Do you know where I was three years ago? I was an upstanding member in my church, the pastor's daughter, church pianist, church secretary... questioning my salvation, wondering if I even belonged in church anymore, full of pride and perfectionism, and feeling like everyone around me had gotten on my last nerve.
Not a pretty picture, is it?
And then the scariest thing happened. My dad scheduled a Life Action Ministries team to come in for three weeks and hold a revival summit at our church. Why was that so scary to me? I was afraid of what God would reveal to me about my heart. I was afraid of change. I didn't want to find out I wasn't okay, even though I already knew I wasn't. I didn't want to walk an aisle and reveal to my church family that I wasn't okay, either.
Those three weeks would change my life!
You see, I accepted Christ as my Savior as a young girl and grew up in a Christian home, attended a solid church, and even spent 14 years in a Christian school. Much of the time I spent doubting my salvation, though, mostly because I never stayed committed to spending personal time with God. I was what you'd call a "good kid". I learned to live by the rules and condemned those who didn't, and that was plenty to build up years' worth of pride in my heart. Enough to make my life miserable, too.
When Life Action entered the picture, it was pretty much a "do or die" deal for me. As the Lord started speaking to my heart from the very first message I heard, I believed I had to grab onto whatever they threw at me, as if it were a life preserver, and hang on with all my might. I truly felt like I was drowning spiritually. My relationship with Christ felt dead, and I wasn't sure who I really was anymore.
What I learned is that I hadn't been pursuing a relationship with God, nor truly worshipping Him. I had been waiting for a feeling to sweep into my heart that would bring about a communion with Him naturally. That's not how God works. He must be pursued, worshipped, and glorified actively by a choice of my will, not because of a feeling!
That first week the evangelist asked us to commit to having a quiet hour every day for five days, which included praise, supplication, reading Psalms, reading other scripture, thanksgiving, and singing. So I committed myself. I didn't know how I'd ever fill one hour talking to God, let alone 20 minutes, but I did it the first day. I didn't feel a passion or a great desire to be there, but I knew I was being obedient. So I did it the second day. I continued on for the five days and beyond that. I just kept going until it became a craving, and I couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning to see what God would show me in my quiet hour. There were mornings I never wanted to leave my quiet room, and an hour wasn't long enough to spend with Him.
As God became intensely real to me in my quiet hour, He became real to me throughout the day, too. I would think of Him often and found myself basing decisions on the knowledge of His presence in my life. No longer was I just worshipping Him in church, or just during a quiet hour, but all day, every day.
And that's how my spiritual life drastically changed. I chose to actively pursue God by abiding in His Word and in prayer faithfully, and I've been pursuing Him ever since. At the age of 33 I had finally grasped the type of relationship with God that I had only heard other people experienced and never believed I would have.
As that all began on October 3, 2005, I have once again passed a spiritual anniversary that is very much worth remembering. I pray I'll never forget.
One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. ~ Psalm 27:4