I sat in the pew. Dressed in my Sunday best. People filled the pews around me. Familiar faces. Families who had known me for years.
But what if they knew the emptiness inside? The fear that held me captive?
What if people really knew about the evictions? The lack of money?
Week after week I went with my mom and my brother. I wanted to know God – to live the good Christian life.
But somehow, I felt fake.
I had gone forward at more alter calls than I could count, committing my life to Christian service. Yet during every sermon, I felt like I wasn’t good enough- that I didn’t measure up to God’s holy standard.
I believed I had a personal relationship with Jesus, yet why did it seem so impersonal? He promised to never leave me or forsake me, but what did that mean? I always felt alone. There was a disconnect between the truth I claimed to believe and the reality of it.The testimony of our Christian faith is the reality of our living Savior seen in our daily lives. Click To Tweet
Through work at a local convenience store I met Walt (founder of Christian Resource Ministry) He would frequently come in to talk to me about the Lord.
The following is an excerpt from my book Beyond Head Knowledge
“One verse that Walt shared with me changed the course of my thinking. In John 10: 10, Jesus says that He came so that we might have life to the full. Walt seemed so joyful about this life that we might have to the full. It made me angry and frustrated inside. What full life? What was in that verse that anyone could be excited about? Why was I not excited about it? What was wrong with me? This questioning caused me to think. More than thinking, it was that I wrestled with the concept of an abundant life. I had always chosen to believe that this “abundant life” or “full life” meant my eternal life in heaven. In fact, I think I thought every promise in the Bible was intended only for heaven, which is why I failed to understand the value of my faith here on earth. If someone had asked me if I had abundant life, I’m sure I would have said yes because I thought I did—eternal life in heaven. As I contemplated all this, my anger grew because I couldn’t understand what it had to do with the present. How was I supposed to live the next eighty years of my life looking forward to an abundant life in heaven? Is the promise of that abundant life in heaven enough to cause me to live for Christ today? The thought of living the rest of my days on earth only looking forward to “abundant life” in heaven was more revolting to me than it was appealing. My journey became one of trying to understand the concept of what is the fullness of life Jesus promises us here on earth.
Another Scripture that Walt shared with me was Mark 9. In this passage, Jesus is working with a demon-possessed boy. He tells the father that anything is possible for those who believe. In verse 24, the father responds confirming that he does believe—but immediately adds a prayer that Jesus would help his unbelief. This struck yet another chord with me. I grappled with this issue of believing: trying to believe but feeling no faith, like the one in James chapter one, always tossed about by doubt. I knew this was not strong, vibrant faith in the Son of the Living God.” (p44)
I wanted living faith.
If you want to know more about my journey enter the goodreads giveaway which is taking place April 16-May 16 to win a free autographed copy
I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
How is your relationship with Jesus? Does it feel real and personal?
Do you struggle with feelings of emptiness? What do you think is the cause of your struggle?
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