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John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 A broken heart

I just finished posting a response on the prophet thread and feel the need to ask for your prayers. This is part testimony, or perhaps call it confession, part prayer request.

I was saved in 1978 at a church that had the gospel message but not much else. I attended for a year or so, but I had fallen back to my sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle within two weeks of conversion. I had so much disdain for society, so much anger, and such rebellion that I took the easy way out of H.S. In California this is called the Ca HS proficiency test. A properly educated eighth grader should pass that thing.

After three years of high wage earning jobs like Wendy’s and KFC, along with more pot than I care to admit, I was "forced" (parental tough love) into a drug rehab program. Two days in and I was on my face crying out to God "All I want to do is serve you".

Through His absolute sovereign hand He guided me to a local body that taught the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I never knew that I could have a tangible relationship with him until then. It was an incredible time in my life.

I still had no skills to speak of and got a job at a local pizza parlor in Berkeley CA. I rented a room from a brother in economically depressed east Oakland and commuted 1.5 hours each way by bus. Three years later I was struggling so bad that I had a nervous breakdown of sorts. I had hooked up with an old friend and was playing with the fire of drug use once again, although I continued to attend church (by now I had changed to a different, less vibrant body).

I came to realize that continuing on this course was insanity and quit my job. I told the Lord I needed Him to do something dramatic in my life and lead me out of this mess. I spent six months making $64 a week helping a friend one day a week on a project for his dad.

This all ended in a most abrupt and sudden manner. In one weeks time I was living elsewhere, fellowshipping elsewhere, working a job that ultimately gave me the skills to become a truck driver, and I had met, and knew I had met, my bride to be. The church was the most vibrant and alive body of believers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Looking back, some doctrine was a little off the mark, but they loved God passionately.

One year later, May 21st 1988, I was married to the girl of my dreams. There is nothing I am more certain of in my life (aside from God) than the knowledge that this woman was hand picked by His loving hand. To this day we are still deeply in love with each other. I am so thankful for this.

A year or so later this pastor expelled an elder from this church without having any biblical basis for his action. We felt we could not stand with the pastor and left. The expelled elder began a home fellowship and we began attending that. I wish I had known how to listen to the Lord and sought His face in making this decision. Instead it was based purely on my own personal convictions. I believe now that I erred in taking this course of action. It was at this time that we made our first compromise with the world and purchased a TV/VCR combo. Oh that I had never allowed this idol into my life.


Two years later we were so dissatisfied with our lives that we decided to make a change. We moved 70 miles north to Santa Rosa, CA. This was were I had gone to H.S. I had very good friend from my party days who knew of the Lord but had never surrendered his life to Him. I tried and tried to minister to him. I failed, and instead wound up falling away from God completely, returning to the vomit of my stoner lifestyle. What a hellish time that was in my life. I would try to repent, try to be a good Christian, but to no avail.

Ultimately we decided we needed to make another change. My wife had decided to move back to the city of her birth, Omaha NE. She was going to move there whether I went or not. As I began to seek the Lord on this I had such a peace that I knew that this was His leading. His provision leading up to our move was awesome. We were able to save enough to come here and buy our first house. Simply amazing.

Our time here in Omaha has not been all rosy. I know that we are here because of God’s leading. There is much to repair. After a two years of searching for a good church, we finally found a Calvary Chapel and felt led to call this home. We both attended for a year or more, but I began to once again struggle with my faith.

My entire Christian walk up to maybe eight months ago has been one best described as a roller coaster ride. My flesh is so weak, and I have never been able to fully lay hold of the truth that I am crucified with Christ. I understand the concept, but could not walk in its truth. As a result I would put forth a great deal of effort to seek the Lord with my whole heart. I would find myself climbing to great emotional heights through worship and prayer. Inevitably my besetting sin would trip me up and I would fall flat on my face. This would be followed by weeks of despair and deep pit level depression. Eventually I would realize how foolish this was, that God loved me etc. I would speak the truth to my soul and return to seeking His face. Eventually climbing to new heights in the Lord. Thus began the cycle all over again. Each time I would tell myself that this time was different. My wife got to the point that she would just roll her eyes and say “yeah sure.”

When this pattern began to show up once again at Calvary Chapel, I despaired of ever having the victory. For the first time in my Christian life I abandoned the church altogether. During the ensuing months my work situation went from bad to worse to downright intolerable. I began to hesitantly cry out to God for mercy.

Slowly I began to hear from Him. I came to realize that change required taking some type of action on my part. I was frustrated with my career as a truck driver. While I was home every night, I was working 55-60 hours a week, which left me no time or energy for fellowship (should I seek it) or much of anything else for that matter. After some soul searching I decided to take the steps necessary to become a real estate agent. This, I felt would give me the scheduling freedom to be at church Wednesday evenings as well as Sundays. It also gave me the freedom to be available for other forms of fellowship and service. One thing I knew, I had no hope of success without the Lord’s blessing.

I returned to church, alone, in June of ‘06. My wife has become so distrustful of my walk that she refuses to go lest I backslide once again. Our hearts are so linked that every struggle of mine has had a great impact on her own walk with the Lord. She is unwilling to put her heart at risk only to be devastated once again. Since that time my walk with the Lord has been growing in consistency. I still struggle with the flesh to some degree, but I am unwilling to let go of the hope that a victorious life is possible and that I will soon know that sanctifying work that will bring it to pass.

When I stumbled upon this community a few weeks ago, my heart began to break over my sin. I have felt such a burning desire to walk in His light, to repent of my compromised worldly ways, to follow Him regardless of the cost. I am full of hope and enthusiasm.

So here, finally are my prayer requests. All during these years of struggle I have felt a calling to teach God’s word. I knew better than to enter into ministry in the condition that I was in. Today I recognize that I am not yet ready to go that route, yet the desire will not leave. As e real estate agent, I need to be able to find clients in need of help buying or selling a house. This requires “prospecting”. Calling people I know and asking for referrals, calling for sale by owners and asking for their business, calling expired listings etc. The fact is, this has confronted me with the reality that I have a huge fear of man issue. Even calling people I know is almost impossible for me. What was I thinking going into real estate? Actually, I knew this going in. I knew I would be confronted with this personal characteristic and hoped the Lord would show me how to overcome it. So far, He hasn’t. This is not to say He won’t, only that I am still fearful today.

One of the things that I am seeking to understand is how to go about finding those clients. I know He can provide contacts with people in a sovereign manner. But this won’t help me get over my fear. Unfortunately, I don’t have the drive to go find them, partly because I don’t care anymore about money. I would be content to sell all that I have and go live in a shack if that were His will for me. I have lived with my worldly American consumerism for too long. Enough’s enough. I only want basic provision for my needs. I do have a mortgage though, and a wife to care for. As of now I have suspended my real estate career to focus on prayer and bible reading. I need to hear His voice to move forward.

Next, and perhaps my greatest need, is prayer for my wife. She is very angry with me for all the damage I have done over the years to her walk with the Lord. I accept this responsibility. I am her covering. Please pray for her that God would heal her heart and show her His love in a fresh way. I long to have her by my side at church, and recognize that if I am ever to enter into any type of ministry I must have her full confidence and support.

There is much more that I could say, if you have read through this whole thing, thank you. your prayers hold more value to me than you can imagine.

In His Love,

Doug





_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/2/9 14:15Profile
death2self
Member



Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area

 Re: A broken heart

Thank you Doug for sharing your heart,

I know by experience that Jesus can restore a broken heart, a broken marriage, whatever it may be. It's a work of his grace through the power of the blood of Jesus. That's the only thing that can cleanse our hearts from sin. Discouragement is a sin brother and Jesus wants to free you from this burden.

I pray that you would seek Jesus with all of your heart and as you allow Him to deal honestly with your own heart, He will begin to supernaturally restore your marriage. This has been happening in my life and it's not been by my hard work or efforts.

It's good to hear that you won't move forward until you hear from God. In our rush to get something done or meet a deadline of sorts, we oftentimes miss God. It's happened to me many times but He's been faithful to stop me and then to teach me how to wait for him.

As my pastor often says, a vocation is not money it's about ministering to Jesus. So the vocation that Jesus calls us to, is about ministering the heart of Jesus to those around us. It's not about money or health insurance or any other benefit. It's about Jesus...

I pray for victory over sin in your life through the blood of Jesus. He has made provision for victory and the discouragement you often experience could very well be the fruit of rebellion. Whenever rebellion rises in my own heart and I come into agreement with it, then I'm extraordinarily discouraged. Unbelief almost always follows rebellion. So if we deal honestly with God about the rebellion, then the unbelief will go away.

I pray that you would ask the Lord about that and He will lead you. Blessings to you Doug in the name of Jesus.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2007/2/9 14:47Profile









 Re: A broken heart


Hello John,

I read your post in the Prophets thread, and had to come here to read what you had to say. I found it very challenging, and it brought me to tears. I recognise the roller-coaster, but mine was for different reasons.

Quote:
I am unwilling to let go of the hope that a victorious life is possible and that I will soon know that sanctifying work that will bring it to pass.

EDIT: quote added:
When I stumbled upon this community a few weeks ago, my heart began to break over my sin. I have felt such a burning desire to walk in His light, to repent of my compromised worldly ways, to follow Him regardless of the cost. I am full of hope and enthusiasm. EDIT end.

I think the big temptation is to hope for a finishing line, which after it is crossed, will spell the end of the struggle. This simply isn't so, but, to believe the meaning of Hebrews 10:14 made a HUGE difference to me. On the surface of my life, the chaos was so overwhelming, that only me and God (and a few dear saints), could have known how serious I was about going through with Him. How close (in fact) I was to the elusive victories, remained hidden from my sight, and certainly could not be measured in units of time, like weeks or months.

Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (KJV)

The NKJV says 'that are being sanctified'. This is better understood as 'being glorified', in the same terms as

2 Corinthians 3
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.


I have been thinking about this recently, because of other threads which have discussed marriage and divorce, in which the phrase 'put away' is used. When I was at school, we had regular occasion to hear 1 Corinthians 13 read out (our 'school chapter' - because the school's motto was Ex Corde Caritas - Love (charity) comes from the heart), and Paul uses the same phrase 'put away' there. I am coming to realise that he is saying he [i]divorced[/i] childish things; I'm wondering how this applies to myself.

I'm going to quote a whole section, because other verses in it tie in with the Prophet thread, which is engaging many of us.

1 Corinthians 13
8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: [b]but when I became a man, I put away childish things[/b].

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.


It seems to me that in Jewish culture, there was a line between being a child and a man, which it is harder to find these days, with adolescents being invited into the adult world through the voyeurism of film and tv, and many other previously [i]privileges[/i] being thrown their way, without them having to prove anything to attain to them.

One of the reasons I was so moved by your testimony, is that I've been speaking to a young man for several years now, who still is not formally committed to Christ, but who has begun reading and understanding the Bible. His struggle with ten years of cannabis was [i]painful[/i]. Latterly, he realised his decision to stop, was based on something to do with being willing to grow up - more than that - to be so [i]desirous[/i] of growing up, that he simply [i]had[/i] to leave it behind, because, he said 'It suspends a person in adolescence.'


So, coming back to Hebrews 10:14, the verse which kept me going through the darkness of several years, I trusted that the meaning of it is that [i]in the Spirit[/i] I have been perfected (which is better translated [i]completed[/i]) through Christ's offering. I [i]trusted[/i] that my Father (whom I know and knew that I knew in those days), was seeing me in Him, and I simply refused to believe anything could prevent me from coming into the good [i]experientially [/i] of that eternal relationship in which He had included me.

Also, I took the advice of Oswald Chambers not to worry about what others might think of my outward appearance - of how far it might fall short of their expectation of Christian behaviour. He said to concentrate on one's inner consistency of relationship with God. I really commend this thought to you.

This I did, and also found the singing of spiritual songs, other words of God, psalms and hymns - however repetitively - was an immeasurable aid in connecting with the Spirit, reminding me that I was (am) indeed, [i][b]alive in Him[/i][/b].

I'm mindful you asked prayer for your wife. Yes. But also for you, that you may lay down your life for her.

I really hope none of this sounds patronising. The Compassion of Jesus Christ is there for you, to heal and to forgive, and most of all to deliver you from our old man. The sooner his (His) death seems welcome to you, the sooner His life will begin to lift you into tangible victory.

 2007/2/10 14:53
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you both for your heartfelt replies. I am beginning to understand more and more about some of the root issues of my struggles. It has been a long road to travel. The one thing I can attest to through it all is God is faithful. I am sometimes floored by His consistent, never changing love for me.

I will post a little more when time permits.

By way of clarification. My wife and I are doing quite well in terms of our personal relationship. We are best friends to this day. Things got a little rocky before our decision to leave CA, but this had more to do with her overall unhappiness with church life there than with "us".


In His Love,

Doug


_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/2/11 9:36Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: A broken heart

Hi Doug,

Lot of similarities here personally. Had the same problems, fears, even the financial means and what money [i]means[/i] in terms of import ... and yes obligations, your wife, mine, mortgage no, bills, yes.

Broken heart. Broken [i]man[/i]. There is a very good reason for these things. [i]Through[/i] this brother. Go on through. Do pray, pray always. Unceasingly means ... what it means, without [i]end[/i]. How often do we take notice of our breathing unless we are out of breath or ... even being in that uncomfortable position, [i]the fear of man[/i] ... fear of speaking, gets the heart lodged up in the throat? [i]Appealing[/i] is something that can go on like breathing because it is you, constant, ongoing, [i]praying always, with all supplications[/i]. The supplications might be said to be [i]the out of breath[/i]-ness where we take notice and make known to our own mind and verbalize them back to the Lord.[i]Set[/i]times of dedicated prayer, even this analogy hardly touch but the surface ... Prayer as something you [i]are[/i] rather than just something we do.

Everything is an opportunity to pray, before, during, after ..."[i]Lord, if you don't help me[/i]" ([url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3843]A Call to Anguish[/url]). To express thankfulness for all things;

Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Ever notice the word 'sacrifice' in conjunction with these? Thanksgiving, praise as sacrifice? Seems almost contradictory.

1Th 5:18 In [u]every thing[/u] give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Possible. It is possible.

1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

One of the first verses I purposefully memorized. A verse to really slowly chew on. It has the tense of [i]keeping at it[/i], commit or 'give over' ... [i]in well doing[/i], ... unto. How this all applies to you brother...

To borrow that old cliché' about God not making a man until he breaks a man ... Oh, it is so. This may be the very avenue of the shaping of character for you. The escape routes we might think, "something else" we ought to be doing, yours being your present occupation of real estate and being dislodged from some comforts inwardly, up against the difficulties, the confrontational aspects that these 'fears' of man bring. There is no sense in making it all seem otherwise, heaping guilt or scorn upon ourselves for things that are a reality to us. The only ones who can avail themselves of such with a quick wave of the hand are those who have no problems being outwardly vocal, speaking before the public, something more natural and normal for them. Others I would think are those who have come from this same place and moved through it...

Quote:
Even calling people I know is almost impossible for me. What was I thinking going into real estate? Actually, I knew this going in. I knew I would be confronted with this personal characteristic and hoped the Lord would show me how to overcome it. So far, He hasn’t. This is not to say He won’t, only that I am still fearful today.



Love your honesty and forthcoming brother. I had a great deal of the same running my own business especially a great fear of how to rightly estimate and charge customers (for remodeling projects) as a backdrop to the regular anxieties I think you are speaking of. You end up forging ahead despite it all ...

But it was later when everything was turned upside down and I entered into a whole other realm of employment that these things became even more ... succinct. Am convinced now why this is so. It is further refining, character is made by being shown where we are deficient and addressing these things head on. That is often we think by merely pulling up the boot straps and by sheer 'will power' funny notion, that. It is an element, [i]be strong therefore[/i] but the paradox is in it's opposite; dependence, faith, trust in the Lord. If we give over "commit" our souls [i]unto[/i] the Lord, well I keep finding Him faithful.

The thing I found remarkable or should say keep on finding is all the other things that are not yet lived out in reality beyond all the internal truths we might have come to understand. It's phenomenal. The intent and motivation very well may be ever so sincere and yet the day to day activities could well prove us otherwise. Quite the challenge, quite the exposure, quite a bit of sheer repentance and pain and suffering and regret, feeling hypocritical, [i]being[/i] hypocritical. Hopefully it is not the diabolical pretense but more of Paul's ...

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

May be going a bit past your particulars here but perhaps I am trying to just convey that what you are going [i]through[/i] is not an end in itself as was mentioned nor something of an escape to get out of. To overcome it is probably not the real goal or rather, the aim. Think if we get stuck there we are extrapolating the future before it arrives. That place is there somewhere, a place to look back on after you have passed it. This may not be any part of your thinking at all.

Degrees I am thinking here brother. Evil notions are many and many are they that we ourselves construct. Fears of all kinds, most of which never come to pass, it's often quite silly of us to be doing so much projection, placing advanced results before actual real time circumstances. I speak from a [i]great[/i] deal of experience here.

Brother this has taken me almost a couple of hours now and I have a variety of mixed thoughts and emotions. I am reluctant and hesitant in many, many ways... Likely will continue to carry on in this manner for some time, actually I do hope so... You or others may have picked up on the fact that my mother died this past Tuesday. Yesterday (Saturday) was her funeral... Over in [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=14379&forum=36#114096]To all the "Prophets"[/url] we had been talking about [i][b]guts[/b][/i] and I think even that has a multifaceted definition. Perhaps spilling ones guts is quite different than the sort of '[i]having gut's[/i]'. Let me be forthcoming as you have here. I do not really do the 'witnessing thing' very well. What I mean is in the many varied ways we have come to think of them, expressing the truth we hold to. [i]Witnessing[/i] to [i]people[/i] frankly would give off or bring up the whole fear of man issues that you speak of. I just cannot do it the way others do and have often berated myself for the whole idea of 'not getting out there' and doing it, whatever the fashion. There is a whole backlog of semi-convicting thoughts, reading through all these postings over the years, all the great 'soul winners', the street preachers in our midst and I would often think, '[i]and just what is it I think I am doing here, speaking of all these deep, penetrating issues of the faith ... am I a hypocrite?[/i]". "Sharing your faith" ... are you? Isn't this one of the large questions asked, inferenced, of others, of ourselves. Is it mode or operation or program? Is it as it is often 'presented' sadly enough just another 'pitch' even by the most sincere? Are there not many who would be doing a greater service if they just quit [i]doing[/i] what they are doing because they are doing far more harm than good? What I mean is, I think there are far too many who have gone on out with The Great Commission without a [i]Commissioner[/i]. They know the Lord either not at all or in such a deficient understanding as to be actually spreading all kinds of accurate orthodoxy that is in reality poisonous heresy. To speak in the Name of the Lord all the while harboring pride and bitterness, judgment that is not theirs to give, hypocrisy and duplicity, things gleaned off the surface that have never entered the marrow of being... Listen to these words and the elements that should describe us;

1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1Th 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
1Th 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1Th 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.
1Th 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
1Th 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
1Th 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Times and seasons. Sober. Edifying. Faith and love. [i]esteem them very highly in love[/i]. Peace. The whole of all the commotion regarding prophecy, "prophesyings." Despise them not and yet [i]prove[/i] them. Above all, and before that, [b][i]Quench not the Spirit.[/i][/b]

Still the question, my obligation?

This honesty business is really coming to the fore more and more these days. It just has to be. Have been under the impression that whatever the misunderstanding otherwise, [i]making disciples[/i] is of the great import, that and prayer and ... this ever so elusive ... [i]unity[/i] not in sentiment, or sentimental notions but in Spirit and in Truth.

[i][b]That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.[/b][/i] Joh 17:21

It frankly amazes me that we can think we can bypass this cry of our Lords own heart and more bizarrely actually believe we can accomplish the same results, namely ...[i][b]that the world may believe that thou hast sent me[/b][/i] with every other means than this. There is a diabolical notion that frankly just does not believe what Jesus said. Period. We will not have this way of doing things because we are too proud and might actually, secretly, have another overlooked plank in the eye, the antitheses of the [i]fear of man[/i]; [b][i]that ye do (not) your alms before men, to be seen of them[/i][/b]

This preoccupation if it could really be called that with death that I have is just something that keeps repeating itself all throughout my life. It is the fractured reality that is always before us. More so when it [i]hit's[/i] in it's full weight and force, it brings a certain clarity that bridges ... the gut's up against the 'theology' we hold to. It is the [i]place[/i] where facts and faith are the rubber that meets the road.

Pardon my spilling forth here brother and seemingly speaking to everyone (that it might apply to) at your expense. I learned a great deal yesterday, things I can but pray will be forever etched into the marrow of being. Too many small snap shot's that I will carry deep within to mention here, too personal ... Forgive me for my stark exposure here, am still in the processing pod of all this. Had mentioned and actually kind of set myself up for a great possible failure in the other mentioned thread, speaking of guts, being real, again will be frank. The thoughts crossed my mind prior that as is often the case, [i]great swelling words[/i] can be put forth and that the real possibility could be that for all those I might have felt, when the moment came I could shrink back. Or I may have not been allowed to speak and if I didn't the regret ... and on and on it goes. This may sound all so over the top but it was a rather difficult thing at times wrestling in prayer, wrestling with all these preceding things mentioned, the emotions and confusion. I was compelled to be able to give my mother the very honor due her, publicly and without some paltry niceties but real gut level, from the heart and with the greatest appreciation to the Lord, to His Name. The fact of it all did make things much 'easier' and thankfully it all did come to pass. Being a very poor 'orator' I guess it could be said, I can botch everything I know inwardly by just opening my mouth ... I wrote it all out and then read it with the same passion and gut's that I wrote it. I sit here both astonished and humbled by all that transpired, ever thankful for the opportunity to exalt Jesus and honor my precious mother and my father before family, friends and even acquaintances. Truly the Lord was with me. Least I even dare forget how thankful I am for the prayers of those that I know prayed.

But herein lies the very secret brother of all this. It is our self dying out to everything save the Lord. It is to truly put the emphasis on others, to their considerations, to their uplifting, to their honor or praiseworthiness. In this instance it was [i]for[/i] my mother and [i]for[/i] the Lord. Think it can and will transpire across these fears that you have as well. I know them well, I know your struggles, they are the very means of advancing, embrace them. My prayers are with you.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/2/11 13:58Profile









 Re: A broken heart

Dear friends and brethren

I am so grateful for all that has been shared recently on this and the "Prophets" thread.

We all have many inner struggles, no matter what our background and experience in life. And we can probably all identify with some aspect of what has been shared so far. Because of the Fall we are "damaged goods" in one way or another, some more obviously than others.

Some "deeper" things seem to take a long time to sort out. Not because the Lord can't do it instantly, but maybe we aren't quite ready to let Him deal with that particular thing? This has been my experience. I was born again in 1967, but it's only over these last few years the Lord has been dealing with 'hang-ups' I had from a child. Rejection, inferiority, guilt, fear of man (especially of verbal bullying)...

And even in the last few days, something else, something that was triggered through another thread, and reading 1 Timothy 1:5-7, especially verse 7 . [i][b]"desiring to be teachers of the Law; understanding neither what they say, nor what they affirm"[/b][/i]

The context is about false teachers who preach heresy, but I realise that its true of me - desiring to teach others when a wrong motive means I actually haven't a clue - in spite of the theoretical knowledge and years of experience!

The Lord has basically exposed the root motive for joining this and other discussion forums. Pride, yes, but also, it seems, a need to "make my mark" in some way. Especially, on a forum such as this, to demonstrate my knowledge, wisdom and maturity in the Lord. To gain respect of others, to be listened to instead of being ignored.

I can't stop doing it, the thing is too ingrained. even now I'm searching self-consciously for the correct words and way to phrase this and make it clear. Its as binding as a drug in a way, this compulsion to prove myself to others.

BUT the LORD will stop it! The very fact that its now come to the surface means He's about to. When we are getting desperate we are more likely to be willing to let Him sort it, instead of going on trying to cope in our own strength!

Well, now you know. Haven't really been able to share such things with any except close friends before, but the Lord is moving in our midst...

So many hurting, broken hearts, for so many reasons.

But Jesus' heart was broken on the cross, pinned up there in the sight of the world, exposed and emptied and utterly vulnerable, rejected and despised, helpless, weak.

For me, for you, for all of us.

That's what gives hope, that's what gives courage to face even the worst in ourselves, the twists and turns and self-deceptions, pain and vulnerability; knowing that He has already dealt with it all.

In Jesus' love

Jeannette


 2007/2/11 16:04









 Re:

Brother Doug,

I am myself still young in the Lord, but my life has been a similar story: ups and downs, feeling like I am failing the Lord so often, then making myself right with Him, and again, and again, and again. My failures frustrated me, damaged my faith at times, until God revealed His amazing love for me; when He spoke to my Spirit so audibly and gave me His rest. Now that I look back upon all those times--and I know that will happen again--I am glad: for the Lord shows me how incapable I am of saving myself; how I need to call upon His name constantly, so that I may live in Him. Truly, I have no righteousness of my own, but that which is from Christ through faith...

In the end, I am always down on my knees, begging for His forgiveness, and He is faithful and just, and breaks me so that I may abide in Him. No, there is no salvation apart from God. He alone is my redeemer--I can take absolutely no credit for it. I can do nothing on my own. As for your struggles, brother, the Lord will continue to prune you, to humble you. Remember that he who overcomes until the end shall be saved. So keep up the good fight of faith. Cling to the hope that is in you--cling to Christ in you, the hope of glory!

A couple of passages to encourage you with are 1 John 1:8 through 1 John 2:2, and Phil. 3:8-11. Remember that you cannot be saved by anything that you do, but by faith alone--and again I say, by faith in Christ alone-- like a little, helpless child who probably doesn't suspect some hidden sin, yet sincerely trusts in the Lord. The passages in 1 Cor. 13 and Hebrews 10 that our sister shared--meditate on these: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Put your trust in the Lord. Through the power of His might, rely on His for all things, even the gift of faith.

I am just thinking about the apostle Paul, and how he was confident that the Lord would complete His work in the brethren at Philippi until the day of Christ Jesus. And I ask myself, "What gave Paul such confidence, such faith?" I know it was not his unfailing labor in the Lord, the power of his fleshly zeal? He put no confidence in the flesh, even he? He proclaimed himself to be the [i]chief of sinners[/i], and he didn't do it to show how righteous he was. It is the same with me: I am in college still, trying to grow the babies in Christ, to lord over their walk in the Lord... It has never worked. I cannot grow them, nor sanctify them--I cannot even sanctify myself. Instead, I need to trust the Lord that He will take care of them, that He will complete His work in them, and in me also. This is so humbling, so amazing. Paul wrote to the Philippians in the third chapter of his epistle:

[i]12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.[/i]

If Paul himself was not worthy enough to have any confidence in himself--he who was a Pharisee of Pharisees, as far as the Law was concerned, blameless--and if he was not already perfected (that is, he was still imperfect, yet being sanctified) and was forgetting those things which were behind, then how can we--you and I, and all others--put any confidence in ourselves, even in our human obedience? Let us, therefore, abide in Christ, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him (1 Jn. 2:28). I think, brother, God has been showing you one thing clearly during all these years: that "with men it is impossible." But I would say to you, "not so with God; for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27)

I would like to conclude with a passage from the Book of Isaiah, the fiftieth chapter, which the Lord used to speak to me last night (about my own righteousness and view of myself):

[i]10 “ Who among you fears the LORD?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD
And rely upon his God.
11 Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment.[/i]

I realized that even though I knew the Lord and I sought Him passionately, I was still lighting my own torches or fires; I was still looking for someting good in my flesh.

My prayer, Doug, is that the light of Christ will shine in you, and transform you into His likeness, to present you blameless in the day of His return. Peace and grace be with you!

In Christ,
Slavyan

 2007/2/11 16:18
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: An honest heart

Quote:
And even in the last few days, something else, something that was triggered through another thread, and reading 1 Timothy 1:5-7, especially verse 7 . "desiring to be teachers of the Law; [i][b]understanding neither what they say, nor what they affirm[/b][/i]"



Oh there is a verse ...
Quote:
The context is about false teachers who preach heresy, but I realise that its true of me - desiring to teach others when a wrong motive means I actually haven't a clue - in spite of the theoretical knowledge and years of experience!

The Lord has basically exposed the root motive for joining this and other discussion forums. Pride, yes, but also, it seems, a need to "make my mark" in some way. Especially, on a forum such as this, to demonstrate my knowledge, wisdom and maturity in the Lord. To gain respect of others, to be listened to instead of being ignored.



Would liken part of this back to [i]desiring to be teachers[/i] which proves out a different motivation ... To be known over being of some help. That is far from the case here I think sister even with your honest assessment and forthcoming. Think too many of our 'prophets' of the day have this as a backdrop. It's often pride disguised as concern, to test it is to dislodge the effrontery ... but that is another thread altogether.
([i]Edit: Just realized I made something of a muddle out of that, I ended up repeating what you had already stated, perhaps I just hadn't taken any notice of this from what you have shared. Can't seem to find the motivation being misplaced[/i])

Quote:
I can't stop doing it, the thing is too ingrained. even now I'm searching self-consciously for the correct words and way to phrase this and make it clear. Its as binding as a drug in a way, this compulsion to prove myself to others.

BUT the LORD will stop it! The very fact that its now come to the surface means He's about to. When we are getting desperate we are more likely to be willing to let Him sort it, instead of going on trying to cope in our own strength!

Well, now you know. Haven't really been able to share such things with any except close friends before, but the Lord is moving in our midst...



Think you are in wonderfully safe surroundings here with this. Reason being there is often nothing to do but to give place to those who have gone even further and recognize that they too are still finding more things to ponder and question, be challenged by. Think there was a place early on where I really thought I knew something, now I pray that I have not misspoken at each letter typed here. All this, all the reading of past saints on being humbled and broken, on pride and hypocrisy and giving place to others ... Bitterness and division and the hidden things that must come to face honesty as it is in truth ... There is a great hesitancy most often, a tension that is far more expression than 'teaching' ... There is a great shrinking from the whole notion of it. Besides, it is Jesus who should be the object in view if that can be said with the right reverence. Then the desires are put rightly and we could care little if we be 'known' as teacher, prophet, evangelist. We come full circle back to office over 'title'.

Cannot seem to shake Ravenhills "The more I know the more I realize I do not know" Or know next to nothing, something to that effect. He wasn't the first to say it, but to hear it towards the [i]end[/i] of his life ...


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/2/11 19:10Profile
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re:

Just a quick thank you to all who have responded. I never anticipated the affect my post would have. Each one of you has given some insight to my walk.

It is my inention to post seperate responses to each of you individually. This may take some time, so if I don't get to you, please know that I simply ran out of time and will get back at it when I can. Tomorrow will be a busy day so be patient!

In His Love,

Doug


_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/2/11 20:58Profile
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re:

Death2self,

[color=003399]Discouragement is a sin brother and Jesus wants to free you from this burden.[/color]

It has never occured to me to label discouragement as sin, yet as I thought about it I have come to agree with you. Everything that is not of faith is sin.

[color=000099]as you allow Him to deal honestly with your own heart[/color]

This is the hardest part of all. I think we humans have a high resistance to truly accepting our utter wretchedness. While I can theologically believe that I can do nothing apart from Him, or tell myself that I am not putting any more confidence in the flesh. It requires true brokenness for us to come to terms with this reality. Highly uncomfortable and resulting in some agonizing times of prayer. This is the current state of my walk.

[color=000099]It's good to hear that you won't move forward until you hear from God.[/color]

I honestly don't feel that I have a choice in this regard. As I look back I can see too many times when I did not wait to hear from Him and leaned on my own understanding instead. Almost without fail this led me down the wrong avenue.

[color=000099]the discouragement you often experience could very well be the fruit of rebellion. Whenever rebellion rises in my own heart and I come into agreement with it, then I'm extraordinarily discouraged. Unbelief almost always follows rebellion. So if we deal honestly with God about the rebellion, then the unbelief will go away.[/color]

This is a tough one to swallow. I would rather lay the blame elsewhere, or at least come up with a kinder gentler term! Unfortunately you have hit home. Whatever term I use, I find myself at times resisting or rejecting His guidance, call, or nudging. This does indeed lead to unrest in my soul, which in turn creates disillusionment and ultimately discouragement. Pride comes before a fall, and pride is the root of rebellion.

As for the real estate, I believe I am beginning to get some clarity. Tomorrow will be a big day and should bring some answers.

In His Love,

Doug


_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/2/11 21:26Profile





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