-on with God at my side. He was there, but I never turned to him. I never called on the Holy Spirit. I never said, “Jesus, please take me down another road.” I just went were life and peer pressure took me. I didn’t know any better. I saw people all around me who walked into church and became one way and became another the moment they walked back out the door.

I never doubted God was there. I never doubted Jesus died for my sins. I just didn’t understand it all. I didn’t understand how sin can impact you and that the consequences weren’t because God was angry or hateful. They occurred because our actions have consequences. That’s the world we inherited from Adam and Eve.

It took years, and lots of soul-searching thought to get close to where I am now. Then I started to ask questions and I started to get answers. As a kid I turned to Mr. Shaw for an example of Godly living. He was probably the most Christ-like person I knew as kid and young adult. I don’t think I really knew anyone else like that until many, many years later.

Rick and Katy Armstrong, as well as a handful of others from the church I belonged to in South Carolina, modeled a deep relationship with Christ. Their example is what carried me through when I, again, became disillusioned with the people of the Church.

Finally, a few years after that, I met a woman who took me to a church that was what a church should be (and what some I’ve been to were at times), a hospital for sinners instead of a museum for saints.

Thanks to Carolyn I found myself closer to God than I’ve ever been. I guess that’s one of the many reasons why I married her. I’m still working at developing close friendships, but it’s hard now to go through the week without talking to someone who supports my walk, rather than tries to lure me from it. That pastoral staff does not hold themselves to be paragons of virtue, rather they admit to being as human as the rest of us and, as such, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Proof that neither position nor activity/vocation is what matters. It’s relationship.

We crave relationships because our hearts are made for it. We’re made for a relationship with our Creator and his Creation. Most of us have a relationship of some sort with Creation, but our relationship with God is lacking. Penn Jillette helped set a little direction for me in a video I saw this week. I want you, dear reader, to know God and find new life in Jesus Christ. To that end, I’ll spend some time each week on a post (or posts) about God’s grace and how to come to know him.

Until I post something, you might find some help from I Am Second or you can leave a comment and I’ll answer you directly.

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