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The surrendered life?


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#1 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:57 PM

I really have to wonder sometimes if I have, or live, a life that is fully surrendered to Jesus. I often wonder if I inherited an emotional coolness from my daddy....now deceased. I don't believe in blaming everything on my parents.....so I won't. For years I lived a totally selfish life. Drugs, alcohol, lying, stealing. I have seen the inside of the county jail many times, and the inside of a state penitentiary twice. All of this was my life up until 7 years ago when I ....surrendered (I'm beginning to wonder) my life to Jesus. I asked Him for His help, and He helped me.
But now I find that I have just traded one addiction for another. I spend the majority of my free time doing things that I enjoy......hunting, metal detecting, etc etc. I find that I experience the most joy when I have a new metal detector, or bow, or some other 'toy' headed my way on the UPS truck. And then, when I get it, the joy quickly subsides. So I have a bunch of toys, and yet none of them give me joy. I went meatl detecting yesterday (Saturday) and found a couple of old relics and coins, but I was not excited about it at all. In fact, i felt all "BLAH" about it. And then, when I read my Bible, I come across the verse where Jesus says: "If any man will come after me, let him......" And I really think that I am totally guilty of NOT taking up my cross. Paul said: "If we have food and clothes, let us be content with that." I read scriptures like that and they cut me like a knife. I then start struggling with the Predestination thing. "Maybe you are NOT one of the ones that is supposed to get saved.", I reason to myself. I then get angry at the whole Calvinistic way of thinking. But the way I am is not their fault.
I am just a lazy carnal Christian. That is, if I have really had a true conversion. There are days when I am absolutely positive about my salvation and I am absolutely certain that " the blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin.". And that certainty brings a joyful, victorious feeling. And then there are periods of time when I feel like I feel now. Like Paul said: "Oh wretched man that I am!!! Who will deliver me from the body of this death??" And for some reason the verse that follows just doesn't comfort me. I hope that I haven't bummed anybody out.
I am my mother's full time caregiver since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I don't get to get out an socialize like normal people would. I'm not sure that I would want to even if I could. I feel so out of sorts right now. I think that I should have posted this in the prayer requests forum. Moderators, please feel free to move it. Now that I think about it....this certainly doesn't belong in the Deeper Life forum. My Christianity feels so shallow and weak right now. Good night to everyone.

#2 chipped china

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:24 AM

Kevin,
God is working in your life! You are going through refinement, Jesus illuminates truths to us as we can perceive them. I think it is good that you have hobbies you enjoy, but the Lord is showing you He is your greatest joy and knowing Him never gives you that let down. He is our riches, our esteem, our future. We were made by Him and for Him. Our goal here is to let Jesus live through us.

John 10
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.


James 1:2–4 (ESV)






2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The Lord has you my brother, just be open to what the Lord puts in front of you. Thank you for caring for you mother, that uplifts my heart and I know you have come along way. Blessings Betsy
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#3 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:14 AM

Thank you Chipped China,
I have awaken feeling some better about everything. I will strive today to live a holy and separated life unto God. Realizing that HE Who began a good work in me, will complete it. And too: "Count it all joy, brethren, when you suffer divers temptations.....etc etc"
Plus, the scripture in Hebrews (cannot remember the address) where it states that the discipline of the Lord......is good for bringing about the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
I appreciate your kind reply. I just feel like I am bearing zeron fruit in the kingdom and I want to start being of some use.

#4 Charles Miles

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:14 AM

Kevin, If we are all honest, we will agree that we have all been where you are now. Maybe not exactly the same but close enough to all relate to it and understand your feelings. The very fact that you understand the unhappiness and confusion surrounding you are due to a "God-relationship" problem, places you way ahead of the curve in solving your situation. The Father knows us and has known us since before time began.....our names, our families, our situations, and more..everything. We become much more content and joyful as Christians when we worship God and understand just who He is and what He has done for us. When God said,"You thought I was one such as yourself...", the statement went straight to my heart, in that I had treated God as if He were a really good man, certainly not the creator of all things....including me. As someone else said on this board in a different thread....isn`t it good that God does give us time? I hate to keep suggesting the same book by Mr Tozer, but "Knowledge of the Holy" was simply a "must read" for me. "From the Cross to the Throne" is also a very thought provoking book. Both are by different authors and on somewhat different subjects, but both snatched my mind away from concentrating on worldly matters and directed me toward the Father, who He is, and what He has done for us. The Bible should be open and available while reading books by these saints, but they had both developed a relationship with the Lord to a much greater extent than myself at the time, and the education I recieved from them(along with the Scripture) has been a joy.

Do not dispair while you seek! You are in a great position to develop a close relationship with the Father, and if you persevere, I envy you for the revelations headed your way. "Seek and you shall find" "Knock and the door will be opened to you" Both of these statements are true, but be sure that the seeking and knocking are continuous, deep, earnest, soul searching, prayerful, times. Anything as precious as the relationship with God the Father is worth spending time to obtain. Peace be with you,

Charlie
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#5 Julie Daube

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:24 AM

Kevin, I just read your posts and am glad you are feeling better about things. I also want to encourage you with the reminder that you do not need to "strive" to live a holy and separated life unto God; all you need to do is trust in Jesus. I pray that you will find peace in knowing that the Christian life isn't about striving or about anything we do - it's all about Jesus and His grace. As someone who has often struggled with the feeling that I have fallen short, I found the following article by Gary Wilkerson very helpful. I hope it will bless you as well.
http://www.worldchal...orks-of-the-law

Grace and peace,
Julie
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#6 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

I come home and find these aditional replies by sisters and brothers in Christ. How can I NOT be filled with joy and peace knowing that I am not alone in all of this. Thank you all so much!!!
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#7 elizabethcog

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

I must thank you for your honesty, it is not wrong to question ourselves,I remind myself all the time that my small mind no matter how enlightened I "try" to be,I cannot understan God's ways and that is cool that i do not have to I just have to believe and trust Him,the rest will come if you keep loving Jesus by reading his word and getting to know him and let him do his work in ya,There are Godly men and women who are wise on here and they have blessed me and helped me in so many ways,they will you too, Love in Christ,elizabeth=)
Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#8 Lori Smith

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:36 PM

Kevin,

I'm sorry to hear the devil is giving you a hard time. He can make us feel so worthless at times. He'll take one little piece of imperfection and magnify it till we are in despair. I praise God that Jesus saves us because of His goodness not our own. If you want to spend more time with Jesus, that's a good thing. Indeed, it's progress ... we are always growing. Maybe you could talk to Jesus while you hunt for treasure. Indeed, it sounds like a great way to spend time with Him. One other thing ... to have more of God's love is not about working harder, it's about trusting Him more. It's about accepting His view of us, His love. He came for sinners, not for the righteous; and He also came for the whosoevers (John 3:16). That's everyone who calls upon His name. You have called upon His name so you are saved.

Blessings Brother, I'll be praying for you.

Lori
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In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer writes, "Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father. His power lay in His continuous look at God (John 5:19-21)."

#9 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

My nights, after I get Momma cleaned up, medicated, and tucked in, are my time with the Lord. I doubt that I have missed a night in several years, of walking around our 6 acre yard and talking to God. In light of what everyone here has shared, and right now, y'all are my Body of Christ, I am about to go outside and do some major talking (praying). I pray that I will have an audience with God before I get started. But I stand on the scripture about boldy appraching the throne of Grace in our time of need. And upon the merit of Jesus can I expect to have an audience with God. I mean.......mankind being reconciled with God was God's idea!!!!! It was God's idea!!!! Why do I ever question that??? It was God's idea and subsequent plan that facilitated that reconciliation...ie the death and resurrection of His Son!!!!! Thank you, Family of God, for your words. I SO long to meet you in heaven.
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#10 Lori Smith

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:27 PM

Amen Brother!

We are your family! It sounds like you and God have a beautiful relationship. One day we will worship Him side by side for eternity!!

Love in Jesus,
Lori
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In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer writes, "Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father. His power lay in His continuous look at God (John 5:19-21)."

#11 Charles Miles

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:29 AM

Kevin, Dear brother, it sounds as if you have a great relationship with the Lord, and yes ideed, He planned all the redemption, sanctification, and wanted this relationship, even before time began. I`m not a scholar in theology, but as I understand it, we(the children of God) with an established relationship with Him, may indeed come boldly before the throne. I agree with Lori that all this is not about working hard to obtain God`s love....you already have it. Once we realize that He has all the power, knowledge, wisdom, grace, and the love that goes along with these, we can then trust Him to do whatever He says He will do. "If your earthly father gives his children good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven"...we all know this verse, but often we lose sight of its truth and significance in our earthly lives.
I commend you on careing for your mother and all the time and heartache involved, but my commendation means nothing. God sees a careing heart, a willingness to serve, and many other things invisible to us here. May God bless you Kevin, and I know He will.......you only have to ask. I know I have and will continue to ask Him for you.

Charlie
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#12 Marvin Harrell

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:39 AM

Speaking as a moderator...I can't think of a better place to have this discussion, Kevin. You/we are all seeking the Deeper Life with Jesus and I am thrilled this discussion is continuing.

God bless your work as a care giver...my wife and I are following a similar path helping her mom who had a stroke a little more than a year ago. It is a journey to be sure, and there are days my wife and I cry out to Jesus to help us. We sometimes question His care, His plan, His mercy. But this we know for sure...He is in this somewhere. Keep the faith my brother.
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Email me

#13 John Albert

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

Hi Kevin,

I know my UPS driver by name and have visited with him many times! So I know what you are describing. I don't have a wife to elbow me in the ribs when I think of a new toy, but the Lord can do that too. Sounds like he is doing that to you just now. I don't have much to add, but as the Lord calls on your heart for your time and attention, make the attempt to respond. I don't think there is anything wrong with our hobbies and interests, so long as they are not priority number one. When that starts to happen, the emptiness that such imbalance brings to our hearts begins to get loud. So just ask the Lord to help you shift the balance back to him. There is no condemnation so don't accept that. Just ask the Lord to help you to do your part, and then just do it.

On an opposite note, I remember one time after taking a big step of obedience (that had brought me to a new place of faith), the Lord actually very quietly told me to get a new toy (guitar) that I had thought about. Two times in two weeks. It was so subtle that I almost missed it, and I still doubted it. (I would have completely missed it were it not for the fact that I was in a quiet place and a place of faith in my life where I was hearing him somewhat clearly. Or maybe he was just speaking a lot.) Anyway, my conditioned response was that this was just a stray thought because God would certainly not care about such trivial things as me spending money on myself. I mean, who needs a word for that, seeing we do it all the time? On Friday of the second week, I went to what you could call a "prophetic meeting," I know....but it was real and God spoke through people who did not know me. One thing led to another and a total stranger wrote a check for $500 for me to buy a guitar, even after I told her I had the money! She said God told her and she would not relent. So God gave me a guitar even after I thought it was just my selfish desire to have it. I was pretty blown away by the goodness and love of God and was actually more blessed to realize I had heard the Lord, than to actually get the instrument.

So what is the point in all this? It is not the things we have or the things we do, it's just where is the Lord in all of it? He knows we are flesh and has made provisiion for that through the blood and the Holy Spirit. Now it's your turn brother; just draw near because it is clear you do love him. He'll do all the rest and you will have rest.
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#14 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:27 PM

Thanks Marvin and John.....and all who have replied. I really have to watch myself or I will slip into a performance based religion. And I REALLY have to dwell and think on the Love of God. It is NOT a concept that a brain like mind can wrap itself around all too easily!!!! But since childhood, something has told me that the words in that Book (The Bible) are quite real and quite applicable to us humans. I would watch Billy Graham Crusades when I was eight or ten yrs old and want to be a preacher. (probably for the public acclaim......my flesh can't fool me! lol) I thoroughly appreciate everyones heartfelt replies and your prayers. I wish that we had a CMA church around here. I am about 100 miles from the nearest one here in Tennessee. This forum will have to do for a while. I mean, just in this one thread, I have had more fellowship with y'all than I had with my fellow churchmen at Riverside Baptist. (I'm NOT a good Baptist because I seriously dislike alliterated sermons. It's as if a preacher has to play a little word game to get folks to understand what God is supposedly saying through him. I'm like Sgt Joe Friday....: JUST THE FACTS!)
Anyway, I have everything in order around the house and am going to an old homeplace to metal detect a while. I really don't care if I find anything or not. As long as I find that pearl of great price. Love y'all. Kevin
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#15 chipped china

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:26 AM

This is not the first time I have felt the real church and His Spirit on this forum. Amen and Hallelujah!
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