Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 7 November 2016

We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.  Hebrews 3, verse 14.

“Original conviction” is believing in Jesus.

Just last week, my wife and I were talking again about feeling faith in God.   I remarked that I’ve never “felt” that God feels I’m special; I believe I’ve shared that here before.   The whole experience & feeling of ‘being saved:’   never had it, never felt it.   The overwhelming feeling of God’s presence that crowds out everything else:   I haven’t yet felt it even as I know in my heart I have experienced it.  Later I learned I’m not alone in this.   On Saturday morning I attended a men’s Bible breakfast here in Paris.  Several of us were talking about this same thing – that feeling of being saved – and I remarked the same thing I’d said to my wife.   One of the other men said that he and his wife had felt a pulling, a calling, to come back to the church in Paris (Calvary Chapel), and that they’d had that same surety of feeling when they bought their house.   It was as if God was telling them “this is where I want you.”   That’s something with which I can relate.   If I’ve never felt ‘saved’ or had that big God-moment when I felt His overwhelming presence, I can also say that on many, many occasions throughout my life I’ve felt that same “this is where I want you” feeling.  If God hasn’t spoken to me one way, He’s made it abundantly clear He’s speaking in others.

When we realize that, it becomes one of the ways we can share Him.   It’s an affirmation of our original conviction, our determination and need to believe in Jesus.  I’ve been a believer all my life, was brought up going to church most every Sunday.   Even when I fell away for a few years, when my wife and I took our family back to church it always felt like it was the right place to be.  It was as if God was telling us “I want you to get to know Me here” and He made our lives worthwhile.  We joined with others who believed the same things, and we were constantly fueled by God through His church, energized and empowered to do the things He’s prepared us to do.

It’s because of Him.   It’s because of believing in Him.  I used to think that people like me (now) were corny, sometimes faking our faith for appearances, sometimes saying we believe almost to convince ourselves that it’s really true.   Sometimes I wonder if I’m not saying I believe in Jesus out of fear of Him.   Not just the respecting, awe-struck fear, but the terror-in-the-night kind of fear, knowing that I’m just a man out of billions, somewhat small in this world.   He’s God.   He’s the creator of everything, the omnipresent and omniscient God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Dave Terry.  Those are some big shoes to fill; I don’t feel qualified to walk in them.  Who am I to believe in this awe-striking God?   Who am I that He would believe in me?

And then I remember that He talks with me.   He lets me know from time to time that He is with me, that He wants me to do A, B or C by those feelings from deep in my heart.   His Spirit speaks to my conscience, letting me know when I should shy away from some things and approach others.   This never happens when I’m on the edges of sin (or knee-deep in it); God’s choices aren’t designed to lead us deeper into wrongdoing.   No, sometimes He speaks to me by a verse hitting me just right, or seeing light rays through a cloud bank, or the satisfaction of being around people I love.   Even sometimes through the realization of a job well done.

Ephesians 3:12 says, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”  That means here and now, today, you and I can approach God fully knowing that Jesus did everything possible and everything necessary to make it so that we could.  We still fear and respect and love God Almighty but we get to approach Him fully and freely knowing that He won’t see us as sinful or worthy of destruction.   He sees us clothed and wrapped in Jesus, made righteous because we believed that Jesus is our one and only Savior.  It’s a convicting belief of determined conviction.  When we fully realize the meaning of that concept, perhaps we also realize that God is speaking to us loud and clear.   Feeling or no feeling, it’s more than enough.

For more reading:   Ephesians 3:12.

Lord, I believe in You.

 

 

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