It’s been quite some time since I’ve written. I actually owe a very good, new, friend of mine for reminding me of the fact that I have a blog; for it was upon this reminder that I realized that too much time had lapsed since my last entry. But with all that said, I sat back and tried to figure out exactly what I could write about next. For some reason, the need to “come clean” has resonated in my mind lately, and I feel as though maybe an avenue such as this would be the place to spill the beans, so to speak.
On paper, I look very good. I’ve had ministerial credentials since 2004; I received my Reverend ordination in 2008. I have two degrees from a prestige Bible university. I’ve preached a number of services, revivals, and even a national prayer conference. I currently hold three staffed positions at my church – associate pastor, media director and youth pastor. I also teach classes quarterly at my church as well. I am constantly studying theology, philosophy of religion and striving to grow my academic knowledge of Christianity and God. I’ve grown up in the church, I know all the right movements, say all the right things and follow all (well most) of the “rules”. If you saw my resume, you would think I’m a model Christian. But I’m not.
Oscar Wilde once said, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” And that couldn’t be more true with me. I have a past. If I were to be completely honest with you, I’d have to tell you that I wasn’t truly saved until March 14, 2004. And even after that, I wasn’t 100% in the ministry and dedicating my life to this walk. I started Bible college in the fall of 2005, and I still wasn’t 100% pure in my walk with God. I became a Reverend in 2008, and even then I was not the Christian that I should have been.
No, I have failed to be the Christian that is worthy of the title’s I hold. It’s my humanity. I’ve given into my flesh from time to time. I’ve let my carnality take over on occasion. I’ve slipped … I’m guilty of that. I’ve betrayed people, I’ve turned my back on friends, I’ve lied, I’ve cheated, I’ve disgraced my call … I’ve been the type of person that would make a Pharisee seem like an apostle.
I thank God, though, that within the past year and a half, I’ve completely turned my life around. Those who are not extremely close to me would not be able to tell a difference, since I was so good at faking it before. I had mastered the art of going through the motions. I had perfected being imperfect. I’m not going to lie, if I had died a little over a year ago, I strongly believe that I would not have been living the life that was worthy of entering the gates of heaven. I honestly don’t know what it was, that defining moment that kind of snapped me out of it. I can’t say that there was a powerful service, or a time spent bawling my eyes out at an altar. There was no burning bush revelation or prophetic utterance that verbally slapped me in the face. I think … I think it was just a gradual turn of events.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put childish things behind me.” … I feel as though this is what happened to me. A steady growth of spiritual maturity. I’m nowhere near where I should be. But thank God I’m nowhere near where I used to be either. As Paul later says in Philippians, “I do not count myself to have achieved it yet, but one thing I do – forgetting what is behind me, and pressing on towards what is ahead.” … That is me. Not quite having achieved the level of spiritual maturity I should be at – not yet achieving that sanctification, but continually striving for it. Gradually, each day, making improvements in my life to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. I know that I’ve done numerous things out of character for a man of God. I know that my past could very well destroy a ministry – but I weep at the feet of Christ knowing that He isn’t concerned with my past, but rather the potential of my future. I am so undeserving of the call upon my life. I’ve taken it for granted, and I’ve abused the anointing. I know I’m not worthy … But my God keeps calling me, and He doesn’t let me give up. For that, I am forever grateful. For that, I will continue to strive daily. For that, I can forget what is behind me, and press on towards what is ahead. This saint has a past, yes – but that sinner I was has a future.