Things I Thought I Knew

Published on Sep 9th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Things I Thought I Knew
Things I Thought I Knew

My dad led me to the Lord at the age of seven (or nine, hard to
remember).  He was working on stripping and painting some shudders
for the house I grew up.  I had grown up in church and we were
talking about what it meant to be saved and he prayed with me there
in our basement.  I ran up to tell my mom and I have been an adopted
son of the Heavenly Father ever since.  There has never been a time
in my life when I was not surrounded by brothers and sisters in
Christ and never a time where I have wandered away from my faith. 
That is a testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  As I
have grown in the faith, in age, and in the middle I have learned
many things about who God is and who I am in Christ.  What I have
been amazed at, over the last several years, is how much I am
relearning what I thought I all ready knew.  As I have been speaking
to my brothers and sisters in Christ, who have also begun to put some
years under their feet, is that they too are being brought by the
Spirit into a new understanding of many things.  At first, you kind
of rebel at what is happening but then the Spirit of God humbles you
and you realize that this is what this life is all about...bringing
God glory as your being conformed to this image.  I thought I would
share with you just a few things that I am relearning and hopefully
it will help you recognize what the Spirit may be doing in your life.

I am learning about the importance of prayer.  Prayer cannot be some
perfunctory thing that we just do.  Prayer is a humbling of our
spirit and a real recognition that without God nothing advances in
the kingdom of God.  I am ashamed at how often I find myself praying
for God to work and then when he does work how I rush ahead without
him.  Prayer needs to have priority in my life.  Life in the kingdom
of God is powerless without it.

I used to think a lot about the power of prayer but I realized that in
my life it was more about trying to get God to do what I wanted him
to do.  I believed that prayer held great power but I was more
interested in what I wanted than in what would bring great glory to
God.  Now I am trying to learn the importance of praying for the will
of God to be manifested in my life.  I am learning that I really
don't want that mountain moved unless God believes it is best for it
to be moved.  I know that he is able to move mountains, I know that
he will do what is best and for his glory, and so I want to be in
line with those things rather than dictating to almighty God what I
think would bring him the most glory.  I am finding great rest in
this.

I am learning the effect of accumulating heartache can have on the
heart.  If we hold on to our disappointments and hurts they
accumulate and harden our hearts.  It takes continual exposure to the
Word of God and the gospel to keep our hearts soft and open to loving
others.  It is only out of the great love God has for me that I can
continually expose my heart and life to the pounding we give to each
other.  It is as I see God's love that I am reminded of how far my
love falls short and that gives me a proper perspective of other
people's flawed love.

I am learning how much fear I really have.  When my wife and I were
first married we owned nothing, made next to nothing, and walked in
great faith that God would provide for our young family.  He never
disappointed.  Yet, as I look back I wonder if that was great faith
or ignorance of what could be?  Now that I know what can happen in
life and I have a little more to lose I find that I must keep my
heart more in check.  I cannot let it be overcome with fear about
what might happen.  I cannot trust the arrogance of my youth anymore.
 I am learning to truly trust a loving heavenly Father for my future.

I am learning, primarily through my friend's lives, the immense pain,
grief, and sorrow that life can bring.  I recently lost my father. 
There are moments of true sadness and a hole in my life that I am
trying to fill with Christ but it is a slow process.  I have friends
who have lost spouses. They are often immersed in sadness and loss. 
I find that I have little to say to them.  They know the truths of
Scripture and I find myself on my knees praying that the Holy Spirit
would have freedom to use those Scriptures and his presence to bring
them comfort.  Sometimes the process is long and it is always
painful.  I pray that God's grace is sufficient.

I am learning how much God has implanted a love for him and his bride
on my heart.  He has allowed me, thus far, to dedicate my entire
adult life to the service of his church.  He has placed upon my heart
a desire to see his people love God and serve others.  I have not
always done it well and there have been many disappointments but
there has always been great joy.  I am surrounded by many brothers
and sisters in Christ and I look forward to relearning and growing
together with them for years to come.  Praise God for his sustaining
grace.

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