| My search for authenticity|
My name is Stephen, and I am a 17 year old from South London, UK. I have been in some form of Christian faith for around two and a half years, however over recent months I have been more and more hungry for a faith which is truly authentic rather than any psychologically-stirred up experience, or dry intellectual argument.
A couple of months ago, I came across www.fireonthealtar.com, and started listening to some of the messages there, particularly those by Art Katz and Leonard Ravenhill. I found these messages wonderful, and they reached a place in me far deeper than simply my emotions or my intellect. Since then, I have starting to search for a real walk with God that goes beyond any "acting" or "playing the game".
I have had my eyes opened to much of my spiritual poverty and superficiality, and I now want to devote myself completely and without any conditions to God, not for anything that I might get from it but simply because I can't face living any sort of lie any longer.
I look forward to beginning to get to know you all, and I would ask that if anyone has any wisdom specifically on how to start truly becoming a follower of Christ, please do share it (I know there is absolutely masses of wisdom here in sermons and forums, but it is a little daunting to start!)
Much love to you all,
| 2005/10/19 10:33||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: My search for authenticity|
Since then, I have starting to search for a real walk with God that goes beyond any "acting" or "playing the game".
Welcome brother Stephen,
You are in the right place amongst all of us "seekers of truth" and the "one that is True". I am glad that you found this resource dear brother may God teach you Himself as you dig and find divine truth on this site.
If you have not seen these below titles I believe you must take the time to watch them [b]carefully[/b] they are not as rivoting as some of the compilations but so much truth is therein:
[b]An Interview with Leonard Ravenhill (video) [/b]
[b]Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Reidhead[/b]
(text transcript here its great to follow along with: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=2067 )
Brother I am excited to see what the Lord shows you and your further participation on the forums.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2005/10/19 10:40||Profile|
wow, you sound like me. And ur a year younger. Encouraging!
I suggest anything from David Wilkerson. "A call to Anguish" is good [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3843&commentView=itemComments]link[/url]
| 2005/10/31 22:55|
Los Angeles, California
Here is a great link.
This will get you grounded in truth. If you like Art Katz try these short (10-15min) but powerful teachings by Zac Poonen. These are a must listen for all truth seekers.
| 2005/11/1 0:54||Profile|
God bless you! Get Leonard Ravenhill's "Why Revival Tarries" and EM Bound's "The Classic Collection on Prayer" as soon as you can, if you don't already.
One of the best quotes I've ever heard was from Ray Comfort "read the Bible everyday, OBEY what you read and God will never let you down.
MuchLove from Canada Stephen,
| 2005/11/1 9:02||Profile|
Thank you very much for all of your responses and recommendations - they are very encouraging.
I have "Why Revival Tarries", and I must say that I have rarely read anything that is more, well, the word that comes to mind is "incendiary". It really woke me up - and I'm now trying to get it passed around my friends, so that hopefully they will wake up too.
I have read much about EM Bounds, but I think I really need to read his works. I have begun to realise the importance of prayer, but I still have very little understanding of it, and find it quite difficult to get out of the mindset of "pretending" in front of God instead of being open and honest. I don't intend to, but I often find myself going through the motions of prayer, or quoting religious cliches that I have picked up. The Holy Spirit has begun to help me in this in a real tangible way, and I know that much of finding ease and understanding in prayer will only come through actually praying, however difficult it often feels. I think that the EM Bounds collection could really help too.
But again, thank you all for your advice, it is such a blessing to be able to speak with other seekers after God as yourselves - I have a huge amount to learn, and I know that God has already used this site and it's members to begin to teach me.
Your brother in Christ,
| 2005/11/1 12:43||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
What an encouragement you are. Think there are quite a few that have been after very same things that you are, authenticity, reality, honesty. That you are already at this point here somewhat in the begining is tremendous, it is truly a great encouragement and warms the heart.
Hope you are able to glean what is now necessary, in other words, what needs or might be layed aside be just that, it will still be there when you come back to it. It can be a bit overwhelming depending on your disposition. Think you are well on your way brother, even in grasping the issues of prayer;
I have begun to realise the importance of prayer, but I still have very little understanding of it, and find it quite difficult to get out of the mindset of "pretending" in front of God instead of being open and honest. I don't intend to, but I often find myself going through the motions of prayer, or quoting religious cliches that I have picked up. The Holy Spirit has begun to help me in this in a real tangible way, and I know that much of finding ease and understanding in prayer will only come through actually praying, however difficult it often feels. I think that the EM Bounds collection could really help too.
Prayer is a battlefield and a meadow.
It's grueling and muddy and horrible.
It's incredible and vast and beautiful.
It's beyond words and often just a groaning.
It's as much listening, maybe more, as it is speaking.
Anguish and ecstacy.
Silence. Waiting. Patience buiding.
Character correcting. Worship. Intercession.
Incredible 'revelation', not in something new, but something profoundly ... fixed.
And then you actually begin praying and find that this is just the begining.
If anything brother, do be yourself in prayer. The Lord will straighten out the crooked places.
| 2005/11/1 15:37||Profile|
I still have very little understanding of it, and find it quite difficult to get out of the mindset of "pretending" in front of God instead of being open and honest.
woooah that hits home right here that does, the Lord started opening up that truth with me just last week, on how i can be completely honest with Him, He is the Lover of my soul and He wants to know me, and in turn for me to know Him, Praise be to Jesus!!
Even if I'm angry with Him, or think He's done something unfair, it's when i shelter what I'm really thinking and try and put on a fake smile that the heavens are like brass, but when i am honest before Him then He begins to work HALLELUJAH!!!
I highly reccomend [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=429]'The Old Paths'[/url] newsletter, the new issue has just come out, i'm sad to say that i have a tendency to read things and then go 'right, well ive read that one, what's next?' this has lead to a head full of christiainty but very little in the heart :-o but praise God because i aint standing still, He's turning that head knowledge into heart experience.
One of the best bits of advice i can give you, that on reflection i sadly didn't heed, [b]Dont run ahead of God[/b] that can be a temptation when finding such a resource as this site, i would reccomend this [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7223&forum=12&8]To the Church at SI write ...[/url] and [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=340&forum=35&48]Keep the Fire Burning![/url]
May our Lord bless you abudently Stephen
P.S. always good to see another brit here ;-)
| 2005/11/1 17:14||Profile|
I am very convicted by that statement of not running ahead of God, and the thoughts relating to that statement that were in those other articles. My "fidgety" flesh still has such a hold on me in that way - in that I find myself making my spiritual life into some sort of "curriculum", leaving myself feeling that if I'm not reading something about God, or hearing a sermon, then I'm wasting my time. But I really thank you for bringing it up - it is something I need to bring before God sooner rather than later - otherwise I guess I've just swapped my dead secular works with some sort of dead religious works.
The passage in Hebrews 4 on the rest of God has really hit me in relation to this. I long for that rest! But then, it's almost as if every part of my proud flesh fights against it with every ounce of strength that it has. I guess that when it comes down to it, it's never going to be something easy. I know that I long for that peace with God, that peace which will mean I will know I don't have to justify myself in any way - even by reading and learning about Him - but that instead everything will flow from that rest in God.
Well it's got to be worth fighting for. Thank you for bringing this one out in the open in me Matt - I can't ignore it any more. At the moment much of what I'm getting is a head-full, when I know that deep down what I want and need is a heart-full.
Thank you all for your encouragements - I can't explain how wonderful it is to see others who simply seek God, as I heard someone say, "as an end and not a means".
Please pray for me in these things
Your brother in Christ,
| 2005/11/1 17:50||Profile|
Hey Stephen, if you like the teachings by Art Katz I highly recommend his books. Recently, I had the priviledge of hearing him teach a couple of days in North Carolina. It was truely a life changing experience. Anyways, you can read Art's books for free at his website which is www.benisrael.org. Be sure to read Apostolic Foundations and True Fellowship. They are full of truth.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Gandi
| 2005/11/1 18:36||Profile|