I have mentioned many times in past blog posts about how influential my wife was in my coming into a personal knowledge of Jesus as Savior and Lord. When we started dating I quickly became aware that she was not like any other individual that I was personally acquainted with up to that point in my life. Not only was she a Christian but she talked about Jesus like He was her best friend. It was not like she looked for the golden opportunities to insert Him into a conversation, it just came out naturally as a part of who she was! Now that I think about it, she sounds like the perfect example of how to share Christ that our instructor taught about in our Personal Evangelism class in Bible College!
My experience with God was quite different than hers! I knew about Him and can even say that I respected and loved Him, but always stood at a distance from Him. As most of you know, I was raised in a staunch Catholic home. All I really knew was Catholicism and to be honest, I was a little afraid of Protestants! My Dad did not have a good opinion of TV Preachers with their expensive suits and flashy personalities. I later came to find out that this stemmed from his childhood when he would go to church and see his neighbors giving the best of their harvests and finances to the priests and then go home to a life of poverty.
What I saw in my wife-to-be was different and very real to her… and when I saw the joy and peace it brought to her… I wanted it too! But you know, that intense personal relationship with Him did not come easily to me. It took many years to break down the old understandings that I had grown up with. To be honest, the real breakthrough didn’t really come until we returned home from our stay in Oklahoma following over thirty years in the ministry and Bible College and were faced with the various obstacles concerning my wife’s health.
The epiphany of that revelation and importance of that relationship actually came when members of our family stepped back and distanced themselves from our situation. It was then when the Spirit of God spoke to my heart reminding me of Joshua 1:5 saying: “I will never neglect you or abandon you.” (God’s Word ©) When I became painfully aware that some individuals have to face and deal with their own fears before they can reach out to others, I quickly learned that God wants to keep everything VERY personal when it comes to our interactions with Him!
Galatians 4:6 tells us that “Because you are God’s children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son unto us to call out, ‘Abba Father.’” (God’s Word ©) Vincent’s Word Studies states that the term “call out” or as the King James says “crying” is “a strong word expressing deep emotion.” In explaining the Holy Spirit’s role in this, the Geneva Translation Notes speaks of “The Holy Spirit… who seals our adoption in our minds and therefore opens our mouths.” To put it rather plainly, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit’s job is to make and keep our relationship, trust and expectations in Papa God and His Word as an intricate, intimate, indispensable and VERY personal part of our lives! That extreme closeness is the only thing that has kept me going over the last six years!
What has kept you going over the last several years of your life? Who is it that has been closer than your closet relatives? Who is it that has ALWAYS been there when others have stepped back and at times looked the other way when you needed them the most? The answer to these questions can make or break your life!
Have a great rest of the week! Stay closely in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom are you expecting to stay PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH today?”