If God Answered Your Cry, Would You Be Ready?

If-God-Answered-Your-Cry,-Would-You-Be-Ready

I loved my job. It was 1995 and I was seeing the world… well, mainly Saskatchewan. I was a “Rod Man” on a survey crew taking measurements for an engineering firm. We would travel throughout the province taking readings from survey equipment for the planning of new roads and road construction.

I worked outside all day, and with the travel, my days often extended from 12 to 14 hours. I was young and full of energy, and when others would come home from work, tired and ready to relax, I was the guy who wanted to get out and have some fun! I would begin calling my friends on my cutting-edge, analog cell phone, letting them know I was heading home. By the time I got home, showered and dressed, they were there waiting.

I can’t remember staying home for more than about five days in a year! I went out every night and stayed out ’til two or three, getting up early for work the next day. I was a social butterfly–a people person. I was always gathering friends to sit around a bonfire, go for a coffee, go to the bar, play some pool, go 4x4ing or just to hang out.

In 1998, I decided to change my life path and start attending church again. Making this decision, I felt pressure to give up those friends for new ones who were “good influences”. I wish I hadn’t. I let go of many good people, because I didn’t agree that their lifestyle was “honouring to God”.

Years passed and I became more serious with my religion. I attended Bible College and was involved in most areas of the church. I thought I was doing what a good Christian was supposed to do. I wanted to be pleasing to the Father and I tried everything to become a better Christian.

A few years ago a popular song hit the air waves and it struck a chord in me…

“I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
What if I had given everything,
Instead of going through the motions?”

This song became my cry. I was getting more and more tired of religion and wanted to make sure that I was not going through the motions with my heart being far from Him. As time passed, I felt God begin to reveal His love to me. I didn’t want to “fake it” anymore.

“Wait a minute… you were faking it all these years??”

No. I did my best and thought that I was doing it for all the right reasons. There were times when I did catch a glimpse of the love of God.

God exposed my misguided intentions, and from then on, I decided to live by my heart rather than by a book. This began a whole new level of freedom… but what happened after that, I was not prepared for.

It’s easy to see others as Christ did and living compelled
by love is a natural response to hurting people.

God answered my prayer! I wanted to love deeper, but that required being honest with myself and going against some of the cultural systems that had been spoken or implied. If I was going to have an elder pray for me, it was going to be because I felt the Holy Spirit nudge. I was no longer going up for an altar call to receive prayer just because it was required by my peers or leaders. I wasn’t going to sing a song unless the words lined up with what was in my heart, or I would make up my own words. I wasn’t going to “reach out” to someone unless I felt compelled to do it. Most of all, I wasn’t going to believe everything that I heard just because it was spoken by a pastor or popular preacher. I was going to think for myself. I refused to believe that my thoughts would lead me astray if my eyes were fixed on Christ.

I began to trust without suspicion. My faith in the Father exploded like never before and I experienced life! Life became new. My heart leaps at the mention of His name. It’s easy to see others as Christ did and living compelled by love is a natural response to hurting people. Life has never been better and I have never been more in love with my Daddy.

Through my last four years of experiencing new life in Christ, I have also been put through the ringer. I have never experienced the physical torture that the disciples did, but I more deeply understand the bondage of religion that burdens so many.

Religion will always be against you.

It is my experience, when you stand up for truth, you will indeed lose friends and family, and if you operate a business, you will also lose customers. Religion will tarnish your character and reputation. It will make people suspicious of you, cause people to no longer trust you, and cause them to avoid you. It will try and divide relationships between you and those who love you, including your wife and children. Religion will throw out harmful words, create charges against you and condemn you. Religion is pure evil… BUT those who are bound by it, are only doing what they think is right.

If all you have is Christ, you have all you need… but having friends is nice too. The litmus test of a good friend is the response that happens when you become honest. If they accept and love you through your rough patches, hold on tight because a friend like that is a hard find.

Through all this, without Christ, it would have been so easy to become bitter and angry… but the opposite has happened. It is possible to walk in love and become unoffendable. The thing is, religion causes people to act out of character. When the blinders come off, the true image of Christ shines through!

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