For the last few years, I’ve been in what seems to be a dry season spiritually. I was in a rut–stuck in my ways, which weren’t working, but stuck still.
For the last year, I’ve been struggling with chronic back pain. It started last August, and in December, as I was worshiping the Lord before service one Sunday, I felt the Lord impress upon me that I would be going through some physical trials. I felt then, and continue to feel that they are not a result of some sin, but for the glory of God. I’ve expressed these sentiments here before.
Today’s post is about my spiritual journey. Where I’ve been, and where I am now.
I’m the daughter of a Baptist mother and a non-instrument Church of Christ father. Growing up, I attended the Church of Christ sporadically. My parents separated when I was fourteen, and my mom and I started attending a Baptist church. Neither of those denominations are bad in and of themselves, though few in either of the churches I attended knew the power available to the body of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Over the years, my husband and I have attended a variety of churches. God was taking me somewhere, inch by inch, church by church.
While we were dating, and then for our first year of marriage, we attended and small community church. Step one–hymns are not the only songs that can be sung to worship God.
We moved to Florida a year after our wedding. There we found a little Baptist church. Step two–raising your hands while you sing is a form of worship.
A few years later, we moved to North Carolina. We attended an instrumental Church of Christ. Step three–worship can still be holy with a full band playing the music.
Virginia was our next stop. Home. Family. But we were not the same people we were when we left, and the church we had been attending had folded during our absence. We found a non-denominational church. It was the biggest step God had asked me to take so far, but I didn’t know it at the time. The first few Sundays were normal. I got comfortable and enjoyed the services. I had three children by this time, and they seemed to like their classes as well. Step four (a really big one)–the Holy Spirit works in today’s church through the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12. They are not obsolete. They are active and alive. I also learned that speaking in tongues, in a personal prayer language, was not of the devil, but designed by God.
This church multiplied and planted a campus closer to our home. Step five–God can use even broken vessels like me to express His words and will to His church. I began to prophesy, through the work of the Spirit in me.
Our next church was found in Alabama. Step six–a stepping back time. A teaching time. I learned about faith, healing, and a variety of other topics I hadn’t been ready to hear before.
If you’re familiar with the story of the potter and the pot, this was my time on the shelf. A time of waiting.
The Lord then called us to a different church in the same area. I think in this church I’ve learned to be real, and to find joy in the midst of trying circumstances because step seven is here–the firing process, cleansing out the impurities, wrong beliefs, and whatever else that is within me that I don’t know about.
This is what I am going through now. Maybe in a few years, it won’t seem to be such a fiery trial. Maybe it has only begun and much worse is around the corner. I don’t know.
This is what I do know, and a portion of what I wrote in my journal this morning as a prayer to God.
I know I’ll never be worthy and deserving of Your love outside the sacrifice of Jesus, but because of the love You showed through that sacrifice I want–nay, need–to do my best for You, even when it seems my best isn’t good enough.
And even as I sit here typing out this post(at 6:30 a.m.), tears course down my cheeks because I know God doesn’t expect any better than my best. My best is always good enough. He’s more concerned with my heart. And He loves me. He really loves me, just like I am–screwed up and broken–because I’m His. He bought me with a price–a very precious sacrifice. One I’m not willing to ignore.
So, what brought all of this introspection on?
One word. The Greek word Kurios, found in the New Testament over 700 times. It is the word translated Lord or master, but it goes so much deeper than that. It means the owner or possessor of something. It is a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence. When I call God my Lord, I want everything within me, all that I am, to show Him the respect and reverence He deserves. I want Him to be my Lord and Master.
So, today, I invite you to come with me on this journey. It doesn’t matter where you are in the process, or if you belong to the Church of Christ, a Baptist church, or some other Christian denomination. We all serve THE ONE true God.
Walk with me on the path as I struggle to surrender all that I am to God.