While out in BC visiting my Uncle, just after graduating high school, I sat in the open window in the back of the house. I looked out toward a mountain to the back and a house to the west. The yard to the west was unkempt. Uncle John had told me, upon my arrival, that a little boy had passed away there only a couple of weeks before. Uncle John said the family was devastated and felt lost. I sat in the window wondering about death and life. And this poem came to me. I grabbed a small brown paper bag and wrote the poem down. I found it years later and recognized my struggle.
The land of His is in front of us
Should we go ahead?
To be good and true and happy
Always go they said.
The first step is mine you say
For I have many fears
Would I be good enough?
Could I resist temptation?
Or would I be a letdown in His eyes?
Should I step out?
Lest I fall down, down, down
And what would be before me then?
I was right about a few things when I was 19. It is a choice to be in a relationship with God and the first step was mine. Not really though because Jesus took the first step by dying on the cross so I could have that choice. My fears though were wrong; Would I be good enough? I didn’t have to be good enough but I didn’t know that. It was Jesus death on the cross that makes me righteous in God’s sight, not anything I could do. Our sinful nature makes us so we can't be in the presence of God who is perfect and Holy. My righteousness is like filthy rags the Bible says and on my own merit I could never get into a relationship with Him or into Heaven. I'm so glad He paid the price for me to be righteous in His sight.
Could I resist temptation? God sets us free from sin and when we choose to listen and be led by the Holy Spirit we will be able to resist temptation. And when we make mistakes we ask for forgiveness and we are forgiven. (When we see the truth about God and are in a relationship with Him the reality of that relationship makes a person want to please God and live the way He wants us to. I’m not talking about a story here, I’m talking about a love that you can experience.) Ephesians 3:19a and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience].
Would I be a letdown in His eyes? I was so afraid that the things I had done wrong and continued to do wrong would make me a disappointment to God and that He wouldn't want to have anything to do with me especially when I messed up. God doesn’t see me in my sinful or fallen nature, He sees me righteous because of Jesus sacrifice to pay for my wrong doings. So after I asked Him to forgive my sins and be the Lord of my life I won’t be a letdown in His sight.
Should I step out? And unequivocal yes, yes, yes! It took me many years to take that step.
Lest I fall down, down, down, and what would be before me then… Nothing.
If I could go back and talk to me back then, I would say “Don’t wait. Take the step, even better jump. He is there and He will catch you. You won’t fall.
The freedoms we have in this country have attracted many people to pursue a life here.
Under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in the list of Fundamental Freedoms, everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: Freedom to conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion, expression, including freedom of press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association.
I like that people can say what they think and believe, freely in our country. I have learned a lot from people who have taken the time to explain to me what they believe. I have talked to many people, some I knew before, some I didn’t. I love a good conversation discussing various beliefs, you’ll have to ask my family about this one. The people I have talked to have made me look deeper into what I believe so I can see if what I believe is true or if what they are saying is true.
So we are free to state, “I can believe what I want.” And I would support that person all the way to the bank with that. I mean I would never want these rights taken away from anyone, unless what they were doing and saying is taking away someone else’s rights and freedoms. (And sadly sometimes this happens}
Now to where I am going with this.
We can believe what we want but I want to believe the truth. I search for truth. There are truths that I have been searching for since I was a little child. And the more I search the more I find.
I can believe something and then find out what I believed didn’t have a strong enough base so my belief changed. When I have a foundation, a really strong belief with lots of proof, it’s really hard to change that belief. I would say it’s almost impossible.
I could believe I have $1000 in my bank account and I go and ask at the bank for the $1000.00. The clerk looks and says “you only have $50 in that account. I could say “No I have $1000 in there and she looks again and says “No there is only $50 in there.” The truth is there is only $50.00 in my account. In this case there is only one truth. (And in my case it would be because I forgot about a check I had written.)
The truth is so important to me. I don’t want to believe someone else’s beliefs just because it sounds good or sounds logical. The older I get the more I recognize that everything isn’t as it seems. I can think something but it's the truth that matters. And finding out what the real truth is, is important.
I have daughters, other family members and friends who help keep me straight, I thank God for them. I always want to be teachable but not gullible. If you can show me the truth, the facts about something then I will take that, and think it over, and often talk it over with those I trust. And if it’s a faith based question, for me, it always has to line up with the Bible. The reason I chose the Bible as my weigh scale is because I have experienced for myself, God’s love. So I know the Bible is the Truth.
Ephesians 3:1a Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience],
The first time I heard the term ‘I’m Spiritual’ I thought it was kind of neat but I couldn’t say that I was ‘spiritual’ or ‘more spiritual than I was religious’ because I didn’t know what it meant.
Recently I heard it again and I still hadn’t heard the definition so I looked it up.
non material, incorporeal, intangible;
religious, sacred, divine, holy, nonsecular, church, ecclesiastical,faith-based, devotional
devout, pious, reverent, godly, God-fearing, churchgoing, faithful,devoted, committed
“a religious person”
I can see that in different ways I would fit into either or both of these categories, sometimes at the same time and sometimes at separate times such as I am a spiritual leader and at the same time I am a religious leader.
I am sure there are different meanings than these pertaining to these words from more in-depth studies but what I’m getting at is this: which one will get me to Heaven. In the way they are written I can see that neither definition would directly get me to Heaven. Indirectly both could get me to Heaven if my spiritual beliefs or my religious beliefs were in the right place.
I would like to make this sound glamorous, interesting, or put it in a new box and decorate it as the wonderful gift that it is but there is no real way to say it except the way it has been said for thousands of years. And if I believe that it’s true, which I do, than it needs to be said.
I could be a religious person or a devout person to my beliefs and still not get to Heaven. I could be a spiritual person, a non-material person, a church going person and not go to Heaven. Now I’m not judging anyone because I don’t know any person’s heart beliefs but I do know that the Bible is truth, it has proved out to be true many times in my life. And what I know from the Bible is that there is one way to Heaven and that is through believing that we are all sinners and that Jesus came to pay the price for our sin so we would have the opportunity to go to Heaven when we die, if we make the choice to believe that He made that sacrifice for us and make Him the Lord of our lives. (Wow that was a long sentence but a most important one)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
As the Scriptures say, "No one is righteous—not even one." (Rom. 3:10, NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Rom. 3:23, NLT)
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. (Is. 64:6a, NLT)
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21, NLT)
John 3:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
So it isn’t spiritual or religious that we need to think of ourselves as, but rather as saved by the death of Jesus in payment for our sins.