Forty-seven years young in the Lord!
On Resurrection Sunday in 1966, when only eight years old, I had a deep, deep conversion experience as I totally surrendered to the Lord.
It was in an old Pentecostal church that met in the pastor’s home.
I’m told that my tears of repentance on that worn wooden floor made permanent stains.
Wow, how time has passed.
It’s been – and continues to be – a wonderful adventure. Even during some tough times, I never once regretted belonging to Christ – my King and my Redeemer.
Through it all, I’ve always felt His hand on my life. He blessed me with a solid foundation from Godly parents and mature teachers, which has served me well over the years.
In an age of cheap grace, crazy doctrines and postmodern spiritual angst, that foundation yet stands firm.
For those willing to surrender their sensibilities to the Living Word, in submission to His written Word, He offers the same assurance.
Really, it’s just not that complicated.
But it does mean letting go of your own foolishness and impulse to define Jesus – and what ultimately is right, real and true – on your own terms.
My life is a living testimony to His sovereign Lordship, and His passion is my very life.
I invite you to also surrender, and find life.
~ Jim Wright
- Conversion (crossroadjunction.com)
A question for you Jim …
Do you believe that a person must be willing to surrender to the Lord and become a disciple as Jesus defined it to become a Christian?
I stress the willingness in my question in that I am not asking if a person needs to become perfect in surrendering or in being a disciple.
I am asking if choosing to surrender and become a disciple is an expression of the faith that saves as opposed to having only an intellectual assent to the Gospel and the person of Christ. An assent that will save no one.
I am curious as to your views on this.
I think many proclaim “Lord, Lord”, but do not do the will of the Father. By definition, they are not “disciples”. Jesus says to them to depart from Him, for He never knew them.
As I often say, the issue is not perfection, but how we deal with our imperfections. Does my life today show growth in the Lord over last year, and will it show growth in the Lord next year as compared to now?
Unless there is such fruit of repentance, then I discount claims of repentance. The fruit of my life, such as showing evidence of true repentance through good works, is not what saves me. Rather, it simply shows that I’m saved – as an act of God’s unmerited mercy.
Makes sense Jim. Thanks for responding and sharing your thoughts.
The only problem I see with respect to the idea of showing growth is that many people would readily say that there is growth in their life in the sense of them perceiving themselves to be more patient than last year, a better husband and father, and what have you but where at the core of their lives they are not surrendered to the will of their Father in heaven no matter what He might call them to do.
As you say Jim (and I agree wholeheartedly with you) it’s not a matter of perfection. I see it more a matter of the heart. The heart attitude and perspective to be exact.
Are we surrendered to the will of God? I mean really?
Not as in are we perfect or in that we have attained a state of holiness where we hardly ever sin.
But rather have we humbled ourselves and surrendered to His will? To doing things His way. To letting Him call the shots in our lives as God. Where we entrust ourselves without reserve into His loving hands to do with us as He might will to do with us and to use our lives to further His Kingdom whatever that might mean or whatever the consequences of that might be.
That is where the rubber meets the road I think as to whether we truly and honestly trust the love of an unseen God and the Word as being a written expression of His will (and I should add the leading of His Spirit through our spirit as well for I believe that God does not always lead us only through a verse that is written but also through impressions left on our hearts, clear impressions, that are as close to an audible voice as one can get without actually hearing one with our ears).
Where we respond to His will accordingly and do what He says as a way of life. As the highest desire of our lives. Laying down our lives to please Him in all things.
I hope that makes sense.
Many, many people do not trust God that way. Even many church goers. They are not His disciples. They do not follow Him with their whole heart, mind, and soul as God. They are afraid of trusting God that way and would rather continue to trust in themselves. In their bank account, their job, their friends, or whatever. Anything and everything but trusting in the unseen God to be true to His Word.
The surest evidence to the lack of trust that lies in the heart of many is how they respond when something they have been trusting in gets threatened or in how they hang on to some secret sin that they refuse to repent of.
It’s one thing to have the Lord take us to deeper levels of trust and to have him show us where we need to trust Him more. Where we repent and move on to that greater trust. All of us grow in our trust and react negatively and in the flesh initially when some lack of trust is revealed to us by how we respond when what we treasure in this life is threatened.
But there is a lack of trust that is rooted in a lack of surrender that is very different from a general growth and the repentance that leads to greater and greater levels of trust that Christians go through. It is a persistent and ongoing lack of trust where we have not surrendered ourselves to God and where we stubbornly resist His will and hang on to our lives as if that is the only thing that matters.
Good blog! 😉
Sorry if I took too many words and came across like I was writing a blog post Jim :). This is your blog after all.
When I get to wanting to express something I…well…go all out to express LOL. I love writing things out and expressing the things of God. Finding just the right words to use.
Come to think about it, it’s not so much the writing part as much as the being able to express part that I love.
I am finding that hanging out and expressing things on blogs, such as this one (I hang out at some others too) is an outlet for me in that so often it seems that traditional church has no place for people like me who tend to seek God directly and then want to express what He lays on our hearts to others.
No! That was a compliment. I liked it. I liked that you took the time to write and share it. It was beyond a mere comment – it had achieved exulted blog status! 🙂
You express yourself very well. Do you do your own blog? If not, you should.
Thanks Jim! Much appreciated.
Exulted blog status eh? Wow! I like that :).
Oops. I didn’t see your last question.
Yeah…I used to have my own blog (well I still do..it’s still out there I mean but I haven’t even touched it in who knows how long). Had it for a long time too. I first blogged inside another site called city-data. Lots and lots of readers. But they had really limited stats and I couldn’t figure out who was coming from where or even if the count was accurate. And I couldn’t do a whole lot on the blog like put links to external resources or otherwise.
So I went to my own blog at wordpress.com. But again…I couldn’t do a number of things there either.
And…well…I found it was really draining my time. It would take me close to two hours a day to find just the right words to express what the Lord was teaching me, having me go through, or otherwise…I’ve had a rather interesting life I think, at least people would always say that to me, and I decided to stop.
Nowadays I am investing my time heavily into a book I am writing that the Lord impressed upon me strongly to write (if I read Him correctly). I have wanted to quit a couple of times but it’s been quite amazing as to how the Lord has kept me going with it with just the right word or otherwise to encourage me at just the right time.
He has been showing me some things that are quite astounding, or at least they seemed that way to me, until I invariably run across someone else online who has had the same insights given to them too :).
Though like what you share of His insights to you here Jim…true insight from God regarding church and body life are in short supply I think.