• If you are just joining us, it would be a good idea to read the intro through part 5 to get an idea of why and what is happening!
Sorry for the long delay, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Picking the story up from the last post, God grabbed hold of me on Huntington Beach during that spring break trip.
When we left Huntington Beach, we had a 23 hour day driving straight from HB to Phoenix then to Colorado Springs. I had about 16 hours that day to reflect, and for 16 hours I was shown just how backwards I really was.
We've all heard it - "you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" Cliche', but it can drive the point I think. Saying you're a Christian doesn't mean anything unless there is real fruit to back up that statement. How can you be a farmer if nothing is growing in your crop? If your soil remains barren, unkept, not watered or plowed? If you don't have a weird looking tan? Same thing with Christianity. How can you be a follower of Christ, but not have any growth or fruit in your life to show for it? For the entire previous year this was me.
The drive was hard and comforting at the same time. I was humbled but also relieved. There is a God, and he is so interested in my heart that he would allow me to go through a year like I had just to show me at the end how righteous and amazing he is. I knew the next decision I made would be either to follow him or to walk away; however, there wasn't any more explanation needed for me to see that what I was doing was not right. I wanted what He had to offer.
The months following I started going back to theMILL, started hanging out with better friends and better influences, having real quiet times reading the bible or listening to sermons online. I was attending church and learning what it really means to be Christian. I started seeking the real Jesus; the Jesus who was around my whole life waiting patiently and calling my heart every day, even when I didn't even know it.
Back to farming, I think there is a pre-conceved notion that if you're a Christian, things are easy going. Life is grand. There is nothing wrong because "you have Jesus." While maintaining a farm, there will be days where you till and plow, plant seeds, water, rake, pull weeds, put in work and have no green sprouts shooting from the ground to show for it. There may be times when droughts suck life directly out of your crop, and heat bears down on you in the long days on the field making you question if it isn't just easier to hit the grocery store. There could be years even when things just don't go "your way", and when balancing the books you realize you didn't make a noticeable profit from your work that year.
I'll be straight forward and honest with you: following Jesus is hard. I'd almost say it is harder than not being a Christian. When you say "yes" to Christ, there isn't a magical force field that surrounds you where bad and difficult things cannot penetrate through. When you say "yes", what you are also saying is "no" to yourself. Christianity is a constant battle of dying to yourself and your sinful nature. It's constantly returning to the plow and watering the seeds so that fruit is produced. A peach tree doesn't grow and sprout juicy peaches in a day, nor does a walk with Jesus begin and end in a few hours of bible study.
There is a reason that we are told to put on the full armor of God (Epesians 6:11-17) and to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), CHRISTIANITY IS HARD! It is a war! - more on this to come later on.
Since becoming a Christian, and deciding I was in it for real, that I would follow Jesus and His commands the best I could, I haven't looked back. I have experienced a satisfaction far superior to anything I could have received before Him. A void in my life has been filled, not just supplemented, and let me tell you friends, that feeling is indescribable.
Even though I am a Christian I still lust, I still covet, I still try to appease my sinful nature. I will continue to struggle with sin for the rest of my life, especially the sin that I am so familiar with, like that of an unfortunate friend. But the good news is that I have someone to lean on for help defeating that sin, whereas before Christ I had nobody who had that power. I have someone to turn to when difficult times arise, who can walk with me. I want to be clear that I'm not boasting in my sin, I don't use Christ as a get out of jail free card, I boast in His willingness to save me from my sin even when I don't deserve it, and His grace to teach me not to sin anymore.
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This is my story so far; everything I have been through that has shaped my walk. I hope that reading this He was able to speak into your heart. I pray He was able to use what I have experienced to teach you about His grace.
If you aren't a Christian, if you don't believe in Jesus, this all probably seems like hocus pocus. An invisible guy who can save your life from something called sin. I get it, I was there. I didn't want to believe He was real. But truth be told, He is very real.
**Do me one favor if you are having a hard time believing, or if you feel a weird tug on your heart to dig in a bit deeper...
Read the book "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel. I promise you, and guarantee you, by the end of it you will have second thoughts about this whole "Jesus thing." (
If you are interested in diving deeper, but don't want to buy the book, or don't have the money to, PLEASE email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you this book.
Also, if you don't have a bible and can't afford one and want one, email me at the same address.
God bless you guys, I hope reading "My Story" has affected you in some positive way. I will continue to post on this blog different discussions that will be geared at diving deeper with Jesus. So until the next one, thank you for reading this whole series!