I’ve always known that I owe God for everything I have. There’s no question; but still, faith without works… is dead.
I understand that we are saved through faith and not by works. That’s not what I mean. By work, I mean the little things like reading my bible, speaking up and having some substance to back why I believe what I do, and living truly for Christ as a Christian should. Things that are alive continue to grow, as they are fed by something else, until they die. I was not being fed the word, and as I was not growing spiritually,
I ceased to be alive in the spirit. Although, I would have never denied that God exists, or that I have always been a believer, I did not live according to my faith. My faith was dead.
Luckily, I have never been one to deny an invitation to go to church, as I began my relationship with God when I was a young child. I know what God has done for not only me, but for my family, through my mom’s faith, and the faith of my grandmother and great grandmother. My family has been blessed.
So when a friend of mine began to invite me to Cottonwood, I went. And I wouldn’t have been the same without that invitation.
Cottonwood was an instant hit in my heart. Pastor Nathan is phenomenal, and a few weeks in, I heard a sermon from Paster Nathan that would become pivotal in my walk as a Christian. He spoke about various kingdoms in the chosen land (I believe it was- this was now months ago), who were supposed to tear down their high places. These were places that they revered highly, where they might have even worshiped false idols. Apparently, there were only two kings in all the land who were willing to tear down their high places completely. This struck me, big time!
Coming from my background, it’s easy to appreciate God and to say, sure I’ll give up swearing, for instance. But who likes the sound of swearing anyway? Or, I’ll give up drinking heavily. Well drinking heavily is terrible for a person’s health, so it only makes sense not to do so. All of these things were incredibly convenient to give up, so I’ve been able to have a decent amount of control over these, except for in a few instances. Still, what really struck me was that high places don’t necessarily have to be things that are bad, but just something that you revere highly, almost even as a false idol. At that moment, I realized there was something I was holding onto that I had a difficult time giving up even for God.
I founded a startup that I was working on for a little over two years. During that time, I had put thousands of hours into that startup. I gave up school for it, and had no part time job so that I could focus solely on that. This idea was enormous, and it was my baby. Before that sermon, I held the opinion that I was in fact a Christian and that I would be willing to die for Christ if asked to. It’s funny that I thought that and still had a more difficult time living for him, and doing things as simple as standing up for Jesus’ name with proper conviction. I instantly realized that in that moment, I wasn’t immediately ready to give up my startup as an offering to God. It hit me like a punch in the face, and I rededicated my life to Christ in that moment.
The posts that follow will detail what I realized when I went home and began to write out daily devotions on paper, as well as what I have learned throughout my recent growth in the spirit.