Friday, April 17, 2009

Seek God because He first sought you!

Years ago in my single years when I was a wild savage in the world. I had a really good paying job and lived a carefree life. I was a non-practicing Catholic, self proclaimed ladies man and a weekend drunk.
So what does all of this have to do with seeking God?
I wanted to present a picture of myself before Christ. I also wanted to show how I wasn't seeking after God. I was seeking a worldly pleasure and didn't have any worries. At least I thought I didn't.
I worked in a factory back in Texas in the 80's and 90's. During my time there the Lord brought someone in my life who would never know how much of an impact he had on my life. He never knew that God put Him in that work place just for me.
The man worked in a chemical vat area where we blackened cutting tools. I would go into the area where he worked to talk and bring some tools to be blackened.
While I would go into that place I always noticed some scripture on a filing cabinet.
There were three that really stuck out and continue to be a catalyst of my walk today. Twenty something years later.
The first scripture verse is found in Proverbs.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
If you notice it says that He "shall" direct your paths if you trust, and acknowledge Him while you don't lean on your own senses.
I wrote that word down and had it memorized in minutes. I prayed using that scripture. Again all the while going out and continuing to party. You see God was chasing and getting me ready for His work. It took a few more years before it took, but the seed was planted.
The other scripture was in Matthew.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33
Again I wrote this word down and had it memorized in minutes. I still have the note where I wrote these scriptures. I did as I read in the word. I didn't have instruction from any clergy or other. I felt the Lord putting His word in my heart and I began to understand what was going on.
As I said earlier this was a process and it took a few years to take.
I never used or viewed these scriptures as a way to "be rich" or ask for monetary things. I prayed for things that would benefit my walk spiritually.
If I may the Lord saved me using these scriptures. I didn't pray any special preconcieved prayer and the gentleman who had these words written never talked with me about salvation prayers.
Another of the scriptures that was written was from Matthew also.
"Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks recieves, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
Again I had this word memorized in minutes as it really stuck out to me. I never used it or seen it as a way to become prosperous. I knew in my heart what it meant as the Lord put it in me heart.
The gentleman who had all of this scripture written had a hard life and God took him from a life of drugs, alcohol and suicidal attempts into a new life. And so the Lord used him to show me where I needed to be. The Lord took those precious words and increased the growth in my spirit all the while I was still partying.
I began to read my bible and praying. Something I never did was read my bible. In fact all I had was an old Good News New Testament. I will tell you though that that bible has a lot of tape and words underlined in it. I was hungry and fed on the word. Yet I continued in a life of sin.
Jesus had me, but He just didn't bring the net in yet.
I did come around and began to see things with my eyes wide opened. The Lord took a few scriptures written on a filing cabinet and some time to bring me into His kingdom. And to this day I praise God for that.
My old friend Dickie Thornhill was the gentleman who had those scriptures written down. I did attend Sunday school with him as he was a teacher and I went to services for a while. Again I remind you the night before I still partied. He was being a servant and disciple without realizing it. He never pushed me to make a decision nor did he get upset if I didn't show up all the time. A matter of fact I stopped going to church with him after about a few months. But I feel he knew that the seed was planted. I can only look back and see how far God took me after first meeting Dickie. I never had a chance to say thank you to him either.
Because a few years ago the Lord took him home. I loved that man in the Lord! Thank You Lord for Dickie Thornhill!
I really don't know if the Lord is seeking you if He is though. He won't give up on you if He has you in His sight.
As the old law enforcement adage goes. You can run, but you can't hide!
Adam and Eve tried to hide. God knew where they were. Just like He knows where you are.
You can't hide.

5 comments:

Like a Mustard Seed said...

man, steven... thank you for sharing a peice of your life. i have a different, but similar beginning in my journey towards Christ. it's been a long long while since i heard anyone talk about someone coming to know jesus without the religious jargan. God knew I needed replenishment today.

He builds His church, and it starts within... man, God knew what He was doing putting you in our path. He's strengthening our faith, and refining us as iron sharpens iron. it's such a beautiful thing. God is so giving and so awesome.

have a good weekend Steven and tell your wife I say "hello". :)

Heather

Steven Owen said...

Heather,
I feel a lot of people have come to the knowledge of faith without the help of a prayer or man centered service. We have just been so inundated with the "my date of salvation" comments that those of us who don't know a certain date feel left out and keep quiet.
God is an awesome God. Without Him we would be nothing, but dirt!
Steven

Pilgrim said...

Some people have an Idea that God is inclusive for mans eternal destiny, that all religions and all people will be saved. That God will allow all of mankind to enter into heaven because everybody is good so God must be fair and include everyone! It is true God does love the whole world but God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior. To keep this simple man has a problem called sin in which man refuses to believe that there are eternal consequences for having sin, which is a one way ticket to hell. God is holy and he will not allow anyone with sin to enter into heaven. God is hurt and angry about our sin, we have broken his laws. But God is just and good and he knows our need so he provided a solution to our problem. His solution to our problem is to have our sins removed by having our sins placed on someone else, a sacrifice for us; paying for the penalty of the sin we have in our lives. So that someone else would get the penalty of Gods wrath and separation on him that was meant for us. So God sent his son Jesus on a mission from heaven to earth as our sacrifice to die on the cross on our behalf after this happened three days later Jesus came back from the dead, alive. But that’s not all remember I wrote that God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior? The only way that Gods promise can be applied to your life is for you to turn from your way of thinking and know that your sin offends and hurts God and call on the Lord Jesus who’s alive to save you. Your sins are then transferred to Jesus for what he did at the cross, dying and being abandon by God because of your sins, for you and because Jesus arose from the dead he is alive you can now enter into a relationship with God. Will you call out to Jesus to save you? It’s your choice to enter in exclusively with God’s grace for you. Where will you want to spend eternity after hearing Gods promise for you?
If the answer was yes that you do want Jesus as your sin bearer, Savior, and you do believe God raised Jesus from the dead you can pray with your voice.

“Dear Jesus save me.”

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pilgrim said...

Some people have an Idea that God is inclusive for mans eternal destiny, that all religions and all people will be saved. That God will allow all of mankind to enter into heaven because everybody is good so God must be fair and include everyone! It is true God does love the whole world but God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior. To keep this simple man has a problem called sin in which man refuses to believe that there are eternal consequences for having sin, which is a one way ticket to hell. God is holy and he will not allow anyone with sin to enter into heaven. God is hurt and angry about our sin, we have broken his laws. But God is just and good and he knows our need so he provided a solution to our problem. His solution to our problem is to have our sins removed by having our sins placed on someone else, a sacrifice for us; paying for the penalty of the sin we have in our lives. So that someone else would get the penalty of Gods wrath and separation on him that was meant for us. So God sent his son Jesus on a mission from heaven to earth as our sacrifice to die on the cross on our behalf after this happened three days later Jesus came back from the dead, alive. But that’s not all remember I wrote that God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior? The only way that Gods promise can be applied to your life is for you to turn from your way of thinking and know that your sin offends and hurts God and call on the Lord Jesus who’s alive to save you. Your sins are then transferred to Jesus for what he did at the cross, dying and being abandon by God because of your sins, for you and because Jesus arose from the dead he is alive you can now enter into a relationship with God. Will you call out to Jesus to save you? It’s your choice to enter in exclusively with God’s grace for you. Where will you want to spend eternity after hearing Gods promise for you?
If the answer was yes that you do want Jesus as your sin bearer, Savior, and you do believe God raised Jesus from the dead you can pray with your voice.

“Dear Jesus save me.”

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Steven Owen said...

Pilgrim,
I honestly don't know why you posted most of what you did concerning this subject. I will say you are right all men are wretched poor and sinners. Without any knowledge of the Saviour and without faith in Him no one can get to heaven.
It is God who must show us our sin first. Then it is God who must give us the gift of repentance. Then and only then can we call on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved and that not of ourselves but from God.
So in all sincerety I don't know if you read something into my post or not, but I agree with what you are saying.
Welcome back anytime.
Steven