2
Views
0
Likes
1
Comment
0
Shares
0
Favorites

When the body hurts so badly, sometimes it can bring us to the point to where we decide to take drastic measures to alleviate the pain.

 

I found myself at that point several years ago. There I was, praising God in church during our time of praise and worship. Then my time with God was interrupted by people beside me who were chatting. They were clapping their hands, but they were chatting away. I tried to ignore it, but then they turned to their teenaged children who were standing in the row behind us and commented on what they were going to do after church. HOLD ON… we’re supposed to be entering into the presence of God as a body. That was our whole purpose of being here, but these people were chatting away, teens were playing on their electronic devices, there was the social butterfly waving at everyone coming in late… what was going on here???

 

I was angry at first. They were interrupting my time of praise and worship. What were they thinking? Why were they here? Were they here out of obligation? Were they doing only what was expected of them as Christians on a Sunday morning?

 

I knew some of these people in this room. I not only fellowshipped with them inside church, but in the outside world as well. I was friends with them on Facebook and other social media sites. I knew there were some here who were putting on their Christian face because they were at church, but who went back to their worldly lives once they were outside the door. Now, standing here, listening to the chatter, I realized that they didn’t even have the self-control and good sense to even wait to leave the building before they shed their Christian skin and took on the flesh again. My anger soon turned to grief. I grieved inside. Part of me wanted to just leave. It was like I was at a funeral and the spiritual lives of these individuals were in the casket. I grieved that God wasn’t being given His due. He wasn’t being given the honor, respect, reverence and love that He so much deserved.

 

There were other things that God seemed to be dealing with me concerning the church. There were things like:

 

Themed and seasonal decorations along the length of the alter area that created a worldly atmosphere to draw people in.

Singing praise and worship songs “about” God and not actually “to” God.

Being told that if you needed healing of some sort or special prayer, that you needed to go to the alter to receive that special blessing from God.

Following manmade traditions in the church, like reciting the sinner’s prayer.

 

The list goes on and on. I was becoming more and more disillusioned with the church type atmosphere and I eventually stopped going to church. That wasn’t the end of it, though. I started pulling away from Christians as a whole. I watched them in their personal lives and I had no desire to fellowship with them. I wanted people I could hang out with who were striving to be more like Christ, diligently delving into God’s word and focusing on changing the things that God was revealing were issues that needed to be dealt with. Iron sharpening iron. What I saw were people who were happy the way they were. The less fellowship I had, the further away from the body of Christ I became. Eventually, I had no one to fellowship with… no one in real life or online.

 

The less fellowship I had, the further away from God I became, because to cut myself off from the body was to cut myself off from God. Here I was, a man of God, someone who was receiving revelation after revelation from God and living my life in obedience to Him and suddenly I found myself getting further and further from Him because I was getting further and further from the body. It seemed that the more God was revealing to me, the less I felt I had in common with the body. I was progressing spiritually in certain areas in my life while others were stagnant in theirs. Eventually I became so separated from the church body that my walk with the Lord suffered dramatically.

 

You hear about Christians who have reverted back to their old lives… believers who now reject God and embrace their sinful lives and curse God. There are even those who are happy living in sin, claiming that God has no issues with what they’re doing (smoking pot, homosexual relationships, etc…). I didn’t go that far.

 

I tried holding on to God with one hand while my other hand dabbled in sin. I eventually fell, and I fell hard. I’m going to confess right here and now that I have an issue with lust, so you can see where this is going.

 

I got back in to pornography and eventually fornication/adultery. It took one friend to offer me one chance to get physical, and that was it. I was hooked. Lust took over and sex was all I could think about. I never, NEVER thought it was acceptable in the sight of God. I knew what I was doing was sin, but I had wanted to fulfill this desire for so many years that when the opportunity presented itself, I took it.

 

When I look back now at all of the times I tried hooking up with people, I can see where God blocked me left and right. He was trying to keep me out of trouble while I was trying to find a way to navigate around the roadblocks that He kept setting up in front of me. I acknowledged in my own mind what God was doing, but I continued to attempt to circumvent those roadblocks. Most of the time I failed, but there were those times where God let me get a taste of what I wanted, and none of those situations ended well. Still, the desire was there and I wanted to try again with someone else.

 

Here’s the kicker. In the midst of all of this, I was in my bedroom when I felt a presence leave me. It’s difficult to explain, but I felt the physical effect of a spiritual event. The presence separated from my body and moved off to the right and just left instantaneously. At first I cried out, “No!” but then I ignored what happened and continued to plan my next conquest. Yeah…I can’t believe that’s how I reacted either!

 

Not until very recently did I call out to God and ask for Him to come back into my life. I know God has answered my call for help because I’m not dealing with lustful thoughts or desires like I had been these past few years. That’s highly unusual. The desire just isn’t there. Sure, if I dwell on it I could be tempted again, but I don’t even want to go there.

 

I also have a joy I haven’t had in a very long time, and that’s such a blessing. I can laugh and feel free again. I know that this is a dangerous time for me. Right now I’m free of the enemy’s influence in that area of my life, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t try to come back full force and try to lead me back to where I was. That’s why I’m being very conscious about what I watch online and where I look when I’m out and about in the world.

 

You can see how dissatisfaction with the church body not only lead me away from fellowship with them, but it lead me away from fellowship with the Lord. So, what’s the lesson learned?

 

Instead of letting my actions speak to those who noticed how I was conducting myself, I separated myself from the body and removed the example that God wanted present in that group of believers. I will be the first to admit that I am not a leader. I do not want to be placed in a position of authority, so when I say that God wanted to use me in that particular situation, I’m not talking like someone who thinks more of himself than he ought to. Maybe that’s why God chose me at that moment.

 

So what do I do now? Well, I begin by making connections to the body of Christ again. That’s why I’m here on this web site. I’m trying to make connections and become part of the body again. From there, I’ll need to find a church body to become a part of. I tell you, the hardest thing to do would be to go back to the body of believers that I left, and as we all should know by now, most of the time God sends us down the difficult path in order to achieve things that bring Him glory. So, I’ll need to ask the Lord to show me exactly where He wants me to go. I’m assuming He’s going to send me back where He originally planted me. He had a reason for me to be there, and maybe that reason still exists. I don’t know. I’ll just have to rely on His leading.

 

Wherever He leads me, I know that I need to get back out there and start fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in the real world. I need to become part of another church body, not only so that God can bless me with their gifts, but so that I can somehow be used by God to bless them as well. I still have a lot of healing to do and it’s going to take a while to build up that trust again, but if I don’t take the first step, then it’s never going to happen.

 

I hope that some of what I’ve been through speaks to someone here and that you’re blessed by it. Although God let me go my own way, He never let me get too far and He was always looking out for me, blocking me from so much sin. I thank Him and praise Him for all that He’s done for me and for never letting me go. God has seen our lives from beginning to end. My destiny is in God’s hands, and He obviously loves me enough to continue to direct my path, because in the end, it leads to an eternity in His presence.

Embed
Be the first person to like this
Ken Souza
This blog is part of what I've been through these past few years. Of course, there is a lot of detail that I left out because I'm not writing a book, so if you have any questions, please comment here.