Category Archives: love

My Testimony

I accepted Christ when I was 7 years of age on a Sunday night in Rota, Spain. I was apart of a kids program called Super Sunday Nights. On this evening we were memorizing verses and we happened to be memorizing John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” After getting familiar with the verse I declared to my teacher, “I want to have eternal life.” She informed me that salvation from our sins comes from Jesus Christ and when we invite him into our hearts he lives with us and helps us by his Spirit. She invited me to pray to God and to ask him to forgive me of my sins and invite Jesus into my heart. I did so as she guided me. It’s funny. I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with bible stories but this was the first time I had ever really understood anything I was hearing. At once it all made sense.

Since then I have battled through many things. I had moved seven times in my life because my parents were in the military. Each time I had to make friends and battle with loneliness and dread. I was the “perpetual new-kid.” Amongst this I sought out the wisdom of the world to confirm what I thought I chose to believe. After many books and articles I would keep searching. It wasn’t as though there weren’t good enough answers; the fact is that I was simply trying to reach God through my own human wisdom. At other times I would pray demandingly for God to come down and perform miracles. I was trying to support my faith with supernatural evidence as if that was enough to satisfy my veracious appetite for “the proof” instead of living John 20:29: ‘Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ Simultaneously I struggled with pornography which itself was more of a battle of trying to satisfy my physical cravings. It bled itself out and manifested its true head as a dark “me” attitude.

By the grace of God he has defeated and continues to defeat these enemies in my life. I realize now that my testimony was not so much “from here to there; black & white” but rather “from there and back again;” from innocent-child-like-faith to mature child-like-faith. The skeptic may be inclined to think that I have “regressed,” but in fact I haven’t regressed at all but “progressed.” When I was a child I had received an unimaginable gift from God but I hadn’t begun to grasp what I had received. It was when I was older and a little more foolish that I truly begun to realize just what God has done for me. Through all my doubt and poor decisions God was with me every step of the way. He continues to guide my feet and be my best friend. The truth is that the gospel is simple. In its very nature it weeds out those who would seek God by their own means. In my own life my pursuit for God was a tower of Babel that only after God had confused my efforts did he show me that the way to himself wasn’t through my own brilliance or effort but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Gently he reminded me what I was taught at first. My life now has been a constant pursuit after his Spirit and it’s been my pleasure to find him pursuing me all the same.

Maybe you’re looking for God in the evidence. Maybe you’re waiting for miracles. I would encourage you to stop. Put down the books. Quit waiting on what God could do for you and focus on what he did do for you. The fact is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough for us to praise him for eternity. On the cross he paid the debt of humanity, canceling our sins and earning us salvation, now and for eternity, ultimately reconciling us with God; when we deserved the full wrath of God he took it upon himself to pay the debt that so we may be called his friends. I plead to you on behalf of the Living God to accept his gift. Let your “knowledge” of God drip twelve inches from your head to your heart. A great quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums it up, “Defend the bible? I would as soon as defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.” Let God’s word fulfill its truth in your life. Quit trying to white-knuckle grace like I did and instead receive it with open hands. Have faith for He will defend himself.

Jake

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Wanting to Hear and See God

I don’t know about you but I really want to hear from God. Nothing makes sense in my life. Lately, I’ve felt this draw to get nearer to God and to become more intimate with Him. Like my entire being is craving His presence. 

The other day I had some things happen to me that have made me very upset. When I heard the news I spent much of the night praying and crying. The entire time I was yearning for God’s presence. I can’t really explain it. I just want my prayer times to be intimate with God. I just want to speak to Him like a friend talks to another friend.

In all honesty I don’t feel much happier than when I heard the news but I’ve been able to use the time to draw near in prayer. Sometimes when I run out of words I raise my hand to reach up to God hoping that he’ll grab my hand.

Sometimes its important to remember that when it seems like nothing is going right in your life that your alive and awake. Your alive in the sense that God has given you another day to draw closer to Him and your awake in the sense that this pain has awoken you from your sleep.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the days to come but I want to use this opportunity to become a prayer warrior. The other day I heard this quote from a pastor at the United Pastors Network conference:

“Prayer isn’t used to support your ministry; it is your ministry.”

I have seen God do amazing things through prayer in other people’s lives and I want to see that happen in my life. I don’t want you to get the feeling that I’ve never prayed because I pray all the time. I’m just trying to come to grips with how much work I need to in this area. Its easy to pursue God like a checklist. “Okay, I got this done today now I don’t need to do it again until tomorrow.” But God wants us to draw near to Him intimately. I don’t know what God means by the word intimate but I’m excited to find out. When we read about people in the bible who did great things we often find the phrase, “the Lord was with him.”

Our power to live out the gospel comes from our proximity to God’s presence. Prayer is that access to God’s presence. If we could only realize what prayer actually is then our lives would turn upside down.

“In a sense prayer is requesting an audience with the maker of the universe.”

Just think about that for a second. Doesn’t that make you want to pray? Yesterday I turned 22 and its my goal that if I do one thing differently this year it would be to pray; more often, more passionately and more intimately.

Jake

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Beautiful Lies

Some Lyrics I plan to put to song:

We are all distracted by beautiful eyes,
But seldom do we understand,
That all the things that lie beneath,
Are waiting there to tear us down.

You were so beautiful at our first meeting,
But I know on my second chance,
That some of the things I thought were love,
We’ll catch up with me at last.

I was looking for love, but only seeing faces,
I searched everywhere, all the times and the places,
And at the end of all this what did I find?
A beautiful story of a love that is mine.

‘Cause now your love is all I see,
Truly you have been, all that I breath.
I thought I found love, but you said to me
I’ll love you more, I’ll set you free.

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