I was living a life of disobedience (sin). It is when my mother passed that I got the courage to make a move from one location to another. It was time for a new environment. It was the most serious, drastic change of my life. I needed to be alone to think on my next move. I needed to detox from everything that had been my life and before I could become what God had planned for me. Little did I know, the Lord Jesus was guiding me, through the Governor (the Holy Spirit). It was a culture shock going from Brooklyn, New York to a place called Augusta, Georgia! The South was a place I never wanted live. Yet I felt that the Holy Spirit was with me, but not condoning all that I did. I still was in the process of change. I must admit, I was a slow learner when it comes to obeying His Word completely. Anything I tell you to do, I have lived through so I do understand the process and the difficulty of 'becoming'.
My situation reminded me of the way the Lord Jesus got ambassador Paul's attention: Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
I was somewhat like Paul, until I made a promise to the King with the intent of keeping it. From the time I came to Georgia, September 2003 until September 2011, I was in the transition of discovering His purpose for my life. As I said, I was a slow learner. It was on the date of 9-10-11 that my life took a complete change. It almost took me a complete decade to submit to His will. As I look back on that date, I compare it to bringing a spiritual petroleum and liquid oxygen together to create rocket fuel in the Kingdom, as far as my purpose. It was the day I married Arlene.
When family members and old associates claim they know you when speaking to someone else, the question becomes, do they really know you since you changed? When they begin reminiscing and reminding you of who you were, don't embrace that because it will pull you back, with all the old emotions and feelings from your past. It is a trick of the enemy that comes to tell you that you CAN'T change. It comes to say "Who do you think you are? You just THINK you've changed." It comes to test you and see if you know who you really believe you are. By the way, in the Kingdom, you never stop growing and changing, being refined, as long as you are being led by the Holy Spirit (the Governor).
After the change in Saul's life into what the Lord Jesus had assigned for him, Ananias had to be notified of the change in Saul. The Lord Jesus spoke to him through a vision. Why? Ananias only knew of the old murderous nature of Saul. Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
When you are in the process of change, you want to avoid those people who were associated with your old nature. You need to be in an environment that is conducive to that change and your walk with the King. Ambassador Paul stated it perfectly: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Paul knew what he was talking about. He had walked through those same changes from being Saul to becoming Paul, his purpose in the Kingdom.
Also, do not believe the deception that you can stay in your old environment, with your old friends and lead them to the Lord Jesus, even though you are still learning and growing in the Kingdom. It is a very rare person who is new in the Kingdom, a new believer, and be strong enough in their self-control to resist the pull of the past. Remember, it is far easier to push someone down than to pull someone up.
Before I wrote this article, I had planned to write a completely different topic. But I was led by the Governor to write this one. All I can say is, someone needed to hear this at this present time.
Through it all, remember that your greatest asset is your faith in the Word of the living God.
Matthew 6:33 NKJV Act:1-9, 10-16 Romans 12:1-2 all NLT, except noted
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