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BSC
Apr 24th 2007, 04:48 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

rchivers
Apr 24th 2007, 04:51 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

Its all an illusion. People regularly put on shows when in front of others.

BSC
Apr 24th 2007, 05:25 PM
Its all an illusion. People regularly put on shows when in front of others.

Well they sure can be convincingÖ.

Souled Out
Apr 24th 2007, 05:31 PM
Its all an illusion. People regularly put on shows when in front of others.

Bold and correct. What a combo. :thumbsup:

BSC
Apr 24th 2007, 05:32 PM
Bold and correct. What a combo. :thumbsup:

Well this is really good to know, I was starting to think something was wrong with me... :D

punk
Apr 24th 2007, 06:46 PM
Well this is really good to know, I was starting to think something was wrong with me... :D

Think of it as a seed having been planted.

It is still up to you tend to the growing plant, and everything takes its time.

But yes, the more spectacular one's story, the more likely it is to deviate from the truth of things.

Sold Out
Apr 24th 2007, 07:16 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

Just from the fact that you are questioning yourself, means you are doing fine. I too have seen some people do a complete 180 degree turn once they got saved, then others who grew at a more 'normal' pace.

When you get saved, your destiny changes (heaven) but your character takes time. Just read your bible every day, pray & fellowship with other believers. And...be patient! God is very patient and He will be very patient with you. Just obey what you know is true.

awestruckchild
Apr 25th 2007, 08:36 AM
I am just giving you a thought that occurred to me and I am doing it out of deep compassion for you after reading your post because I have done my share of struggling and pleading and crying and I know how that feels.I didn't even go to work for almost six weeks at one point. I was such a mess! I even dared to scream at Him that if He made it so hard, how could anyone ever be saved???
If you are doubting sometimes whether you are saved or not, I think maybe you haven't come to a point yet where you completely trust God to keep His promises. It is a hard thing to do because everything we ever learn about getting by in life points to relying on ourselves and never giving any one person too much control over us. I think it is a defense mechanism because , well, we do horrible things to one another, don't we?
So giving up all control and trust and love to God is so foreign to us - I don't think we are capable of it without severe struggle. Our only experience is :give someone too much control and they will abuse us. Give someone too much trust and they will betray us. Give someone too much love without holding at least some small part of us aloof and they will reject us and trample all over our heart.
But those are people. That is our human experience. God will never deal with us in these human ways because He is not human- he is............perfection, and He just isn't capable of pettiness, betrayal or any other human flaw in character. He is perfectly kind, perfectly loving - He loves us for some unimagineable reason, not if, or when we become perfect, but just as we are, in spite of all of our flaws. It's mind-boggling and we think, "Okay, but after He saves me, eventually I will do something to make Him mad and then I might not be saved anymore." But no amount of "being good" is going to matter one iota in terms of being saved. It isn't about us and what we do - He saves us because He wants to. We can't be good. We can't be kind. We can't keep from sinning - no matter how hard we try. If we give every part of our lives, our minds, our hearts to Him, He is the one who works these changes in us, we don't do it - we aren't capable of it and He is well aware of it.
But the struggle to give all control to Him isn't just something we can will ourselves to do. I think the only way to come to that kind of complete and total trust is to read and read and read His Word and talk and talk and talk to Him about it until He teaches us we can trust Him and every promise He has made. It's like stepping out onto a tightrope with no safety net and no training. But when you take that last deep breath in the struggle, sometimes out of sheer exhaustion, and take that last scary step, that's where it all changes, and you just never look back.

GothicAngel
Apr 25th 2007, 12:49 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?
You just have to keep working on it, taking up your cross t ofollow Jesus... what richevers said I agree with also.

Its not like believeing in God gaurantees your goodness. Otherwise, how could non Christians have goodness.... but its just something you have to try for

RogerW
Apr 25th 2007, 02:07 PM
If you really want to grow your confidence in faith become a student of the Word, and get on your knees. The confidence I gained, not only in ability to witness, but real confidence in every area of life came when I began to earnestly seek the Lord through His Word. I prayed that God would teach me, and give me understanding of His Word, and as God began to answer that prayer I found I was no longer as shy, or uncomfortable about sharing with others what He had done in my life. This attitude infiltrated every area of my life, and I went from feeling uncomfortable in life to being at peace with the person God has made me. It didn't happen quickly, and I am still a work in process, but what a difference your life becomes when you have that peace that surpasses all understanding.

RW

David Taylor
Apr 25th 2007, 02:27 PM
Perhaps some verses will be helpful....

My favorite:

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. "


Other good ones:

Ephesians 4:21 "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Colossians 3:10 "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him"

I Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump"

Galatians 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."

Luke 5:36 "No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved."

Frances
Apr 26th 2007, 07:38 PM
Why do you think itís so different for different people?

Because we are all different and have different temperaments. . . so God deals with us all in a variety of ways. . . . maybe He sometimes tests our faith to see how genuine it is (?)

Because some of us did not receive adequate Biblical teaching prior to conversion. eg. I didn't know that the Gifts of the Spirit are for today, intil I was over 40. When I told God I wanted to really know Him (not just about Him) and was willing to receive His Gift of Tongues - and soon did so - my faith stopped being a struggle, and I really 'came alive' with His Power to do His Will, His Way for His Glory..

Because some folk do not 'let go and let God' - by which I mean they only trust Him up to a point where they can still feel themselves to be in control, and pretty much do as they want, when they want. It is often when I feel as though I've been walking the plank over shark-infested water with Him that I'm flooded with His Joy. . .

jiggyfly
Apr 28th 2007, 01:55 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

Going to church and doing more things will only make you more religious. Deny self and taking up your cross and following Jesus is the right path. Have you experienced the baptism in the HolySpirit yet? This is a very important need to anyone attempting to deny self and take up their cross and follow Jesus. Lay everything down and allow Christ to be increased in you by the power of HolySpirit.

diffangle
Apr 28th 2007, 11:31 PM
Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.


I'm gonna have to ditto RW. For the first five years of being a believer, I hardly ever read the Word and my faith was much more of a struggle. It wasn't until I really dug into His Word that I started to gain more peace and understanding. It's so important to establish deep roots or else we'll wither up, die, and blow away. :eek:

Matthew 13
17"For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

ikester7579
Apr 29th 2007, 09:44 AM
Are we dressing up for Christ, or are we living like Christ as the example for Christ?

Example story:


A man driving down the street, comes to a stop light that suddenly turns yellow. And even though he could have went through the intersection without it turning red, he decides to stop.

Another driver, who is behind him. Had plans to run the light with the driver in front of her. Upon her plans being messed up. She is now honking her horn, and cussing up a storm.

Unknown to her was that there was a police man who is behind her who has witnessed all this. And while she is ranting and raving, honking her horn. He walks up to her car and taps on her window. She turns to see him with his gun drawn. He instructs her to get out of the car with her hands up. He then arrests her and takes her to jail.

She is finger printed, mug shot, and put in a jail cell. About an hour later she is released. Waiting up front at the police station is the arresting officer who proceeds to apologize to her for arresting her.

He said: I witnessed what you said and did at that stop light. And as I witnessed this I started reading the bumper stickers on your car. One said: WWJD, another said: My boss is a Jewish carpenter, and another said: Follow me to sunday school.

After reading all that, and witnessing your actions. I assumed the car was stolen.

As a Christian, do you dress up for Christ, or do you live as the example for Christ? If a law was made that made it against the law to be a Christian. Would the authorities have reason to even look into your life?

And if you stood before Christ on judgement day, would you have an answer for: What have you done to bring the harvest of fruit for my kingdom?

skypair
Apr 29th 2007, 12:51 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

BSC --- there's a good parable that describes what you feel and see AND helps show the way out of your "funk." It's the parable of the sower, Mt 13:19-23.

Reading it, there are 3 seeds that go down unto "salvation." One that fell on "stony soil" had no "depth" of faith -- didn't know enough about his faith and about God. Thus, it couldn't get well rooted and fed for the hardness inside so it withered.

The next among the thorns germinated (received life) but the cares of the world choked it out. Some people just get overwhelmed by things going on in their lives. This particularly happens when going to college. God has put another important task before you -- faith-building nonetheless -- but it stunts your growth from the outside. You need to (as you are) make time for God.

And then there's the seed that you noted in good soil. What a blessing! But to some extent, "luck"/blessing is a function of persistence. It's a good idea to see what their practices are in developing your own.

You're doing the right things. I'll pray with you on this. :pray:

skypair

joztok
Apr 30th 2007, 01:56 PM
Iím curious about somethingÖI have seen people who have completely turned around when they received Christ and really been happy with their faith in Him from day one. At the same time I have seen people who it took a long time for them to change and really build faith and also struggled for some time.

I myself am one of those people who struggle, though I never give up and will never give up, Iím often curious why it feels like such a struggle for me and others just take it in so easy. Sometimes I even question if Iím saved then tell myself Iím just being attackedÖI donít know.

Maybe Iím not doing enough? Not going to Church enough? I donít knowÖIím going to increase all these things but I would like to get input from you guys.

Why do you think itís so different for different people?

I encourage to just sit with God and think about all he has done and the cross and then focus on what God has made you. Examine the Gospel of Glory that the Apostle Paul teaches to the churches. The Gospel of Glory teaches us what Christ has made us and reveals the new identity we have in him. It should help encourage you to give up in your efforts to try to please God. He is already completely in love and in infatuated with you and holds you in high honour beside His son.

So give up! If you really believe Jesus Christ is Lord over your life, then let God deal with your sins and problems. Acknowledge that He is with you always and has made you 100% Righteous, 100% Holy, 100% Sanctified and 100% covered by his grace and blessings! A revelation on his goodness is what heals or changes people's lives around. Stop looking at yourself and your problems. God doesn't see sin on you! He saw them on His son 2000 years ago! Whatever sin you think you commit, it's stuck to Jesus! So focus on Him, not your problems! It's a 100% guarantee of success whenever you do this. Goin to church and reading your bible won't take these problems away.
If you dwell on your sins you're just meditating on your faults and flesh!
You dwell on God you're meditating on His victory in your life and his Holy Spirit!

Meditate on grace. Know the difference between grace and mercy!

It's important not to let your emotions be the centre of your foundation when it comes to your relationship wth God or salvation.
It's important to have his faithfulness be your foundation so that your emotions don't deceive you. Flesh is weak. You won't feel like you're saved but God is greater than anyone's emotions. Hold onto His faithfulness and not your own. That is your assurance of salvation! His faithfulness!


Its all an illusion. People regularly put on shows when in front of others.
As much as this is true, it's not either. People's live can be turned around depending on the cicumstances their in. When my dad first got saved God used him powerfully to begin with. He got his entire family saved. This can happen allot to new converts. They can often witness God's powerful love or Holy Spirit suddenly. I don't know why this is the case, but they do.
I have my high's and my lows. Ask for prayer at your church about this.
I know allot of people in your circumstances.

Grace is unmerited favour.
You've got that! That should make you happy!

You're in my prayers,
Joztok

joztok
Apr 30th 2007, 01:58 PM
And if you stood before Christ on judgement day, would you have an answer for: What have you done to bring the harvest of fruit for my kingdom?

Where is that scripturally?
As the body of Christ, we are spared judgment but are being rewarded for the labour that we do hear on earth.

joztok
Apr 30th 2007, 02:03 PM
One more thing.
Identity is an important thing when it does come to experiencing God or witessing God in your life.
Are you holding onto your old sinful nature as your identity?
Or ar you accepting your new identity in who Jesus has made you to this day?

Return to your first love and try to remember what you let go of, what made you come to God. Go back to basics and I guarantee you will find Him and feel him there.

watchinginawe
Apr 30th 2007, 02:35 PM
Its all an illusion. People regularly put on shows when in front of others.Have you ever read "Foxes Book or Martyrs"?

rchivers
Apr 30th 2007, 03:06 PM
When I was at church yesterday (the church I go to when I go) I picked up this little booklet titled "How good is good enough".

http://www.howgoodisgoodenough.com/

I read through about half the book so far (its rather short) and it has brought me great comfort. Like you, I regularly..... for lack of a better word, "doubt" my salvation and "goodness".

Its funny how we forget the simplest things sometimes. We are conditioned to thinking that good people go to heaven when in reality its totally not the case. Its not what you do, Its who you believe in and entrust your soul to. Recognizing that Jesus died for you and did something for you so that you would not have to endure it is really what its all about. We all know it, but I think we forget it sometimes.

Doubting my eternal salvation is my number one enemy. I mean is that not what its all about? Who wants to spend eternity in hell?

I'm constantly attacked with thoughts of what will happen to me and those I love when we do die.

Slowly but surely I am starting to find comfort in the fact that I dont have to worry about it anymore.

cheech
Apr 30th 2007, 03:12 PM
When we come to Christ, we are a new person but it takes time. It's not like a wand is waved over us and we instantly change...although that would be great! :D God is always shaping and remolding us. He works on what needs changing one thing at a time. When a new manager goes to work at a new place...he just doesn't go in and make a million changes (well most don't) and expect it to happen (although we know God can do anything he wants). A good manager goes in, monitors the work place to see how it runs, then goes to work on one change at a time. At least that's how it's suppose to work :lol:. God works on one change at a time and sometimes two ;).

When I look back to when I first really came to Christ and then all the changes that were made after that...it wasn't an overnight process. My convictions were more and more and I wanted to change but it wasn't easy and he worked with me on it. He's still working with me as we speak. This isn't to say there aren't some who change completely and quickly, I'm just saying for most of us it takes time.