Living for Jesus -- I Would Give my Life for Him
I have been experiencing an extremely rough time in my walk with God. Many things have been happening in my life that have made it difficult for me to look Heavenward to see Him. I have faltered and I have stumbled and at times I have felt as though I am turning my back on the One who made me. During these times of trouble it is especially important that we turn to Him and embrace the cross.
I know that when I have a difficult time, I'm doing it to myself. I come up against a brick wall which seems insurmountable (usually because it is) and I begin to fight that wall, beating it with my fists and struggling to break it down so that I can continue on a straight (and presumably easy) path. I keep beating at it and my fists become bloody and bruised. But stubbornly I keep fighting and keep fighting. I become more and more exhausted and less and less capable of breaking the wall down by myself. Finally, I need to rest, and I sit back and as I do I begin to see the situation as it really is. I look upward and I pray. Ultimately I develop the courage to look to God. Almost as soon as I do He is right there, with all the comfort of the Holy Spirit. And He picks me up and puts me on the other side of that wall, so that I can run to the next one. Eventually maybe I'll learn to go straight to God!
I believe that it is human nature to live selfishly. Society, upbringing and other factors have forced us to always look out for "number one." Most Christians struggle to overcome their own selfishness, and many times we fail, but God is always there for us, always looking to bring us back home.
Bless the Broken Road
Building a Personal Relationship with God
Who is Jesus Christ?
I was raised Catholic, and during my early schooling years was sent to a Catholic school. Though much of the Catholic doctrine (and dogma!) was discussed, we were never to my recollection encouraged to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Prayer was performed as a group and almost invariably by rote (memorized prayers). We didn't read the Bible, but instead used study materials about the Bible. Religious studies were treated as a history class rather than as a class intended to develop us as spiritual individuals. Overall, the experience was not a good one.
It saddens me now to look back on the number of years that I lost.
I have spoken in my hub Why I Believe in God: A Personal Journey about the path I took before finally finding Jesus. I will reiterate, however, that I never "disbelieved' in Him. I just believed in a version of Christ that is not the Jesus I now know and understand. I believed that He was a great man who had lived on this earth, a man who had significantly changed the world. I did not believe that He was God or the Son of God and I didn't believe that He was a prophet. I hadn't read the Bible and had no desire to do so. I didn't give Jesus a chance and I didn't give Him room.
He is my savior in so many ways, dear reader. I believe, as Christians do, that Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sins. I believe that this was personal, and that He knew that I would come when He gave His life for me. I believe truly and deeply that if it had only been me, He still would have done the same. Jesus saved me from my sins and He saved me from death. I believe.
He also saved me from myself. He took a young woman who was on a very self-destructive path and put real choice down in front of me. He sent me the Truth I now know in the form of dreams. The choice was there, I could choose a path. In one direction was a life filled with fear, anxiety and sorrow and in the other direction was a life filled with light and wonder and true joy.
At the end of one path, Jesus waited for me with open and loving arms. I woke up one morning and I ran into those arms. I have been in His embrace ever since, and my life is profoundly and permanently changed. There is no going back.
Feel the Nails -- Scenes from The Passion -- VERY GRAPHIC!
I've been Selfish
One of the steps to accepting salvation is repentence. We must confess our sin to God and repent of it. I have been, for quite some time, truly convicted of my selfishness. When I observe my own sin (even now), the first thing that comes to mind every single time is my selfishness. I have stood by myself for so long, expecting others to do for me what I can do for myself and believing that I was self-made. I have failed to recognize God in everything and give credit where it is due. I've been greedy, unkind and unappreciative.
I feel that selfishness in itself leads to self-destructive behavior, including alcoholism and drug abuse. I have been truly blessed not to have developed a problem with alcohol, but I have, in the past, used marijuana on a regular basis and have engaged in self-destructive behaviors, including attempted suicide and self-harm.
I rejected God and anyone who tried to help me. I believe that part of the reason I am divorced is my own selfish and self-destructive behavior. I have faced enormous challenges in my life, and most of those challenges have been of my own doing. Due to my own selfishness I have made choices that have led to my own bitterness. I believe that by rights, I shouldn't be here. I know that were it not for God, I wouldn't be here. Strong words, but yes, I know and give Him full credit!
I Owe it all to Jesus
I owe my life to Jesus. If I had never found Him I know that my life would have still been in the complete chaos that I fought before He called me back to Him. There is nothing in my life that cannot be credited to him. I am here to write this hub because God gave me the ability to read, to think, to type. He gave me the talent that it takes to write and the persistence to keep doing it. It is through His love that I am able to come to you today and present what He has done for me.
Jesus is my Life
Those who don't believe will not understand, but Jesus is everything for me. He is my friend, my brother, my lover. When I think of Him, speak to Him in prayer, my entire being aches for Him. I am in genuine romantic love with the man who put his life down in order to save me from myself. There is no greater love and no greater gift.
For Whom do I Live?
I cried on my husband's shoulder that night, telling him how selfish I felt. And as he comforted me in a rare moment of complete oneness between us, he told me that he knew that I wasn't. He knew that even in prayer I put others before myself. That often I was so exhausted from a day that I forgot to take my own personal supplications to Jesus, and that I often asked Him for His divine healing for others in my life, and sometimes for others who I have never met. My husband understood something that still is sinking in for me: I have learned to put others first. I don't live for myself and have finally begun to live for others.
Do I live for Jesus? This is such a difficult question, and I think that it needs to be examined as I need to examine where my personal priorities lie. I believe in biblical priorities, that Christ must be the head of man, man the head of woman and so on and so forth. And yet I wonder, do I truly put Jesus first, or does my husband come first?
I'm Not There Yet
I'm not there yet. As hard as it is to simply realize that I haven't quite made it to where I want to be, I want to be honest with myself. I don't take enough time out of every day for prayer (though every day includes prayer). I often forget to prioritize and to accept God's blessings. I often forget to pass His message on to my daughter day by day. I am often too wrapped up in the "other things" that I have to do on a daily basis and I commonly forget who is the Author of my life and salvation.
We don't go to church and haven't for some time. We just can't seem to find a church that satisfies the needs of every member of our family. And the truth is that I believe we are both happy resting on Sundays and not sitting in a pew. It's sad, but it's true. Perhaps we just haven't found the right church home, or maybe we both feel conflicted. Maybe we know, deep in our hearts, that our priorities are wrong and we're afraid to face it. I don't know.
What I do know is that there is work to be done, and I had best get to doing it.
At the bottom of the page you will be able to see links to the next hubs in this group. I have grouped this hub with other hubs that are, at their root, about me. If you would like to view my other Christian and Spirituality hubs, please view the links directly below.
Do you feel that you are "right with God?"
My Other Spirituality Hubs
- The Power of Forgiveness
I recently had the wonderful experience of forgiving my ex-husband once and for all for all of the horrible things he did to me during our marriage. I learned a lot from the experience and wish to share that experience with you!
- What Has God Done for You Today?
Gratitude will truly change the way that you view your world. Waking up every morning with praise for God can change the way you perceive yourself and those around you!
- Kindness Can...
One of my own recent hubs got me to thinking about kindness. I talked about how becoming a part of the community (in this case, specifically Hubpages) affects the others around you. Specifically I dealt with...
- Why I Believe in God: A Personal Journey
My belief in God is very strong, but it has been quite a battle to get to the current peace that I have with Him. This article shares my personal journey and how I got to where I am now.
- My Guardian Angels
There was once a time that I didn't believe in angels at all. As anyone who has read my profile or other spirituality hubs that I have written knows, I was a pagan for quite a long time. I believed in...
- Abrasive Atheists and Contrary Christians
For many years I found Chrsitians to be very offensive. These days I find that it is often the opposite and that atheists are offending my sensibilities. Could it be that both sides are wrong?