Last Tuesday I wrote about my experience with receiving the Holy Spirit. A few regular readers dropped off after that, and I expect as much. I understand how it feels to be confronted with Christian ideas that are outside of our comfort zone. It is frightening and sometimes shakes our faith to the core. I try to be aware of this. I think Jesus was aware of this. He once said, “I have many things yet to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.”
I don’t want to overwhelm anyone, but I do want to encourage us to consider some ideas that are slightly outside of our comfort zone, because this makes our faith stronger.
I know what it is like to be a fearful and unbelieving servant, and that is not something we want to be found to be when the Day of the Lord is upon us, because we will certainly fall unless Jesus intervenes in a powerful way.
The thing is, I know that He can, and I know that He will do whatever He must do to save those who belong to Him. I know because I have experienced these things for myself.
I am, by nature, very fearful. I used to be, by nature, very gullible until life fell me flat on my face. Then, instead of gullible, I became very cynical and unbelieving.
The two—fear and unbelief—are not conducive to a strong faith and walk with Jesus. I was on the verge of giving up the faith—even taking my own life—when Jesus intervened. My earlier testimony articles address this if you are interested.
Receiving the Holy Spirit in a powerful way was the beginning of a painful journey out of fear and unbelief.
I hesitate to write about these things, because it feels like I am taking the focus off Jesus and placing focus onto myself, and I don’t like to do that. However, I know that as small as my reach might be, all things happened for a reason.
Remember, I am a fearful and unbelieving servant who was on the verge of death. Drastic measures were called for.
I think for many Christians, drastic measures are called for, and it is because of our fear and unbelief. However, having been through it myself, I know that Jesus will keep you.
This is a long introduction. Maybe overwhelming. I do try to stick with the most important points.
After I received the Holy Spirit, I found some freedom from sin, as mentioned in the last testimony article. I also began a journey towards receiving something I asked of the Lord, Jesus, and that is understanding of His will for Christians in this time.
However, the process of receiving that understanding meant dealing with my own fear and unbelief, and this was not a process that happened in a single day—but many days. I received the Holy Spirit in 2016. It is now 2020, and I am still learning what it is all about.
Once I received the Holy Spirit, I thought I would understand it all. I did not. I had previously received understanding about Christian doctrine from a fellow servant, and I thought that was what mattered. I thought that if Christians heard these teachings, they would have the same conversion to these ideas as I did, and if they did not, then they must not be real Christians.
I was, for a time, very caught up on who was a real Christian. I was very caught up on doctrine, and I thought that we had to come to a central understanding on all things, and I thought that was what my ministry was to push.
However, because of my fear of Christians who believed differently, and because of my lack of faith in the will of God and purposes of God, I became very accusatory towards fellow Christians who believed differently than I did—and that was most of them to one degree or another, so I also felt very isolated.
So, I started looking for Christians who believed like I did.
The only place I knew to look as Online. Yet, part of me knew better. I had asked Jesus to teach me, and I was supposed to lay aside learning from most people; there was only one who Jesus had led me to who I was to learn from, but because of my fear and unbelief, I found ways to reason against that.
The world of Online teachers and prophets so-called is dark indeed, and if it were not for the mercy of the Lord and the understanding His Spirit gave me, I would have fallen for some terrible ideas. There are a lot of bad teachings out there Online—very, very, proud and accusatory teachings, blasphemous teachings, and some of them are extremely seductive for those who are weak in the faith or feel cast off by traditional Christianity.
I endured a variety of temptations from listening to these Online ministers, but Jesus was faithful even though I was not. He pulled me out, and through the experience, I learned quite a bit. I learned some markers of a false prophet, and I also began to see things in myself that I did not like, like my own accusatory nature.
I fought that nature for years, and it was a back-and-forth struggle that would take me at times, then I would prevail at times. I wrote about this, in a not-so-obvious ways, within the articles on my last website. This was an “on-going struggle” that seemed obvious to me, because it was very painful and felt like a drastic shifting between two natures, so I thought it was obvious to everyone. I later learned that it was not so obvious, and I guess that is because the Lord was good. There is good work there to read, and I intend to repost a lot of it here.
It is hard to put this struggle into words properly. Maybe as I think about this more, I will have more to say about it. The best way I know to describe it is that I “did not know what spirit I was of.” Though I had the Holy Spirit, my own nature is not holy. My own nature is fearful and unbelieving, and my own nature is weak to the ways of the enemy.
So, in a way, I have spent the last few years learning somewhat of the ways of the enemy, and it was the Spirt of the Lord that kept me—and it was the Spirit of the Lord that led me into this also because this was the understanding I was meant to gain. It was not the understanding I expected, but it was the will of God.
Late last year, and early this year, I came face to face with this enemy in a very frightening way. I saw the darkest parts of myself, and I left my old website. I was afraid that I would corrupt everything because I did not have the right sort of character to continue.
I also had life circumstances that caused me to attempt to abandon ministry all together. I just wanted to live my life and do my best to achieve the “American Dream” for my family. That brought a slew of other problems I had to face, and I lost a lot as a result.
So, I went back to ministry by starting a new website, because I learned that this is not something I can run from; when I try to run away things to not go well. Jesus was merciful, yet again, and He showed me what I had been through over the past few years, reminded me of what I had asked of Him, and He showed me how all the chaos I went through was His will all along. I had asked to understand His will for Christians in this time, and the only way to really get it was to live it.
The articles within this current website are written with that understanding in mind—and as of now, one of the main things I keep going back to is that we do not want to be found “drunken and smiting our fellow servants.” If we are found in such a manner, we are considered among the “fearful and unbelieving.”
I know how easy it is. I know that our nature is such that we are going to be deceived into doing the will of Satan, all the while thinking that we are doing the will of God—and we can call ourselves Christian while we do so.
I know that is not something people want to hear. That takes us out of our comfort zone. I also realize that I am not doing so great a job at conveying my experiences, but I trust the Lord to bring things out more fully in His own time.
Though some of this is hard to hear, rest assured in this: Jesus does not lose anyone who belongs to Him. Not one.
He will do whatever is necessary, and as I wrote and as I strongly believe, drastic measures are called for due to the fear and unbelief of many who carry the name of Jesus. However, though we do not naturally possess the strength to endure such measures, Jesus will strengthen all who belong to Him so that we can endure it.
The faith of many will be shaken to the core, and there are many reasons for this. I will write about my experiences with that in the next testimony article, if the Lord wills it.
And for the record, I am still afraid and my faith could be much stronger. Indeed it will have to be made stronger because what I have endured pales in comparison to what is to come. It is not sin to feel afraid. It is not sin to have times of doubt.
Remember Jesus. He was very afraid when faced with the cross, and while dying He said, “My God, My God! Why have your forsaken me?” He understands our human emotions. That is not sin, and He will not leave us nor forsake us.