When life is lived with Jesus, who said, “I am the light of the world,” it becomes a life of increasing light. We move from doing to understanding why we do the things that we do. If we do wrong we learn to call it sin, if we do right we learn the motives behind our actions.
I began to move away from the evil that was present in High School; and did not take part in all the things my friends were doing. When attending college the same occurred but sin was always present with me and temptation became harder and harder to avoid. Church did not become a source of strength and stability because my church was not following the one true God. Eventually involvement with known sin went from temptation to sin. My guilt and grief became more than I could bear, then brokenness, repentance, and faith became so active that God did a work of sanctification. Transformation in holiness, became part of my life like never before. To God be the glory. Then came the next step.
The year was 1977 and I was out of work. I spent a great deal of time sharing the Gospel on the streets of New York city with Doc Rogers a missionary with the Bible Christian Union. Doc and some others that served with him saw a sincere desire within me to serve the Lord, and so much so that they suggested that I go to Bible school. We also had a new baby, who my parents of course were in love with, but what made it worse was the nagging fact that my mother lost her mother when she was only 3. I was torn between a seeming call to go off to school and the concern that I had for my mother.
On one particular day, as I painted my father’s house for pay, I said to God with great cunning but not much wisdom, “Since I have no means by which to move to school, if you will supply my needs, I will leave my parents.” Within about 15 minutes my wife came to the window, I was on top of the ladder and she was looking down at me with a great big smile on her face and said, “Joe, you know the income tax check that got lost in the mail 3 months ago, (which I had totally forgotten about) here it is.” Needless to say she was waving it with great glee. What else could I do but say in my heart , “OK, I’ll go.”
As we packed up the truck I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach; you might say that I had no assurance that what I was doing was the will of God. We said our good-by’s, we cried, and we drove away. About 200 miles outside the city I had a sweet feeling of peace come over me, then I knew that I was smack dab in the center of God’s will
The years have come and gone, and I have never swerved from the conviction that God’s will for my life is all about giving Him glory and influencing others for His kingdom. No matter what I do with my time: pastor a church, head up a drug awareness program, or drive a bus the motivation is always to disciple others toward the kingdom of God. It was a gift of faith and not the providential timing of the check that gave me the assurance that I was in God’s perfect will.
God given faith is the staple in the life of the believing Christian that keeps his feet on solid ground. The light of Jesus Christ is what causes life to make sense, and which illuminates our steps so that we walk on the path that He has set before us.
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