But more than that -- how arrogant I was! perhaps we all were. We were on fire for Jesus, we had so much enthusiasm, and so little wisdom. Every impulse we thought was a divine Leading; every opinion we chalked up to discernment.
I've been thinking about that for the past two days, stuck on it! trying to build on it, trying to make sense of it. Because it didn't come out in that original post: God used those guys, and occasionally even me.
But it wasn't enough -- we had great ideas, noble impulses and ambitions... we had faith -- of a sort. But I think, for myself, it was an idea of faith, not faith itself, that I was clinging to in those days. People told me that, as a Christian, I was supposed to believe certain things, do certain things -- and I professed and tried to accomplish those things because I really wanted to be a good Christian. I really even believed...
but when my life collapsed, the joists of my faith were found to be rotted through and through. The fundamental beliefs, the foundation of Who Jesus Is -- that remained solid. But all the supplemental things of what I was supposed to believe about Him, and the difference that was supposed to make in my life, were proved false.
I'd been told that if you play the game right, if you believe the right things and do the right things, then God is supposed to bless you and everything in your life is supposed to be hunkey-dorey. I didn't just believe the right things, the orthodox things, about Jesus' identity or His salvation; I believed the things about speaking in tongues, soul-winning, and ministry that I'd been told I was supposed to. I read my Bible daily, attended church every time the doors were open (most weeks) and went to The House of Jubilee frequently. I surrounded myself with good Christian people. I tried to honor and please God by following the example and instruction of people I saw as better, more authoritative Christians, than I was. Those authority figures included the guys in Heirship.
I don't fault them -- they were among some of the best friends I had, and they gave me the best that was in them.
But -- if I can use the house-building metaphor again -- the foundation of rock is necessary, but it's not enough. The joists, the studs, everything else about the structure that we call a house also has to meet specs in order to be secure. In my case, the foundation was the only thing that was sound. My life was like a house built with defective, warped, termite-ridden materials, and whose joists and wall studs were spaced too far apart. When the worst thing I could anticipate, happened, everything caved in. Only the foundation remained.
(to be continued...)