Thankfully, I don't believe that way. "Jesus is the joy of living. He's the king of life to me." These words from the church hymnal have been on my mind for many months. As a child I sang them often and didn't really connect with them. I sang them dutifully in church or church school, but didn't find them especially gratifying. The reality of enjoying Christ as a real person in your life is a gift from God through his Holy Spirit. It is a transcendent reality that is bequeathed to us with no apparent explanation, at times.
Four years ago, out of boredom, I started singing one particular song as I walked my dog.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful life when you're with the Lord above. It's a wonderful, wonderful life when you're saved by his love. There's a joy that you never can tell and great things from the Lord above. As I walk with the Lord in my heart there's a song. It's a wonderful, wonderful life."
Only in retrospect was I able to trace a revival in my spiritual life to the seemingly passive singing of the powerful words of this song. The message in the song actually became my conscious reality. For that miracle I am grateful to the Lord.
In addition to intoning the words of this song daily, but with little feeling to what I was singing, I started claiming the promise for the reception of the Holy Spirit found in Luke 11:13 which says, "if you then who are earthly know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." I had claimed this particular promise on and off for years, but more as a vague desire for something that I had known once. I don't think I really believed the words I was saying.
At any rate I can't say how long I claimed this promise, but when something otherworldly started happening to me, I did not automatically connect it with the promise I had routinely been claiming on my daily commute to work.
In accepting that something extraordinary was beginning to occur in my life I decided to start getting up early in the morning and spending time with the New Testament. It was only after a few months that I actually became interested in attending church. I had not attended church in over 15 years. After three and a half years of attending church I felt it was meaningful for me to seek rebatism.
Temptations of ever-increasing variety never cease to cross my path, but for reasons that baffle me, I continue to seek God morning by morning. I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary to continue having this mysterious relationship with Christ. I'm simply letting him fill me with whatever spiritual and material blessings he wishes to shower me with. Yes, of course, I continue to rise early to eat the word of life and to commune with God through prayer, but this desire does not come from me, how could it? It would be so much more pleasant to continue sleeping or to enjoy other activities instead of the bible and prayer. Nevertheless, the mystery of spirituality continues to grace my days. I am astounded and indebted to Christ Jesus for this continuing blessing.
It is my hope that if you have never given Jesus Christ the time of day that you will do so very soon.