It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written a post on this blog. I’ve been asked why I stopped writing. I’ve stopped for various positive reasons. I’m not in a crisis. I haven’t changed my mind about what I’ve written. In fact, I have great satisfaction and joy that I wrote as I did for 10 months as I was experiencing the revelation of God’s Grace and my life was changing radically. Nothing has changed there. I don’t know if I will continue to blog. But, I did want to write this short post to you in case you feared I may have fallen apart in some way or changed my mind about what I experienced. Not at all. All is well. All is well. If you write me a question in the comments section, I will get it and will be happy to respond. I am also very willing/interested to help any suffering soul who is looking for peace/joy.
I’ve come to believe emotional pain is what God uses to point out error in our beliefs. This functions the same as physical pain does in relation to medical problems in our bodies.
What motivates us to go to the doctor to get something checked out? Well, it’s some kind of abnormal symptom. Often it’s physical pain. I’ve come to believe that it’s also true that when we are depressed, angry or afraid (emotional pain), that this is a symptom that should cause us to check out what is wrong in regards to what we are BELIEVING(I’m speaking here of spiritual beliefs, not simply factual beliefs).
I can say that for me, I expect that if I am accurately believing the 100% Gospel of Grace (which is my phrase for the real Truth of the Good News), I will be living the Abundant Life and experiencing the peace that surpasses human understanding, free of emotional distress (Of course, there are many other phrases/idioms that refer to this wonderful state/experience of unspeakable joy). This has been true for me during these last two years after understanding more fully the Grace of God.
When I’m NOT in that wonderful place of peace, joy and the other Fruit, which these days I am joyfully experiencing most of the time (I boast only in the Lord), I have come to believe that in that moment of un-peace and un-joy I must be embracing un-truth in this area or that. The medicine/remedy for this emotional distress is figuring out what un-truth I am believing at the moment and correct my wrong thinking with the Truth. I’d call this renewing my mind. I find that this Truth, when I do remember and apply it does, in fact, set me free.
On the other hand, if I can’t seem to find nuggets of Truth that that set me free from the emotional distress, I conclude that I need to keep working on finding the Truth of the matter. This is hard work. But, remember that John 6 tells us that the only work that God requires is that we believe in and on Jesus (Who IS the Truth). I work this process many times, even scores of times, every day. And it’s infinitely preferable to living in emotional pain.
Example? I start to argue with my wife. I feel angry because I feel she has not valued something I feel I’ve accomplished “for her”. In other words, I accuse her (with my words or just in my mind) of not appreciating me. Perhaps I didn’t get from her the praise that I feel is merited for such a “great, unselfish accomplishment”, whatever it may have been. As I walk away pouting a bit, I notice that I’m angry. And I’ve learned that when that happens to me, I must be believing something un-true relevant to that interaction. After a bit of contemplation, talking to Dad, I realize that in that incident I was expecting/requiring her to make me feel valued, important, righteous up to my needs/expectations. And it’s quickly clear to me that only God, Himself, can provide me that sense of worthiness. In that moment, I realize that I am expecting her to do God’s job, to count me valuable, worthy, righteous, etc. such that my heart is satisfied. My anger subsides and becomes joy as I remember that I AM so valuable and valued and worthy (so many words I could use). I go back to her and tell her with a smile on my face and in my heart what I figured out regarding the matter we argued about and that I’m sorry I got angry at her.
I think of it like I carry medicine (God’s Truth) around with me in my pocket each day. And when I’m emotionally (i..e., spiritually) sick, I find the right medicine (an element of the Truth of God) and take it and get better very quickly.
I’d love feedback on this post. I’m still a new 100% Grace believer and I like feedback from those on the path longer than I’ve been. That being said, what I wrote about is working for me in a big way.
One man’s true story experiences after finding, buying and living The Pearl of Great Price. 195 short posts
Perhaps I was just extreme. But, until I understood God’s Grace, I would literally have a discouraging thought, perhaps every few minutes. Or even more frequently than that. For example, EVERY thing that I noticed that was undone that “needed to be done” would give me a “zap” of discouragement. Like, “Oh, that bill didn’t get paid on time. I feel bad we’ll have a late fee.” Or, “I haven’t called my daughter in quite a while. I feel a bit bad about that.” Or, “I haven’t been through those papers on my desk. I really should have done that.” Or “The baseboards in my house are dirty. I can’t believe I let them get that way.” Or “I can’t believe I’ve been using Microsoft Word for 15 years, and I still don’t know how to use the ‘clipboard’ function.” And on and on.
In addition, if I could spot a flaw in anything that I HAD done, I’d feel bad, too. “I really talked about myself too much in that recent interaction I had with Chuck at church. How embarrassing.” Or, “I bet Mary could smell the smoke on my breath when we spoke the other day. I’m trying to hide the fact that I’m smoking again.” Or, “I know it looks like I’m succeeding in business. But my affairs are really a mess.”
It was all about my performance. And since I knew the word of God quite well, I was very sensitive to all my “failures”. I could literally be driving down the street, letting my mind wander, and be “zapped” with a bit of discouragement/failure every minute or so. As I said, perhaps this is extreme. But this is how I experienced life. A RACE to try to get enough things done, and done right, that I could never win. My mind consistently drifted to all my shortcomings. I was also quite a list maker. I could not even put on my lists all the things I needed to do.
Then I came to understand and believe the 100% Grace of God. I realized that since I was already perfect because God had proclaimed this to be so, I grew to stop all that self-accusation. With this breakthrough, much of my depression, anxiety and addictions stopped. Unlike before, I could literally take a 30 minutes drive from one place to another, and do it in great joy, without being interrupted by any discouraging thoughts.
Understanding the Grace of God settles our issues related to eternity. But, it also settles lots of issues related to our time-and-space existence in this life. I’d like to discuss this with you if you want this freedom.
I have documented and continue to document what it’s like to find and begin to experience owning The Pearl of Great Price. 194 short posts starting in January 2013.
I sometimes wonder if this blog could be interpreted as a narcissistic rant by some guy who just likes to tell his story. While I do enjoy writing these posts, I write them because my heart can do no other. I truly want other people to find the peace and joy that is offered. That I was given and accepted. A complete change of life.
I’m 61 years old. To this day, the friendships I have valued most in my life, that I hold in my heart-memory as almost fairy tales, are from my childhood up until my 17th year. Until I was 17, these were the years before I learned of Good and evil – when I was living in Eden but was unaware. Then at 17 years old… I was “banished from the Garden” as Adam/Eve were. On a given day, in a specific conversation with my then best friend, I realized in a moment that the world wasn’t what I thought. It wasn’t all good. I wasn’t good. Those I loved weren’t “good” as I envisioned them in my innocence. My life/dream had become a life/nightmare. After that day of exile, no other friendship could measure up to those of my youth. Oh, I’ve had many good friends since then. But, there always has seemed to be “something missing” in these relationships. I haven’t known what it has been that is missing. It was like my soul was locked from the inside on that day in 1970. No one could really get “in” in the way they could and did in my childhood. My heart was no longer available as it had been in those early years. I didn’t want it this way. It just was. I thought I was no longer able to love a friend as I had in those early years. I know this is why my “old friends” know me as so nostalgic. I’m the one that remembers all the details from those early years. Because I have thought they were gone forever. A very sad part of my suffering for so many years. Can you imagine? Maybe you’ve had the same experience.
What I described above is another thing that has changed for me since I found Grace. I’m developing new friendships that feel like the ones I had as a child. With these friends, I feel open and free. I laugh authentically. I want so much to hear what they have to say. And I so love telling them what I’m thinking. My heart leaps a bit when they call me. I’m not afraid to be totally known by them. I’m not even afraid of losing the relationship, should that happen.
Again…documenting what it “feels like” to find and acquire The Pearl of Great Price.
This blog documents the True Story of finding and beginning to experience the Pearl of Great Price AS IT HAS HAPPENED since January 2013.
I have always been the man of great purpose. Making money. Giving it to worthy causes. Starting and growing businesses. Helping people of all sorts. Raising a family. Learning the Bible. Helping at church. Trying to be Holy. You understand. On and on.
Along the way, I realized that all of these great purposes fell under a single goal/purpose – which was to be a Very Good Christian. I believed that was the best primary purpose for my life (of any life, really). And for 30 years, I lived with that as my purpose. But there was great pressure and stress to be that Very Good Christian, measuring up to God’s impossible standards. No one has worked harder than I did, I would think. But I was very unhappy if you looked ‘neath the surface. I had depression, anxiety, anti-depressant medicine, addictions of various kinds, verbal abuse at home, etc. because I found that I wasn’t really very good at becoming a Very Good Christian. But, I persisted. Taking up my cross daily, you understand. But I felt I wasn’t making it. And I wasn’t. I didn’t measure up to God’s standard, even a bit. I felt condemned most of the time.
Well, once I understood the 100% Grace of God, I realized that my goal had already been entirely accomplished. That I was already a PERFECT CHRISTIAN because of God’s Jesus Plan. When I figured that out – that I had
worked BELIEVED my way out of a job and out of my primary purpose for living. I no longer had a PURPOSE in the sense that we typically think of a purpose. In order to have a purpose, one would need to find something very important that was not yet done that needed to be done. But, Grace tells me that “It is Finished!!!” Or, said another way, “It is Done!!!” Nothing left to do. Nothing undone. No purpose left. Nothing of this sort, anyway.
Well, today, with my purpose finished, I am living in the glow of this Finished Work. So, I spend my days enjoying being loved by God and His lavish Grace and provision for me. And the thing I like the VERY BEST and to which I commit my most time by FAR is learning about, writing about, talking about, reading about and thinking about the 100% Grace of God that has turned me into the happiest person I personally know. But I don’t do these Grace related activities because of any obligation or because God needs me to do them. They are my favorite activities. I’m doing what I want to do.
Life is great. I thought I’d have to wait for heaven to experience this. But, I didn’t have to wait.
This blog documents the True Story of finding and beginning to experience the Pearl of Great Price AS IT HAS HAPPENED since January 2013.
I hate feeling angry, don’t you? I had a small lesson today having to do with avoiding anger.
A memorable sermon/message by Joseph Prince of, perhaps, a year ago, was when he said, in a nutshell, that all emotional pain is related to having a sense of condemnation. I have always remembered that and observe that reality in my life frequently. Here’s one example from today.
A co-worker of mine with whom I’m very close was offering to take a small work task off my hands today. But, as he offered, I noticed myself getting angry AT HIM! I looked inside myself to try to figure out why I was getting angry. It was because I was feeling/believing that part of what he was REALLY saying was, “You screwed up again. If anything is going to done right around here, I guess I’m going to have to do it myself.” After we got off the phone, as I said, I was pretty frustrated. Because, I WAS RELYING ON THIS OTHER PARTY TO MAKE ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF!! And when his offer actually made me feel embarrassed (condemned), I got really pretty angry inside for a few minutes. I think I was angry because, deep down I was saying to him in my mind “DON’T YOU DARE make me feel bad about myself!!! I know what you’re really saying. That I’m somewhat incompetent in this area. YOU HAVE YOUR OWN FLAWS. GO WORK ON THEM, NOT ON ME!!!”
Solution? Remember (believe) that God has said that I’m perfect and not condemned or criticized in any way. And I don’t depend need to depend on ANY other person to make me feel OK about myself (let’s say, “righteous”, if that’s not too churchy a word for this context). But, living that out takes quite a bit of work. And there are lessons to be learned about this every day.
According to JP, anger, frustration, fear, sadness are all related to a sense of personal condemnation. Amazing that the Gospel of 100% Grace provides “medicine” for this ailment. Cool. Very cool. Thanks, God.
I have been nervous to point to Joseph Price (JP) on this blog as my favorite (understatement) teacher. My heart says to listen to other teachers as well, and I do. And I HAVE throughout my 30+ years of Christian life. After 29 years since conversion, there was only one sermon/message I ever saw that made be stand up in my chair, all alone in my home office and thrust my hands up into the air while screaming out something like “Yahoo!!!!” or “Yippie!!!” or “This is too good to be True!!!” And that was in 2011 when I heard my first JP message, that I ran across by chance (I had never heard his name before) as I perused the internet for good teaching, as I often do. I feel like that was the day that I first beheld The Pearl of Great Price (Google this if you don’t know what this is) and promptly set out to “…sell everything I have to buy it.” because I wanted it so badly. More than riches, family, power, pleasure, sin or any other thing you can name. Thank you, JP, for being used to change my Life from suffering to unspeakable joy, that continues to this day and increases all the time.
He continues to be THE TEACHER (among many I access) who speaks clearly to MY heart, seems authentic to MY heart, who anticipates when he speaks, the follow-on questions asked by my doubting and highly intellectual heart as he makes WILD claims about the Grace of God in his teachings.
There are those who can’t get past the prosperity or healing parts of his messages. Others think he dresses too flashy – like a toned-down Rock-Star. Others can’t get past that he makes a lot of money. I am truly sorry for you. That’s not a jab at you. My heart of Love (I’m boasting in the Lord) wishes I could give you what I have and am experiencing now. I daydream about pulling all “my people” (friends, family, etc.) together in a room and being able to give them what I’ve been given. Then enjoying the laughing, crying, hugging and worshipful gratitude we’d all have together for hours on end as we reveled in how good God and Life really is.
JP isn’t the only teacher of this message. You can find The Pearl in the words of many other wonderful teachers. But after two years of basking in the 100% Grace Gospel, I still have a powerful affection and gratitude for this man who delivered and keeps delivering God’s Truth to me and so many others. I felt I should finally point to JP as the man who was used to lead me to now have everything I ever wanted and more.
It may seem I want to congratulate/elevate JP with these words. I truly believe he doesn’t want or need that. I’m writing this for YOU, the reader, in hopes that your life can be changed from ashes to beauty as mine has and many others I’ve met in my exciting journey growing in the Grace of God.
I can prove that his view on the Gospel is True. Dare me.
My efforts today are no longer to “NOT SIN”. My focus today is not to correct my behavior. Instead, my focus is to BELIEVE RIGHT(learn what is the True Truth of God about things – then work toward believing them).
I find that what is True according to God is SO INCREDIBLY GREAT that I experience unspeakable joy. I get a sense of wholeness. Like, “All Is Well!”. The 9 Fruit of the Spirit effortlessly well up in me. Think of all 9 of them: Love….Joy….Peace….Patience….Kindness….Goodness….Faithfulness….Gentleness….Self-Control. They are effortlessly present in my experience. Remember, Jesus said that when we know the Truth, it will SET US FREE. I’m having such a party then, that I find that my pet sins would really interrupt the party. Usually, I decide, “Naahhh. I’m not interested in this sin or that sin. This party is too good, just the way it is.” And, if on occasion I decide I just can’t resist this sin or that one, I go ahead and let myself partake. I’m quickly reminded that the party would have been better without sin.
BTW, my sin behavior is withering and dying. By focusing on believing the Truth of God. Rather than trying to correct my behavior.
Until my Grace Awakening, I had never experienced the diminishing of my desire to sin, my addictions, as my churches said I should. It was always a struggle. The desire for this or that addicted behavior never went away – never got less powerful. After Grace, they are gone or well on their way to being gone. I now know why.
Addictions are our way to have some control of our feelings/emotions. In the non-Grace life (as most Christians live), there is so much emotional pain from fear of God, self-loathing and sense of personal failure that we desire escape. Addictions are what we turn to for this purpose, whether it’s shopping or pornography or over-eating or over-working or video games – the list is endless.
When Grace becomes True to you, and the peace and joy (Fruit of the Spirit, remember?) comes in, we would rather experience this Fruit un-diluted by addictions. We find that they “ruin our good time” of Grace by indulging in addictions. This is real. I’m living it. If you read more of my blog, you would know I’m honest about these things and I can be trusted as I report this to you.
Whether you actively engage in your addictions, if you still strongly desire them, you haven’t yet full experienced God’s Grace. Never fear. You’re entirely forgiven. But you’re missing the party. And what a party it is.
ANALOGY: People fall deeply and romantically in love with another person. It’s very joyful. But, often, this new relationship also creates an element of fear because the thought of going back to the way it was before the relationship becomes very scary. Some sensitive people become obsessed, always looking for clues that might indicate that the relationship may be in danger for this reason or that.
I am that way right now about the 100% Grace of God. Since understanding this in the last 24 months, my depression/anxiety is gone, all 9 Fruit of the Spirit are growing effortlessly, I’m so happy that it’s actually hard for some people to spend too much time with me, etc. etc. Things are great.
Along with this, I’m aware of a hint of fear. Fear that I may lose this wonderful Grace Place I’m now experiencing. I never want to lose it. This is much stronger and more profound than simply falling in love with a wonderful woman. I can feel this fear when I read a new Bible passage that I can’t make sense of through my new Grace lens. I get advice from some brothers to deal with those passages head-on and fearlessly. Study them and get them resolved in your mind and heart. Because this Grace Gospel is True and we never need to fear losing it’s joy. Others ask me why I’m obsessively and fearfully trying to “fully understand this Grace Gospel intellectually – and you will never be able to do that”.
Don’t worry about me. I’m not suffering that badly. But, I’m writing this because I want to document my journey, as I said I would when I started this blog. The other reason I’m writing this is that it may give some comfort to others who have tasted God and seen that He is good and may begin to fear “losing” the paradise feelings they have day by day as they remember their decades of suffering without it. I want them to know that they are not alone. At least one other fellow traveler is experiencing this from time to time.
I’m certainly open to input from more mature Grace believers.