The chains of guilt and condemnation rattled as I listened to Pastor Ray preach! All the way from the United Kingdom God had a message for me! A message beyond the superficial gospel about prosperity, riches, fame, but the divine gospel that both Christians and non-Christians seldom hear!
“Religion makes a slave out of you”, he says!
God had a message for me on this specific day because He knew what I had been dealing with lately! Despite all my efforts, I found myself drawing further away from this Man who loves me dearly, Jesus! What have I done? “Oh, you are not fasting enough”! I had to go to see a doctor during the week because my body was extremely weak, and regardless of the fact that she told me that my iron levels were very low, I still felt that I was not fasting enough! This essential and necessary component of being a Christian who is in desperate need of producing the right fruits became an obsession for my own feeling of goodness! “I can pray for hours, I can fast, I can do this and that, I am such a strong Christian!” I am doing all these things…but still…what have I done? “You eat junk food! You skipped class! You are thinking about the man whom you say God told you that he’s not the one! You talk too much, you are an embarrassment! You don’t give enough, you don’t serve enough, and you don’t love enough! You are just not doing anything enough!”
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…Romans 8:1
The voices in my head brought me to a point where I almost gave up! Life passed me by as I laid in my bed wishing that time would stop! The more I hid under my duvet, the more junk food I ate! The less studying I did, the more money I spent unnecessarily, the more time I wasted on social networks, and the more I ran away from God! “How do you think I feel when my children approach me, scared, and intimidated by me”, Pastor Ray illustrated as He gave his own revelation of how God loves His children! The situation seemed bleak, I felt that I could not maintain this whole thing of being a devout follower of Christ, it’s too hard! Ten months after accepting Jesus I discover that there’s little that I know about him! Still a part of me thought that he gets impressed only by my own efforts and good works, and I when I try so hard I know I constantly fail! When my strength fails me take over Jesus! When my performance is no longer good enough, perform through me Jesus!
It was a struggle getting up for church on this specific Sunday morning! Alarm clock rang, I snoozed, it rang, I snoozed, covered my head over with my blankets! “Winners never quit, and quiters never win!” If it wasn’t for Pastor At’s voice, which like a bird that keeps pecking on the window, reminded me of my destiny, I would have missed a service that taught me the in-depth meaning of the gospel of Christianity! Reluctantly got out of bed feeling terrible and guilty for the fact that I didn’t even pray the whole of yesterday! Oh well, I’d rather suffer pursuing God than suffer out of His will! You don’t have to be down and depressed forever! God can take you out of that pit sooner than you think! Only if you run to Him and not away from Him!
The walls of condemnation and guilt broke off as I listened to Pastor Ray preach!
“The weapon of the devil is religion because it makes a slave out of you! Religion says that you are not doing enough, but Jesus says that He has done it all! He has paid the price, it is finished! The voice of religion says that not only are you not doing enough, but you will not make it! Righteousness is not earned by your good works or performances but by the goodness of Jesus and His performance on the cross! It is His goodness that leads to repentance! This is the verdict of the gospel, that Jesus Christ left the glorious and heavenly places, died for you on the cross, rose again, and will be coming back soon for you! That is the hope we have in Christianity!”
(For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39)
I felt way different entering my room compared to how I felt when I left it! First time I felt like I did not need to do anything, or give anything to be accepted by God! He loves me nonetheless! I am not saying that giving, serving, fasting, praying long hours and loving is wrong, because they are in the bible, but it is not those things that makes you acceptable to the Lord! Indeed church is a place where broken hearts are restored, the sick are healed, the unloved are loved, the weak are made strong! But is it so? Or is it like the world where condemnation rules causing a sincere Christian to give up her walk with the only Man who can ever truly love her? At least there is Jesus, at least I still have hope, at least the sun is shining in my horizon! In the midst of weakness, pressure, doubt, hopelessness, logic and intellectual reasoning try to convince me that what I believe in is vain, at least there is Jesus who gives me a reason to live! Thank You my King!
If God holds the universe, He can hold your life together! ~ Pastor Ray