Who am I? I’m a born again Child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Who HE is and what He did on Calvary’s Cross for “whosoever” will believe, I chose to actually believe and was born of the Spirit of God. I was indeed spiritually alive unto God but truthfully speaking I had not yet reckoned myself to be dead unto sin.
You see, it is true, I did become a new creature in Christ Jesus. I was zealous for the Lord. Old things had passed away and all things became new. However, being born again didn’t make me a “theologian”. There were precepts upon precepts and lines upon lines that the Lord continues to reveal to ALL of His Children. Jesus Christ is alive; He is the Word incarnate, therefore the Word is alive. Because Jesus is alive and His Spirit dwells in us to guide us into all Truths according to the Word of God – this daily walk we now have with our Lord is inexhaustible. There is no graduating class with the Child of God on this side of glory. Whether we have been born again 5 days or 50 years, we are all growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
“4 Nicodemus said unto Him (Jesus), How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (natural child birth) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:4-5
Once I then believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, I was called to follow Him…just as every born again Believer is called to follow Him.
“And He (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
The Cross of Christ was a place of great suffering for Jesus but for the Believer, it is a place of great blessing. Jesus is the Source and His Cross the means by which the Believer’s blessings flow from the Throne Room of God. Our faith exclusively in Jesus and His atoning work, gives the Holy Spirit latitude to do that which He is commissioned to do – free us from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). It is the Cross of Christ which made the indwelling of the Holy Spirit possible for the Believer.
Then came the religious. Many with good intentions who sincerely loved the Lord and others who were somewhat arrogant and prideful. These were the “elite”; the highly spiritual folk who were quite seductive with their philosophies and methods. Blood Moons, Harbingers and Shemitahs were the studies of that day. Evidently everyone in that group had already graduated from the “40 days of purpose” for their purpose driven lives and had moved on…just as they had moved on from the Cross of Christ. Seeing, I saw not. Hearing, I heard not and neither did I understand (Matthew 13:13).
“And when she came to the man of God (Elisha) to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi (Elisha’s servant) came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord has hid it from me, and has not told me.” 2 Kings 4:27
Religion will thrust vexed souls away from the Cross of Christ but Grace will draw them. As I sat under these schemes of prideful man and their vain philosophies, my soul became vexed as well. Sinful temptations became more seductive. I would soon realize my will power was not stronger than the law of sin and death. As I leaned more and more on my own understanding and began depending on my willpower instead of denying myself…I had left my place of blessing, the Cross of Christ, and found myself following man and not Christ.
Did I know during this time what was happening? Absolutely not. Can I look back now and see where the Lord Jesus Christ brought me from? Can I see how religion had thrust me away from God? Yes – yes I can and I give God the glory. However, I feel sure I will have a similar testimony in the years to come for I have not yet graduated either.
No matter where we are in this walk with our Lord, He is constantly drawing us nearer to Him. Some will heed the call and sadly others will dismiss. For those who continue to dismiss the drawing and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, their light will eventually be taken from them and given to those with an abundance of light. This is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-27 .
Religion will thrust us away from God. Grace draws us to the Cross of Christ where our efforts for increase are laid waste.
“So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:7
Seek God’s increase….not religion’s. God’s increase is born of the Spirit; not vanities.
-Donna Clark Warren