CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
What I have noticed over the years is that very often we don’t know that the Holy Ghost has been in our midst until after He has left the scene. For example, this week a thought came into my head that I assumed was my own. The thought was, “how is it that you spiritually survive when you have lost so much that you depended on?” Immediately, I was reminded of the fact that for at least 25 years, my spiritual life was dependent upon people, places and things. By things, I mean “works” and “practices.”
Among the people were those I pastored and the many ministers and
members that I fellowshipped with, as well as two different husbands
who I was compelled to divorce as well as family, friends and associates
that I had to “cut loose”.
For me there was only one place: the church. I was in church constantly as a pastor, a member and a visitor. At times, I was in church as many as 6 days a week, hours at a time.
Furthermore, I frequently visited other churches, several times a month. I also preached and taught in prison for almost 10 years. Among the things or “works” that I no longer do is my first love,— developing sermons and preaching. I practiced healing, deliverance ministry, weeping and wailing in intercession, aka,travailing, and speaking in tongues. I also moved in the “slain in the spirit” ministry, where people fell to the floor at the touch of my hand or at times, when I simply waved my hand, some fell slain. I saw into the future regularly,experiencing supernatural experiences that I believed at the time were manifestations of each of the 9 gifts of the Holy Ghost.
I lost it ALL!
At the beginning of the century, with 9/11/01 as my target date of change, I
had no idea that when I praised “Lord, if there is any darkness around me,
please expose it,” that practically EVERYTHING–people, places and
things–would be exposed as filled with darkness and deception.
So when the thought came into my mind, “Pam,how do you live and survive today without all of that?” I had not yet come up with an answer, until my first client of the day asked me the very same question. So when she asked the very question that had
just hit my own thoughts, I immediately realized that the Holy Ghost was using her to speak to me. Interestingly enough, as I counsel others, the Holy Ghost frequently uses contents of the session to have a ONE on one session with me!
I can’t recall in detail how I answered the question for it took practically the entire session to do so. However, what I recall is what the client said to me. She sounded, awed, or speechless when she replied, “Wow. Pam,you are really living for Christ because you have given up ALL for His sake.”
I was shocked by her words because since my losses are predominately
religious in nature, I had not looked at them from that particular
perspective. The conclusion that I had come to is that “every
religious person or thing could be and was removed from me but I
held on to ONE thing that could not be removed.
That ONE thing is my faith and assurance that I am
saved, born again, and when all is said and done, my salvation is
“enough.” Jesus Christ of Nazareth is enough for me. I
have ceased from my own works and I rest in the Lord.
However, how does one arrive at such a place within his or her spiritual walk?
It is not easy–at first. As the writer of Hebrews declares,
“one must LABOR or struggle to enter into the
Lord’s rest” (Hebrews: 4) The familiar expression:
no pain, no gain does not really ring true in the spirit.. The remarkable
thing is that like giving birth in the natural, once the labor and
struggle of delivery has been achieved, you simply can’t remember the pain.For
example, I do not recall the pain of walking away from not
one husband, but two. Once I realized that they were both sent
from the devil to destroy me and hinder my walk in the spirit with the Lord,
the pain was minimized, to say the least!
Once God revealed to me that sermonizing was not from Him but that
it is merely a man-made art, I can no longer recall the pain of not
doing something that I had grown to love. Once one has actually ENTERED
the Lord’s rest, than obedience is in no way painful. Loss is not painful
either. You simply “move on” and live once you have “entered
in.”.That is why I didn’t use the title, no PAIN no gain. I simply
cannot recall the pain of losing so much. However,with each loss, I continue to
experience the gain of a new revelation. Fruit simply grows without much effort. I have come to learn that salvation is truly my pearl of great price. The pain of selling all to guard and protect my born again spirit has been my great gain.