My life used to feel like a constant whirlwind of emotion. Feeling charged up when I “felt” God “showing Himself” to me through experiences. Or feeling despair, loneliness, confusion, and condemnation when I believed He was being silent to me.
My Background In Trying To Hear The Lord & Find Purpose
Now if you are not familiar with my story, I would recommend reading my testimony because you are going to get the full story there. But in a quick summary, I grew up during the 90s and my teens were spent in the early 2000s. I grew up in what has been dubbed the Seeker-Driven or Emergent Church movement. In short, spending my life trying to hear the Lord speak to me outside of the Bible and wonder about my purpose.
WOW Worship was really big. Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren was introduced to me when I was 13 and it became a cherished book. Little did I know, the Gospel was not even explained in the book. – which shares the old mindset I used to have, it wasn’t about understanding the Gospel.
I grew up as a Nazarene. The denomination is very big in holiness and sanctification. I knew more about holiness and sanctification than I did the Gospel. Recently, I have opened up about this struggle and begged pastors to preach the Gospel more. See: I Didn’t Always Understand The Gospel Well | My Plea To Pastors
Dreams about the end-times was something I looked forward to. I started having dreams around age 13/14. In fact, those who have been around my blog for years, might know a time when I used to publish posts about my dreams. See: Why I Took Down My Dream Posts & Series | Recant
My Blind Faith
I grew up trying to understand and hear from the Lord outside of scripture. I thought I needed the dreams, the emotional experiences, to feel connected to God, to feel special. But faith is not evidence based on feelings, as that faith withers like a plant with no roots, and collapses as a castle made of sand. Faith is actually all about Christ, evidence for the Resurrection and the Gospel in general. (1 Peter 3:15)
I had a blind faith. My faith was about a “God” who made me feel good through emotions and made me feel lonely when I didn’t hear Him or have good emotions. I struggled in sin because I was the one trying to conquer the sin. My fight began when the temptation had already started and increased. A solider in a death battle, with no armor, no preparation, and complete foolishness. I fought a battle without protection and with no sword. (See: Overcoming Temptation | When Temptation Breaks You, Proverbs 30:05, Ephesians 6:17)
My faith had no evidence, no protection, and no sword.
A watered-down Gospel, a whole lot of emotion, trying to figure out my purpose, my calling, my spiritual gifts… concerned I’d mistake what God was doing in my life and His plan for me. Symbols and dream interpretations were the empty bread I tried to eat and live by. Emotions were the poisoned water I drank.
Oh, I prayed. I prayed a lot. But I also sinned a lot. Which is why, I do not know when I was saved anymore, and I am not bothered by it now. The Lord was kind in answering some prayers during this dark time of sin and confusion. But the greatest prayer He ever answered was truly helping me know Him through His own words in the Bible. He took the scales from my eyes and I could finally understand the Savior.
I wanted to hear Him so badly, and the one place where His word would have been most clear and understood, I treated wrongly. I did not seek Him in His living word the right way.
Thinking God spoke to me in my thoughts. If I saw a dove, I thought it was God showing me He understood my pain. But my pain and my desperation for Him was never really fulfilled in this manner. Looking for symbols everywhere, just to feel close to God. I read scripture out of order, and treated His word like a magic 8 ball. Legalism bond me as I was never enough to live a holy and sanctified life. I fell in sin, I was bond to sin. Darkness was my master, truthfully. (Romans 7:14)
The experiences and emotions made me feel good and special. People unfamiliar with scripture, like myself, thought I was mature and grounded in scripture. I had read through most of the Bible (aside from genealogies). I knew more scripture than many peers, and possibly some of the adults around me, as I grew up. I asked questions. I misunderstood scripture, and mostly no one could give me the answers to my questions with an in-depth Biblical answer that surrounded the Gospel. All of us were misled and confused.
I now know why.
When our faith is vague, based on subjective emotions and interpretations, lacks scriptural and contextual understanding especially in regards to the Gospel, then we won’t have answers for people which will ground them in the truth of Christ and His word.
Ironically, when I learned to start to read the Bible properly… friends, I got answers! I got SO many answers!!
The best way to describe what happened is what I call a Swiss cheese theology, as Swiss cheese has holes in it. I had a lot of holes in my theology. Yet, when I started to understand scripture properly, it was like all of those holes, and the things that never made sense to me suddenly became clear. My theology became one solid piece. I had solid ground to stand on. I had EVIDENCE! I had ANSWERS for people! I had answers for myself!
How I Finally Understood the Trinity
I want to share one of these moments of scripture connecting the dots for me because I want you to see the powerful work of God.
When I was younger and misunderstood scripture, I used to look less at Christ, and more at the Father and especially the Holy Spirit. I did not respect the Godhead. And it makes me sick to know I looked down on the Savior. Everything He did, and I just thought the Gospel was, yeah, “important”, BUT holiness and sanctification were more important.
This post Covenant of Redemption | Understanding The Trinity sums up what I’ve been learning about the Gospel and God. How Christ is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
What The Sinner Must Believe & Understand
You see, Jesus saves, and I mean not just at the cross, but for the person who has put her faith in Jesus Christ she:
- Sees that she is wretched sinner. (Psalm 1:05)
- Sees how she cannot earn her salvation. (Isaiah 1:28)
- Sees she cannot make herself clean, holy, or sanctified. (Isaiah 64:06)
- Sees she needs Jesus. (Mark 2:17)
- Sees she believes in what Jesus did – that He lived a full sinless life as the God-Man, died on the cross for our debt of sin, taking the wrath of God that we, the sinner deserve, in our place. He then resurrected conquering the grave because, as He was sinless, death could not hold Him. He had no sin wages for Himself. Therefore, He could pay off the wages of all who had a debt of sin because of His sinlessness AND His righteousness. Christ became the God-Man, by adding humanity to Himself, as He was always God. No other man is sinless like Christ. No one has power like God, which is why Christ could pay off the debt sin of all who put their faith in Jesus. (Hebrews 2:17, 2:14 Romans 3:24-26, 5:09, 5:17-18, 5:21, 10:04, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:11, 2nd Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 2:01-02, Galatians 2:16, 5:05, Philippians 1:11, 3:09, 1 Peter 3:18)
- Believes and trusts that the righteousness of Christ is accredited to her, and her sin was accredited to Christ on the cross. (John 17:19, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 5:25-26, Colossians 3:09-10, Hebrews 10:10, 2:11, 13:12)
The process of becoming a believer and living as a believer is not found in a “heart prayer” or a “come to the alter, say a prayer, and here is your ticket to Heaven,” no. See, salvation comes in all tenses past, present, and future.
To understand the past, you need to understand the Covenant of Redemption, the agreement of the Godhead, and the prophecies of the Messiah from Genesis all the way to the New Testament (some, like Revelation, have yet to come).
The present is right now, everyone who is living can turn to Jesus Christ, putting their faith in what Christ has done and what He is doing for all believers. They can be made into a new creation because of what Jesus did. Our holiness and sanctification is found from Christ alone. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Those in Christ receive the Holy Spirit Who then indwells within us, so we are never alone, never far from the Lord! And the Holy Spirit points back to the truth of Jesus Christ, the Gospel Message, and His teachings – all of which are found in scripture (no where else because dreams and symbols are not needed to talk about Christ anymore see Hebrews 1:01). 1 Corinthians 6:19
Everything Christ spoke is based on what the will of the Father directed Him to speak, alongside the Holy Spirit Who guided Christ in wisdom, fear of the Lord, and more! (Isaiah 11:02, 42:01, Matthew 3:16, Luke 4:18, John 4:34, 5:30, 6:38)
Since our righteousness is found in Christ, we cannot become “more righteous, more holy, or more sanctified.” We are judged by CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The future? While we are redeemed by Christ, those of us who are alive still deal with the corruption of our body. Corruption was received as part of the curse of sin. We will still have to deal with sin, but our temptation does not have to be overcome. Christ puts us in a bondage with HIM. He walks alongside us. He guides us. Again, this is why the Bible is the Living word, and BREATHING word. We must hear Him the way He has designed for us to hear Him. As a new creation, we continue to grow in holiness, sanctification, and renewal of our minds. (2 Corinthians 4:16, Romans 6:06, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 11:30, Galatians 2:20, 3:27, Colossians 3:01)
Righteousness Does Not Increase, Yet We Grow
Our works do not save us.
We do not become “more righteous” when we grow in righteousness because Christ’s righteousness does not become more righteous; remember we are judged by His righteousness.
At the same time, every single day, we have the choice and the command to put away the old man, our old habits of sin, and to put on what is noble, true, pure, virtuous, noteworthy, praiseworthy, overall what is godly. We are to grow in the things of God, to have our sight on eternity, and not on the temporal. (Philippians 4:08, 2 Corinthians 4:18)
While my church focused on holiness and sanctification, I could not understand a truly sanctified life focused on my own filthy works. I did not understand the believer was judged by the righteousness of Jesus Christ on the cross. Once a believer is saved in Christ, then the Holy Spirit continues to help us grow in the image of Christ, becoming more like Him.
– Note regarding my church: The Gospel was talked about, but it often was not the focus nor explained in-depth, and I believe since holiness and sanctification had more of a spotlight this led to part of my confusion growing up. I do carry my own accountability for my lack of understanding and the sin I was partaking of.
Holiness and sanctification is about the Gospel. It is not about becoming more godly – this is a fruit that comes from Christ, this is something we look forward to. But godly works do not save, only the sinless righteousness of Jesus Christ saves because He atoned for our sins on the cross WHILE we were still a sinner.
Godly works come from HIM redeeming us. We cannot commit godly works on our own. Whenever we do something godly, the glory goes to what Christ has done.
Finding my purpose is about finding my purpose in Jesus Christ as His follower, and knowing that wherever I am He will use me. It’s not about my calling or finding my purpose outside of Christ. My life is about Him. Plain and simple. No magic 8 ball needed. No dreams, no symbol interpretations are needed, just Christ and His Holy Word.
One day, every knee will bow to Christ. One day, all eyes will see the truth of the Savior, and some will weep and hide because they love darkness over light. (Romans 14:11, Revelation 6:16, John 3:19)
Christ isn’t truly found or truly understood in dreams or symbols. He is not explained well or understood well when we are searching for our purpose, our calling, and our spiritual gifts.
Having eyes on eternity is not about our calling, our purpose, or our gifts. Life is about Christ, and usually when we struggle to understand Christ it’s because we do not know the Bible correctly. When we try to understand God outside of scripture through experiences, emotions, and through teachers who teach what the Bible does not say, we will be confused, lonely, struggle with sin, and ultimately have a blind faith.
It’s relieving to know I do not have a blind faith anymore. It’s reliving to know Christ truly is the answer. Until I understood and accepted the in-depth Gospel of Jesus Christ, I was like the Pilgrim Christian.
Today, I can say my burden has been rolled away.
The Gospel Message– The Gospel message is good news, which means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Scripture To Meditate On – 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.“
Community Prayer – April ’22
Christian Topics/Series Covered
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Second Blog: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From
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