Friday, June 29, 2012

NO FISHING

My life has had series of mini revivals, spiritual awakenings or ebb and flows of closeness to God. In the summer of 1974, my pilgrimage to Westminster Highlands would prove to be one of the highs of my spiritual life that lasted for a few years.
I am one of those in the category of thinking I was born Christian. I suppose it could be said that in a cultural sense, as some families are Irish in name only(or any other nationality/culture) and some know the customs, styles, foods and live it, I was. My family was entrenched in born again Christian culture. Dad and Mom lived the transformed life and the children knew the language. So my knowledge was reinforced by the siblings as well.
Yet, we all must be born again, as God has no grandchildren. At an early age, I knew I couldn't be good on my own as I told an elaborate lie and was found out. In a childhood fantasy I so wanted to believe this lie I told, when it came crashing around my little life, I lay prostrate on our maroon vinyl couch in our middle room, crying my heart out to Jesus. I suppose that is the first time I really gave my life over to Him.
But as in all journeys, often the pilgrim gets sidetracked. Often, I fell from the path, desiring to go my own way. Sixth grade into seventh began one of those detours.
So as I prepared for camp that year, I only thought of the fun, the beauty and would I meet a boy? I met two special ones. But I re-met Jesus in a personal way by the end of the week. This time, as I said, it stuck for two grades, eighth and ninth.
As we had that final camp fire on Chimney Rock, the Gospel became so clear again. I knew I had to surrender my life to Jesus. Yes, there are tears. Yes, it is emotional. But didn't God make our emotions as well as our intellect?
This morning I finished reading Job. After all the trials, with God actually coming and questioning Job, (you really must read these last five chapters) Job can only answer "I heard about You from others; now I have seen You with my own eyes."-Job 42:5 CEV. A personal encounter with the Redeemer makes a Christian life more than a culture. A person can hear about Jesus, but knowing Him is what this life is all about.
Like many relationships, though, sometimes two can be very close, then one starts drifting away. In a Christ relationship, the human is the one drifting. Jesus is there always, because His Word says so. He understands and forgives. As Micah says in 7:19 Once again You will have compassion on us. You trample our sins under Your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! NLT. As I wrote in my Bible when I read Micah, "No fishing in that ocean, either." We cannot dredge up our sins. We confess as in I John 1:9 and He forgives us.
There is no further notice. They are forgotten.
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