Yes, I've been married since April 10th of this year and I'm a horrible husband just like I'm a horrible "Christian" and soon I'm going to be a horrible father.
| 2008/8/6 18:06|
Lou Sutera has a message: Joy the Serious Business of Heaven. I dont know if that particular message it is on SI.
Hearing the truth about the death of Self, agreeing with God, His Word, absolutely makes a difference. Many. Five years is a long time, day-by-day. Thank God the obstacle to reaching out was dealt with at least in part.
Is it that you have no assurance of salvation? Is it that you see none of the fruits of the Spirit in your life? Do you love the brethren? What did you remember of what you do know and have seen of God? You might have to un-pact this a bit more. Maybe not.
Oh good, though not essential, un-packing with the brethren can help. With God it is essential. Praying.
| 2008/8/6 18:12||Profile|
It's not just one problem, it's many.
Not knowing whether I'm saved and seeing no fruits of the Spirit in my life are just some of the issues. I don't know what the others are but they're there.
| 2008/8/6 18:23|
There's one thing you can do in the meantime. You've mentioned that there's so many things wrong in your life. Well, try to do 1 or 2 things right first (for example hugging your wife in the morning etc). Maybe in 1 or more areas, bit by bit. All the while asking God to guide you even when you feel that He has not responded to you.
Meanwhile, I'm attaching a thread. The 2 attachments there might help you.
Praying for you
| 2008/8/6 19:09||Profile|
| Re: Help|
Paul: I have met, over the years, a few brothers who have stood where you stand. I have had my share of sorrow, and despair, and coldness toward God, also.
David spoke in Psalm 23, of the shadow of death being a valley. It can be a cloud too, of depression. It may be that this is what you are suffering. It seems to me, as I too have been depressed, that to the Christian who suffers here, it can be even more magnified because of the feelings of failing God, or God failing you.
Also, there are real spirits that desire you to be overcome by these condemning and useless thoughts.
From what I read, it also seems that you have tried on your own to deal with these issues, and cannot find relief.
The Church.[not a building or religious institution] is designed by God, to heal itself, and edify itself by love. Paul, you need to be loved. "God sets the solitary in families." My first counsel is to ask God to help you find real and authentic Christians, who have the fruit of Love, who would be willing to love even you.
I lived communally for a few years in the beginning of my Christian walk. I didn't realize how much healing I received through fellowship and the interaction of others who had faith in Jesus too.
There are several solid churches in the U.S., where you could go. Some Churches, especially those in the house church movement, may be able to help you; to serve you, and bring healing to you. If a man is a true Shepherd, and if you will be as forthcoming as you speak here, and be as transparent, I have faith that you will find help.
You must understand, that before God, you have merit, and great worth. You have gifts too, that are important, and His promise is to turn Ashes into beauty.
If you can find counseling, that is faith based, it may be of help. Many, many Christians found deliverence in AA meetings. It's a little different in your case, I know, but the principle of faith based programs are something God has used to bring healing to Believers.
Prayer, Prayer, Prayer...and not necessarily your own. The bible says that the prayer of Faith comes from others and brings healing to the saints. Guilt , shame, and sin all hide it seems, and run from the Light. I know that is how I am. I am growing, though, and now I learn to expose them more readily, asking God to count the Blood of Jesus for them, and heal me.
David, the Prophet King, has been where you stand. Read the Psalms. Cry out to God. He has never forsaken any who seek after him. Do not give up...Your life is a precious thing, and you are loved...by your Redeemer.
I, for one will pray. I ask you to keep up communications. My E-mail is on my profile. I will give you my telephone number, and talk with you. Many, many here love to pray, also. PAUL...I'll remember...please keep in communication...walk this out with others. It is a priveledge to talk with you. Brothertom
| 2008/8/6 19:16|
Paul... I am moved by your posts. I can answer your question, "Does anyone have REAL peace" because I do believe that I have real peace in my life that is ONLY because of God.
HOWEVER, my husband is a lot like you seem to be. He struggles to find peace, even though he is a strong and committed Christian. He has talked about wanting to end it all at times but God always brings him through.
One thing God has used greatly in my husband's life is the testimony of Rich Mullins - who was also a melancholy type of person who struggled with inner turmoil, fear and depression. He learned that God allowed him to suffer with those things because they were really a source of motivation for him - causing him to reach out to other hurting people. He was able to do that because he gave all of the pain to God. One quote from the devotional biography which a friend wrote about his life says:
:::"There's a scene in Thornton Wilder's play "The Angel that Troubled the Waters" which to me really captures the essence of the life and the spirituality of Rich Mullins.
The scene is a doctor comes to the pool everyday wanting to be healed of his melancholy and his gloom and his sadness. Finally the angel appears. The doctor goes to step into the water. The angel blocks his entrance and says, "No, step back, the healing is not for you." The doctor pleads, "But I've got to get into the water. I can't live this way." The angel says, "No, this moment is not for you." And he says, "But how can I live this way?"
The angel says to him, "Doctor, without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children of this earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In love's service, only wounded soldiers can serve."
And to me the theme of that story is the theme to Rich Mullins' life. All grace, all light, all truth, all power are communicated though the vulnerability, the brokenness, the utter honesty of men and women who have been shipwrecked, heartbroken, broken in the wheels of living. In love's service, only wounded soldiers can serve. And to me, the power of Rich Mullins life lay in the power of his brokenness.:::
Other than that, I would also encourage you to do what Proverbs 16:3 says - which is to commit your WORKS to the Lord, and then your THOUGHTS will be established. If you want Go to "establish your thoughts" (to give you peace in your mind)you must first do what His Word says will accomplish that. Commit your works to the Lord. Struggle to remove any and all sin from your life - then when you go to Him in prayer, you will experience a closer and better relationship with Him! It might be the key that will unlock the door that you have been struggling with!
I will be praying for you friend.
| 2008/8/6 19:53||Profile|
Those are good words by Brothertom.
As for my own experience, I have found that most personal misery, confusion, discouragement and depression comes from an improper or insufficient knowledge and revelation of God's grace, and the purpose and power of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we have a faulty understanding of the blood, Satan can and will take us down in a moment. The sense of guilt and hopelessness will surely become overbearing as we measure ourselves against the law. Satan gladly holds the mirror, full length. Christians are some of the most depressed people in the world, because they know just enough of God and the Bible to keep them crestfallen and defeated, but not enough to overcome and have victory. We tend to think, as result, that the victory lies in ourselves, in what we do or do not do. We need to understand that we ourselves cannot do anything outside of Christ, and that even our best efforts at asectism and self-denial will not bring us any closer to God or win even the most miniscule favor with Him.
There is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ must become our life, He must become our goodness, He must become our joy, our deliverance, our righteousness, our patience - all these virtues can only be wrought through Him moment by moment as we learn to fix our eyes upon Him in faith. If we can learn to do this and trust God with an on-going and childlike faith, we will have constant victory and joy. Even when we fail and miss the mark (because this happens), if we have a proper understanding of the blood's cleansing power and God's amazing grace and forgiveness upon our confession, we can get up and continue forward almost immediately. Satan will have no time to weasel his way in and corrupt your thinking.
The challenge, therefore, and all the strife and fight is found in the process of learning to simply and continually [i]look to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith[/i]. Oh, it is a blessed revelation! It is the ultimate act of a child; it was the prescription given by God in Numbers 21 to the snakebitten Isrealites: simply to [i]look[/i] and live.
Can you look to Jesus today, right now, even as you read this? Can you see Him, the risen God, mighty to save and sanctify...and to [i]keep[/i] you sanctified? God has given us all things in Christ, and He has done it at a level where even the most uneduacated and unassuming babe can comprehend and experience unbroken victory (even in the light of failings and fallings).
Stop listening to legalistic preachers and sermons and reading legalistic books and constantly comparing yourself to other men of God who did glorious feats in the past, and just learn to train your eyes to look to Jesus. When we learn this, even our failures, it will be seen, are turned around by God for our good and growing and future blessing. This is the secret, dear brother, but this is also the bloody fight we must wage daily - because all the world and flesh and devil is diametrically opposed and non-conducive to this "eye training". Wicked spirits and your flesh will incessantly contend for your undivided attention and, if possible, divert your stare from the cross and risen Savior for as long as you walk this earth. Because the devil well knows that if he can divert your looking, he can pervert your thinking. He'll soon cloud your mind, confound your emotions, summon the flesh and keep you staring into his crystal ball which is but the reflection of self in a funhouse mirror of God's law.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/8/6 20:00||Profile|
You must remember that God is not willing that any should perish... and that if you are confessing your sins before Him then He is faithful and just to forgive them and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. He does not promise you will be washed over with warm-fuzzies when that happens. You may not FEEL the way you want to FEEL... but if you have FAITH in His Word... then you will believe that He has done what He promised to do! To forgive you and to save you. It is also not necessarily a bad thing to be in a position where you feel the pain of your sins so greatly and repent of them often! Keep praying, keep an attitude of repentence and have faith that God will do what He has promised to do as a result of you doing what He asks of you. He loves you.
| 2008/8/6 20:00||Profile|
You are not turning at the point of correction.
| 2008/8/6 21:26||Profile|
...only wounded soldiers can serve
It's wild how I see the Lord use this very thing you speak of over and over again in the lives of His children.
Jesus was the only perfect man to ever live. The rest of us have been used and abused by the world, family, friends, loved one's and ourselves. God uses those who have their lives in order, but from my angle, I see the Lord also using more and more men and women who have hurt in their lives and are still hurting, in His ministry.
The Lord is moving in your life. He is shedding the very thing about you that needs to be shed... and that is you. You may not see the fruit of this but try as much as you can to be humbled, for you are recieving a gift that not all people can see or embrace.
Brother, may Thy wil be done.
| 2008/8/6 21:55||Profile|