Let me just start out by saying. This is going to be a tough one to write, but I think that it is important. It is important for people who are turned off by the church. It is important for people who are turned off by Christians who pretend they have all of their ducks in a row. It is important for men to hear who think that being tough is all there is in life. It is important for Christians to hear who think they have to be perfect.
Let’s cut to the chase. I am not perfect. My walk with God has always been anything but perfect. There were times that I didn’t walk with God at all. There were times where I thought I could just claim Christianity, and still be “myself,” and that would be good enough. There have been times where I cried for people who didn’t know who Christ was, but wanted to know more. There were times when I felt the holy spirit, only to be out drunk the following night.(drinking and getting wasted are not the same thing by the way.) I have been part of a small worship team, and I have cringed at the sounds of worship. I have preached the word, and been annoyed at the words from the pulpit. There is no chronological order to any of this. It is literally as chaotic as it sounds.
Now I won’t start writing my autobiography here, but if you’ve got a good 2 hours and like coffee I’d be happy to sit down with you and tell you the full walk. My point in all of that though is that my walk with Christ looks a lot like those “Family Values” cartoons where the parents say come inside, and you see the dotted line of the little guy going everywhere but inside right away. If there was such a thing as sin bingo, I’d almost have blackout victory, and then almost a year ago something drastic happened.
I had come to the point where I looked myself in the mirror and I didn’t just not like who I saw; I despised who I saw. I hated the person staring back at me. I had lost my way, and I had no more identity left to fall back on. I realized that things might just improve for the ones around me if I just made an exit from life. I hated myself so much that I didn’t even want anyone to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want it to look like a suicide. I was going to have an accident on the highway. I planned to collide with a barrier as fast as my car would go. I got in my car and left. As I turned the corner and started to make my way towards the highway, I heard a booming voice. “Turn left, don’t turn right.” It was so startling that it literally shook me out of my trance, and I decided to listen. As I listened, God directed me to my old sanctuary with him. A little pond with a walk way around it. As I walked around the pond I listened. I asked God to take my life. I didn’t want it anymore, and everyone would be better off without me, and he did. He washed me, he blessed me, and he filled me with the holy spirit. I made my way back home that night, and went to sleep.
I survived myself, but not exactly. To me that was the moment God took my life. He let the old me die so that the new me could come alive. Now, let me be clear. I am not some divine saint now, nor would I ever want anyone to think that. In fact in the quiet moments I still hear the whispers of the enemy that I should just end it. I still feel the guilt of who I was. I still feel the shame of the life I lived the wrong way. I still have struggles with sin that I have to sit down with God and handle. If anything, since that time I’ve experienced emotions on a higher level that I ever allowed myself before. I’ve been faced with situations that did not pan out in a way that would make God smile. I’ve handled conversations inappropriately, and I’ve handled experiences without wisdom. When I say God is creating a new me, however, I mean that I am now listening.
I made a promise that night, to give my life to Christ, fully. What that means is I am still bound to mess up, but I spend each day giving it back to God. When God calls me to do something, I don’t grumble (okay maybe a little…okay a lot.) but I do it, because God asked me to. Where I wasn’t listening to guidance before, now I am seeking guidance. Whereas before I wouldn’t give God the time of day, now I feel incomplete if I am not focused on God throughout my day. He saved my life, and to Him I owe my life. I could never deny knowing God because God made himself known to me. It is now my mission in life to let people know, God wants you, too. Believe me. If he saw me. The broken sinner, who had no real compass in life. No college education, a bump with the law, no respectable trade skill, and no respectable social status. If He saw me, ME, and said, “I choose you,” then there is no one he won’t choose if they are willing to listen.
I like to put it this way. God spent my whole life saving me from myself, in so many different situations, just enough, so that I could judge no one else for their walk before or with Christ. You will see a lot, in the things that I write, that I am very committed to making sure that my message is about the love of Jesus Christ. My message is about how much God loves you! That being said, it doesn’t come without hard work. It doesn’t come without tearing off the layers you buried yourself in. It doesn’t come without consequences. Here’s the thing. God loves you. No matter what, He loves you, but when you choose to give your life to him, he’s going to break all of the mud off of you so that you can shine for Him. Be prepared for that to come with a few bruises. My pastor Jonny said it best, “If you aren’t ready for a radical transformation, then this Christ stuff may not be for you.”
Anyway, I was feeling a moment of vulnerability was in order tonight. So instead of Bible verses, I just wanted to share with you that no matter how messed up you think your life is, God still loves you, and He wants to use you in particular to show other messed up people that He loves them too!