From Being Confused to Being Infused With Christ.
My father was Catholic, and my mother was Pentecostal – this was the beginning of my being confused. Remembering first that my mother mainly took charge of raising me in the Christian ways, this was a help as I received the Lord at an altar call at the age of 16 … the beginning of my long journey.
Joined the Air Force in June of 1967, served a year overseas as well as three years in Northern California — No glory — all left me dry, empty and a sense of dissatisfaction. After four years, in the middle of 1971, the end of my tour, I felt shameful and heavy burden. I was just a low life person all alone due to my many reckless decisions and actions, and still, there was a longing deep within me in hopes of a fresh start in life. The Lord never gave up on me, nor did He leave me. Instead, He constrained me with His love — No hesitation in my lone upper apartment in Yreka — I simply called on the Lord Jesus with a loud shout (a verse in Romans 10:13 my mother left me to remember) — that worked instantly. My heavy burden of sin was gone, the Lord is the Righteous One, so forgiving and loving He graced me with His presence and restored me back to Himself, this was so refreshing. My father saw the change in me when I went home to Germantown Wisconsin that year. He received the Lord the same year just being around me.
As everyone truly saved and experiencing the Lord’s love you want to begin doing good works for Him. I felt that I owed Him, at least that much. No doubt that’s why many newly believers go to seminaries to become pastors and missionaries. However, my thought was to become a disciple of the Lord, to live like Him, travel the USA and preach the gospel. The opportunity came at a Christian coffee house in Milwaukee; the call came asking for volunteers to travel with young Christian tent people (a group called “Christ is the Answer”). So to show my love to the Lord, I decided to leave everything and everyone that year. At first, it was exciting, and then the enthusiasm seemed to wear off. While I was preaching the gospel with my brother in the Lord companion on the street corners, the campus, and in many of the visited denominations I sensed something missing. I was not completely satisfied; I lost the joy. It may have been that I was distracted from the Lord by the Pentecostal exercise of the gifts and good works that I became no longer intimate with the Lord, it’s as if I lost His sweet presence.
In my travels, I became confused with the many divided Christians that I met in the different cities. On every corner a church with a different name, a different doctrine, and different teaching, even so, many conditions to be accepted as a new believer. They all confess to having Jesus as their savior, yet their oneness was when we all get to heaven, it didn’t make sense. Was the Lord not living in them? Why not experience the oneness now? So then, what is the Lord doing? Surely He was not keeping us apart? The simplicity of Christ and love seemed not there. I felt that those that I lead to the Lord I was not able to point them to a place that they could be shepherded or care for properly. Desperately I prayed to the Lord to show me what His plan and purpose was and what place that would give back to me a sense of the Lord’s sweet ruling, the sense of life and peace. The Lord heard my desperate prayers; things began to be reviled, however not in the way I had expected.
As I continued to travel throughout the different cities, I meet some Christians just meeting on the grass at one of the campuses that were reading Watchman Nee books. They told me that they wished that they could be brought back to the simplicity of Christ. They shared and read to us about one church one city, a practical view. That stuck with me to become a reality.
Moving on to another city some brothers approached me and my companion while we were washing dishes at our tent site. They offered to take us to a meeting to visit the Church in Phoenix (Arizona). We went with them, and I felt very much at home there. I noticed they were also readers of Watchmen Nee in which I found in my travels that the books helped Christians to be enlightened to God’s word. The Christians meeting there were so practical, so genuine that I felt that they all even loved the Lord more than I. This brought me into more prayer that the Lord would wake me up from my slumber and show me more. During my short stay, I learn about praying the Word of God (Pray reading). I also found myself enjoying calling on the Lord; as it made sense as it was so easy to touch the Lord as He is the Spirit of life, so available even to the mouth.
The Church in West Los Angles (California) was the next stop … That ended my search in December of 1972. The Lord was merciful, I got clear and found the Lord very real, living, operating, meaningful, purposeful and full of grace. The Lord now was my Grace and everything. To have and live a Normal Christian Life and to know the Lord has an economy which we know as God’s Economy, what can you say but “once I was blind, but now I see.” This marvelous fact can only be enjoyed and experienced when you contact Him and receive Him as the Life Giving Spirit into your spirit with a seeking heart. We must admit that we get so distracted by the many things around us that rob us from really knowing Him, loving Him, and taking Him as our person.
From being confused to being infused with His word and His Truths. I can surely testify that I have been recovered, brought back to my first love — Christ. I can testify that I am being daily renewed by Him through a lifelong process. He has been so enjoyable and to knowing not only Christ in a richer way but to know and love His Body — The Church in which He gave Himself up for. It all is possible just by being desperate, open and calling on Him.