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New Spiritual Journey

29 Mar

I never used to understand that Bible verse about ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’, Phil 2:12.  But in the past few years I have been realizing it is a very real search/journey.  I have had a lot of soul searching and done lots of Bible studies on various topics. Experiences in my life have convinced me, beyond a doubt that God is leading me closer to Him.  And, trembling sometimes, I am trying to follow.

For several months I’ve been feeling like God is calling me to something ‘more’.  I have felt such a need to praise and worship God.  And my church meetings haven’t fullfilled that need.  Yet I’ve kept trying to go.  Sometimes it was a good experience and sometimes not.  I love the sharing part of the meeting.  Yet I know there are parts of the (tradition?, beliefs?) that I don’t believe.  Parts I now realize I never have believed.  But still I tried to keep going, feeling like I had been part of the problem so I should be part of the fix.  Then I wondered “who am I to try to fix something?”  And I kept getting these pricks–“Follow Me, I have more for you”.  And, “why aren’t you listening to me?”  Finally that verse came to where Jesus says to Saul/Paul–it is hard for you to kick against the pricks, Acts 26-14, and I realized I need to listen and take heed.  It’s a scary thing to leave something you have grown up mostly beleiving.  Yet it is a whole lot scarier not to follow where I know is God/Jesus leading me!

I visited with a woman from my Quest group (we are on a quest to learn more about ourselves, each other and God) and she invited me to her church for a presentation.  I liked parts of it.  I was invited to a women’s bible study there, but haven’t gone yet. She believes in Once Saved, Always Saved.  And my church certainly doesn’t!

Since I feel God is leading me away from my church, I decided to visit area churches, because I do want to meet with believers.  I want to praise God–to sing and well, really to shout–of His wonderful encompassing essence!

I went to a local church last Sunday.  I liked it, but wanted to check out others.  I found another nearby that sounded interesting.  I was planning to go this morning but they are having pre Easter Kids service and egg hunt today and I wasn’t interested in that.  I also want to check out a couple up in JAX.  I found one up in the city that sounded really interesting, but since it seemed to be in a questionable neighborhood I drove up there first and decided–maybe not.  I am also signed up for a bible study in my Quest group led by the woman whose church presentation I went to.

But today, since it was too late to go back to the place I we last week, I didn’t go anywhere.  Instead I’ve been researching online opposing views on ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ doctrine.  I read a Lutheran link that had a lot of helpful scripture (which I took notes from) and views, at least until I clicked on their doctrine.  Some of which I believe is NOT scriptural.  So then looked at other sites.  I’ve taken notes of some links and quotes.  I especially like the one about our enemy being Satan–not believers who have differing view.  Because that is one thing I have Always hated about Meetings (what I’m calling the way/church I have been in since a teenager).  I have always cringed inside when I heard the criticism of other religions, especially when I could hear the contempt in the voice.  Yet there have been times in the past, when I too, felt like I had something that others didn’t.  I hate that.  It only brings self-righteousness.  It causes a terrible feeling inside, something I never want to feel again!  A certain pity for others, but no joy to self or to others.

Back to my research.  I will probably come back to it many times, but for today after browsing through my notes, I find the best concept is that both views are correct.  Even though they seem to be opposing.  Yes, there can be a falling away, but also we can believe God’s promise that ‘nothing can separate us from His love’.  Although I didn’t note it specifically in my notes, I believe this was taken from the Lutheran site. (I will try to find the link if any are interested.).  The ‘falling away’ was spoken to the ‘Old Man’–our flesh–who wants nothing to do with God.  Whereas God’s promise is to the ‘New Man’–who believes in Christ.  When we believe that Christ died for us to become righteous before God, and that through grace by Jesus Christ and for His sake we are ‘saved’–righteousness and eternal life are given to us!

One site mentioned that the word Believe in the Greek translation is an ongoing verb.  We must continually repent of our sin and believe in Christ saving power.  The Christian life is one of continual repentance; true repentance and turning away from sin brings about a changed behavior which is pleasing to God.  This brings up another opposing subject: faith vs works.  That Is a study I started over three years ago, which I continually return to.  Maybe I will post on that another time.

Another study I may do is what is referred to as ‘the Great Commission’.  I think most churches preach that all believers need to spread the Gospel, whereas my church seems to feel that it should only be the ministers.

As a result it has always been hard for me to speak to to others of God.  However, now God is leading me in this.  Just the very day after I had finally said (in my heart), “Ok God, I will go where you are leading”, an experience came where I could share something that, previously, I would have never mentioned.  A coincidence?  I think not.  And even in this post I am sharing, with trembling jubulation, where God is leading me. Praise be to HIM!


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