Friday, February 5, 2010

Finding the Real Thing

A true blue Christian - that was me.  I was taught to be good, honest, caring and a faithful attender of church.  Time quickly proved that my goodness couldn't protect me from the loneliness, depression, fear, and eventual illness that was swallowing me up.  I asked Sunday School teachers, parents and friends about this in general ways so as not to imply that I actually had any of these problems myself, and I was given general answers about just trusting in the Lord and waiting on His timing, that sometimes He allows bad things to happen for our own good.  Basically, just keep smiling and don't complain.

Struggling to be the good happy Christian while the fear of what would become of me, felt like a gaping wound in the center of my chest that made it hard for me to even breathe; many unresolved questions and issues that I had shoved into the back of my consciousness kept it raw and bleeding.  But you never would have guessed it if you had seen me at the weekly prayer groups and Bible studies on my college campus.  I was funny, outgoing, always had a lot to say... and terrified.

Years were spent crying out to God and wondering why reading His Word left me feeling so bereft.  How beautifully He healed that woman with the hemorrhage.  How compassionate He was to set that demon-possessed man free and to give sight back to the blind.  "What about me?  Why are You so silent now?" I'd ask.

But when I felt like He just doesn't care, and hadn't heard a word, I kept on praying, and things happen.

It's been 23 years since I found this church.  But it wasn't just the church or the organization or the founder - it was the practice of that Early Church kind of faith that made me know that I had found God's answer.  Miracles happened there - all the time.  Demons were cast out, and church members knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was real.  No apologetics class needed!  That's where I learned to face down my problems, with a living and active faith that WORKED.  That's where I learned how to have a level of faith that had no room for fear or emotionalism, but treated the Word of God as alive and something to be acted upon every day.  That's where I found my healing from all of my wounds, both inside and out.

I know that God's Church is greater than all the church organizations in the world, and that many are truly His from every place and walk of life.  But one thing I know is that playing church is a sure way to be disappointed in God.  Find the real thing - I did.

We're opening our newest Succeed in Life Center this Sunday, Feb. 7th in Houston - see the video below, and come find me there and let's pray, fight and overcome in Jesus' name.


Debora Anjos said...

I was so happy to be able to attend the service yesterday! So honored! The smell of new was everywhere and will be marked in me as a new beginning in 2010, for me as well.

Congrats to all of you the church is beautiful!

Sandra Tiseira said...

I went to a special meeting on 3/18/10 and I was wow this church is Beautiful.. I love it.. It's a true blessing to see this new door open to win Souls.