Unrelenting pressure causes cracks in the soul and exposes otherwise unseen flaws. Pressure does indeed make diamonds, but it also makes coal.
The pressure to please one's superiors has led many a man to an early grave or the soup kitchen. Once a person loses the spark of individuality and self confidence, he becomes a mindless robot just going through the motions he believes will keep him from being fired or demoted.
I went from a morally sound rising star in the ministry in 1982 to a disgraced "has been" sent out to pasture in 1984. I was set up to fail and I took the bait and the trap was sprung. Once the death spiral started, there was nothing either I or anyone else could do to stop it. Once disgraced, a person who has "Rev" in front of their name rarely can (or will) do much for God again.
By the time I wandered into the spiritual wasteland of western Colorado in August of 1984, I was a broken yet angry man. I felt I had been betrayed by numerous people who lied to save their jobs while hanging me out to dry. Because of what had happened, I trusted no one and looked upon my fellow clergy with suspicion and scorn.
That which was afflicting me that November morning 27 years ago was a combination of utter disgust with a ministry I had devoted 15 years of my young life to and the stark realization that my marriage, ministry and mission in life were all broken. Most of all, I saw that my fellowship with God had been compromised, opening the door to personal demons which sought my destruction.
As I sat in my car trying to muster the "courage" to slam on the accelerator and plow through the cable; I sensed world war 3 erupting around me. Even though I was all alone, I suddenly felt the presence of some type of beings. A voice that I knew by experience was that of my Lord called to me out of the confusion and said "Stand back and watch the glory of the Lord". Suddenly a battle of monumental dimensions broke out with angels and demons engaged in hand to hand combat. The battle was intense and no one seemed to be winning.
Two figures appeared, one was pure light and one was pure darkness. They fought as I have never seen two beings fight. Within minutes it was all over and I sat in the car clothed in the brightest light and deepest peace I ever felt in my life. To this day no one or nothing could ever persuade me that it was not my Lord fighting the devil for my life that morning. There was no fanfare and the surrounding mountains did not crumble and fall but in the end, there was the sweet taste of victory.
Deep within my heart I knew my Lord fought for me because He knew that in spite of my recent failures, I had been used, abused and misused by those charged by Him to protect, defend and nurture me. My Lord is just and His love and justice far exceeds any law or rule written or unwritten. By the absolute grace and mercy of God I am still alive and able to serve my Lord. I did nothing to deserve such grace, and in fact I deserved to have accomplished what I went up on that mountain to do.
But, God who is rich in mercy for His great love wherewith He loved me, even when I was dead in my sins, saved me by His unbelievable and eternal grace. Even after I was already saved, I am living proof that God is love and that Jesus Christ will personally step in and fight for one of His own to see justice served. I am only alive today by the grace and mercy and love of God and Jesus. It is only by the grace of God I am who I am and can do anything at all.
Brothers and sisters: The enemy is strong and not to be underestimated. He will gladly steal, kill and destroy if allowed. But, God is far stronger and the love of Jesus Christ is far deeper than anything the devil can do or try. With all my heart I continually thank God for His amazing grace and super abounding love through which I live and by which my very life has been spared countless times. God is Love.
It seems that we often either underestimate or overestimate the enemy. Neither is good.
[q]But, God is far stronger and the love of Jesus Christ is far deeper than anything the devil can do or try.[/q]
We must [i][b]never[/b][/i] forget this! Never...
Yes, indeed, God is Love.
It is amazing what so many called and ordained ministers of God suffer in life. Of course, it is nothing compared to what God, dressed in human flesh, suffered for us. Yet, even though most of us have no idea why, all who believe are exactly where God desires us to be at this particular moment in time.
I know this is going to blow the boots off many however over many years I have grown to realize that also is part of my calling.
Love you brother . . . please continue flowing in exactly what He is calling you to do at this "now" time in your life. You are a blessing to so many.
I am totally captivated by this testimony to the holding grace of God. I am reading this and holding my breath at the same time.
My Honey. Thank you, Lord, for fighting for my man of God. Who later became my husband and Love of My Life. Thank you for the wonderful 28 years we had together
I miss you. I love you always.