* Timaru (NZ) Team Leader
I was told by my parents that I gave my heart (got saved) at the tender age of four, after seeing a movie where the Israelites of old “fell into hell” in their walk in the desert. For years this was enough – a sort of anchor. I even prided myself in not having that many sins, with the “biggest” weakness being my lust which I continued to nurse. But around age 24 I started reading Spurgeon and shortly afterwards discovered ‘Way of the Master and Livingwaters – Ray Comfort’. This lead to a slightly more in depth study of The Law and Grace.
I grew up in a loving Christian home, where both parents are born again, and they brought me up to the best of their abilities; for which I am thankful for. Thus on one hand I feel like I grew up into the Christian family, not without any growing pains – sinning, knowing I sinned, feeling God’s displeasure, asking and receiving forgiveness etc. Sort of like (and I hesitate to say this), but sort of like the disciples – who I also don’t read how they actually came to be saved (conversion stories) – they were presented with the facts, recognised the significance of it and believed. On the other hand, I feel like the study into Law and Grace is not complete yet (that I am not really saved) – yet even as I am writing this, I sense a displeasure from the Spirit in doubting His promise that anyone who names the name of Christ cannot do so without Him (the Holy Spirit) – 1Cor.12:3! Yet, what does it actually mean to ‘name the name of Christ’? – keeping and loving His (God’s) Word out of the love with which He first loved us (1John 4:19) and out of gratefulness for what He has done on our behalf (Jesus’ death and resurrection) – 2Cor.5:21.
As I have on occasion, and recently found out; sin begets more sin, begets more sin etc. – looking with lust for example robs one of true intimacy with fellow people and God, creates doubts and unbelief (which is more sin) and basically leaves you craving for more hollow satisfaction; and not a full true satisfaction in God; and not doing the latter is another form of sin – conscience bearing witness (Rom.2:15). Thus sin begets more sin. And if I on my own could have made I stop to this evil running around in circles, I would have. And to compound the matter even more, sometimes I did not even want to.
Don’t play or entertain doubt in any form, lust (flesh, power etc.) – believe me, it’s not worth it; and trusting in my own power and intentions to overcome such sin, I have only helped in begetting more sin as said above.
Through godly council I have been told that I trust too much to self (my own faith, ability to forsake sin, etc.) and not to God. This I am ashamed to say has been true. What I can also here say is that sin, and in my case impure lust of the past, which I know is a real battle, does weaken the foundations of Trust and Faith by fostering doubts. What kind of healthy relationship can there be if doubt is allowed to fester, and focused too much on? I have for a very long time now, wanted to know the exact circumstances (time, date, events, methods, books etc.) surrounding my conversion. But lacking the exactness of the certainty of it, been afraid that it, my conversion, did not happen at all and that I am merely going through the motions of a relationship with God. Yet now the thought has come up: Could it not Very much be that God is withholding the particulars, so that I would not trust in them, but Him?! In essence trusting to things like my repentance, instead of trusting the source of true repentance – Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit.
Therefore; I trust not myself, but God. Sin may hide His face from me for a season, in which I am disciplined, but it can’t undo the redemptive work of Christ. The following Scriptures for example, form the basis of a certain foundation of my faith: Romans 3:19-26; 5:6, 8; Romans 8:1, 2, 12-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 4:7-19.
Timaru (NZ) Team
Meets for special outreaches in Timaru.
Contact Willem Pretorius for more information.