Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Not everyone has an explosive conversion experience. I did.
I was 16 years old and I had been in church off an on since the death of my father when I was 10 years old. I had experienced some level of faith in Jesus but I was certainly not free to enjoy my relationship with HIm.

On the evening of October 22, 1967 I received Jesus in His fulness. It was an explosion of light and joy. I had been working at being a Christian. When I stopped working at receiving Jesus and simply received Him, the light and joy came.
I literally sang all the way home that night as I drove my little VW bug down the Hollywood, Florida streets. People must have thought I was crazy.

Today I believe what I was experiencing that night was not just the explosion of my conversion that was meant to pass. I was experiencing the generous presence of Jesus in my life. Jesus came into my spirit and my soul was at rest and rejoicing. Believe it or not, I was given a taste of what it means to live the Christian life each day. It was a taste of what happens when a human being is receiving from God's generosity and grace. On that one glorious night I was enjoying a barrier-free relationship with Jesus with no effort of my own except being focused fully on Jesus.

In Colossians 2:6,7 Pauls writes "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

I experienced this verse on the night of my conversion. Tragically, I was not "instructed" and therefore the "overflowing with gratitude" stopped soon after my conversion. I assumed the "overflowing with gratitude" was a once in a lifetime event.

As Mike Wells says in his wonderful book Heavenly Discipleship "Most Christians can rapidly list five things they need to do for God. However, very few can list five things God is doing for them." The first Sunday after my conversion I was given the list of what I needed to do for God. It was far longer than 5 items! It was many years later that I realized that what matters is what God is willing to do for me through Jesus the Vine that makes me overflow with gratitude like I did on the night of my conversion.

Go back and read the verse again. Has anyone instructed you to focus on what God is doing for you in Christ right now as the key to discipleship and joy?
Has anyone told you that you are rooted in the source of all good things? If not, is it any wonder the joy has gone and a burden of doing for God has taken its place?

Have the courage to wake up each day and affirm what God is doing for you before you grab the list of what you must do for God. Try this...

The entire Christian life abides in me right now. For to me to live is Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in
me. It is not what I am willing to do that makes the Christian life work. It is what He is willing to do! In Christ God is
loving me, guiding me, keeping me, enjoying me, purifying me, forgiving me, filling me, molding me and working His will
in me.

Rejoice! And again I say rejoice! God is much more generous with His perfect life in Jesus than you will ever truly comprehend.

Mike Well's book Heavenly Discipleship and several other wonderful books can be ordered through his site www.abidinglife.com Get them!

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