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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : losing my faith

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murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Bibleforlife before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where he asks us to surrerender al and we begin to debate. He then produces a crisis where we have to decide. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives. A crisis has come to you, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably.

---------------------------------

Oswald Chambers, during his years at Dunoon, would have given most people the impression that he had reached the goal of effective service and Christian maturity but it was there that he experienced a remarkable and shattering experience. It is the same sort of experience that everyone who wants to follow Christ goes through when they realize that they don't have what it takes to live the Christian life. Here is the account that he gives of it when speaking some years later in Exeter Hall:

"After I was 'born again' as a lad I enjoyed the presence of Jesus Christ wonderfully, but years passed before I gave myself up thoroughly to His work. I was in Dunoon College as tutor of Philosophy when Dr. F.B. Meyer came and spoke about the Holy Spirit. I determined to have all that was going and went to my room and asked God simply and definitely for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, whatever that meant. From that day on for four years nothing but the overruling grace of God and the kindness of friends kept me out of an asylum. God used me during those years for the conversion of souls, but I had no conscious communion with Him. The Bible was the dullest most uninteresting book in existence, and the sense of depravity, the vileness and bad-motiveness of my nature was terrific. I see now that God was taking me by the light of the Holy Spirit and His Word through every ramification of my being. The last three months of those years things reached a climax. I was getting very desperate. I knew no one who had what I wanted; in fact I did not know what I did want. But I knew that if what I had was all the Christianity there was, the thing was a fraud. Then Luke 11.13 got hold of me--'If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?' But how could I, bad-motived as I was, possibly ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit? Then it was borne in upon me that I had to claim the gift from God on the authority of Jesus Christ and testify to having done so. But the thought came--If you claim the gift of the Holy Spirit on the word of Jesus Christ and testify to it, God will make it known to those who know you best how bad you are in heart. And I was not willing to be a fool for Christ's sake. But those of you who know the experience, know very well how God brings one to the point of utter despair, and I got to the place where I did not care whether everyone knew how bad I was, I cared for nothing on earth saving to get out of my present condition.

"At a little meeting held during a Mission in Dunoon, a well-known lady was asked to take the after-meeting. She did not speak, but set us to prayer, and then sang, 'Touch me again, Lord'. I felt nothing, but I knew emphatically my time had come, and I rose to my feet. I had no vision of God, only a sheer dogged determination to take God at His Word and to prove this thing for myself, and I stood up and said so. That was bad enough, but what followed was ten times worse. After I had sat down the speaker, who knew me well, said, 'That is very good of our brother, he has spoken like that as an example for the rest of you.' Up I got again and said, 'I got up for no one's sake. I got up for my own sake; either Christianity is a downright fraud, or I have not got hold of the right end of the stick.' And then and there I claimed the gift of the Holy Spirit in dogged committal on Luke 11.13. I had no vision of heaven or of angels. I had nothing. I was as dry and empty as ever, no power or realization of God, no witness of the Holy Spirit. Later I was asked to speak at a meeting, and forty souls came out to the front. Did I praise God? No, I was terrified and left them to the workers, and went to Mr. MacGregor and told him what had happened, and he said, 'Don't you remember claiming the Holy Spirit as a gift on the word of Jesus, and that He said: "Ye shall receive power. . ."? This is the power from on high.' And like a flash something happened inside me, and I saw that I had been wanting power in my own hand, so to speak, that I might say, 'Look what I have got by putting my all on the altar.'

"If the previous years had been hell on earth, these four years have truly been heaven on earth. Glory be to God, the last aching abyss of the human heart is filled to overflowing with the love of God. Love is the beginning, love is the middle, and love is the end. After He comes in, all you see is 'Jesus only, Jesus ever'. When you know what God has done for you the power and the tyranny of sin is gone, and the radiant, unspeakable emancipation of the indwelling Christ has come, and when you see men and women who should be princes and princesses with God bound up in a show of things--oh, you begin to understand what the Apostle meant when he said he wished that he himself were accursed from Christ that men might be saved."

Oswald Chambers' Testimony of the Exchanged Life

http://earthenvessels-donbiro.blogspot.com/2007/12/oswald-chambers-testimony-of-exchanged.html


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Colin Murray

 2013/9/25 18:01Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1994
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Thought I'd share here these notable excerpts I put together from the transcript of John MacArthur’s audio sermon titled “The Cost of Discipleship”:

“in our society here, we have developed this incredible theology that says you can be a Christian and not worry about being committed. In fact you can be a Christian and not even be a disciple. Those who teach that would say yes there's no question in the New Testament about Jesus assigning a tremendous cost to discipleship. But you don't need to worry about that because that's second-level Christianity. First-level Christianity doesn't really have any particular cost at all.”

“There's no question about the fact that the only message Jesus ever proclaimed was a message of discipleship. The call that Jesus gave was a call to follow Him, a call to submission, a call to obedience. It was never a plea to make some kind of momentary decision to acquire forgiveness and peace and heaven and then go on living anyway you wanted. The invitations of Jesus to the lost were always direct calls to a costly commitment.”

“In Luke's gospel and chapter 14, we hear the echo of the same level of commitment, verse 25, "The multitudes were going along with Him, He turned and said to them," He's talking to the multitudes, "If anyone comes to Me and doesn't hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."

“Now, someone reads that and says, "Well, that's... that's so hard, it can't mean salvation. So a disciple has to be a second- level Christian. They have to already be believers." Then why, pray tell, does He give this message to the multitude? Why does He give it to the multitude? It's very clear that He's speaking to unbelievers. It's very clear that He is speaking to those who do not know Him.”

“these teachers say one can be a believer saved without being a disciple obedient. So they come up with two levels of spiritual life. Level one is an uncommitted disobedient, even unbelieving believer who made a momentary decision to receive salvation but has no desire to follow Christ and they often call him "the carnal Christian." Hopefully someday such a person will come to level two. Level two is disciple. And there you have the obedient, committed people who love and serve the Lord, who turned their back on their former life and longed to live the new life.”

“They say such believers will... will not be rewarded. The result of such a dichotomy is that there's a difference between a believer and a disciple. But there's more than that. This kind of thinking totally changes the whole ministry of Christ because all of a sudden Jesus instead of calling sinners to salvation is calling first-level believers to level two. And the one of whom it's very clearly said that He came to seek and save the lost, that He was not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance is not really an evangelist, He's a deeper-life preacher, totally changes the ministry of our Lord from evangelism to calling believers who live in sin, deny God, Christ, disobey, aren't committed to shape up. Is that the ministry of Jesus?”

“Luke in chapter 14 verse 26, "If anyone comes to Me and doesn't hate his father or mother, wife, children, brother, sister, and even his own life, cannot be My disciple." Well, what do you mean by that? Do you mean you literally have to hate your family? No, no, you have to deny your... your natural human relationships that would constrain you and hold you back from Christ just like you have to deny yourself... just as you have to consider yourself dead, Romans 6. Just as you have to lay aside the old self, Ephesians 4:22, just as if you have to treat your flesh with human contempt, 1 Corinthians 9:27. So if your family holds you back, you have to treat them as dead.”

“Why is Jesus so strong about this? Because He wants to chase away the uncommitted. You understand that about Jesus? He wanted to drive away the false disciples. He didn't want the tares. He didn't want the false believers. He didn't want them because He didn't want them to be deceived and He didn't want His church to be affected by them. So He chased them away by the strength of the call to commitment.”

“Puritan William Perkins wrote these words, "The true Christian is of this disposition of mind that if there were no conscience to accuse, no devil to terrify, no judge to arraign or condemn, no hell to torment, yet he would be humbled and brought to his knees for his sins because he has offended a loving merciful and long-suffering God," end quote. That's the difference. The truly repentant sinner is devastated by the way he has offended God with his sin. He's not whimsically looking for some fire insurance. A true disciple loves, a true disciple obeys. We don't love perfectly, we don't obey perfectly. Sometimes we love very imperfectly and disobey, but the pattern of life is obedience and love for the Lord.”

“Jesus is saying you have to be willing to take up your cross. Somebody says, "Oh, yes, my cross... that's my 1959 Chevy that doesn't run... that's my leaky roof... that's my mother-in-law, my cross." I've heard all kinds of things.

“In the first century a cross meant one thing and it wasn't a Chevy and it wasn't your leaky roof and it wasn't your mother-in- law, it was death. He's talking about forsaking everything, even your own life. "He who has found his life will lose it," you possess your life, hold on to your life, don't let go, boy, you keep your physical safety, don't let anybody get near you and accuse you of anything, deny Christ under pressure, deny Christ under persecution, hold on to your life... you don't have a transformed life because one with a transformed life that is bound by God's gracious transforming power to love Christ would never do that. You lose your soul if you do that cause you're not a true disciple. But the one who is willing to lose his life for His sake gives evidence that he has a changed life cause that's not natural, that's supernatural. And only because God has transformed you, put His Spirit within you would you do that or be willing to do that.

Genuine disciples don't shrink back from death.”

“You see, salvation is not an experiment. Salvation is a life-long commitment. Salvation is not "try Jesus," see if He works. Salvation is a life-long transformation. Those who would tell us that a person can become a Christian without becoming a disciple do a great disservice to Scripture and they do a great disservice to people who then live under the illusion that they can be saved without following Christ in obedience. They can be saved without giving up all they are and have and ever hope to be unconditionally to Christ. That's tragic.”


_________________
Oracio

 2013/9/25 18:50Profile









 Re:

Big Amen on all you said, murrcolr.

 2013/9/25 19:32
bible4life
Member



Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1558
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

Hey, I am not doing so well. Since I last posted on here about my faith, things haven't seemed to get any better for me, i have been really seeking the Lord, but my heart seems to be giving into sin more and more. I feel that terrible hardening happening in me it seems more and more. It is like a spiritual blindness from the things of God is happening to me.I really can't explain this hardness of my heart towards the Lord and the things of God, but it is just getting worse for me. I really don't know what to do anymore.


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John Beechy

 2013/11/14 0:52Profile
wijnand
Member



Joined: 2006/3/31
Posts: 110


 Re:

Brother, you have no other options then to keep seeking God in prayer en in the Word of God. You will get through and you will experience His grace. He will come Himself if you seek HIM with all your heart!

Brother, we will pray for you (Deo Valente)!


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Wijnand de Ridder

 2013/11/14 2:33Profile









 Re:

bible4life, "Ye shall seek me and ye shall find me, when ye shall search for me with ALL your heart."

Sometimes we seek God half heartedly clinging to some cherished sin or activity that God has been dealing with us about - until you surrender it (and all of it!) you will continue to be perplexed, and your heart will be hardened as Hebrews warns through the deceitfulness of sin. Your case is not yet hopeless, but if you keep waiting for God to perform some miracle it may yet become hopeless. As Ravenhill used to say, "don't pray about it... you don't need to pray about it - all you have to do is be obedient."

Will be praying for you.

 2013/11/14 9:43
bible4life
Member



Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1558
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

I appreciate your wisdom and prayers. I dont know what i am not surrendering. I have tried surrendering things in my life even sports and things on the internet and television, separating myself from certain people, and besides separating myself from those things i have tried being obedient and doing prison ministry, but both times i went i felt like his Spirit was completely separated from me, i did not have anything to say and when i did speak it was like i was just saying something because i had to. Besides that attending church regularly and studying my bible also regularly etc. i feel further away from God. I had a time last year or more after that i felt this great fear come upon me like never before that the Lord left me forever and i cried out to the Lord earnestly for a few days to not leave me and that i would surrender to him. As the year has gone that fear has left and i seemed at times that I was getting closer to the Lord, but again the past few months my heart has become worse an i have begun to lose the sense of the Holy Spirit more than i ever have. Their our periods i go through where i start losing desire for the Lord and i use to be able to tell that someone was lost and didnt know the Lord, but now i can barely even sense that. I am doubtin his word on Christ, i am falling back into the state where sin is over powering me, i feel in bondage. It is kind of weird i still have demonic attacks or oppression. I go through periods where i am struggling with a great fear of my back problem and all my focus on that and everything else is okay and then sometimes i have this great fear about the Holy Spirit leaving me and sometimes its anger issues. So when i am struggling with health issues i am not struggling with salvation issues as much, i feel the devil has a stronghold on me in my life. But, at the same time i know i have sin deep in my heart. This has been going on as i have told others before off and on for 6 years since i got married. I love my wife and she means everything to me, but i cant not believe that this is happening because i didnt obey the Lord and not marry an unbeliever, i disobeyed. I have confessed everything, but their is something spiritually wrong enabling me from realizing the truth and having the ability of following the Lord.


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John Beechy

 2013/11/18 21:01Profile









 Re:

Hi there, bible4life,

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Can you ever remember a time in your life when the love of God was shed abroad in your heart, and you were free from all fear and worries and had a peace that could not be explained when all around you was turmoil? Do you remember a time when you had intimate and sweet fellowship with the Lord?

If you can remember these things, can you remember at what point you started losing his peace and security and His sweet presence?

I know buried somewhere in SI's archives is your testimony of how you came to faith in Christ, I just would never be able to find it because there is no organization in this forum. Would you care to share once again what Christ did for you when you received Him?

You can leave your email and I will write you.


 2013/11/19 0:36
bible4life
Member



Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1558
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

Okay when I was 18 years old is when i first experienced the love of God in my hearts and experienced a relationship with him. It was when I got out of high school and at the time i was pursuing to be a basketball or baseball player in college, I hadn't started college, but was thinking about it for sports. I never was brought up in a christian home and around the same time i was working in a health store. How I came to the point of crying out to the Lord was actually because i was using something at my store for acne called tea tree oil. Well i must have used too much because it scent was very strong and i believe some of it got in my lungs and i got very sick and for about 3 months i was constantly having heart palpitations and my bones began to be very weak where i could not lift more than 15 pounds without my bones feeling they were going to break. I became very depressed and i began to look for help. I went to the hospital, nutritionist, psychic, and tried to figure out my problem myself. Nothing worked and the psychic only made things worse. I had to quit the baseball and basketball team i was on. Every night i had to sleep on my side because i felt as if my heart was going to explode. It was very frightening time for me. I became very helpless and my mind became very weak and scared, i felt like i was starting to hallucinate almost and i remember the psychic saying something about God, so i went outside at night i cried in tears out to God and it was strange as i was looking to the sky their was a star and began to glow and get bigger for like 5 minutes it was like that it was as if God heard me and i got hope. I wasn't healed yet and i was watching on the television the 700 club and they were doing their prayers and the end of their show and they said to believe on Jesus. So after the show I decided I was going to believe on Jesus for healing. 3 days went and I had a dream and in my dream i was laying in my bed and a bright light like an angel light shone from the bottom of my bed to the top of my bed, and the next scene that happened was that i was outside crawling out on the ground reaching my hand to the sky towards God, the sky was yellow. I woke up afraid of what i had dreamed. The next day came and i began to think to myself maybe the dream happened because the Lord healed me. So i decided to test it out and i went and played football with my brother. Afterwards i began to feel the heart palpitations come again i simply asked Jesus to help and from that time after that I was healed and i was able to do the things i couldn't before. But, Jesus answered my prayer and i began to have desire to read the Bible, so i started reading it and i was reading at first when i would read God's name or Jesus's name their was something in me or somewhere within becoming very angry, like hatred and i said to myself where is this coming from and i shook it off and said this is not from me and as i began to read again i began to see the truth in the scripture and was amazed by the words and life of Christ and i began to believe what he was saying and i began to obey the words. As the days went i was filled with a love for God and people. Anytime i heard God's name or Christ it was like the greatest satisfaction i have ever had within me. The only thing i had was the Bible and christian television like tbn and my first book i read through was Rick Warrens book the Purpose Driven Life, that book whether or not is heretical was a challenge to me to surrender everything to God. But, anyways I also began to see God's creation as beautiful and i began to be very sensitive to things and cry more often. If i thought evil towards someone the Holy Spirit would convict to not think evil towards anyone. The biggest thing was my desire for God's word, I could read the book of numbers and leviticus with joy and with interest, i had a love for God's word. But, I think it was not even two weeks and i went to a halloween party where i met my future wife and I began to be close to her and her friends and wanted to hangout with them. i ended up falling into sinful relationship with her and I didn't know it was wrong yet until my new pastor maybe 6 months into the realtionship said something to me and then i began to be heavily convicted over the lifestyle and i would go a few weeks and not sin and then end up falling into it again. I became obsessed with her and she became my life instead of God being first. But, at the same time i still was hearing the voice of the Lord and for the most part was still trying to live the christian life even though i was being a hypocrite. It was about 3 and a half years and I was living in apartment with her now and was still convicted over my lifestyle, but i wouldnt repent. Then one day i began to have extreme panic attacks and this great fear came upon me, it was like a terror and it went on for a month and a half and i told her that we needed to get married and out of this sinful lifestyle. She believed in Christ verbally but was not born again. So we got married and the fear left and i thought everything was going to be fine, but i ended up hurting my back again and went through a terrible struggle with that and since i have been married my heart has become hardened towards God it seems more and more every year. I have stopped hearing his voice and have began doubting the Bible and Christ and i have had demonic attacks and oppression almost on a daily basis for 6 years along with my doubts. But, anyways that is a little more detailed testimony than before.


_________________
John Beechy

 2013/11/19 1:45Profile
bible4life
Member



Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1558
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

?


_________________
John Beechy

 2013/11/19 2:33Profile





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