Friday, August 16, 2013

So How Do We Live?

About 20 years ago I took a bible study from my pastor and his wife.  It was called Sonship out of Philadelphia written by Jack Miller.  His son Paul Miller also did major work in this study.  It is a study of the gospel and how it is not just for salvation but for sanctification.  Living every day life.  People were getting free.  Knowing peace and joy they had never had.  I was among these.

Before the study ended we moved to Arkansas.  I talked to my pastor and he said Sonship was not in the area.  Problems and troubles were entering my life and I didn't know how to deal with them.  I called World Harvest Mission and ask them if I was mentored by their mentor could I teach the bible study.  I did this not that I understood the gospel or remembered what I had learned by I was desperate to hear it.

I began to teach the study to pastors wives, bible study leaders, from all denominations.  I would go to pastors and tell them about the study for them.  I was being mentored all along.  The gospel began to peel me like an onion.  I had daily repentance and faith but my life fell apart. It was changing me but not the way I wanted.   It began to reveal my heart, what I was trusting in, my life and how much I needed Jesus.

As you may know the next years were spent with me in and out of the mental hospital.  A friend ask me the other day.  How do you live and tell someone the gospel.  Even when you were so sick you gave the gospel and pointed others to Jesus.  I knew the words. I continued to be a student of all the gospel meant to us as Gods child, who He is and His ways of faithfulness and what Jesus did on, up to and after the cross.  I spoke them to everyone I came in contact with but the gospel had not moved me into freedom.  I spent these years seeking the Lord and being sick and more sick.

This last year I was counseled by Rick Thomas.  Rick has a forum, you can join, and over a thousand articles and webinars he has written on how to counsel.  He also has a website and counseling course I hope to be trained by.  He does this by the gospel.  Rick, the articles, and the fellowship and teaching of the forum God has used at just the right time to changed my life.  No counselor or program can change us but God does use us in each others lives to help us in trusting God.  The gospel began to grab hold of my heart.  The things I had been teaching and saying for 20 years I began to believe.  My life was changing, I am changing and freedom, peace and joy has become my friend. I am beginning to have the life that Jesus gives.  I am learning to trust God and not myself.  It was His timing and His purposes that brought me to a place of seeing Him clearer.  I don't always stay in this place of freedom but I know my way back.  I still forget all the time.  It has been exciting to me to see the how trusting a loving, faithful, good God, things I heard a thousand times, can bring me to a place of enjoying Him and others. Of what I write all the time, that God is faithful no matter what is going on in your life.  Like I said in my devotional I still am learning, struggling and failing.  Martha, who writes with me said, "you use to write what other people said now you write from experience".

When I write to you daily I bring my circumstances, people and things God is teaching to me to you.  Then I relate these things to truths about the gospel.  These truths are things that are so because of the gospel.  The whole bible is pointing to the gospel or away from it.  To the God who rescued an unfaithful people and brought them to Himself.  That either He was to come or He had come and what that meant.    I have to be able to see the heart issues of my life or anothers, the things that are being believed and know the gospel and its truths.  The Spirit brings these truths and discernment to my mind and heart. I have so much to learn in doing this but it has become a part of me.  We all have a theology, what we know in our head and we live out of another theology possibly of what we believe and live by.  What directs our heart.  I pray when I write and talk to people that the Spirit will show me their heart and the gospel.   Even as I am talking to a friend.  That God would cover my mistakes.  That it would work in the hearts of others.  I pray for you.  You might call this mentoring. For 20 years I have had mentors and wouldn't have survived without them.  My friends give me the gospel and share what God is doing and teaching them.  It keeps me going many times.  I never waited until I felt I was at a point of maturity to share my story, the bible doesn't.  I shared right where I was, what God was teaching me and doing in me, even how I was failing and struggling and how Jesus was the answer. I am still doing this.  I know no other way.  I did this in hopes others might could relate to where I was at some level or just be encouraged and turn to God.  That I might believe it myself.   It really is not about me anyway.  It is about the truths of the gospel and Jesus.

I want to encourage you to share your story and what God is teaching you to someone today.  Begin to think about all He did for you, look in scripture, it is full on the cross and all that means.  Just grab hold of one truth a day if you can and meditate on that.  Pray God gives you the faith to believe it.  It will not only change you but will change others.  We are called to the Great Commission.  Begin it in faith today and do all you can to be taught, mentored and study the gospel as you depend and trust Him.  The gospel is the power of God for our salvation not just to begin but to continue in this walk with God living in us.