I write this blog with a specific targeted audience. I write this blog specifically for those of you who have lived a life in church with the concept being “saved” defining your life. I pray God’s mind upon yours as you read this…
I grew up singing this song, “He Lives”. I loved it as a boy.
I have heard many styles of worship songs over the span of 50 years. Some I liked and others I didn’t. This one I continue to like even as an adult today.
I serve a risen Savior, he’s in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say;
I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he’s always near.
Over the years of singing “He Lives”, I have found myself in many different churches. Some small and some megaBIG. Through the church experience, I have at times asked myself the question, “Is this all there is?” It is likely you have asked yourself the same question, if you are willing to be honest and have been “churched”.
Looking back over my 56 years of church, I can see many similarities and discovered many truths. The most basic of all truths is that people are no different today, then they were 2,000 years, ago. We all have fears. We all want a better life. We all want others to think the best of us. We all have a need to control. We all have an inquisitive mind and we all have a need for God.
Considering the complexity of mankind and yet the incredible similarity of need between each person, it is no surprise that our religious experience tends to mimic our predecessors. Each of us upon having a spiritual awakening may choose to tirelessly put all our energies into developing a deeper relationship with the God of our choice. Somewhere in the journey, if we faithfully pursue the God<->Man spirit connection, we will inevitably ask the question, “Is that all there is?”
God blessed me with the opportunity to know Him intimately at the age of 6. At the time, the church referred to my experience as being saved. Over my life time as a Christian, I have experienced God in many ways and in diverse circumstances. Even so, there have been times I have asked myself, “Is this all there is?”
This question has always come to mind when I imagine and appreciate the incredible BIGNESS of God. We are only able to understand or comprehend a small part of the entity known as God who is the creator of the universe. It seemed to me with a God of infinite proportions playing a role in my life, my very existence should not at all be predictable. Think about this for a moment….
“With an infinite God, my very existence should not at all be predictable.”~priest
So on one hand I was believing I was living a life in fellowship with God and on the other hand, I knew the reality of my existence was so very predictable. How can my life be predictably simple and yet be walking with a God that has no limitations? There was a disconnect or conflict in my mind. I wanted more of God. If what I was experiencing was all there was, I questioned whether there was a God at all.
This questioning of God was not in an antagonistic or rebellious fashion. It was in honest pursuit of the deeper things of the faith. The frustration was because I believed God was my Savior and I worked hard to please Him, yet it felt like I had hit a dead end. There was a long list of things I would not do, so as to not jeopardize my relationship with Him. I worked at almost every job a guy could do in the church. God even allowed me to lead one or two people to Christ during that time, but it was not enough because I believed my God so much BIGGER.
I lived for 50 plus years in this mode of trying to please God with all I did and not knowing if I was drawing closer to Him or not. It certainly did not feel like I was any closer.
Then, it happened. God allowed me to crash and burn in body, soul and spirit. I totally died, with the exception my heart was still beating and I had vital signs. I refer to it as my “dark times”. I think David speaks of these times in the Word. It was in this darkness, I fell back in love with God as the Trinity and His Word. I am not speaking of losing my salvation. I am speaking of losing myself. The old Archie died and God began a new work in me. I believe He began creating in me the person He desires to spend eternity with.
Over the last two years of my life and having lost count of how many times I have read His Word, I am becoming a new person. I have discovered the “much more” of my faith, that I have desired for a life time.
God has a word for you in this. I don’t know what it is for you personally. Only you and God can know that. But I do know that God loves you and He wants you to experience the so much more of your faith. For me, it required a total breakdown of body, soul and spirit. I pray it will not be as dramatic for you. But if it is just as catastrophic for you, I guarantee experiencing God’s love on the other side is unimaginably worth the pain and suffering that brought you to becoming a new creation in Christ.
I pray God’s Spirit will speak truth to you and you will have ears to hear…