Friday, September 18, 2009
Behind Closed Doors.
This is a story from my teenage years and probably one of the most significant events from my past.
It was just after New Year and I was in a Church Youth Group meeting in Newport at the house of the church leader. There was a guest speaker, he was the leader of the church musicians and he started telling us about how he and his friend who played piano, had over the New Year, rededicated their lives to Jesus.
I must have been about 15, and I sat there thinking 'what a great idea, why didn't I think of that'.
So, it wasn't long after I decided to do the same thing.
I went to my downstairs bedroom (everyone else in the house slept upstairs), sat on the edge of my bed and said something along the lines of: 'Jesus, I just give my life to you afresh, use me how you want'. I then sat back and waited to feel God's big smile and a nice pat on the back for doing so well.
Thing was, nothing happened.
So I said it again and waited.
And then started to get the first itch of doubt and worry.
One of the scariest verses in the Bible has to be the this one from Matthew 7:
21 “Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn't we?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you evildoers!’”
The message here is frighteningly clear, it's not what you do for God that has any bearing at all on entering Heaven, it rests on one matter alone, do you know Jesus?
Your prophesying, great, doesn't count.
Your healing the sick, great, doesn't count.
Your raising the dead, great, doesn't count.
Sober stuff. And as I sat on my bed I knew that if I didn't know Jesus I was in the worst position imaginable.
However, I was determined to put things right, scared as I was, I laid on the floor and cried to God that he would be merciful to me, that he would forgive me.
It's a terrible feeling to be alone in a room all by yourself when you hope God will speak to you, but as I said, I was determined to stay on the floor until God spoke to me.
And I don't know how long I was there for, but eventually I did hear God.
What he said was: 'Chris, you've been taking me for granted'.
It was true. How could it not be?
I put myself right with God, and from that day I have never, ever wanted to be in that position again.
The message here is this: Do you see people moving in leaps and bounds ahead of you? Who seem to get chosen for all the 'good jobs' in the Church or who seem to just be blessed and blessed where you don't get anything? Do you feel left out, unnoticed, passed by?
It doesn't matter one bit. ALL that matters, and I say it again, ALL! that matters is that you can say I know Jesus. I speak to Him and He speaks to me. We have a 'relationship'.
If you can't say that my friend, be worried.
And put it right.