Pressing Toward the Mark

pressingtowardthemark2-300x145No man can come to Me (Jesus), except the Father which has sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

I remember that Saturday morning like it was yesterday.  Sitting on my sofa, lost and empty.  Truth be known I had probably been out playing poker all night the night before and lost every dime I had worked for that week.  You see, I had given up smoking and drinking so I thought I was doing “pretty good”.  I can’t say for sure if that’s what had happened the night before because honestly, I don’t really remember.  If you know me, you know my memory is horrible.  However, that would be a likely scenario at any given point at that time in my life.

That particular morning though the Lord began to draw me.  I thought to myself I would surprise my Dad and his wife and show up at church the next day.  Out of the blue, that next morning came and my Dad called and invited me to church…ruined my surprise but I happily obliged.  I didn’t understand then the drawing of the Holy Spirit.

At the time I was living in sin; living with my then boyfriend…but again, the Lord was drawing me to Him.  God ever seeks to be closer to His creation and for us to know of Him.  I didn’t understand theology and to be frank and honest, I didn’t really care about theology at that point.  I had a yearning deep in my soul to go to this church and so I did.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this church had a revival.  I was excited!  There was a breath of life being seen; a hope I had never had…but again, then I didn’t see, know, understand or seek to understand what this was drawing me.  As far as I was concerned, just with everything else in my life, I liked, I wanted it and I began following it…whatever “it” was, was pleasing.

Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” Ezekiel 36:31

Revival lasted through Wednesday night.  I was there every night but had not yet given my life to the Lord.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance my own evil ways.  Such is the effect of Grace.  Grace does not exalt self but Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has done on Calvary’s Cross.  The righteousness of Jesus Christ reveals our unrighteousness and results in self judgment.  If Jesus’ righteousness reveals our own righteousness, the result is self righteousness and we in fact have another Jesus…NOT the Jesus of the Word of God; the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of man.

That last night of revival, living in sin, far from perfect, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.  I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour.  His life for mine.  The only thing I understood about theology was that I was a sinner and  Jesus Christ died for my sin.  If I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour, I would have eternal life…and so I did; and so it began.  I was born again.  Baptized into His death, I receive the promises of His Life.  The penalty of sin paid and the power of sin broken through His shed Blood which now covered all of my sins. Glory! Glory! Glory!

Then came the next day, the next week, and life resumed and “I” had it all figured out.  My then boyfriend would accept Jesus, we would get married and live happily ever after.  The only problem was, this wasn’t happening and praise be to God, it didn’t happen.  When the Lord finally dealt with me about praying for HIS Will and not mine, I realized my error.  Once I began praying for God’s Will in my life, it was painful.  Remember, I was still new in the Lord and didn’t understand why the Lord was removing things and people from my life…but I knew God.  I had touched His Garment and was not letting go.

Suddenly, with everything stripped away, I was more like Mary than I was Martha.  All of the busy stuff was gone and all I had was Jesus.  That is when I learned, Jesus is all I need.  It is there that I found that He does supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory.  Precept upon precept, line upon line, He has added to what He has wrought in me.  There are times I try to help.  Other times, I make a mess of it all.  Martha will at times creep in unaware but when I stop and remember in Whom I have believed, a peace beyond all understanding comes.

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour.  In all reality, we are all just passing through this pilgrim land and I’m thankful to know in Whom I have believed.  Salvation is mine because of Jesus and what He did on Calvary’s Cross.  The power of sin (Sanctification) is mine because of Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has done.  It was Him drawing me that morning….drawing me from a life of wasted years.  If I would have waited until I was perfected to accept Him, quite frankly I would never be perfected.  To be sure, I won’t be perfected this side of glory…and neither will you.

There are others the Lord is drawing but because they don’t intellectually understand the theology of the Message of the Cross, they feel inferior or shamed.  I want you to know my friend, there are many theologians that intellectually understand the Message of the Cross but are in fact farther away from God than you are.  You see, in your heart you seek to understand but in their heart they think they understand but don’t.  Seeing, they see not.  Hearing, they hear not and neither do they understand (Matthew 13:13).

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Keep pressing.  Keep praying for those lost loved ones.  The Spirit of the Lord is drawing.

-Donna Clark Warren

 

 

 

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