...so I got to the encounter with a spirit of expectancy from God, not from me. I shoved aside the thoughts of "Oh, this is just another retreat to try and get people hyped about the things of God." Little did I know that God would reveal to me that those thoughts sprang from a critical spirit rooted in pride, and the pride was rooted in insecurity and fear. Crazy! Well to keep from writing a novel, I'll try to get to the point. The first session we had was about the different stages of being lost. I immediately saw myself as a person who had lost redemptive privileges (parable of the coin) because of some issues in my life. Only the Lord, could have revealed that to me! Had someone tried to convince me of this without the Lord opening my eyes to see the reality of my lostness, I probably would've done what I always did...get offended. Check this out...
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path...". We all love that scripture! I love how the Word of God can bring light to our pathways. But where does the light shine on our pathway of sanctification? That all depends on who's holding the lamp. The Word of God is a lamp and it will shine...but us humans have an uncanny ability to shine the light where we believe there is no darkness. Have you ever been bored with the Word? It's probably because you're shooting light to places in your life that you feel are already illuminated. And when you are doing that...pride is not far away. When the Lord is leading you through the study of His Word and when He shows you something, He shines the light on dark places. That's what He did with me. He knew that if it were up to me, I would shine His holy scriptures on the places in my life that I thought I had under control. But all praise to the Lord for His mercy! He loves me too much to let me stay in my folly.
Back on subject...so Saturday was very eye opening for me. If I could sum it all up in one sentence it would be this: I realized that I had sin in my life and was in desperate need of forgiveness. The light was shining and I saw a lot of things that I didn't think were there. It was like a big tree of bad fruit that had grown up with me since I was a little kid. The Holy Spirit through the teachings revealed to me that I had let a spirit of fear take root and spring up all sorts of evil. Fear of man, insecurities about myself, timidity...all of that is fear. And by operating in fear, I've done things that have brought shame to the name of Christ. I've lied, manipulated, walked in pride, bitterness, anger, longed for self-gratification rather than setting my affections on things above, holding and spreading a critical spirit...all sorts of evil. At the root of it all, insecurity. I chose to identify with my own low self image rather than how Christ sees me. Then the Spirit began to show me instances in my life where I allowed this root to go unchecked. (The devil is ruthless...only preying on the weaknesses of people and attacking from a very small age.) Even my quest to be successful in music was rooted in a sense that I had to prove to myself that all of the words spoken against me were not true. I wanted to prove to myself that I really could communicate well and that I really was good at something.
(continue to pt 3)