As I was pondering the Scripture portion called Shmini (Vayikra/Leviticus) 9:1-11:47 one day, I was reminded of the fact that my Heavenly Father put me in a family and home that found their fellowship with a group of believers that taught Holiness. In fact the movement was known as The Holiness Movement then. Further along in my faith walk, as I was beginning to connect with a non-denominational group that primarily pursued intimate worship, I attended a conference at which Leonard Ravenhill spoke on Holiness. There seemed to me to be much consternation over his teaching at the time. Many of the worship movement did not like the call to Holiness.
As I look back on these events and many more I marvel at the path my Creator has taken me on. He started me out in the Holiness movement and then after my prodigal years He led me into the Charismatic movement. First I learned the Word of God and was taught about Holiness, then I learned intimacy with God and was taught how to hear Him. Yet something was still missing, I was worshiping Him with such intimacy and yet I needed to learn to offer my worship through obedience, too.
As He led me to listen to Him and do what I heard Him say I found myself in some wonderful gatherings of His people from different streams. Through hearing and obeying, I was led to let Him change my heart. As I was praying one day asking Him to deliver me from a tough situation, He stopped me dead in my tracks when He spoke into my inner-man and said “Your heart needs to change.” WOW! What a tough thing for me to do. In truth I could not. Once I realized I could not make this change I told God I could not, that He would have to do it, then I let go and gave Him free reign to do it. He did it and I felt so good. It has been the most rewarding thing in my life.
Then through His leading and provision I started a company and found much reward both in the natural and in the spiritual. He led me to customers, to believing businessmen and many opportunities to share my testimony of what He was doing in my life. I was invited to speak at businessmen gatherings and soon found myself invited to a Tuesday afternoon meeting of believers that sought the Spirit for direction at each gathering. They came without an agenda each week and let the meeting flow. The subjects that were talked about and the flow of like-minded brethren left my heart hungering for more. I also began to find myself digging into the Word more and more to see if what was spoken was true.
After one such afternoon as I was heading home I was talking to my Heavenly Father and He asked me if I would give Him my Tuesdays. Well I wanted to be faithful yet Tuesdays were a work day and I had an excess of work. It took me a short time that day to come to the decision that I would do what He asked. I set my schedule to take Tuesday off and would regularly attend the businessmen’s meetings and then go to the Tuesday afternoon meeting with the others.
At these afternoon meetings I learned to listen better and to follow the Spirit of God even easier. The talk in this gathering drove me into the Scriptures even more and to a deeper prayer life. I found myself studying the Scripture with great enthusiasm to find the new revelations that my Father would lead me to. This time was wonderful and also hard. I gained new friends and found that I had to give up other relationships. Through this time He also taught me how to stand firm in the Scriptures even when I found myself at odds with some friends that I considered close spiritual brothers.
What I realized was most important was not my relationships or my friendships or my reputation or my church status, but what stands supreme is my walk with my Creator. You see, He started me young in life with the message of Holiness. Now again I find myself hearing the call to “Be Holy as I am Holy.” As I look back, I see that He has led me to build my walk not only on what I learned in my church life but also upon what the Scriptures teach. Yashua/Jesus is the living Torah/Word and He is the Lawgiver that is able to save. James 4:12
In a book I’m reading titled “The Unseen Realm” by M. Heiser, I found this statement; “My conscience wouldn’t let me ignore my own Bible in order to retain the theology with which I was comfortable. Was my loyalty to the text or to christian tradition?”
Being willing to let my King and Loving Father change me has been a walk of repentance that continues today. I find spending time reading and studying the Scriptures, all of them, puts me in the place to hear His leading, of the places in my life where I do not line up with His Word.
Abba, here I am, You are the potter, I am the clay, mold me and make me, this is what I pray. Change my heart oh God, make it ever true, change my heart oh God, may I be like you. (Song by Eddie Espinosa)